Effective communication is essential in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world. Professionals with a deeper understanding of how to communicate information to diverse audience groups using a variety of methods are sought after in today's business world. That's where a master's in communication degree comes in. A graduate level communication education will set you on a track to upward career mobility and higher earning potential, as well as open the door to new and exciting job possibilities.
Ready to get started on your journey to a master's in communication? We have all the information you need to find the school and program that is right for you, including a state-by-state listing of schools so you can make your dreams of a master's degree a reality wherever you live or consider an online master’s in communication program. We’ve ranked the 2020 top online master’s in communication programs as well. Take a look!
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, DC
- West Virginia
A master's degree in communication is a graduate level degree in the study of how we create information and share it with a variety of audiences. Master's in communication degrees may be offered as Master of Arts or Master of Science programs, with the latter focusing more on quantitative research and analysis. Both MA and MS programs offer students a foundation in communication theory, research techniques, and various communication practices. Many programs also offer specialization options to prepare students for a particular career path.
With a wide variety of master's in communications programs out there, students can find one that is tailored to their interests and future career goals. Some of the program options available to aspiring master's students include:
Communication & Media Studies: For those interested in any aspect of media, from broadcast news and magazine journalism to documentary filmmaking and social media management, the master's in media communications degree is a slam dunk. Typically completed within 2 years, students enrolled in the program learn about communication technology, media tools, and strategy, and are prepared for leadership roles within the media arm of communications. Find an online master’s in media communication.
Communication Management: A master's in communication management is a broad-scope degree designed to give students the tools to tackle complex communications issues within organizations. Graduates of this program go on to management positions in such industries as non-profit, marketing, international business, public relations, and more. The master's in communication management program typically takes 1-2 years to complete. Find an online master’s in communication management.
Communication Studies: A master's in communication studies is a graduate degree pathway for those interested in learning advanced concepts in communication theories. This degree choice is popular amongst those looking to go into teaching or research positions. Other careers suited for this degree include consultancy, sales, publishing, and more. Find an online master’s in communication studies.
Emerging Media: Also referred to as a master's in digital media communications, an emerging media program teaches students the most effective ways to use online and social media platforms, how to conduct research on emerging media and issues in online and offline consumer behaviors.
Global Communication: Those interested in communications and international business are the target audience for the masters in global communications degree. This program weaves together concepts in cross-cultural communications, business, public diplomacy, global public relations, and more. Graduates of this degree pathway can go into careers as foreign news reporters, international business spokespersons, and content managers/webmasters for international firms, amongst others. Find an online master's in global communication.
Health Communication: Those looking to apply communications and public relations to the healthcare industry can look no further than a master's in health communication degree. This rewarding career path can lead to jobs in hospitals, insurance or pharmaceutical companies, or even specialized medical public relations. Students enrolled in a graduate-level health communication program take courses in medical topics as well as communications, paving the way to be the intermediary between healthcare administrations and the public. Find an online master’s in health communication.
Marketing Communications: For those interested in blending marketing with niche communications specialties, such as public relations, social media, and more, an online Master's in Marketing Communications is the pathway of choice. This degree type blends several aspects of integrated marketing and communications, training students in both traditional and digital modalities to create cohesive business strategies. Graduates of this program go on to careers as digital marketing managers, directors of marketing, and many more. Find an online master’s in marketing communications.
Mass Communication: Those interested in communications and international business are the target audience for the masters in global communications degree. This program weaves together concepts in cross-cultural communications, business, public diplomacy, global public relations, and more. Graduates of this degree pathway can go into careers as foreign news reporters, international business spokespersons, and content managers/webmasters for international firms, amongst others. Find an online master’s in mass communication.
Organizational Communication: Earning a master's in organizational communications will put you on the path to improving both internal and external communications for companies, non-profits, government agencies, and more. Organizational communications professionals utilize persuasion, negotiation, and awareness to analyze and overcome communication barriers to manage and resolve crises and challenges. This degree may lead to careers in HR, media/public relations, marketing, labor relations, and more. Find an online master’s in organizational communication.
