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Joint Masters and Doctoral Program at Ryerson in Communication and Culture
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This FAQ is specifically about the Admissions process through the Ryerson School of Graduate Studies.

For more general information about the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson, please read About the Program.

Where do I start?

I just received my Bachelor’s degree and I am interested in a graduate program.

We suggest the following:

Step 1: review the graduate program’s curriculum and degree requirements on the program’s website.

Step 2: take note of the admissions minimum requirements and the higher requirements for 'serious' consideration. You will find these described online via the program’s website on the ‘Admissions’ menu item.

Step 3: review the application procedures, forms and any additional requirements of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. You will find information on the Graduate Admissions Office website. Note the application’s ‘first-consideration’ deadline in mid-January.

Application Deadlines

When are applications due?

Mid-January is the First Consideration deadline. See:

What is "First Consideration?"

The first consideration deadline is a deadline unique to the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson. Eligible and completed applications will be given first consideration by the program’s Graduate Admissions Committee.

Can I still apply if I’ve missed the first consideration deadline?

If you have missed the first consideration date, we still welcome your application. Our Graduate Admissions Office continues to accept applications until all available spaces have been filled. A list of Closed programs is on the Grad Studies Admissions Homepage and is updated throughout the Spring and Summer.

Are there earlier deadlines for International Student applications?

No but please note that the comcult program on Ryerson side is rarely able to consider an international student, so it would be better to apply through the York Univ side if you will be on a student visa.

Does the university admit students at other times of the year?

No, the comcult program only has September entry.

Mature Applicants

Although I have an undergraduate degree, it has been several years since graduation and I have been working/raising my children, etc.

Will you accept a professional or character letter of reference as one of the two required Letters of Recommendation?

Two letters of recommendation are required as part the application. The Graduate Admissions Committee prefers academic letters as you are applying to an academic program of study, but professional references may be substituted. Please ensure that they can attest to your writing, research and other academic skills.

Degree required

I have a three-year BA and a two-year diploma. Do I qualify?

No. You must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree (except for CEGEP students) from an accredited university institution as a condition for admission into the program. For admissions purposes, grades from college credits and diplomas are not considered (however, college transcripts should be included with your application as they can potentially strengthen your application).

GPA calculation

How is the average calculated?

Your 2-year grade point average (2 yr GPA) is calculated using the last two years (20 courses) of your completed undergraduate degree program or if you are in mid-degree (with the expectation of degree completion by September) the 2 yr GPA is calculated using only 3rd year and any 4th year courses completed. For a doctoral application, the grades from your Master’s and Bachelor’s degree will be reviewed.

I don’t quite have a B+ average in my undergraduate degree.

Can I take additional undergraduate courses to update my grades? If so, which courses would be advisable?

You can upgrade at any university institution that offers accredited course credits; however, you would need to be enrolled in a degree program. Any credits completed would be used towards the 2 yr GPA calculation.

When choosing your courses, consider background courses in the Stream of study related to your research interest as described on the Program website, ie Media & Culture, Politics & Policy, or Technology in Practice.

Program Closed

When does the program close to further applications? How would I know?

The program is 'closed' when all available spaces have been offered by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and confirmed by the applicant with a deposit.

Notification on the status of graduate program is posted on the Graduate Admissions Office webpage at: and you would be informed by Graduate Admissions that the School is no longer accepting applications to the program.

Starting Application

What does applying entail?

When you apply, you are applying to the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson to be a graduate student in one of the programs.
An application fee is required for each application.

The application process is coordinated by the Graduate Admissions Office. Your application is done completely on-line. First, you will do the on-line application form and pay the fee, then wait for 5-10 business days for follow-up email with further instructions. Follow the instructions to upload the rest of your application materials. You can view your application progress to confirm receipt of materials on RAMSS. When it is complete, an Admission Officer will review your application to determine eligibility based on the program minimum requirements. All eligible applications are forwarded to the program’s Graduate Admissions Committee for review and recommendation to the Dean. The Graduate Admissions Office will respond to the applicant according to the Dean’s decision on the applicant.

