Overview

Communications is a versatile and multidisciplinary field that centers on how humans communicate with one another. With the rise in digital communication, businesses have sought out communications professionals to improve interactions with customers. After all, the understanding of language, history, and psychology professionals provide is invaluable in terms of connecting with and engaging people.

To develop this understanding, many professionals consider obtaining a master’s degree. These programs offer advanced courses in marketing, mass media, public relations, and writing to give students the tools they need to be on the forefront of the industry. In addition, students can choose to focus in areas such as law, education, and technology to become voices of authority in specialized fields. This specialized expertise often grants degree holders better chances of employment in leadership positions.

A graduate degree in communications is very versatile—degree holders often work in marketing, public relations, media and more.

Yes, most schools offer online programs. The key is to find a program that is accredited.

Most employers and schools recognize and accept online communications degrees.

A master’s degree in communications takes around 2 years to complete. Students can complete degrees faster by taking more courses at once.

Degree holders often have higher chances of employment. In addition, advanced degrees are a stepping stone to management positions.

But aside from greater career opportunities, a graduate program in communication allows students to dive deep into the methods and tools humans use to communicate. The ability to understand and target communicative tendencies opens opportunities to improve education, nonprofit outreach, and other beneficial institutions. In short, professionals in the field ensure that people learn to communicate and connect effectively and responsibly.

Best Online Masters in Communication Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Communication program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and a list of the Top 40 online Masters in Communication programs.

Read about our methodology here.

Graduation Rate
90%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $2,217 per course; Out-of-state: $4,578 per course
Best Collaborative Program

Students in the master's in communication program at UNC work one-on-one with a faculty member every term, especially in the final semester. Every student works collaboratively with a faculty member on a final project that's related to their job, developing their communication skills for use in their future careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Media and Journalism
Program Name: Master's in Digital Communication
Accrediting body: Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC)

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous, Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2.5 years
Program start dates: August 20

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: March 12 (Priority), June 11 (Final)
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: Minimum three years of professional communications experience

"UNC Chapel Hill's master's program in digital communication is designed for working professionals who want to accelerate their careers during a time of industry transformation. Our collaborative project-based curriculum provides instruction in digital communication strategy, message creation and testing, media analytics, and media management, among other key topics. Students benefit from intellectual exchanges with peer professionals and opportunities to apply course lessons in real time, bringing immediate impact to their organizations."
- Dr. Rhonda Gibson, Director, Master of Arts in Digital Communication
Address:

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

919-843-9471

Graduation Rate
73%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $451 per credit; Out-of-state: $751 per credit
Best for Working Professionals

Purdue University designed its online master's in communication program with working professionals in mind. Students can select to enroll in part-time classes to accommodate their career obligations and learn various topics such as modern communication methods, advertising, public relations and more to improve their skills for further career advancement.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Brian Lamb School of Communication
Program Name: Master of Science in Communication
Available concentrations: Strategic Communication/Public Relations, Integrated Communication and Advertising
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 20 months
Program start dates: Spring: January; Summer: April/May; Fall: August

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Micth Warren

Admissions Contact

Address:

West Lafayette, IN 47907

765-494-1776

Graduation Rate
95%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$2,118 per credit
Most Workshops

Columbia University's online master in communication is an incredibly participatory program, where two-thirds of program is on-campus. Students attend and partake in a variety of strategic communication workshops to enhance their skills and gain invaluable hands-on experience. These extensive workshops are recorded and can be viewed by students throughout the program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Professional Studies
Program Name: Executive Master's of Science Strategic Communication
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or its equivalent
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 16 months
Program start dates: Spring: January 5

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall, Spring
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 6 years of professional experience in a communications role with demonstrated leadership experience

Contact:

Sabina Sackett

Admissions Contact

Address:

New York, NY 10027

212-854-9666

Graduation Rate
91%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,863 per credit
Best for Global Business Leaders

The University of Southern California's online master's in communication program emphasizes global business leadership. The curriculum includes corporate communication and strategic marketing classes to build the skills that students need to lead at the corporate level in their future careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Program Name: Master of Communication Management
Accrediting body: WASC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 16 months
Program start dates: Spring: January 9; Summer: May 8; Fall: September 4

