UT Portugal PhD Deadlines Approaching

If you’re interested in applying to the digital media PhD program offered by UT Austin in cooperation with a number of Portuguese institutions, we hope that you’re getting your application materials together. The deadline for the application to the UT Austin program is December 11, 2009 to start the classes in the fall of 2010. If you’re interesting in applying in future years, the deadline is always in mid-December. The process can be somewhat complicated, but we’ve got comprehensive information on applying below. We wish “good luck” to all that apply!

Applying to Graduate School at the University of Texas
(current as of November 2009)

Students interested in digital media studies might want to consider applying to doctoral programs at the University of Texas in one of three different departments: Radio-TV-Film, Journalism, and Advertising. Each department has slightly different requirements and different courses, although once accepted into any department, it is relatively easy for a student to take courses in any department on campus. If you are interested in “online journalism,” you should probably apply to Journalism; if you are interested in theories of interactivity, the RTF Department would be more logical. If “interactive advertising” is your core interest, the Advertising Department should be your goal. Consider your own interests and then decide which department might be the best for your goals. Since you will discuss your aims in your statement of purpose (see below), it is important that the department be a good “fit” with them.

Students can attend UT in one of the degree programs (if accepted), or as a Visiting Researcher or as a Non Degree-seeking Student. The latter two categories involve less bureaucracy.

1. If you want to apply to the Ph.D. program, take a look at the website of the Department in which you are most interested. We are available to help you with some elements of your applications, particularly the Statement of Purpose. Some details are provided below. The funding you receive in your doctoral program in Portugal would be used for your tuition and living expenses at the University of Texas. We envision that you would spend two years in residence at Austin, and complete your course requirements during that time. The remainder of the program requirements can be completed elsewhere if you wish.

2. If you want to come for a semester and audit classes and perhaps undertake an internship, please write to Dr. Sharon Strover at sstrover@mail.utexas.edu or Dr. Derek Lackaff at Lackaff@mail.utexas.edu, and provide some background about your interests, your resume, and the dates you wish to visit the University. We strongly encourage that you come for a complete semester and arrive at the very beginning of the semester. We will work with you on visa and health insurance provisions. You pay no tuition to audit classes, but you also do not receive formal credit for the courses. Once you are here, you will receive a University ID that allows you to access the library, computer and recreational facilities, and to use the bus system for free. You can attend classes after discussing your interests with the relevant professor and ascertaining that there is room in the class.

3. If you want to come for a semester as a non-degree student, you would pay tuition for the classes and also receive credit for them. You do not have to apply to the formal degree program under this option, and it would be expected that you stay for the full semester. You would receive formal credit for your classes as a non-degree student and those credits could transfer back to your program in Portugal.

More on Doctoral Program Applications

Although graduate applications can vary, most applications will require GRE and TOEFL test scores and a statement of purpose in addition to letters of recommendation, completed application forms, and letters of recommendation.

The GRE costs approximately $170 U.S., and includes three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The GRE takes approximately 4 hours. If English is not your first language, programs will also require TOEFL scores. The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Services and costs approximately $155 U.S.

Both the GRE and the TOEFL are offered at the same testing center in Lisbon, and both the GRE and the TOEFL are administered by Educational Testing Service (http://www.ets.org). The ETS testing code for the University of Texas is 6882. The testing center in Lisbon is Center 8074 at Instituto Formacão Prisma MD Avenida Das Forcas Armadas 125 Edificio Open, Postal Code 1600-079. For more information or to register to take the test, call 31 320 239 540, or e-mail euregs@thomson.com.

Statements of Purpose

Programs will also require a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose weighs heavily in graduate applications for many programs. Generally, the statement of purpose is a brief essay that explains what you want to study in graduate school and why, summarizes your experience in your field, and details what you want to do with your degree once you complete your studies. The Princeton Review has a helpful website addressing the writing of a statement of purpose: http://www.princetonreview.com/grad/apply/articles/application/purpose.asp. This is a very important component of your application and you should pay a great deal of attention to it. It is more important than GRE scores in some departments.

General Information about Graduate Study at UT

General information about graduate studies at the University of Texas is available at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/. There is also information pertaining to international students available at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/orientation/inter_office.html. Information about graduate applications for international students is located here: http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/gradintl/intlgradhowto.html

In applying to graduate school at the University of Texas, bear in mind that the application deadlines are inflexible, and refer to U.S. central time. Be sure to keep the deadlines both for the Graduate School and for the specific program to which you are applying – you must complete your entire application by the applicable deadlines. Additionally, know that most programs accept student only for the fall semester, which means that there is only one application cycle per year.

Below is information specific to graduate studies in the Departments of Advertising, Journalism, and Radio-Television-Film. These programs have the most direct application for students interested in digital media.


The Department of Radio-Television-Film offers a PhD in Media Studies. All applicants to graduate programs in the Department of Radio-Television-Film must submit original transcripts for all colleges and universities attended, a statement of purpose, and an academic writing sample. Specific descriptions of these materials are available here: http://rtf.utexas.edu/graduate/admissions/materials.html. Answers to frequently asked questions about applying to graduate school in the Department of Radio-Television-Film are available at http://rtf.utexas.edu/graduate/admissions/grad_admission_faqs.html. The deadline for the PhD in media studies programs is December 11, 2009 for the class that begins in the fall of 2010. The Ph.D. program is the degree program that should be of most interest to students involved in the Digital Media areas within the UT-Portugal Partnership. The December 11 date is a postmark deadline, meaning all materials must be postmarked (sent and stamped) by that date. This deadline is for this year only. To find the deadline for subsequent years, go to http://rtf.utexas.edu/graduate/admissions/.


The Department of Journalism offers a PhD in Journalism Research and Theory for those interested in pursuing academic interests related to journalism. The department’s PhD program requires an MA in journalism or a closely related field. Specific application instructions and materials for programs in the Department of Journalism are available at http://journalism.utexas.edu/graduate/applying/PROD75_008650.html. The deadline for graduate applications for the Department of Journalism for fall 2010 is December 15, 2009. To find the deadline for subsequent years, go to http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/gradus/usgradprogs.html.


The Department of Advertising at the University of Texas offers a PhD in advertising. The Ph.D. in Advertising offered by UT is the only program of its kind in the world. Guidelines for applying to the graduate programs offered by the Department of Advertising are available a http://advertising.utexas.edu/programs/gradadmissions.
The deadline for application for starting in the Fall 2010 semester is December 15, 2009.

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