If successful, you are notified by our Graduate Admissions Office by mail with an official letter of offer. A response from you is appreciated by a deadline date whether you choose to accept or decline the offer. Should you accept the offer, a non-refundable deposit is required from you to confirm your spot in the program. This non-refundable deposit will later be applied as a credit towards your assessed tuition fees.

Neither the Program Office nor the Graduate Admissions Office is involved in the decision making process and cannot comment on the deliberation or decision making process; however, both offices work to ensure that each applicant is contacted regardless of the outcome.

Statement of Research Interest

What is expected in a statement of research interest?

This is a 500-word essay on your research topic. The first ¾ of the essay should discuss your research topic, related theories, perhaps the methodology but must discuss why this aspect is important within the field. The last quarter of the essay will mention how your academic or professional background fits the topic and fits the program. This essay should be written in an academic style. For Master’s applicants, we expect that your topic will change or evolve while in the program, but you must be able to pick and write on a topic for the application. For Doctoral applicants, this topic and the essay MUST demonstrate ‘fit’ to the program – with at least three faculty having similar research interests and related courses available.

Sending application materials

Can I submit my application and letter of intent first and then send in references separately or do they all need to be in one package?

The application process is coordinated by the Graduate Admissions Office. The initial application is submitted online.  The follow-up instruction email describes where to send all of the remaining application documents.  Applications are done ONLY on-line - no paper submissions will be accepted!  When the file is complete, you can view your file list on-lie on RAMSS. Completed files are then reviewed by an Admissions Officer for review for eligibility. Therefore you can upload items separately but the file will NOT be reviewed until it is complete.  Only completed files are reviewed and then passed along to the Program office.

Should the transcripts come directly from my last institution to your office or should I include them in my package as well?

Academic transcripts will be provided in two stages: 1) scanned copies of all your transcripts will be uploaded with the application materials, and later if you are accepted into the program, 2) official transcripts should arrive in sealed and unopened to the Graduate Admission Office. for stage 2, you can either have them mailed to you (keeping them sealed) or instruct the issuing institution to send them directly to the Graduate Admissions Office at Ryerson.

How should I send transcripts from an institution that I previously attended?

You will need to order two copies of your Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) 1) one to open and scan into your application, and 2) to be sent directly to Ryerson, sealed.

Should I send transcripts from study abroad programs, CEGEP or other colleges?

Yes, we will need transcripts from every post-secondary institution from which you received degree credit.

Can I send additional supporting documents to you after the suggested deadline is passed?

If you are submitting materials from the checklist of supplemental materials, you can upload them all together or separately, following the application follow-up email instructions. Please do not submit materials that are NOT on the list.  Your application will NOT be reviewed until it is complete, so it is best to submit everything by the mid-January date or very soon after.

I would like to change some information on my application - how can I do this?

You can upload a revised version of your documents, giving it a title noting "Version 2".

What happens after I submit my application to Ryerson? At what point does the program receive the application?

The completed and qualified applications are sent to the Comcult program and the Comcult Admissions committee will read and review all applications. Their first meeting and decisions will be in February and continue until the program is full, which usually happens in May or June.

Do I have to submit all of my documents in one package?

You can upload items at anytime after you have received the follow-up instruction email.

If my fall term grades are not available by the recommended deadline do I need to submit another transcript once they are available?

If an offer is made to you, it would be conditional until the full transcript is received.  Grad Admissions will ask you for these in July/August.

Can my referees send their letters directly to Ryerson?

This year referees are contacted by the Grad admissions office on-line system, using the email addresses that you enter on the on-line application. So the entire reference process is done on-line, no paper letters.

Transfer Credit

I have submitted my application to the Graduate Admissions Office.

When can I apply for transfer credits to the Graduate Program?

A Transfer Credit Application will only be accepted for consideration once you have confirmed your Offer of Admission with the Graduate Admission Office. Further details are available on the Transfer Credit Application form which is available online from the School of Graduate Studies website under the ‘Forms’ menu option.

When will I hear about a decision?

The comcult admissions committee start making decisions for offers in February and continue until all seats have been accepted, which may continue into May or June. In the meantime, many strong applicants are put on a waiting list and are notified by email of their status.

