The Best Online Master’s in Communication

by TBS Staff
TheBestSchools.org

thebestschools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

An online master's in communication program covers topics like fundraising and political campaigns, marketing, political advocacy, and public relations.

Graduates of master's in communication online degree programs can work in fields like advertising, administration, and public relations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster-than-average job growth for many communications careers, including advertising, promotions, and marketing managers; public relations and fundraising managers; and postsecondary education administrators.

Featured Online Master's in Communication Programs

The Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Northwestern University true View School Profile Evanston, IL 95% 21% 3% Northwestern University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Northwestern's master of science in communication program helps ambitious and inspired professionals gain more effective leadership. The curriculum integrates theory with practical applications, providing students with a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The program, delivered in a hybrid format, combines distance learning with four in-resident seminars focused on crisis communication and leading collaboration. Courses include information design, data-driven decisions, and strategic communication management. The MSC capstone integrates coursework and practical experience.

Applicants must submit transcripts, two recommendations, a resume, and an essay. Admission also requires an interview.

Johns Hopkins University true View School Profile Baltimore, MD 93% 32% 43% Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Johns Hopkins' 30-credit master of arts in communication teaches students theoretical knowledge about communications, allowing them to produce effective messages and strategies.

Participants select the strategic planning or communication research track. Coursework includes research and writing methods, changing behavior through communication, and introduction to the digital age. Students may also select concentrations in political communication, health communication, or digital communication.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (3.0 minimum GPA), official transcripts, a purpose statement, and a writing sample.

University of Southern California true View School Profile Los Angeles, CA 92% 29% 18% University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

The master of communication management program offered through USC helps new and experienced professionals learn communication theory and applied research and apply it to real-world business situations.

The curriculum, taught by a top-tier faculty, includes communication management and research, strategic corporate communication, and a capstone focused on research or communication attitudes, values, and behavior. Full-time students can complete the program in 16 months.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and two recommendation letters.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign true View School Profile $$$ Champaign, IL 84% 35% 35% University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

U of I's master of science in strategic brand communication helps working professionals learn to better manage and develop the brand communication process. The degree can take as few as 16 months.

The 32-credit program focuses on business and advertising, such as media management, consumer insights, and strategic analytics. A capstone project applies learnings to industry challenges. Participants may also opt for strategic brand certification in consumer insights, media and analytics, and strategic brand communication essentials.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree, transcripts, an essay, and recommendation letters.

University of Louisiana at Monroe true View School Profile $ Monroe, LA 44% 40% 34% University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The ULM Online's master of arts in communication with a concentration in strategic communication program focuses on communication studies and mass communication, emphasizing communication science, medical studies, and rhetorical overviews.

Courses for the 33-credit degree include qualitative and quantitative research methods, communication theory, public relations practices, and public opinion and propaganda.

Successful applicants need to meet two of the following criteria: a minimum 2.5 GPA, a minimum GRE of 284 (combined), or a minimum formula score of 710 (GRE and GPA).

Purdue University-Main Campus View School Profile $$ West Lafayette, IN 81% 29% 21% Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Purdue's master of science in communication program teaches participants to develop strategic messages that reach targeted audiences. Designed for working professionals, the 30-credit can wrap within 12 to 20 months.

The curriculum includes communication and ethics, research methods, and leadership and global strategic communication. Students may select concentrations in public relations, integrated communication and advertising, or healthcare communication.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (minimum 3.0 GPA). Submission requirements include transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and recommendation letters.

Mississippi College View School Profile Clinton, MS 53% 49% 39% Mississippi College is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

MC offers a master of science in communication. It emphasizes graduate marketability and preparing for doctoral programs. Students learn communication theory and practice while developing practical application skills.

Courses for the 31-credit degree include listening, negotiation, intercultural communication, and strategic crisis communication. Students also select a focus, such as generalist, health services, sports, or journalism.

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (minimum 2.5 GPA), official transcripts, standardized test scores, and business school prerequisites.

Sam Houston State University View School Profile $$ Huntsville, TX 52% 48% 53% Sam Houston State University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

SHSU's master of arts in communication studies targets aspiring doctoral students and professionals interested in career advancement. Topics include interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and persuasion.

Class requirements for the 36-credit program include communication studies methods and research, advanced family communications, and advanced communication theory. Major-specific electives round out the degree.

Program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (3.0 minimum GPA). GRE or MAT scores are required for applicants without a graduate degree. Other submission materials include transcripts, a resume, a letter of interest, and three recommendation letters.