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

Los Angeles, CA 90089

213-284-7976

Graduation Rate
88%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$484 per credit; $886 per credit
Best E-Learning Platform

The University of Florida offers the best e-learning platform for students who want to earn their master's degree in communication online. Students have access to all the resources, tools and materials that they need to succeed in the classroom, including tutorials from Lynda.com and collaboration software via Zoom. Canvas is the e-learning platform used for course delivery.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Journalism and Communications
Program Name: Master of Mass Communications:
Available specialization: Audience Analytics, Digital Strategy, Global Strategic Communications, Political Communication, Public Interest Communication, Public Relations, Social Media, Web Design and Online Communication
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 33-39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-rime
Program Length: 16 months
Program start dates: Fall: August - November; Spring: January - March; Summer: May - August

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: November 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution
Acceptable GRE scores
Letters of recommendation and statement of purpose

Address:

1885 Stadium Rd

Gainesville, FL 32611

352-273-3412

Graduation Rate
67%
School Type
Public
Tuition
Full-time: $561 per credit; Out-of-state: $582 per credit
Best Faculty

Washington State University's faculty members are career professionals in both education and communication; they also provide the coursework for the on-campus and online master's in communication program. The faculty members assist students every step of the way and also help them develop the skills to use media technologies for the benefit of their future organizations.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Edward Murrow College of Communication
Program Name: Master's in Strategic Communication
Accrediting body: NWCCU

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: April
GPA: 3.0

Address:

Pullman, WA 99164

800-222-4978

Graduation Rate
50%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
Full-time: $565 per credit; Part-time: $615 per credit
Most Flexible

Liberty University's online master's in communication program is a flexible offering for students who want to tailor the classes to suit their needs. Students can choose from eight start dates, enjoy asynchronous coursework, complete the lessons on their own schedule and set up their classes to align with their careers goals and preferred graduation date.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication and Digital Content
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degre
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 14, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1971 University Blvd

Lynchburg, VA 24515

800-424-9596

Graduation Rate
93%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$4,087 per course
Best Student Union

Johns Hopkins University makes it easy for students to view all of their courses online with a convenient student union. Students can use this online service to view new jobs, to watch live events, to chat with fellow students and more as they pursue their online master's in communication degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, Corporate/Non-profit Communication
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronously

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US college or university, or equivalent international credential.
Credit Requirements: 10 courses

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 5 years of full-time work experienc

Contact:

Dr. Taylor Hahn

Admissions Contact

Address:

1717 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20036

202-452-1285

Graduation Rate
90%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$700 per credit
Best Value

Mercer University offers an affordable master's in communication program for full- and part-time students who want to earn their degree online. With an innovative online learning system, professional faculty support and numerous student-aid options, Mercer is a good value for students looking to maximize their commitment to an online program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Engineering
Program Name: Master of Science in Technical Communication Management
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-4 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: November 1 Summer: March 1; Fall: April 1
GPA: 3.0

"Mercer's MS in Technical Communication Management is an online program for the practicing professional that returns immediate value to the workplace."
- Pam Estes Brewer, Ph.D., COTP, Associate Professor, Director, Master of Science in Technical Communication Management
Contact:

Dr. Sinjae Hyun

Admissions Contact

Address:

1501 Mercer University Dr

Macon, GA 31207

478-301-2214

Graduation Rate
52%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$575 per credit
Best for Communications Directors

Northern Arizona University's online master's in communication program prepares students to assume roles as communications directors for local and national organizations. Graduates develop the skills to direct communications departments and to oversee all operations, including supervising the public relations staff and serving as the spokesperson for the organization.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years.
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring, Fall
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1900 S. Knoles Dr

Flagstaff, AZ 86011

928-523-2232

Graduation Rate
83%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$940 per credit
Best for Communication Teaching Careers

