55 Best Online Master’s in Communications

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In the swiftly evolving world of information, the ability to get a message heard effectively and powerfully is both a precious skill and a moving target. A person in the business of communication needs to know how to collect data, analyze it, and create a package of information that enhances a company's brand, informs a targeted audience, or moves a community to action. Professional opportunities in communications and media industry are growing at a rate of about 6 percent a year; about 43,000 jobs are expected to be added by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One of the tools a rising professional – or an aspiring one – can add to her or his kit is a master's degree in communication. The Labor Statistics Bureau says a person with a communication master's degree can earn up to $11,000 more per year than peers with a bachelor's degree. A sampling of salaries attainable with a master's degree in communications includes $60,000 for public relations specialists, $132,000 for advertising or marketing managers, $71,000 for technical writers, and $114,000 for fundraising managers.

Many people who pursue a graduate degree are professionals with busy lives and little time to attend classes on a university campus. This list gives details about the 55 best universities or colleges for which you can plug in an get a communications master's online. Some of the programs can be completed in as few as 12 months if you can handle a full load. Part-time students usually can wrap up a degree in 18 months to two years. Many of the degree programs focus on an aspect of communications, such as data analysis, public relations, and global strategies. One university puts an emphasis on video storytelling. Whatever your academic or professional goals in communications may be, one of these institutions can set you on the right path.

Ranking Methodology: "It's science!"

The researchers and writers at Best Master's Degrees don't make recommendations based upon preference– we back our rankings with science. Here's a quick breakdown of how we organize ranking data:

  • Finances (40%)
  • Academic Rigor (35%)
  • Student Gratification (25%)

Nearly half of the data used to score each ranking involves finances and are acquired from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Glassdoor, and PayScale. Financial data encompasses the cost of tuition, fees, and class supplied; the average price of living; access to financial aid and social services; and lastly, the projected annual salary acquired from degree outcomes and income for loan repayment. The second largest category of information involves the quality of education, how competitive degree applicants should be for consideration, and how exclusive a degree program is overall. The final 25 percent of collected data is dependent on student and alumni reviews from sources such as PayScale, Rate My Professor, and Students Review.

Want to Learn More?

The amount of information available for specific degrees is plentiful, and Best Master's Degrees aims to provide as many resources as we can. Check out our Methodology page for more information and resource links.

 

#55 – Bellevue University

Master of Arts in Business and Professional Communication

Bellevue, NE
Website

Bellevue University, a small, private institution in a suburban community south of Omaha, NE, offers a Master of Arts in Business and Professional Communication. The university says the online degree prepares students for leadership roles in the communications field. The program allows graduate students to pick a concentration that aligns with career goals, such as executive coaching, human resources, projects management, computer information systems, and cross-cultural communication. The concentration classes require 12 credit hours. There also are eight core courses (examples: Conflict and Negotiation; Ethics and Decision Making; and Interpersonal and Intercultural Communications) totaling 24 credit hours. Students choosing the executive coaching concentration must have an online setup that includes Adobe Connect, a webcam, and a headset. Admission requirements to the program include an approved bachelor's or master's degree. Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA from their last 60 credit hours of coursework or a 3.0 GPA from previous graduate coursework.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,350

 

#54 – Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Mass Media Arts and Journalism

Clarion, PA
Website

The Clarion University of Pennsylvania, located in a rural Appalachian town in the northwest part of the state, has an enrollment of about 4,300. Clarion University's Master of Science in Mass Media Arts and Journalism online degree is designed to give students a theoretical background in the industry, buttressed by practical skills. Working adults can schedule coursework around their busy lives and graduate in as little as 18 months. The degree program has 36 credit hours. Twenty-one credit hours are seven required core courses that include Journalism Foundation and Advanced Public Relations Writing. Students take one upper-level course in a focused area of interest, and two communications elective classes. Finally, there is a required thesis or research study that covers six credit hours. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all undergraduate courses.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,384 / $13,368

 

#53 – Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Master in Communication Studies

Edinboro, PA
Website

Located in a rural community in the state's northwest corner, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania uses a semester-based academic calendar. Its Masters of Communication Studies online degree program has two areas of emphasis: Managerial and Leadership Communication, or Integrated Marketing Communication. The former trains students in the art of managing organizational change and conflict. The latter targets the ability to create and run communication plans via marketing, advertising, and public relations. It prepares graduates for all manner of communication-intensive roles in the government and the private sector. The degree program has 36 credit hours – nine hours of core courses and 27 hours of electives that align with the student's career goals. Students can do an internship, a capstone project, or neither. The internship or capstone count toward three to six credit hours. Program applicants must have an approved bachelor's degree in hand, and supply GRE and Miller Analogies Test scores. If you have an undergraduate Quality Point Average of 2.8 and two years of professional experience, the test score requirement is waived.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,384 / $18,576

 

