Comm Lead Admissions FAQ: Video Responses

In order to help prospective students navigate the admissions process, the Communication Leadership team holds multiple information sessions, both in person and online, in the lead up to the February 1st deadline. If you have a question about the program, you can view our recorded live-stream sessions in full here, or browse the video answers by topic below:


[Q] What are the elements of a stand-out application? (to Director Hanson Hosein)

[Q] What makes an application to the Comm Lead program stand out from the rest? (to Associate Director Anita Verna Crofts)

[Q] How many people apply? How many students are accepted into each cohort?

[Q]  What percentage of applicants get interview invitations? Is an interview required to get admission?

[Q] How many people are accepted into the cohort, and what is the typical timeline after the application deadline to notify applicants whether they were accepted or not?

[Q] How long should the personal statement be?

[Q] How should I highlight my professional portfolio in my application?

[Q] Should applicants submit any portfolio materials in the resume/CV section of the application?

[Q] Is it alright to include hyperlinks to articles or recognition in the resume? Or is there some other preferred way of conveying that?

Video Submission

[Q] How has the application process changed this admission season?

[Q] What should an applicant cover in his/her application video? How creative can they get?

[Q] The “Action” section of the video submission page does not allow me to play or download my video. The page says I have completed the video section. May I assume this is correct despite the glitch?

GPA Requirement

[Q] What are the UW Graduate School’s minimum admission requirements (GPA, TOEFL, etc.)?

[Q] Has the program accepted anyone under the 3.0 GPA requirement? Is there consideration for body of work, along with letters of recommendation, etc. or is it a hard and fast rule?

[Q] I uploaded the unofficial transcript to the online system. When will I need to submit the official transcript?

Letters of Recommendation

[Q] What information should letters of recommendation cover?

[Q] Any advice on how to get an excellent letter of recommendation?

[Q] Can students submit their application before all of their recommenders have submitted their letters?

[Q] Do you have preference for when the applications are submitted (earlier vs. closer to deadline)?


[Q] ​How do I choose between MCDM and MCCN degree tracks?

[Q] How many people apply to the Master of Communication in Digital Media program every year?

[Q] ​What is the acceptance rate for the Master of Communication in Digital Media program?

[Q] Do I have a better chance of getting into the MCDM or MCCN degree track?

[Q] Can someone in the MCDM program take classes in the MCCN program that aren’t track neutral?

[Q] Can a student switch degrees mid-program?


[Q] Is the workload of this program manageable with a full-time job?

[Q] Is it possible to participate remotely in some or all of the classes?


[Q] Does Comm Lead often accept international applicants? How diverse is the program?

[Q] What kind of issues do international students experience in regards to the submission of their TOEFL and IELTS scores?

[Q] How much money needs to be demonstrated in the financial statement in order to apply for F1 visa? Are international students eligible for student loans?

[Q] If the applicant is a permanent resident with an education from a foreign country, will his/her application be considered as that of an international student?

[Q] What can applicants do if their three-year degrees from a foreign country do not qualify as a Bachelor’s degree in the U.S.?

[Q] What does the Form I-20 process look like for international students after they’re accepted?

[Q] Does participating in the Partner Program count as OPT (Optional Practical Training) for international students?


[Q] What does it mean to be part of a Comm Lead cohort?

[Q] What kind of students are in the Comm Lead program?

[Q] Will Comm Lead be a good fit for someone who has no professional experience or is applying to the graduate program straight after getting a Bachelor’s degree?

[Q] It’s been mentioned that the program used to be composed primarily of students with professional experience, but has recently been trending younger. Will an experienced student feel out of place?

[Q] What self-study can we do in the fall to prepare for the program?


[Q] Why is Seattle a good place for this program to be situated in?

[Q] In what way does this program benefit the Seattle area? Are there specific student projects that have made a positive impact on a Seattle business?

[Q] Is there any assistance for finding housing for students who move to Seattle for the Comm Lead program?

[Q] Is there student housing available for graduate students?

[Q] If accepted, can transplants from other cities utilize access to both your alumni and Seattle business network in order to transition into a position in Seattle before beginning the program?


[Q] Where can I get information on classes?

[Q] When are classes?

[Q] What is the initial core class, 501: Leadership Through Story and Communities, like?

[Q] What is the program mix between hearing from leaders in local fields versus skills learned from practical application?

[Q] How is the program evaluated each year to keep up with changing technology and digital media in general?

[Q] What are the core classes in the Comm Lead curriculum? What kinds of projects do students work on?

[Q] What does the second core class, COM 546, entail?

[Q] How do the core classes prepare new students for graduate level work?

[Q] What does the program offer in terms of content data modeling, visualization, and synthesis? How often are new classes offered?

[Q] For the MCDM track, how much of the curriculum covers technical skills like web design, graphic design, etc.?

[Q] The Comm Lead program has some classes related to UX design/program management. How is this program different from HCDE and MHCDI?

[Q] How does the program address global communication challenges? Are there specific classes on communicating across languages, borders and cultures?

[Q] Is film production common in the Comm Lead program and does a student need to have prior filming experience?

[Q] Will students have access to camera equipment? Do students need to pre-purchase any items for the program?

[Q] What kind of teachers are part of the Comm Lead faculty?

[Q] How do Comm Lead faculty select their course materials?

[Q] What kind of textbooks need to be purchased for Comm Lead?

[Q] Do you collaborate with any other graduate programs at the University of Washington?

[Q] What do you learn in the program that you can’t learn on the job?

[Q ]How integral are ethics, equity, and inclusion to the degree?


[Q] How and why did you create the Partner Program?

[Q] Are there Teaching Assistant opportunities or other employment opportunities available for Comm Lead students? How does the Partner Program work?

[Q] ​Is it possible for students to reach out to local companies that are not already in the Partner Program?

[Q] Are there ways to pay for tuition outside the Partner Program?

[Q] How much nonprofit work done in class is applicable to a brand rather than a nonprofit?

[Q] How does study abroad work within the program?

[Q] What is the scope of the community network associated with CommLead?

[Q] What are First Fridays?


[Q] What sorts of jobs to students get after graduating?

[Q] What kinds of professions do graduate students usually pursue once they have finished the program?

[Q] What is the average job placement rate for students graduating from the program?

Ilona IdlisComm Lead Admissions FAQ: Video Responses
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