Gonzaga University's online master's in communication program offers an optional concentration in college teaching. Students in this concentration develop a teaching philosophy, create a teaching portfolio and participate in a teaching internship for hands-on experience. Students are able to teach communication on the college level upon graduating.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Leadership Studies
Program Name: Master in Communication & Leadership
Available concentrations: College Teaching, Digital Media Strategies, Global Leadership, Servant Leadership, Strategic & Organizational Communication, Change Leadership
Accrediting body: NWCCS

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, March, May, September, October

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

502 E Boone Ave

Spokane, WA 99258

866-380-5323

Graduation Rate
82%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$31,410 per program
Best for Public Relations Specialists

Northeastern University offers an online master's in communication program with a concentration in public relations for students who want to become relations specialists in their own careers. With classes in social media communications, personal branding and more, graduates gain the skills to help organizations improve how the public perceives their marketing, services and brand identity.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts, Media and Design
Program Name: Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication
Available concentrations: Social Media and Online Communities, Public Relations, Human Resource Management, Usability/User Experience, Project Management, Leadership, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Leading Communication Strategy and Development
Accrediting body: NECHE

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree transcript from an accredited college or university in the U.S.

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 Years
Program start dates: Fall: September 17; Winter: January 7: Spring: April 8; Summer: July 8

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: September 7; Winter: December 21,; Spring: March 29; Summer: June 28
GPA: 3.0

Address:

360 Huntington Ave

Boston, MA 2115

877-668-7727

Graduation Rate
70%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$544 per credit
Best for Event Planners

The University of Iowa offers an online master's in communication program that prepares graduates for careers in event planning. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics to help graduates understand how to coordinate all the events and professional meetings of an organization.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Program Name: Master's Degree in Strategic Communication
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 15; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 15
GPA: 3.0

Address:

100 Adler Journalism Building

Iowa City, IA 52242

319-335-3486

Graduation Rate
65%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$709 per credit
Best Hybrid

Colorado State University's master's in communication program blends online coursework with in-person classes, which is ideal for students who enjoy the freedom to complete coursework at their own pace while getting hand-on experience in the classroom. The program also includes a graduate certificate course to enhance the students' degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Liberal Arts
Program Name: Master of Communications and Media Management

DeliveryFormat: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous, Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January 22

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: November 15
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Joy Nyenhuis

Admissions Contact

Address:

475 17th St, #300

Denver, CO 80202

970-491-2665

Graduation Rate
80%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,964 per credit
Most Innovative Courses

Syracuse University offers unique and innovative courses in its online master's in communication program. Students can specialize in different areas of communication, such as innovation journalism, which helps them to approach a subject from all angles and to provide a more complete picture for an organization or audience.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Newhouse School of Public Communications
Program Name: Master's in Communications
Available concentrations: Public Relations, Advertising, Journalism Innovation

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, April, July, October

Admission Requirements

Address:

215 University Place

Syracuse, NY 13244

844-797-2666

Graduation Rate
79%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $727 per credit; Out-of-state: $1428 per credit
Best for Media Planners

Michigan State University's online master's in communication program prepares students for successful careers as media planners for organizations in Michigan and across the country. Graduates have the skills to advertise an organization's brand using various media platforms while maximizing the marketing impact for the intended audience.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Masters of Arts in Strategic Communication
Accrediting body: AACSB

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 1; Spring: November 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.25

Address:

220 Trowbridge Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-355-8332

Graduation Rate
66%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$394 per credit
Best Class Sizes

The University of Alabama keeps the class sizes small for the online master's in communication program. Smaller classes give students a chance to collaborate more easily and to get individual attention from professors when they need help during the coursework.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Colleges of Communication & Information Sciences
Master of Arts in Communication Studies, specialization in Organizational Leadership
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

739 University Blvd

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

800-467-0227

Graduation Rate
57%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$451 per credit
Best Career Development

South Dakota State University offers a comprehensive mass communication program that prepares graduates for career advancement. An industry-leading faculty and an in-depth curriculum combine to improve the students' communication skills for senior roles in journalism, public relations, broadcasting and other related fields.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication & Journalism
Program Name: Master of Mass Communication
Accrediting body: ACEJMC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32-36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: April 15; Spring: October 15
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1137 Campanile Ave

