Your guide to our most frequently asked questions.

What are my options for online graduate education?

Graduate Certificates and Master’s Degrees

A graduate certificate is a shorter term of study where students complete four courses or 12 to 14 credit hours in a communication specialization of their choice. UF CJC Online graduate certificates feature introductory and core courses that give students the opportunity to learn new skills. The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the four courses. Certificate courses can sometimes be used to satisfy degree requirements for a master’s degree dependent upon the institution’s requirements. Learn more… 

A master’s degree is a longer term of study consisting of at least 30 credit hours. Students who complete all degree requirements in a UF CJC Online master’s specialization graduate with a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree with a specialization in the area of their choice. Learn more…  

What are the main differences between a certificate and a master’s degree?

Key differences include:

  • Graduate certificate students do not qualify for federally guaranteed financial aid (student loans).
  • Graduate certificate students have a shorter application process than do master’s students since certificate applicants do not need to provide GRE scores.
  • Master’s degrees allow for greater flexibility for degree customization through elective choices.
  • A master’s degree is a formally recognized graduate degree.

Most Common Application Questions

When should I apply?

There are three enrollment periods each year in Fall (August class start date), Spring (January class start date), and Summer (May class start date). Apply early to ensure you meet all application requirements and satisfy all deadlines. For specific application information, review the application checklist.

Application Deadlines:

Final – July 1
Final – November 1
Final – April 1


What are the requirements for admission?

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for either the certificate or master’s degree program:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • GPA of 3.0 or better for overall undergraduate studies
  • GPA of 3.0 or better for all upper-division undergraduate work
  • Submit a UF application and pay the application fee
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose
  • Submit a current resume/CV

Additionally, applicants for the master’s program must:

All applications are reviewed holistically. Meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

How do I calculate my GPA?

The upper-division division GPA usually includes classes completed after the first 60 credit hours of a degree. Typically, these courses are completed during the applicant’s junior or senior year. To help you calculate your self-reported GPA for the UF Application, please use the GPA Calculator. For applicants with a nontraditional GPA, the UF Office of Admissions will calculate an equivalent GPA.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Once you have submitted your UF Application and paid the application fee, please mail official transcripts to both the College of Journalism and Communications UF CJC Online Office AND the Office of Admissions from ALL institutions you attended. Transcripts must come directly from the institution.

Step 1: Contact all higher education institutions you attended to determine the process for ordering official transcripts

Step 2: Mail the official transcripts to both UF CJC Online and UF Admissions Offices

UF CJC Online Office:

ATTN: Distance Education
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
1060 Weimer Hall
P. O. Box 118400
Gainesville, FL 32611-8400


UF Office of Admissions

University of Florida
Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall
PO Box 114000
Gainesville, FL

What is the GRE?

The GRE is a standardized test required for all master’s degree applicants. Historically our most competitive applicants achieved scores in the range of 156 Verbal and 146 Quantitative. Writing scores are subject to consideration. To be eligible, GRE scores must be from within the past five years.

To allow for ample processing time, schedule your GRE exam no later than 4.5 weeks BEFORE the application deadline.

While the GRE is not required for graduate certificate applicants, applicants need to take the test at a later time if they plan to transfer into a full master’s degree track.

For GRE tips and tricks, read our article on tackling the GRE.

Is a GRE waiver available?

Due to our competitive admissions standards, applicants are only eligible for a GRE waiver if they have previously received a graduate or professional degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.

I am unhappy with my GRE score. Can I retake the test and submit new scores?

Yes, you can retake the GRE and submit new scores. If you have already received your scores, you can review a diagnostic test to identify areas of improvement for your next test attempt.

I need more time to study for the GRE. Can I start with a certificate program first?

Absolutely! Many of our students start with a UF CJC Online graduate certificate while they’re preparing the rest of their master’s application materials. Once you complete the GRE, obtain three letters of recommendation and submit a master’s application, you will be reviewed by the admissions committee for admittance to a master’s specialization of your choice. Completing a graduate certificate does not automatically guarantee admittance to a master’s specialization.

What should be included in my Statement of Purpose?

