How to Apply to the PhD Program


Step 1: Admission Requirements



  • a master’s degree in communication or an equivalent degree in a social sciences or humanities program.
  • a clear description of the applicant’s proposed PhD research project accompanied by documentation (transcripts, reference letters, writing samples, etc.) that demonstrates the applicant’s capacity to complete their proposed research.
  • a strong fit between the applicant’s proposal and the research and teaching interest of the School’s faculty (admission is contingent on the availability of a suitable Supervisor for each applicant).
  • applicants whose qualifications do not meet SFU’s minimum University requirements may be admitted when they possess significant experience relevant to their proposed area of study.

PhD application Deadline:

January 9, 2024.

Step 2: Apply Online

Submit Online Application

Complete the online application form and upload the following documents:

1. A statement of interest (up to 1000 words). The personal statement should summarize the applicant's academic and personal background as it pertains to their proposed research interests and the School's PhD program.

2. A research proposal and bibliography (up to 2000 words). The research proposal should describe the applicant's research objectives, research questions, potential research methods, scholarly and/or practical significance, and bibliographic references. It should also clearly indicate the fit between the applicant's proposed research and the School of Communication, including the names of two or more faculty members whose expertise is relevant to the proposed research.

3. A concise abstract (up to 250 words). Please briefly describe your research area, including 5 topical key words and the names of two or more potential research supervisors within the School of Communication.

4. Copies of all post-secondary transcripts. All applicants must upload electronic copies of their transcripts into the online application system. However, we only require official hard copies of your transcripts from applicants to whom we offer admission.     

5. Two samples of scholarly writing. These may be published or unpublished works, including academic papers, research reports, or other material.

6. Academic CV.

7. Reference letters from three persons. Applicants will provide their referees email addresses, and the system will contact referees to upload their letters. At least two references should be from people familiar with the applicant’s academic work.

8 TOEFL or IELTS results, if required. For applicants whose primary language is not English, SFU requires a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University. Please see SFU’s Graduate English Language Requirements for more details.

Step 3: Pay the Application Fee

The full application fee is due in 7 days after your application is submitted and your application will not be considered until the full payment has been received: 

  • CDN $110 for students with Canadian transcripts
  • CDN $150 for students with international transcripts


Step 4: Submit Your Application and Monitor Results

After you submit your application, you will be able to monitor your application’s progress and outcome through the online application system.

The School of Communication expects to inform applicants about admissions outcomes within two months of the application deadline.

Jason Congdon

Graduate Programs Coordinator 
(MA and PhD)

T: 778-782-3595
Room: K9669