Brookings, SD 57006

605-688-4171

Graduation Rate
58%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$550 per credit
Best Rolling Admissions

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers rolling admissions and numerous start dates during the year for the online master's in communication program. Students can select a start date that suits their work-life schedule and enter the program whenever they're ready to pursue their master's degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

4701 N Charles St

Baltimore, MD 21210

410-532-5131

School Type
Private
Tuition
In-state: $626 per credit; Out-of-state: $730 per credit
Best for Recruitment Careers

Edinboro University's master's in communication program is ideal for students who are interested in pursuing recruitment positions in college admissions departments. The curriculum covers important concepts in public relations, marketing and more, preparing graduates for leadership careers for their respective institutions.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication, Journalism, and Media
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication Studies
Available concentrations: Managerial and Leadership Communication, Integrated Marketing Communication

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: January 14
Program start dates: Rolling

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.8
Work Experience: Two or more years professional experience

Address:

310 Scotland Rd

Edinboro, PA 16444

814-732-2856

Graduation Rate
54%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$717 per credit
Best Student Coaching

Spring Arbor University provides a Student Success Coach Program to help students succeed not only in the classroom but also in their personal lives. SAU appoints advisers to each student in the program, who provide coaching, mentoring and counseling to ensure the students' are successful at balancing a work-school-life schedule while earning their degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication and Media
Program Name: Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 18 months

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

106 E Main St

Spring Arbor, MI 49283

800-968-0011

Graduation Rate
59%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$431 per credit
Best for Communications Consultants

Texas Tech University offers an online master's in communication program with an emphasis on strategic communications. Students learn the skills to develop and implement strategic plans as communication consultants in their professional careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Media & Communication
Program Name: Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation
Accrediting body: AACSB

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1901 University Ave, #513

Lubbock, TX 79410

806-742-7227

Graduation Rate
82%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,708 per credit
Most Mobile Friendly

American University offers the online master's in communication program 24/7 for students who want to work at home or on the go. The online center makes it easy to access the coursework anywhere there's an internet connection, and students can check their lessons or participate in discussion boards easily on their smartphones.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication
Program Name: Master's Degree in Strategic Communication
Available concentrations: Advocacy, Social impact
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Online graduate degree and certificate programs requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 20 months
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016

202-885-2040

Graduation Rate
50%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$595 per credit
Best for Communications Analysts

Regent University's online master's in communication program is perfect for students who want to work in organizations as communications analysts. Though students gain the skills necessary to succeed through online coursework, they must also attend residencies on campus to further their development and to network with peers and professors.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication & the Arts
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Media & Arts Management & Promotion, Political Communication, Strategic Communication, Technical Communication
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: October 29

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1000 Regent University Dr

Virginia Beach, VA 23464

888-777-7729

Graduation Rate
76%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$32,928 per program
Best for Communications Managers

The University of Denver offers a master's in communication degree for entry- and mid-level professionals who want to advance in their careers as communications managers. Graduates learn the skills to manage the communications department at various organizations and can do everything from developing presentations to conveying the company's internal and external messages.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication Studies
Program Name: Master in Communication Management
Available concentrations: Dispute Resolution, Leadership Communication, Learning and Development, Marketing Communication, Organizational Development, Public Relations
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 18 months
Program start dates: January 7

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 10; Winter: November 9; Spring: February 8; Summer: April 26
GPA: 3.0

Address:

2211 S Josephine St

Denver, CO 80208

303-871-2291

Graduation Rate
55%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$285 per credit
Best Financial Support

Missouri State University-Springfield believes in helping students get all the financial support needed to enroll in the online master's in communication program. Students benefit from an affordable tuition and can also take advantage of numerous scholarship opportunities to reduce their costs.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Dr. Jake Simmons

Admissions Contact

Address:

901 S National Ave

Springfield, MO 65897

417-836-4106

Graduation Rate
54%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$25,000 per program
Best Certification and Degree Combination

