Frequently Asked Questions

For further questions, contact CRDM at

  1. What is CRDM and what does the program have to offer? 

    1. The Ph.D. Program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media prepares doctoral students to analyze the social, cultural, rhetorical, philosophical, and political dimensions of information technologies, new communication media, and digital texts and to actively engage digital media through research, criticism, production, and practice. 

    2. Our program website is the most comprehensive and accessible source of information about the program, admission requirements, application process, curricular structure, faculty, and students. 

    3. You may also visit the CRDM Student Association Instagram account (@ncstatecrdm), which has information about recent and upcoming student research, activities, and accomplishments. You may also be interested in taking a look at the website of the CRDM Research Symposium, an annual event that brings together renowned international researchers to address a current topic in digital media.

  2. How long does a PhD in CRDM take to complete?

    1. Typically, students finish our CRDM program in four years, the length of time that the program offers funding. However, due to their personal goals, some students choose to take a 5th year to finish projects or focus on other work. Other CRDM students have successfully completed the program in as little as in three years.
  3. Can I attend the program part-time?

    1. Part-time is an option.1-2 students are accepted each year who are part-time. Part-time students have been successful and thrived, but the program is designed around full-time students. A few things to keep in mind:

      1. There is no funding for part-time.
      2. You will not have as many opportunities for the kinds of RAships on grants and other initiatives that are an important part of what makes our graduates successful.
      3. You won't have as strong a connection to a specific cohort with whom you take all of your core classes, etc.

                         iv. The window for completing a degree is 10 years.

  1. Is it possible to complete (all or part of) the CRDM degree remotely?

    1. At this time, it is not possible to complete the CRDM program requirements remotely. We require 6 core courses that are in-person only (CRD 701, 702, 703, 704, 790, 809). This is also true for the majority of classes that count as electives. Working remotely can keep you from opportunities for graduate assistantships or grants and other on-campus positions, which are an important part of the program. That said, we have had students complete their dissertation while working remotely, once they successfully passed their comprehensive exams.

  2. Do I need to be a resident of North Carolina to apply to CRDM?

    1. No, you do not, but if you would like to establish residency, please visit the Graduate School website for more information.
  3. Do I need to have a Master’s degree in order to apply to CRDM, and does that Master’s degree need to be in Communication?

    1. Yes, a Master’s degree is required for consideration into the program. It can be in Communication, English or something similar.
  4. Does CRDM accept transfer credits?

    1. Yes, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.
  5. What kind of careers are available to CRDM graduates?

    1. A degree in CRDM offers many opportunities for careers. Some graduates have pursued a career in academia and have become professors, other graduates have taken careers in industry and others have continued their research. Take a look at our alumni page to see what recent graduates have accomplished.
  6. Are there opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary research?

    1. Yes, students work with professors in various disciplines. Beyond offering courses in various disciplines, CRDM offers a wide range of research opportunities
  1. How do I apply?

    1. NC State uses an online application system. The Graduate School offers details and tips on how to apply
  2. Would I be a good applicant/candidate for the CRDM program?

    1. Most of the students in this program have graduate degrees in Communication, English, or some closely related discipline. It is because the CRDM program draws its core faculty from the departments of Communication and English that we recommend disciplinary training in those fields. Moreover, the theories, concepts, and methods from those disciplines constitute a background knowledge that is assumed in the required seminar courses. During the admissions process, however, we do routinely consider applications from people with graduate degrees in other fields. So long as an applicant makes a strong case for why his/her interests touch on strengths of the program (e.g., visit our About page), the admissions committee will give strong consideration to the applicant, no matter their disciplinary background.

    2. If your degree is not in one of the disciplinary areas we outline on the website, it may be the case that you have taken enough courses to satisfy the admissions requirement. If you have taken 9 credit hours of courses in Communication, English, or a related field and 3 credit hours in a secondary area, that may count as your disciplinary area requirement. If not, the admissions committee does make exceptions for students whose interests match particularly well to the program strengths and whose measures of academic success (e.g., GRE scores, GPA, letters of recommendation) suggest the student’s ability to take the initiative to fill in gaps in his/her knowledge.

  3. When are applications due? Will my application still be accepted after the due date?

    1. Applications are due by January 15th for admission for the Fall. We do not accept applications after this date. 

  4. How long should my personal statement be?

    1. Personal statements are normally between 1-3 pages long, but we do not have a minimum or maximum length requirement. 

  5. Is the GRE required on this program?

    1. No, we do not require the GRE. 

  6. Can I defer my admission?

    1. Yes, you can defer admission for one year. Applications are only “active” for one year. If you deferred for one year, you cannot defer again. You will have to reapply and pay the application fee in order for your application to be considered. 