Marist College View School Profile Poughkeepsie, NY 83% 53% 27% Marist College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Marist's master of arts in integrated marketing communication focuses on modern-day digital interactive marketing and strategic communication tactics. Working professionals learn to create strategic marketing plans to support an organization's brand values, products, and mission.

Studies focus on consumer insights, public relations management, decision-making tools, and advertising management. A capstone completes the degree.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts from previously attended institutions. Marist also recommends a personal statement, a current resume, and three recommendation letters.

East Carolina University View School Profile $$ Greenville, NC 65% 55% 45% East Carolina University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

ECU's 30-hour master of arts in communication offers concentrations in health communication and strategic communication, each delivering overall communication theory and practice.

Both concentrations require core classes in communication theory, research methods, an applied communication capstone, and an optional thesis. Elective courses differentiate the programs. Health communication emphasizes interpersonal communications (patient-doctor), while strategic communication focuses on public relations and organizational communications.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, official transcripts from previously attended schools, a resume, and two recommendation letters.

Webster University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO 59% 54% 43% Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Webster's master of arts in communication management targets professionals working in related fields to advance to managerial positions.

Core courses offered through the 36-credit program include media communications, organizational communications, and media production management. Students also select from elective courses to round out the degree.

Aspiring students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution showing a 2.5 minimum GPA and submit transcripts. Additional submission requirements include a resume and/or essay. Students must consult with a School of Communications academic advisor before registration.

West Virginia University View School Profile $$ Morgantown, WV 60% 50% 29% West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

WVU's master of arts in communication studies trains students to communicate strategically, translating fundamental theories into real-life applications. The asynchronous program is designed for working professionals interested in enhancing their communication skills for workplace advancement.

Classes for the 36-credit program include persuasion theory and research, nonverbal communication, mass communication, and intergroup communication.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (2.75 GPA minimum) and submit a current resume, statement of interest, and official transcripts from previously attended institutions.

Eastern Illinois University View School Profile $$ Charleston, IL 58% 55% 33% Eastern Illinois University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The 33-credit EIU master of arts in communication studies integrates organizational communication theory and practice, helping participants improve communication, team-building, and critical thinking skills.

Courses cover digital communication, leadership, and offer seminars in interpersonal communication and public relations. Participants learn to create persuasive messages and presentations.

Program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (minimum 3.0 GPA), and submit transcripts, statement of goals, writing sample, resume, and three recommendation letters.

University of Central Missouri View School Profile $$ Warrensburg, MO 49% 51% 38% University of Central Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

UCM offers a master of arts in communication. The program prepares students for advanced work in communication professions or continued study toward a terminal degree.

Classes offered through the 31-credit program include communication theories, quantitative and qualitative research methods, electives, and a research project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, with at least 15 hours of undergraduate communication courses and an overall 2.5 GPA. Other submission materials include a writing sample, statement of purpose, and two recommendation letters.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Liberty's 33-credit master of arts in communication trains students as strong leaders to meet the needs of companies, clients, and communities. Graduates quality for positions in public relations, advertising, journalism, and related fields.

Studies focus on topics such as international and intercultural communication, strategic storytelling, and effective social media.

Applicants must have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor's degree, with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Submission requirements include official college transcripts.

University of Denver View School Profile Denver, CO 77% 36% 18% University of Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

DU's master of arts in communication management with a concentration in marketing communication helps students learn to design and manage persuasive digital marketing campaigns while measuring the impact of communication efforts.

The 48-credit curriculum offers four core courses, five concentration classes, and three electives. Cores include storytelling, communication inquiry, and a capstone. Concentration classes focus on marketing analytics and strategies. Popular electives include mobile marketing and social media strategy.

Successful applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, official transcripts, a personal statement, and a resume.

Lynn University View School Profile Boca Raton, FL 55% 30% 44% Lynn University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Designed for in-house and agency professionals, Lynn's master of science in communication and media, with a strategic communication specialization, teaches students to design, develop, and deliver effective strategic communications.

Requirements for the 37-credit program include foundation courses (media and culture, persuasion and social change, and communication history) and specialization classes (strategic communication campaigns, crisis communication, and integrated marketing communications).

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (minimum 3.0 GPA) and submit official transcripts, a recommendation letter, and a writing sample.

Morehead State University View School Profile $$ Morehead, KY 42% 44% 44% Morehead State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

MSU offers an online master of arts in communication. The program provides advanced communication studies for professionals and recent graduates from related bachelor degree programs.