A master's degree in political communication is an ideal educational move for those interested in government, politics, and media. This program teaches fundamentals in political campaigning, engagement, and media strategy, including digital and social media. With a graduate degree in political communication, career opportunities such as campaign communications director, political correspondent, public affairs strategist, and more will be available. Find an online master’s in political communication.
The master's in strategic communications prepares students for a range of PR/marketing-related careers where strategy and organization across multimedia platforms are utilized to solve challenges. Grads of this degree pathway go on to become communications directors, PR account executives, and information officers, amongst others. Find an online master’s in strategic communication.
A master's degree in technical communications is ideal for those looking to advance to careers in technical writing and editing, design, management, and other tech areas. Students enrolled in this type of program hone their skills in a multitude of visual communication styles and techniques, with the goal of presenting data and concepts in a clear and understandable way. Find an online master’s in technical communication.
Similar Degrees of Interest
- Online Master’s in Communication Disorders including Speech Pathology
- Online Master’s in Journalism
- Online Master’s in Marketing
- Online Marketing MBA
- Online Master’s in Public Relations
- Online Master’s in Social Media
Undergraduate Degrees of Interest
The field of communications is central to so many aspects of business, including public relations, marketing, media, and so much more. Earning an advanced education in one of the many areas of communications is a worthwhile endeavor for those aspiring to enter the most critical, and prestigious, careers in the industry. With today's technology, prospective master's in communication students have more options than ever in how they obtain their post-graduate education. Traditional classroom learning, distance learning, and a mix of the two are widely offered at colleges and universities across the nation, making it easier than ever for students to find the right fit for them, despite current employment, familial obligations, or other challenging factors.
Traditional Campus-Based Programs
Also called campus or classroom programs, this master's in communication degree pathway delivers educational courses via in-person attendance at the college or university of the student's choice. Both part-time and full-time options are typically available, and the total length of the program is usually 2-3 years. The advantages to a traditional program include faculty interaction, classroom engagement with other students, and access to campus resources (computer labs, libraries, etc.). Schools that offer traditional programs may also assist students in securing valuable internships within the communications field. While this type of program offers numerous advantages in regard to interaction, it is not as flexible as distance learning or hybrid options, a key factor to consider for prospective students with jobs or families.
Online master's in communication programs are often referred to as "distance learning" programs. These programs are typically delivered in a 100% online format, meaning that students complete coursework online and in the comfort of their own homes. While these programs tend to have similar average time frames for completion as classroom-based programs, they offer a broader scope of flexibility. Not only can students choose from full-time or part-time options, but they can also typically choose when and where they want to complete their coursework. This makes it an ideal option for working students or those with families or other demanding obligations that would render traditional schooling difficult. Distance-based master's in communication programs typically offer online access to professors and staff via e-mail, video conferencing, and other remote methods. Online programs are particularly popular for students who live in remote or rural areas, where there isn't a feasible program close enough to commute to.
Many master's in communication students feel that hybrid programs offer the best of both traditional and online programs. In the hybrid format, students take the majority of their coursework online but are also required to attend select lectures/courses in-person on their school's campus. Sometimes the in-person requirements are minimal, while some programs require more face-to-face interaction in addition to the online coursework. For students looking for the flexibility of distance learning, but who still crave the personal/social feel of the traditional campus experience, hybrid programs are the way to go.
An MS or MA program generally takes one to two years to complete. However, the length of a program may vary depending on the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study, online or in-person courses, and specialization is chosen can all impact how quickly the degree can be attained.
Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but in general applicants to a master's in communications program will need to have completed a four-year bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. Applicants may also need to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), as well as an up-to-date resume, letters of recommendation and relevant writing samples with their admissions application. Find a No GRE master’s in communication program.
A master's in communications is a jumping off point to a number of potential career paths across many industries, including journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations, government and public affairs, business administration, education, and law. From Corporate Communications Manager to Chief Marketing Officer to News Director, there is a wealth of possible job titles for masters in communication graduates. Read on to find out more about potential career paths for master's in communication graduates.
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