Helpful Tips for Applying

  • Fully familiarize yourself with the MATC program. Read all of the information about the curriculum, faculty and admissions process. Be sure to ask any questions you have about the program or admissions process before applying so that you know for certain that this program is right for you. Contact the MATC academic director, Laura Ruel, if you have any questions.
  • Be sure to submit all the required materials. We will not consider incomplete applications. So, confirm that your GRE scores have been received and follow up with people you’ve asked to write recommendation letters to be certain they make the application deadline.
  • Don’t put off taking the GRE. You must take the GRE and self-report your GRE scores before the application deadline. Be sure to indicate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School (institution #5816) as a score recipient. The Graduate School will match your official scores to your application once it has received both. You must take the exam by March 1, as it can take 5-7 days for the writing section to be scored, but we recommend that you take it earlier. Taking it early will allow you to retake the exam if your scores aren’t as good as you’d like them to be. There are numerous GRE preparation manuals and practice tests available for a relatively low fee; if you aren’t confident upfront about your ability to do well on the GRE, take the time to consult these materials and prepare for the exam. The Admissions Committee considers only your highest scores taken within the past five years.
  • Focus your resume specifically on your communication-related work experience. Applicants to the MATC must have a minimum of three years of professional communication-related experience.  For each of your previous and current positions, include information about whether it was fulltime or part-time and explain what duties you fulfilled, whether you had any management responsibilities, what types of products/publications you produced, etc. If there are any gaps in your work history, please explain these in your written statement.
  • Put a lot of thought into the written statement. This lets us know who you are and why you are a good fit for this program. It also gives us an idea of your writing ability. Be concise and straightforward; you have a lot of information to provide, and you are limited to three double-spaced pages. Tell us about your career goals, how you think this program will help you reach those goals, and your level of commitment to completing the program. Be sure to address the issue of time management: How will you fit two rigorous master’s level courses into your current schedule each semester? Are you able to meet the financial requirements? Can you attend the two on-campus sessions? Finally, don’t forget to proofread your written statement very carefully.
  • Request letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your ability to succeed in a demanding academic program, enthusiasm for the professional fields of communication and technology, work ethic, and capacity to balance work, family and school. Letters from current employers are especially valued, although they are not required. You may also request letters from former employers, former professors or other sources who can attest to your strengths in the areas mentioned above.  As part of the application, applicants provide email addresses for recommenders.  The UNC Graduate School will email  recommenders requesting recommendations be sent directly to the Graduate School.
  • Understand that the Admissions Committee considers each person’s entire application package when making decisions about whom to admit. So, if one part of your application isn’t terribly strong, be sure to explain why, and more importantly, address in your written statement how the other parts of your application provide evidence of your ability to succeed in this program and how completion of this program will benefit you. Please proactively answer any questions that the Admissions Committee is likely to have about your previous work experience, academic performance, or GRE scores.

For questions about the MATC admissions process, please contact

Laura Ruel
MATC Academic Director
UNC School of Media and Journalism