#52 – Southern Utah University

Master of Arts in Professional Communication

Cedar City, UT
Website

Southern Utah University uses a semester system. The campus near the southwest corner of Utah. U.S. News & World Report ranks Southern Utah in a tie for No. 27 among Top Public Schools in the West. Southern Utah's online Master of Arts in Professional Communication is offered through the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. The program is aimed at students who want to learn how to reach audiences in fields ranging from education to media production. Degree candidates don't need a master's degree in communication to apply. Students in the program may choose to do a research or capstone project, or an internship. The degree consists of 18 credit hours of core courses and 18 credit hours of electives. Elective courses include Communication and Popular Culture; Visual Literacy and Application; and Professional Social Media. Students must keep a 3.0 GPA in all degree courses. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, a statement of purpose, an example of academic or professional writing, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Application deadlines for April 15th and October 15th for the fall and spring semesters, respectively.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,574 / $23,784

 

#51 – University of Alabama in Huntsville

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Huntsville, AL
Website

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is located in the north-central part of the state, on the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The campus operates on a semester system. The online Master of Arts in Communication Studies degree is offered by the University of Alabama system's Bama By Distance program. The degree specializes in organizational leadership – a skill that can be applied to countless careers. The degree consists of 30 credit hours, which includes 12 credit hours devoted to the leadership specialization. There is no advanced math requirement. If students complete two courses per semester, the degree can be achieved in two years. Applicants must have a score of 300 on the GRE and a 50th-percentile result on the MAT. The student must have a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework. Candidates also must submit a statement of purpose and three letters of reference.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,632 / $23,604

 

#50 – University of Florida

Masters in Global Strategic Communication

Gainesville, FL

Website

With the University of Florida's online Masters in Global Strategic Communication, you don't have to go anywhere near the university's famed football stadium named "The Swamp" – unless, of course, you want to. Florida ties for No. 35 in U.S. News & World Reports' university ranking and is No. 91 on its list of Best Value Schools. Florida's communications master's degree aims at teaching students how to shape messages effectively across cultures and geographic boundaries. Graduates can tackle problems such as immigration, human rights, business ethics, and climate change. The program is built on three pillars: messaging, communication, and culture. Coursework that addresses those pillars accounts for 27 semester credit hours of the 39-hour degree program. The remaining 12 credit hours draw from electives that fit the student's goals. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate courses, three letters of recommendation, a brief essay, and a resume.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,770 / $27,335

 

#49 – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Lincoln, NE
Website

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln ranks No. 95 on U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Value Schools. The university's online Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication has optional specializations in integrated media communication and professional journalism. The former targets professional opportunities in advertising and public relations. The latter prepares graduates for the ever-changing world of news media. The degree calls for 36 semester credit hours. Students can apply all of those hours to classwork, or they can complete 30 hours of classes and a thesis worth six credit hours. Candidates to the program can sample up to six credit hours of coursework before being accepted. Sampled courses, successfully completed, will count toward the degree. In addition to an approved bachelor's or master's degree, applicants must supply a statement of goals, a portfolio that reflects your ability to gather and communicate information, three letters of recommendation, and a resume.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,818 / $16,654

 

#48 – Stevenson University

Master of Science in Communication Studies

Owings Mills, MD
Website

Stevenson University, an institution in suburban Baltimore, has about 1,300 students enrolled in its online programs, including more than 750 graduate students. Stevenson's online Master of Science in Communication Studies helps students convert concepts of communication into real-world situations. The degree is a 10-course program covering 30 semester credit hours, along with a thesis or capstone project that's worth six credit hours. Classes include Communication Theory and Applications; Communication Ethics in the Public Sphere; Nonverbal Communication; and Crisis Communication. Stevenson partners with regional community colleges, healthcare organizations, and businesses to help students achieve their goals. Application requirements include a completed bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a full transcript, a cumulative, minimum GPA of 3.0 for all completed academic work; and a personal statement.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,040

 

#47 – Lasell College

Master of Science in Communication

Newton, MA
Website

Lasell College, located about ten miles west of Boston, runs on a semester system. It's a small school, with an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,700. As a consequence, all classes are exceptionally small, capped at 23 students. Lasell's Master of Science in Communication degree program can be completed in a year to two years. Courses can be taken fully online or in an on-campus format that is web-aligned to accommodate busy schedules. Program graduates often move into positions in the marketing and public relations fields. The degree has three specialized concentrations: health communication, integrated marketing communication, and public relations. The health communication concentration emphasizes all aspects of communication in the health-care industry. In all the concentrations, the curriculum totals 36 semester credit hours – 18 hours of core courses, nine hours in the concentration area, six hours of graduate-level elections, and three hours of a thesis, research project, internship or comprehensive exam. Application requirements include transcripts, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,800

 