Is there rolling admissions or will an earlier application get an earlier answer?

No, the program admissions committees will not meet until after the ‘first consideration’ date and start to make offers after that point, usually from March through May.

Will I be interviewed?

No, the comcult program does not interview applicants.

How are admissions decisions made?

The selection committee will review all qualified MA or PhD applications (ie. those that met the minimum qualifications) but gives more serious consideration to those with 4 criteria: strong GPA, strong references, excellent statement of research that fits in our program mandate and excellent writing sample.

  1. For GPA, those with A- or better in last two years of study (at the masters level, for PhD applicants) are given more serious consideration. In the past the majority of offers are given to those with A- or better.
  2. Strong references - we recommend that applicants ask potential referees if they can give a STRONG reference before obtaining references from them, as a weak reference will affect an application.
  3. Statement of research - in this 500 word essay, the majority should be on the RESEARCH interest/methodology/import. Three quarters of it should focus on a clear, concise Research topic and remaining quarter can describe how your academic or professional background fits the topic and/or our program. It should demonstrate applicant's understanding of our program, ability to write academically and fit of topic to our program. Include citations for other research or academic literature. Ensure that you have contextualized the topic within the broader field. We recommend that applicant have 1-2 other academics/grad students read it for feedback on clarity and academic tone. This should be written similar to an academic assignment, especially if it is for a PhD application.
  4. Writing Sample - send one 5-6 page (10 max.) clean sample of your best academic writing, on a relevant topic, such as critical analysis of theory, an academic argument or literature review.

Do I need to do GRE or GMAT tests for admission to these programs?

No, the comcult program does not require these tests.

Did you receive my application?

The on-line system NOLIJ will show the status of the applications and notify applicants if items are missing and the stage of the application.  Once you have done the initial application, a follow-up email will provide instructions on how to view your application summary.

What is the admission decision based on?

Are some areas (ie. GPA) weighted more than other?

The Graduate Admission Committee will assess your application in its entirety on its strengths and in comparison with the applicant pool for a given admission cycle. Note that at this stage in the admissions process, all applicants under consideration will have met the minimum program requirements. Meeting the program’s minimum requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission to the program.

To strengthen your application, we suggest the following: know and articulate your strengths in a strong Statement of Interest; AND include Letters of Recommendation from referees who know your strengths well and are able to write about them.

Who is on the Graduate Admissions Committee?

The Graduate Admissions Committee is convened each admissions cycle by the Program Director with members from the program’s faculty. The Committee is tasked to review eligible applications and to make recommendations to the Dean (Yeates School of Graduate Studies) on possible funding and an offer of admission to the applicant.

Will the Graduate Admissions Committee provide feedback on my application prior to the submission of my application?

No. The Committee is convened during each admissions cycle and does not meet in the interim.

My application was unsuccessful.

Can you (the Program Office/the Graduate Admission Office/the potential Faculty Advisor/the Committee) tell me why?

No. The admissions process is a competitive process. The task of the Comcult Committee is to make recommendations to the Dean. Please review the criteria stated above, that is used by the Comcult admissions committee

I applied to this program before and would now like my application reinstated.

How does this process work?

Do I have to pay and send all my transcripts and references again?

Your application is kept on file by our Graduate Admissions Office for a year. If you decide to apply next year (next admission cycle); you would need to complete a new Application Form, and pay the application fee. You have the option of updating any other supporting documents (i.e. transcripts, statement of interest, referee letters, etc.).

How many incoming students are accepted each year?

The number of spaces available for each admission cycle varies. The number is determined by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies prior to the start of each admission cycle. Recently, the Comcult program has admitted 16-20 Master’s full-time, 1-3 part-time and 6-7 PhDs.

I was admitted to the program but now wish to defer to the following academic year.

Can I do this?

No, this is not an option. You would need to reapply the following year to be considered for admissions to the program.

What is the average grade of those that are accepted to the program?

This average grade varies with each applicant pool for any given admission cycle.  At the Master's level, most offers are given to those with a two-year GPA at the A- level or above.  Doctoral offers are also given to those with A- and above, very rarely if ever to those lower than an A- average.