The Statement of Purpose is an opportunity for the applicant to express his or her goals and reason behind pursuing a graduate education. The Statement of Purpose is a personal reflection that provides the admissions committee with a more robust understanding of the applicant. The submission should be at least 300 words.

The following questions can provide talking points for your Statement of Purpose.

  • What interests you about the field of study for which you are applying and how did you learn about it?
  • What are your relevant work experiences (if any)? Previous work experience is not required.
  • What are your career goals? How will this program help you achieve your career goals?

Once completed, send your Statement of Purpose to an Enrollment Coordinator at distancesupport@jou.ufl.edu.

What should be included in my Resume/CV?

The Resume/CV is an opportunity to tell the admissions committee about your professional accomplishments. The Resume/CV should include your education history, internships, jobs, awards, skills, etc. Prior communication experience is not required. Our applicant pool often features diverse backgrounds and accomplishments. Unique perspectives and life experiences enrich the online learning experience.

Once completed, send your Resume/CV to an Enrollment Coordinator at distancesupport@jou.ufl.edu.

Who can write letters of recommendation on my behalf?

Letters of recommendation can be from current or former instructors, supervisors, employers, coworkers, professional connections, etc. You will need the recommender’s full name, title, company/institution, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.

Recommenders can submit their letters of recommendation by uploading the information into UF application system or by emailing a PDF attachment with “Letter of Recommendation” in the subject line to distancesupport@jou.ufl.edu.

How competitive is the program?

To be a competitive applicant, you must meet the minimum academic and application requirements.

Your application is reviewed holistically by our admissions committee. Where one segment may be weak, other segments may compensate for the weakness.

Do I need a background in communications to be successful in the program?

You do not need prior experience or a degree in communications in order to be successful in the program. Students from various backgrounds succeed in our online programs because each degree plan starts with foundational courses that teach introductory skills. As the students advance through the degree plan, they learn more advanced digital storytelling skills and competencies.

When will I find out about my admissions decision?

Admission decisions are issued on a rolling basis. Applicants typically receive an admissions decision within two weeks of submitting a complete application packet for review. To ensure you have met all application requirements, refer to the checklist. You can also check your application status online.

Do you accept transfer credits?

Master’s students, with the approval of the UF CJC Online Director and the CJC Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, may petition the Graduate School for permission to transfer credits to be applied towards their master’s degree. The following policies set forth by the Graduate School will apply:

  • No more than 9 of the 30 credits (earned with a grade of A, A-, B+, or B) may be transferred from institutions approved for this purpose by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • Only graduate-level (5000-7999) work with a grade of B or better, is eligible for transfer of credit.
  • A maximum of 15 transfer credits are allowed. These can include no more than 9 credits from institution/s approved by UF, with the balance obtained from postbaccalaureate work at the University of Florida.
  • Credits transferred from other universities are applied toward the degree requirements, but grades earned are not computed in the student’s grade point average.
  • All work (including transferred credit) counted toward the master’s degree must be completed within 7 years before the degree is awarded.
  • Students must earn at least 30 credits as a graduate student at UF.
  • Acceptance of transfer of credit requires approval of the UF CJC Online Director, the CJC Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Petitions for transfer of credit for a master’s degree must be submitted during the student’s first term of enrollment in the Graduate School.

  • Students interested in attempting to transfer credits to UF should consult with their advisor early in their first term of enrollment. Students should have all materials submitted to their advisor by the mid-point of their first term.

No assumptions regarding the transferability of past coursework should be made. UF CJC Online staff cannot offer opinions on the likelihood of transfer credits to be approved.

Transfer credits are not accepted towards Graduate Certificates.

Materials needed for submission include:

  1. Official Transcript (already on file if submitted with application materials)
  2. Syllabus of course completed
  3. Statement (approx. 200-400 words) from student indicating which course(s) they would like to be transferred, an explanation of what courses those credits should be applied towards the student’s degree plan and an explanation of why the student believes one course is suitable to replace another.
    -In the first paragraph, the student should state the name and class number of the course, the grade received, the semester and year of the class enrollment, and the institution where the class was taken.
  4. Grad School Transfer Request Form (Filled out by Advisors)

What is the cost?