  7. Where do I send my official transcript?

    1. Please send official transcripts to In order for an electronic transcript to be considered official, it must be sent to this address by an official at the university you attended.

    2. Contact the Graduate School if you are unable to provide electronic transcripts.

  8. Do you require academic transcripts be evaluated by a third party credential evaluator?

    1. No, the Graduate School evaluates all transcripts for accepted students. 

  9. Do you have a departmental GRE code, or should I send GRE scores to the university code? 

    1. The institution code 5496 is the only code needed to report scores to NC State University. If ETS gives you an option to report a test to NC State undergraduate admissions, select the NC State Graduate School instead.

  10. For an academic writing sample, would you prefer a past academic essay, or a current article for publication? 

    1. A forthcoming publication in an academic journal would be a great sample so long as it reflects research interests supported by the program. 

  1. Is the program open for international students?

    1. Yes. The program is open to international students. CRDM has hosted a number of students from around the world. CRDM continues to attract Fulbright students. Please contact our Graduate School for information on requirements and expectations for Fulbright Awards.

  2. Does CRDM offer financial assistance for international students?

    1. Yes. For more information consult our International Students page. Please direct more specific questions about work eligibility and employment to the Office of International Services.
  3. Does the university have a language institute where students can take additional English courses? 

    1. We recommend contacting the Office of International Services. They are the primary place to get information for international students.

  4. How do I know if I have to take the TOEFEL?

    1. If you do not have a US degree and are not a citizen of the US, we require the TOEFL. The Graduate School outlines admission requirements for non-U.S. citizens
  5. What do I need to score on my TOEFEL to be eligible for the CRDM program?

    1. The Graduate School sets the minimum score requirements. All international students need a TOEFL score. However, if you have a previous degree from an United States institution, you do not need to take the TOEFL.
  6. Do you offer conditional admission? 

    1. CRDM does not offer conditional admission. 

  1. How long can I expect funding for?

    1. If students are offered funding, the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) provides for four years of support.
    2. For more information, visit the Financial Aid page
  2. What kind of assistantships do you offer?

    1. CRDM offers competitive graduate assistantships to qualified, full-time candidates. The program assigns either a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship. Assistantships take a variety of forms, including teaching classes on your own, providing teaching support to a CRDM faculty member, providing research assistance to a CRDM faculty member, and providing support to the CRDM program (such as website management and event organizing). In most cases, the expectation is that you would work half-time (20 hours per week) during the 9-month academic year. Some assignments are 12 month appointments. All assignments supporting faculty are with CRDM faculty. 

    2. Normally students start teaching either COM 110 (Public Speaking) or ENG 101 (Writing), and then as they move along in the program they also have the opportunity to teach other upper level undergraduate courses within their area of expertise. 

  3. Does NC State provide health insurance for graduate students?

    1. Only students eligible for the Graduate Student Support Plan are eligible for the NC State RA-TA health insurance plan.
    2. Student Blue (BCBS of NC) is the health insurance provider for the NC State Graduate Student Support Plan. Please contact them directly at 1-800-579-8022 regarding your health insurance benefits, dependent enrollment, and any other questions related to your health insurance policy. Please keep in mind that the Graduate School simply manages overall Graduate Student Support Plan eligibility and payment for the overall plan. The Graduate School is not involved, at all, after a student is no longer covered under the Graduate Student Support Plan.
    3. Health insurance coverage on the NC State RA-TA plan typically starts at the very beginning of each semester; however, exact dates may vary. Please speak with your department Program Associate if you have questions about your health insurance start (or end) date.
    4. The Graduate School provides more information on GSSP benefits
  4. Will I be teaching courses? 

    1. CRDM students who are awarded a teaching assistantship will contribute to teaching in one or both of the two departments supported by the program (English and Communication). It is the program's expectation that all students not on grant-funded research assistantships will teach.

    2. CRDM does offer a variety of teaching opportunities

  1. I have children; are there any options for childcare while I am studying and working?

    1. NC State does provide resources for finding adequate childcare. You have additional options if you are an employee at NC State.
  2. Is Raleigh a good place to relocate and raise a family?

    1. Yes, Raleigh is considered a great place to live, raise a family, and work! Here is an article by US News that provides information about living and working in the Raleigh/Durham area.
  3. Can we take classes at other universities nearby?

    1. Yes you can take classes offered at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. Visit the Graduate School for more information about inter-institutional enrollment.