Requirements for the 30-credit degree include research methods, communication theory, and bibliographic writing. Students may select from a thesis or non-thesis concentration.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a major or minor in communication and hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. GRE test scores are also required.

Dallas Baptist University View School Profile Dallas, TX 53% 59% 45% Dallas Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

DBU's master of arts in professional development, with a communication concentration, provides professionals with cutting-edge communication skills in a Christ-centered, academic environment that links faith exploration, learning, and servant leadership.

In addition to core courses offered through the degree program, requirements of the communication track include rhetoric, relational communication, intercultural communication, and communication campaigns; the program also includes a graduate research project.

Admission requirements include official transcripts, two recommendation forms, a statement of purpose, and a resume.

Southern Utah University View School Profile $$ Cedar City, UT 37% 86% 49% Southern Utah University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

SUU's 36-credit master of arts in professional communication targets people working for organizations that need audience messaging in advertising and public relations, social media content creation, and media production.

Studies focus on applied communication theory, qualitative and quantitative research, and professional writing. Electives include professional social media and pop culture messages. Students may select a capstone thesis or project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university (3.0 minimum GPA) and submit official transcripts, three references, a letter of intent, and a writing sample.

Northern Arizona University View School Profile $$ Flagstaff, AZ 52% 45% 43% Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

NAU offers a master of master of arts in communication with three emphasis options: communication, documentary studies, and strategic communication. The programs focus on expertise in writing, critical thinking, reasoning, presentation, and research. Participants work with a faculty mentor to design a program that meets professional interests and needs.

The 36-credit program requires communication theory and application, critical methods in communication, and a graduate study.

For admission, applicants need an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus transcripts, a writing sample, three references, a personal statement, and a resume.

Spring Arbor University View School Profile Spring Arbor, MI 57% 69% 64% Spring Arbor University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The SAU 30-credit master of arts in strategic communication and leadership pairs students with mentor influencers.

Coursework focuses on communication theory and workflow, research methods, conflict resolution, and advertising and publications. Students build a professional ePortfolio throughout the program to help with career advancement.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and official transcripts and references.

Stevenson University View School Profile Stevenson, MD 56% 60% 54% Stevenson University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Based in Maryland, Stevenson's masters in communication studies offers career-focused, specialized skills for growing industries. Taught by experienced faculty, the curriculum trains students to communicate strategically with a diverse audience. Graduates qualify for leadership positions in local and national organizations.

Topic highlights include nonverbal communication, conflict communication and leadership, and crisis communication.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (3.0 minimum cumulative GPA) and submit a personal statement and official transcripts.

Westminster College View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT 61% 47% 5% Westminster College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The intensive master of strategic communication program at Westminster allows students to work with real clients to solve communication problems and projects. Though designed for self-starters with professional experience, the program also welcomes bachelor's graduates without prior work.

Students work in groups to complete project sequences in rhetoric and strategic public relations, integrated marketing communication, and organizational communication and culture. A strategic communication capstone completes the program. The online program requires students to meet on campus once a semester.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution (minimum 3.0 GPA) and submit a resume, two recommendation letters, and a statement of interest.

Queens University of Charlotte View School Profile Charlotte, NC 53% 69% 59% Queens University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Queens University's master of arts in communication aims to generate community advocates and leaders.

Typically completed in 18 months, the 30-credit program covers intercultural communication, ethics, crisis communication, and media theory and criticism. Students may also focus on strategic communications or organizational communication concentrations.

Applicants must submit transcripts and hold an undergraduate degree (minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA). Other requirements include a written personal statement, resume, and two recommendation letters.

Best Online Programs - Master's in Communications

Online Master's in Communication Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

What Is a Master's in Communication Degree?

Communication master's degree programs explore advanced topics such as branding, strategic communication management, persuasion, political communication, and multimedia writing. Most communications programs also include writing courses in areas such as writing for public relations, speeches, opinion writing, and promotional writing. Many programs emphasize digital media, which prepares students to manage online marketing and social media accounts.

Communications curricula vary widely by program, especially when it comes to concentrations and electives. When selecting a program, consider your specific interests and career goals. Research requirements can also vary by program. While advanced research topics are part of nearly every master's in communication online program, some programs require additional research in the form of a thesis or practicum.

