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Application Procedure

Application Procedure

The deadline for submission of completed applications (including supporting documentation) for September 2017 entry into the PhD program is February 1st, 2017. The online application system will open on November 21st  for September admission. Application fees are not refundable.

Only completed applications (including supporting documentation) will be reviewed. Your application materials and supporting documents must be sent directly to the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia via email to the Graduate Administrator at gradcnm@mcmaster.ca.  Please note that while some documents may be uploaded to the online application system, this is optional; you are still required to send them directly to this department. Please submit your application materials as PDF files in one email per the instructions listed below with the subject line “Last Name, First Name: Supporting Documents” (your name should be listed as it appears in your online application).  Alternatively, you may mail your application to the following address (DO NOT USE STAPLES):

Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia
c/o Graduate Administrative Assistant
Togo Salmon Hall 331
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON  L8S 4M2

Documents Required:

  • $100 Application Fee (submitted during the online application process). This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by means of a credit or debit card payment.
  • Two (2) academic recommendations from instructors most familiar with your work, using Confidential Report Forms. Recommendations must be submitted directly via email from the referees to gradcnm@mcmaster.ca, even if provided via the online application system. If submitting the references by postal mail or in person, please ensure that referees have signed across the seal of the envelope. NOTE: THE ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM WILL NOT PROMPT YOUR REFEREES TO SUBMIT REFERENCES UNTIL YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOUR REFERENCES ARE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE, AND TO REQUEST THOSE LETTERS PERSONALLY, IN TIME FOR LETTERS TO BE SUBMITTED BY THE DEADLINE.  PLEASE REQUEST ALL LETTERS WELL BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION.
  • One (1) official transcript of all academic work completed to date (including undergraduate and graduate if applicable). Transcripts must be sent directly to the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia from the issuing institution.  If you have had the transcripts mailed to you, or you picked them up yourself from the issuing institution, they must come in a sealed envelope with the original university seal.  If the final transcript does not show that a completed degree has been conferred, an official copy of your diploma is also required.
    Please submit your official sealed transcripts by mail to the address listed above.
  • A 500-word (two pages, double-spaced) statement of interest. The statement of interest plays an important role in our assessment of your application.  It is an opportunity to outline the thesis you propose to undertake and to present your theoretical interests, areas of critical or creative engagement, and your particular fields of emerging expertise.  Your statement of interest should include the following:
    • The thesis model you propose to produce;
    • A traditional thesis, which will normally be between 200 and 250 pages (not including bibliography);
    • A research-creation or project-based thesis, which will consist of a body of work and written commentary on that work of between 100 and 150 pages; such a thesis may involve arts based research, or it may involve the creation of such things as tool kits, social interventions, learning platforms, databases, new media archives, documentary films, or podcasts; or
    • A sandwich thesis, which, in accordance with McMaster’s Thesis Preparation Guide, must consist of a minimum of three scholarly works on a unified theme, either previously published or exhibited, submitted for peer-review, or prepared for publication/exhibition but not yet submitted (in CNMCS, these works may include journal articles submitted for peer review, or art/media/performance pieces submitted for peer-adjudication); these works must be accompanied by substantial introductory and concluding chapters, addressing the methodologies, theories and approaches that unify and inform the research. If the sandwich thesis is used for a series of research creation projects, the student will present an explanatory narrative that connects the projects and argues for their significance. The typical length of a sandwich thesis will be about 200 pages, plus bibliography.
    • The objectives of your critical or creative research, including the question, problem, or issue you are interested in addressing;
    • The critical debates, theoretical frameworks, creative models, artistic concepts, primary works, and/or methodological approaches that will inform your thesis;
    • One or more faculty members who you think might be suitable supervisors for your thesis;
    • A brief reflection upon activities or experiences relevant to your research and to contributing to an engaged and engaging PhD program (i.e. community engagement activities, knowledge mobilization activities, previous experience as a research assistant or teaching assistant);
    • Your motivations to pursue this program.
    • Important: please list the names of your two referees and their email addresses at the end of your statement. Please submit your statement of interest as a PDF file via e-mail to gradcnm@mcmaster.ca.
  • A sample of your academic writing.You should submit a copy of an academic essay that you’ve written for a graduate course; the essay should demonstrate your writing abilities and your ideas. Ideally, it should be no longer than 20 pages double-spaced.Please submit your sample of writing as a PDF file via e-mail to gradcnm@mcmaster.ca.
  • A sample (or samples) of your multimedia work (if applicable). Students with a Multimedia background are strongly encouraged to submit a sample of their creative work.Please submit links to your samples of work in one PDF file to gradcnm@mcmaster.ca. Alternatively, you may mail a sample of your work (on a CD or DVD, etc.) to the address listed above.
  • Evidence of competency in English: Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide an official record of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. A TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computerized test, and 100 on the Internet-based test is required. If you are submitting the IELTS test, a score of 7.0 is required.Please submit your official score report by mail to the address listed above.

For any additional information about the application process, contact us at gradcnm@mcmaster.ca.