Florida International University has an online master's in communication program for students who would also like to earn a certification simultaneously. Students can earn both a graduate certification in conflict resolution and a master's in communication degree to improve their resume and to increase their opportunities for career advancement.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts (CARTA)
Program Name: Master of Science in Mass Communications: Global Strategic Communications
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program Length: 1 year (full-time)
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

3000 NE 151st St, AC-II

North Miami, FL 33181

305-919-5674

Graduation Rate
57%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$597 per credit
Best for Campaign Managers

West Virginia University educates the next generation of campaign managers with its online master's in communication program. Students learn the skills to create and run successful marketing campaigns from faculty members who are known as leaders in their own communication professions.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: January 7

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.75

Address:

Morgantown, WV 26506

800-253-2762

Graduation Rate
67%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,265 per credit
Best for Technical Communication Careers

Drexel University's online master's in communication program includes a specialization in technical communication for distance learners. A rigorous curriculum prepares graduates not only to research and document technical products but also to present them more effectively for an organization.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: CoAS Department of Communication
Program Name: Master of Science in Communication
Available concentrations: Technical Communication, Public Communication, Science and Health Communication

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

3025 Market St

Philadelphia, PA 19104

877-215-0009

Graduation Rate
64%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$780 per credit
Best Career Support

Webster University offers four master's in communication programs to help meet the students' interests and career goals. Faculty advisers guide students not only with matching their goals with the appropriate programs, such as media communications or communications management, but also providing support throughout the course to ensure completion of their degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communications
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communications Management
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

Address:

470 E Lockwood Ave

St. Louis, MO 63119

314-246-7800

Graduation Rate
54%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$609 per credit
Most Customizable Program

Though Mississippi College offers students a generalist communication degree, they can customize it to match their career goals. Students can select as many as 15 credit hours of electives and also complete optional internships to enhance their degree while getting invaluable experience in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication
Program Name: Master of Science in Communication
Available concentrations: Integrated Communication, Journalism, Professional Communication in Health Services Administration, Professional Communication in Sports, or Public Relations & Corporate Communication.
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryInstruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 31 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

Contact:

Cliff Fortenberry

Admissions Contact

Address:

200 S Capitol St

Clinton, MS 39058

601-925-3457

Graduation Rate
78%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$800 per credit
Best Communication Paths

Marist College provides two paths for students who want to earn their online master's in communication degree: an organizational leadership path and an integrated marketing path. Both paths are available in full- and part-time options and build leadership skills for students who want to advance in their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication and the Arts
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available Concentrations: Integrated Marketing, Organizational Leadership
Accrediting body: MSCHE, AACSB, CAATE, NAACLS, CSWE, ARC-PA

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Brian Scott

Admissions Contact

Address:

3399 N Rd

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

845-575-3980

Graduation Rate
46%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$475 per credit
Best Job Placement

Concordia University boasts an excellent job placement percentage for graduates who complete the online master's in communication program. Around 95 percent of the students who earn their degree receive job offers within one year after graduating and entering the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Communication Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1282 Concordia Ave

St. Paul, MN 55104

888-859-0641

Graduation Rate
57%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$600 per credit
Most Accelerated Program

Lasell College offers an online master's in communication program for students who want to advance in their careers and to graduate within a year. Students who enroll in this program can complete all the coursework in 12 months and assume leadership roles in public relations, marketing and other top professions after graduation.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication & the Arts
Program Name: Master of Science in Communication
Available concentrations: Health Communication, Integrated Marketing Communication, Public Relations
Accrediting body: ACBSP

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 12-24 months
Program start dates: Fall

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 3 years of professional work experience

Address:

1844 Commonwealth Ave

Newton, MA 2466

617-243-2400

Graduation Rate
40%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$430 per credit
Best for Vets

National University is a military-friendly school and offers discounts to those who serve and have served in the Armed Forces. Veterans founded the university in 1971 and built a Veterans Center on campus; it offers a variety of resources for military members who enroll in the online master's in communication program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Letters and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Strategic Communications
Accrediting body: WSCUC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program Length
Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