Online Master's in Communication Programs

Online classes meet the same standards as traditional classes but offer much more freedom and flexibility. Students submit homework, take tests, and engage in class discussions online. Some online programs move in a synchronous format, meaning students must log on at a set time each day to watch live lectures or chat with peers. Asynchronous programs allow students to complete classwork and participate in discussion boards on their own time as long as they meet a set deadline.

Organized, self-motivated students thrive in online communication master's programs, which prepare graduates to work under minimum supervision. However, some online programs do have in-person components, like monitored exams or annual three-day seminars. Pay attention to in-person requirements when researching programs and keep in mind that most colleges don't pay for transportation costs. If you attend an online school in California but live in Missouri, plan accordingly.

The Advantages of a Master's Degree in Communication

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in communication tend to find jobs as communication coordinators or specialists. While these entry-level jobs are a valuable career starting point, earning an online communication master's degree means more opportunities. Even if you work your way up within a company, some companies set salary limits for employees without master's degrees.

Meanwhile, graduates with master's degrees in communication earn jobs as managers or directors, or work in the higher education sector as college professors, where they can teach the next generation and enjoy a flexible schedule. If you're unsure about whether you should continue your education, consider the average salary differences between professionals with bachelor's and master's degrees below.

Average Salary by Degree Level

$62,140
Bachelor of Arts in Communication

$65,430
Master of Arts in Communication

Source: Payscale

Choosing an Online Communications Graduate Degree Program

When choosing an online master's in communication program, take your time. Being selective saves you trouble in the long run. With so many quality online programs to choose from, you can definitely find one that fits your needs and budget. Make a list of what criteria you value in a school, including program cost, transfer policies, and school size and type. Keep these criteria in mind during your search.

  • Program Cost: Program cost is the top consideration for many students. You can save money by attending an online school based in your home state, since many colleges offer local discounts. Some schools offer in-state tuition to all online students. However, if a school costs significantly less than others, it might be because it's not a legitimate program, so make sure to compare tuition prices.
  • Transfer Policies: Whether or not you have transfer credits from another institution, make sure to read your school's transfer policies. You might decide to transfer to a different school halfway through your degree or enroll in a supplemental program elsewhere. Attending a school with regional accreditation makes transferring easier.
  • School Size and Type: The main difference between public and private universities is cost. Public schools tend to charge less for tuition and offer more financial aid than private schools. However, private schools usually enroll fewer students, which means attendees can have more one-on-one time with professors.
  • Program Length: Before choosing a school, you should decide whether you want to study full time or part time. Some schools have minimum or maximum credit requirements, so you should be careful to choose a program that matches your study plans.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Double check a programs on-campus requirements, even if the programs is advertised as being online. Some programs require in-person components, like supervised tests, presentations, or seminars, which can become an issue if you decide to attend an online college in a different state.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Most programs have other requirements in addition to the usual classwork. These requirements might include a thesis or capstone project, a fellowship, an internship, or a work requirement. Usually learners can complete these requirements locally, but students with full-time jobs might have a difficult time balancing these additional requirements with their schedules.

Accreditation for Online Communication Master's Degrees

For students pursuing a communication master's online, accreditation should be a top consideration. If a school is accredited, it means it's regularly evaluated by an accrediting agency to ensure high educational standards. Although the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) don't grant accreditation, they do oversee accrediting agencies. You can visit CHEA's accreditation agencies database to verify accreditation for individual schools.

There are three types of accreditation: national, regional, and programmatic. Schools with national accreditation are usually vocational or trade schools, and the agencies that oversee them work nationally. These universities are generally considered less prestigious than regionally accredited schools, which tend to offer more traditional liberal arts curricula. Schools with regional accreditation also have more transferable credits.

Universities can also receive programmatic accreditation in communication. The American Communication Association grants accreditation to specific programs rather than a school. Watch out for online programs that don't hold national, regional, or programmatic accreditation, as these programs lack outside oversight and likely don't meet educational standards.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master in Communication Degree Program?

Both private and public universities typically require about 60 credits for a master's degree. When researching online programs, pay attention to whether a school uses an asynchronous or synchronous format. Asynchronous programs allow students to complete work at their own pace, while synchronous formats have specific time requirements, like live discussions and lectures. Synchronous formats are ideal for students who need structure to keep them on pace.

Most universities set minimum and maximum credit standards for both part-time and full-time students, meaning those enrolled are limited in their course load options. If you want to finish in less than two years, you should look for an accelerated program, where the maximum credit load allows you to double up. If you must balance a full-time job with your studies, look for part-time options. Full-time students usually complete their degrees within two years, while part-time students take 4-5 years.