Tuition varies by specialization and number of credit hours associated with the degree plan. UF CJC Online master’s specializations range from $17,441-$34,545. You can find the per credit hour tuition amounts on each specialization page or in the Information Packet.


There are no out of state fees for UF CJC Online programs.

Financial Aid

Degree-seeking online students are eligible for the same financial aid as campus-based students as long as they meet the required number of credit hours per semester. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to satisfy the first requirement requested by the Financial Aid Office. Click here for instructions and details.

Are UF CJC Online programs eligible for EEP, graduate assistantships, fellowships, or state tuition waivers?

UF CJC Online programs are not eligible for tuition assistance of any kind including Employee Education Program (EEP), graduate assistantships, fellowships or state tuition waiver programs.

Fee Deadlines and Payment

Current online students may review financial obligations through MyUFL. Student Financial Services handles student financial matters including payment deadlines and online billing and fees. Financial aid funds are not disbursed until after Drop/Add. Students can check fund disbursement and tuition payments prior to the fee payment deadline in MyUFL.

How can I get more information?

Contact an Enrollment Coordinator

Submit general questions through our Contact Us form. An enrollment coordinator will respond via email. You may also call an enrollment coordinator at 352-273-3412 Monday-Friday.

What questions should I be asking when considering graduate education?

How will a master’s degree help my career?

Employers need educated people to lead their digital communication initiatives. They want proof you have the kind of expertise that can only come from a structured educational environment that teaches everything from campaign concept to execution to measuring results. A master’s degree gives you a substantial edge over your competition.

Why should I pursue a graduate program at UF?

UF CJC Online transforms lives through graduate education founded in theory and influenced by industry. We offer the most comprehensive, digitally focused online graduate programs in the world. Choose from 7 master’s specializations and 4 graduate certificates that offer unparalleled opportunities for professional growth and advancement. UF CJC Online’s flexible programs are demanding by design and competitive by nature. Equipped with the skills needed to move communication forward, UF CJC Online graduates are an unstoppable force for the Gator Good.

To ensure our graduates are always on the cutting edge, we’re proud to offer Master Access, a one-of-a-kind benefit to our students. Master Access allows our graduates to audit as many courses as they’d like in order to gain skills in specialized areas. For example, a Web Design graduate can audit Digital Strategy and Audience Analytics courses for the low annual subscription cost of $500.

How can a graduate education change my life?

With a master’s degree specializing in communication, you’ll unlock a world of opportunities. Upon graduation, you will have the skills you need to create impactful campaigns, engage with audiences around the world, solve global problems through communication, increase ROI for your organization, and more. Your dreams are limitless, and UF CJC Online can help reach new heights both personally and professionally.

Is a thesis required as part of the master’s degree program?

UF CJC Online degree specializations are professionally-focused, which means that students do not complete a thesis. Instead, students in the UF CJC Online master’s program complete a Capstone as their final degree requirement. In the Capstone, students will develop solutions to real-world communication problems for an assigned client.

Will the UF CJC Online master’s program prepare me for a Ph.D. program?

The UF CJC Online master’s program is a professionally-focused master’s program instead of a research-based, thesis program. Typically, Ph.D. programs prefer candidates who have completed a thesis and substantial research projects. An in-residence master’s program may be a better fit if you plan to pursue a Ph.D.

Will my diploma or graduate certificate indicate that the program was online?

Your diploma or graduate certificate will not have any mention of “online” as the online programs are just as rigorous and respected as their in-residence counterparts. Your diploma and transcript will be indistinguishable from the diploma and transcript of students who complete an on-campus degree.

Why should I choose the University of Florida?

Earning a degree from the University of Florida connects you to an elite group, a family of more than 415,000 living Gator alumni across the globe. The Gator Nation is everywhere, which can open doors you never thought possible. Ranked as a top ten public university, the University of Florida provides an excellent education at an affordable cost. At the University of Florida, you’re more than a student…you’re a Gator. Some people are Gators. Are you?

Need more convincing? Read for yourself why employers love Gator graduates.


Do you want more information? Contact Us!