Contact:

Dr. Federica Fornaciari

Admissions Contact

Address:

11255 N Torrey Pines Rd

La Jolla, CA 92037

858-642-8486

Graduation Rate
67%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $240 per credit; Out-of-state: $243 per credit
Best for Publicists

Ohio University's online master's in communication program is designed to promote academic and career growth for distance learners, especially those who want to pursue publicist leadership roles. The online coursework includes topics in communication and information diffusion, communicative practices and more to develop the students' skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Communication Studies
Program Name: Master's Program in Organizational Communication
Accrediting body: NCACS

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 3 years of work experience

Address:

20 E Union St

Athens, Ohio 45701

740-593-4828

Graduation Rate
62%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$800 per credit
Best Degree Enhancement

Queens University of Charlotte offers an online master's in communication degree with an option to include a concentration in integrated digital strategy, which emphasizes digital communications technologies in the modern age. Students can enhance their master's degree with this concentration and design for a real-world business, giving them the skills to apply tried-and-true techniques in their own professions after college.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Knight School of Communication
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Integrated Digital Strategy
Accrediting body: SACS/CC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36-39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 24 months
Program start dates: Fall, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 5 years of professional work experience

Address:

1900 Selwyn Ave

Charlotte, NC 28274

866-313-2356

Graduation Rate
50%
School Type
Private Non- profit
Tuition
$627 per credit
Most Networking Opportunities

Southern New Hampshire University offers numerous alumni networking opportunities for graduates who earn their online master's in communication degree. Graduates can tap into the school's nationwide alumni network for both internship and career opportunities in a variety of communications fields.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Public Relations, New Media & Marketing
Accrediting body: NEASC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 15 months

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Address:

2500 N River Rd

Manchester, NH 3106

888-387-0861

Graduation Rate
60%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$873 per credit
Best International Studies

Westminster College's online master's in communication program includes an international trip as part of the tuition cost. After students complete the coursework, they're able to put their skills into practice in a foreign country to gain real-world experience.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Strategic Communication
Accrediting body: NCCU, CCNE, TEAC/AC, CANAEP

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree in any related major from a regionally accredited academic institution
Credit Requirements: 40 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 18 Months

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0
Work Experience: Strong professional experience may be considered

Address:

1840 S 1300 E

Salt Lake City, UT 84105

801-832-2200

Graduation Rate
59%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$792 per credit
Best for Careers in Crisis Communication

Western New England University's online master's in communication program emphasizes public relations and is perfect for students who want to advance in their careers as crisis communicators. Graduates learn foundational and advanced skills in public relations management and understand how to protect and defend an organization's reputation and image during times of negative publicity.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Public Relations
Accrediting body: AACSB

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 15 months
Program start dates: Fall, Winter, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

Address:

1215 Wilbraham Rd

Springfield, MA 1119

413-782-1517

What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Communication Program?

An online master’s degree in communications can open doors to exciting careers with international media outlets, multinational corporations, retail brands, nonprofits or government agencies. This unique discipline draws upon a diverse set of skills ranging from marketing and public relations to video production and psychology. Thanks to 21st century technology, you can earn an advanced degree without leaving your home. Online courses give you the freedom to enroll full-time or part-time and to learn at your own pace. They provide the same quality curriculum taught at leading communications schools, but in most cases, they’re substantially more affordable. If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree online, here are a few things to consider.

Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Communication

CONCENTRATIONDESCRIPTIONPOSSIBLE CAREERS THIS CONCENTRATION PREPARES FOR
Mass Media and JournalismStudents learn the many skills needed to prepare, present and disseminate information through mass media outlets. Courses emphasize research techniques, media ethics, writing skills and communications strategies.Reporter, journalist, columnist, technical writer, TV/radio announcer, news analyst
Digital Media/TechnologyFocuses on technical aspects of working in the media with an emphasis on electronic technologies. In addition to covering research and reporting techniques, students learn technical skills, such as video editing and audio production.Production assistant, broadcast technician, producer, director, editor
Public RelationsA communications degree with a concentration in public relations is a good fit for students who are interested in business. This curriculum focuses on strategic communications and marketing techniques that apply to print and digital channels.PR specialist, marketing manager, advertising manager, press secretary, director of investor relations
Leadership/Organizational CommunicationLeadership specializations delve further into the world of business communications. Students learn strategies for planning and managing internal and external communications and for directing activities that affect how organizations interact with and are perceived by the public.Director of marketing and communications, chief information officer, chief communications officer
Health CommunicationsExplores methods for distributing information to health care providers, administrators and the public. It also involves psychological strategies for educating, influencing and convincing audiences.Public health educator, communications director, director of health informatics

Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Communication

There are significant differences in course requirements depending on whether you select a general mass media degree or a niche specialization. Although courses vary between schools, you’ll likely encounter the following subjects in your studies.

  • Core Courses: A significant portion of your coursework (approximately 40 percent) will focus on essential communications skills, including strategy, theory, research, writing and fact checking. You may also be required to complete a capstone project or assemble a digital portfolio.

  • Electives: Differences in specializations are most evident in the electives. For example, you may choose courses related to organizational development, politics, international relations, grassroots advocacy, media law or video production.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Communication?

In most cases, it takes two years to earn an online master of communication degree. This schedule requires students to enroll in two or three courses per term. Most students can manage this schedule while working full-time. If that creates too much pressure or if you want to take the summers off, you can earn your degree in three years by enrolling part-time. However, this may affect your eligibility for some scholarships. The duration also depends on whether the program requires a fellowship, internship or thesis. Most programs require a minimum of 30 credit hours.

Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Communication Prepares For

CERTIFICATIONDESCRIPTION
Global Communication Certification CouncilThis international certification is designed for communications professionals who work in the private sector. Applicants must meet education, experience and training requirements and pass a three-hour multiple-question exam to become a Communication Management Professional or Strategic Communication Management Professional.
Accreditation in Public RelationsThe Universal Accreditation Board certifies recent graduates, experienced PR professionals and military communications experts. Graduate students may apply for a Certificate in Principles of Public Relations to kick-start their careers.
Interactive Advertising BureauThis certification system was created especially for digital communications professionals. The organization offers four specialized certifications for professionals who develop and manage digital marketing and advertising campaigns. Professionals must have at least one year of experience and pass a two-hour, 100-question exam.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Communication Degrees

While you should always select a regionally accredited college or university to ensure your credits transfer, you should also consider programs that have been certified by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. This optional accreditation shows that the curriculum and faculty meet exacting quality standards established by the industry. Graduating from an ACEJMC-accredited program may set you apart from other candidates during your job search. Nationally, more than 100 communications departments have been accredited through this organization.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Communication Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for media and communications professionals is projected to increase by 6 percent between 2016 and 2026, with the industry adding some 43,000 new jobs. Compared to average earnings for all occupations, professionals in this industry earn $18,650 more per year. Additionally, master of communication graduates have the freedom to work in a variety of industries depending on their skills and interests.

Expected Salary

While many careers in communications require only a bachelor’s degree, you have the potential to earn substantially more as a master of communication. According to the Social Security Administration, men with graduate degrees earn $600,000 more over the course of their careers compared to those with bachelor’s degrees, and women with equivalent credentials earn $470,000 more. As a master of mass communications, you can expect your salary to fall in the upper end of the pay scale for most positions.

Job TitleSalary Range
Health Informatics Specialist$41,000-$92,000
Marketing Manager$44,000-$90,000
Digital Marketing Manager$44,000-$93,000
Marketing Communications Manager$48,000-$108,000
Communications Manager$49,000-$107,000
Director of Communications$51,000-$123,000
Marketing Director$52,000-$137,000
Investor Relations Manager$53,000-$133,000
Vice President of Marketing$96,000-$213,000

Source: PayScale.com

Professionals who have earned master’s degrees typically earn more because they advance to managerial and executive-level positions. Average earnings vary depending on your specialization and geographic location as well as your experience. The size of the company also affects average earnings according to data from 900 MMC graduates.