Courses in an Online Master's in Communication Program

Advanced Public Speaking

Regardless of your specialization is, public speaking is an important component in any communication program. Online public speaking classes often require students to record and submit speeches, sometimes given in front of an audience. Typically, the audience consists of just family members and friends.

Interpersonal Communication

Communication directors and managers must have excellent communication skills in order to manage employees. It's also important to communicate well in one-on-one conversations with important company stakeholders. This class teaches those interpersonal communication skills, helping students improve their listening as well as their speaking.

Organizational Communication

Often, communication professionals must oversee organization-wide communication. In an organizational communication course, individuals learn to enhance interdepartmental and employee communication through internal newsletters and company events. For example, students learn to ensure that employees receive notifications about important company changes before presenting those changes to the general public.

Ethics and Legal Issues in Communication

In courses like this one, students examine case studies and learn about laws and regulations that affect communication professionals. Learners also get the chance to develop their own ethical frameworks and learn how to make educated ethical decisions on behalf of an organization.

Communication Theory

In this class, students examine popular communication theories and learn how to apply them in practical situations. This course typically includes a term paper that requires students to choose a theory and explain how it relates to a communications-related current event. Communication theory courses encourage students to take a stance on each theory and incorporate their favorites into their professional practices.

What Can You Do With a Master's Degree in Communication?

Senior positions in marketing and advertising often require supervisory skills, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to coordinate departments. Graduates with an online master's in communication have these skills and can secure these positions.

Marketing Director $90,752

Marketing directors manage all marketing efforts within an organization, overseeing the planning, execution, and evaluation of marketing campaigns. These professionals usually work as supervisors, designing and delegating tasks for SEO specialists, social media coordinators, graphic designers, writers, photographers, and advertising coordinators.

Public Relations Director $89,646

These professionals help organizations and corporations cultivate positive public images and maintain relationships with important stakeholders. They do this by responding to social media inquiries, hosting events, creating marketing campaigns, and working with media professionals to obtain media coverage. PR directors often juggle several projects simultaneously.

Social Media Director $75,745

Social media directors use online platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, to communicate with target audiences. These professionals often work with photographers, videographers, copywriters, and graphic designers to produce content. Social media directors work closely with public relations directors to ensure that the company's social media presence matches its brand.

Communications Manager $66,468

These professionals oversee an entire communication department. They evaluate public messages, manage crisis communications, maintain relationships with the media, and organize internal communications. Communication managers must have excellent public speaking and interpersonal skills. The ability to multitask is also essential.

Managing Editor $64,349

Individuals who love to write often find higher-paying positions as managing editors. These editors collaborate with other editors and journalists to produce publications. They handle big-picture issues, like how stories complement one another or conflict with adjacent advertisements. They also have the final say on whether or not a story gets published.

Communications Membership Associations

The ACA helps members stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in communications. The organization provides members with a discussion board and a peer-reviewed journal, and membership is free. The ACA also grants programmatic accreditation for communication programs. Although ACA members are primarily American, the organization encourages people from all around the world to join. ICA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and connects communication professionals across the world. ICA hosts conferences and provides its members with educational publications, including a newsletter, a scholarly journal, and annual reports. The organization maintains several divisions that focus on specific topics, like health communication and public relations. NCA supports communication professionals through research and education. Members benefit from exclusive journals, regional and national networking events, educational conferences, and communication research data. NCA also provides scholarships to aspiring students and advocates for public policy that supports communication professionals. PRSA aims to advance the public relations field and encourage ethical communication practices within the United States. Members benefit from educational webinars, email newsletters, regional and national conferences, and an exclusive job board. Regional chapters also host monthly or quarterly meetings where members can network with one another. AWC invites women working in any communications-related field to take advantage of its networking and educational opportunities. AWC maintains an online membership directory and offers annual awards to outstanding professionals. Members also receive discounts on partner products and services and access to an exclusive job board.

Common Questions About Master's in Communication Degrees

Is a Master's in Communication Worth It?

A master's in communication can lead to fulfilling careers that earn above average salaries. According to Payscale, the average salary of individuals with a master's degree in communications is over $65,000.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Communication?

Graduates with a master's degree in communication can work in marketing, public relations, and advertising, and administration.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master's Degree in Communications?

GA master's degree in communications typically takes two years to complete, though students in part-time or accelerated programs may take more or less time.

Popular with our students.

Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office