Average Earnings of MMC Graduates Based on Employer Size

Source: PayScale.com

Career Opportunities

Master of communication graduates are employed in a diverse array of industries. You might work for a major TV network, a Fortune 500 company or a humanitarian aid group. Take a look at some of these popular communications careers to see which options appeal to you.

JOB TITLEJOB DESCRIPTIONMEDIAN SALARYPROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Public Relations SpecialistAlso called communications specialists or media specialists, these professionals prepare press releases, speeches and public opinion polls. They develop strategies for assessing and improving their organization’s public image. PR specialists also function as press secretaries within government agencies.$59,300 per year28%
Social Service or Community Service ManagerLarge nonprofits and small community-based organizations employ community service managers who are responsible for overseeing programs, developing operating strategies and raising awareness. Communications graduates who have strong analytic and marketing skills can excel in this rewarding career.$64,100 per year18%
Technical Writer or CommunicatorTechnical communicators work in publishing as well as the IT and engineering industries, where they serve as a link between product designers and end users. These professionals select appropriate communications channels, prepare technical documentation and standardize content across platforms.$70,930 per year11%
Public Relations Manager/Fundraising ManagerAs the manager of a PR team, communications professionals coordinate content development strategies to protect or enhance the reputation of their employer or their employer’s clients. In nonprofits, communications professionals may direct fundraising activities and develop strategies for reaching donors and mobilizing supporters.$111,280 per year10%
Advertising or Marketing ManagerCommunications graduates work in major advertising firms and in-house departments. They coordinate all aspects of the marketing process, such as identifying target audiences, completing research and developing effective ad campaigns. They serve as a link between the organization’s creative and financial departments.$129,380 per year10%

Professional Organizations

Professional membership associations can be your ally before and after graduation. These groups provide resources for earning certifications, advancing your credentials and networking with peers. Because communications graduates work in many fields, they frequently join niche groups for professionals in business administration, marketing, public relations, journalism and mass media. If you haven’t selected a specialization or if you’re interested in general resources, these industry associations can help.

National Communication Association: This membership group provides academic and practical resources for teachers, scholars and professionals who work in all areas of the media and communication industries. The NCA manages a career center, publishes academic journals, funds research and supports free speech advocacy.

International Association of Business Communicators: The IABC offers a wealth of resources to global professionals who specialize in PR, marketing, investor relations, social responsibility and related disciplines. Its resources help communications experts advance their careers, network with peers, develop new skills and solve day-to-day business challenges.

Public Relations Society of America: This 30,000-strong organization ensures that communications professionals are smarter, more efficient and better connected through all stages of their careers. The association establishes best practices, offers professional development resources and promotes innovation across the industry. It also operates the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Social Media Association: Created for members of the digital media community, this industry group provides career assistance, job postings and educational resources. It also organizes industry summits and in-person events led by inspirational speakers and thought leaders.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Communication

As a current or prospective student, the cost of a college education is probably one of your top concerns. Generally, online master’s degrees are significantly more affordable than on-campus classes. Plus, they give you the freedom to enter the workforce faster or to study part-time while you work. You may also qualify for scholarships and federal grants that can further reduce the cost of tuition, textbooks and related expenses. To see which resources are available, start by completing your online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Individual colleges and regional nonprofits also offer financial assistance. Review the resources below to find other programs that can make an advanced degree more affordable.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Scholarships

Award: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Eligibility: Scholarships are available through more than one dozen regional chapters of the NATAS. Typical awards range from $500 to $5,000. Students are selected based on their academic achievements, creative potential and financial need.

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) Graduate Fellowship

Award: Up to $5,000

Deadline: February 15

Eligibility: Graduate fellowships are available to students who are pursuing advanced degrees related to publishing, print technology or graphic communications.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation: Advancement of Women in Sports & Entertainment Scholarship

Award: $1,000

Deadline: November 17/June 14

Eligibility: This semiannual scholarship is available to female first-year graduate students who are enrolled full-time in a communications, mass media, PR, marketing or journalism degree. Applicants must express a desire to work in the sports or entertainment industry.