#46 – Missouri State University – Springfield

Master's in Communication

Springfield, MO
Website

missouri-state-university-springfield-online-msw-advanced-standing-degree

Missouri State University's Springfield campus is located in the southwest part of the state, about 165 miles southeast of Kansas City and about 40 miles north of Branson, MO. The university operates on a semester system. Its Master's in Communication program is offered through the Department of Communication. The online master's program combines instruction in theory and research with hands-on work and internship opportunities. In terms of time needed to finish the degree, there are two approaches. The traditional format is a 32 credit hour program that can be completed in two years with consistent full-time coursework. An accelerated format allows a student to begin coursework for the master's in the second semester of her or his junior year. A cumulative GPA of 3.25 and some prerequisite courses are needed for the accelerated format. Internships can earn the master's student one to six credit hours. Applicants to either format are required to supply a statement of purpose and two reference letters, and to have earned a bachelor's degree from an approved school.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,022 / $10,098

 

#45 – Point Park University

MA in Communications Technology

Pittsburgh, PA
Website

The dance building was recently renamed the George Rowland White Performance Center at a dedication ceremony. For that reason, it was re-photographed.

Point Park University has an undergraduate enrollment of about 3,200. It is located in the cultural district of downtown Pittsburgh, just a few blocks from the convergence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Point Park is a private university on a semester system. Its MA in Communications Technology is an innovative online program that prepares students for the digital landscape of the media industry. Graduates can aim for careers in multimedia, graphic design, and digital journalism, as well as marketing, public relations, and education. The curriculum, which has 32 credit hours, offers two concentrations: Social Media and Applied Practices. Classes include Social Media Campaigns, Technology Mediated Communication, and Visual Communication Technology. There are 12 credit hours of core courses, 12 hours in the concentration area, six hours of upper-division electives, and a thesis or professional track requirement for six hours. Program application requirements include letters of recommendation, a resume or examples of professional work in mass communication, and a statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,858

 

#44 – Concordia University, St. Paul

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management

St. Paul, MN
Website

Concordia University is an urban campus in Minneapolis, MN, with a small undergraduate enrollment of about 2,850. The private university operates on a semester system. Its online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management degree consists of 36 credit hours. It is designed who have professional experience or are looking to begin a career in strategic planning, public relations, corporate communications, or similar avocations. The required coursework is comprised of 11 out of 12 available courses, along with a capstone project that's good for three credit hours. Classes include Strategic Customer Experience, Crisis Communication, Leadership Communication, and Project Management and Analytics. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better, along with a statement of purpose. The statement should address employment history and why you're seeking a graduate degree, describe your professional goals, and share an experience that could aid your success in the program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,550

 

#43 – Troy University

Master of Science in Strategic Communication

Troy, AL
Website

Troy University is a rural campus that runs on a semester system. The campus is about 55 miles south of Montgomery. The online Master of Science in Strategic Communication degree is a fast-track program of 30 credit hours. A full-time student can finish the courses in one year. The program, offered through TROY Online, is attractive to professionals who want to improve their communication skills and their ability to create solutions to communication issues. Students will learn about crisis management and the strategic use of social media. The curriculum has 15 credit hours of core courses, three of those credit hours are a capstone project. The remaining 15 hours for the degree can be earned from five of seven available electives. Elective classes include Media Management, Global Communication, and Leadership and Media Strategies, along with others. In addition to a completed bachelor's degree from an approved institution and test scores, if needed, degree applicants also need to provide a letter of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,650 / $15,300

 

#42 –Northern Arizona University

Master of Arts in Communication

Flagstaff, AZ
Website

northern-arizona-university-online-nursing-generalist-master-of-science

Northern Arizona University, a public institution, utilizes the semester system. It has more than 27,000 undergraduate students on its Flagstaff, AZ, campus. The university's College of Social and Behavioral Science offers the online Master of Arts in Communication degree. The curriculum teaches students how to communicate effectively and find solutions to complex issues. Students design and present independent research and sharpen skills in writing, reasoning, critical thinking, and defense of ideas. Possible career paths range from hospital public information officer to market research analyst. The 36 credit hours for the master's degree includes 12 hours of core courses. The remaining 21 credit hours can be upper-level electives in a documentary-studies emphasis. Students can write a thesis or do a capstone project. Degree applicants must provide, in addition to proof of completion of an approved bachelor's degree, a GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate work, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and a resume.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,795 / $19,217

 

#41 – St. Bonaventure University

Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications

St. Bonaventure, NY
Website

St. Bonaventure University is a private institution on a semester system. The campus is located in a small city in southwest New York state. U.S. News & World Report ranks St. Bonaventure No. 22 among regional universities in the North. St. Bonaventure's online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications is a targeted program that equips graduates with the creative and analytical skills needed for today's marketing industry. The degree requires 33 credit hours of courses. Online students who take on a full load can complete the work in one year. Otherwise, it's a two-year process. There are 27 hours of core courses and six hours of electives. Students wrapping up the program can do a campaign project or pass a comprehensive exam. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. GRE/GMAT scores aren't required for the application.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,590

 

#40 – Ohio University

Master of Arts in Organizational Communication

Athens, OH
Website

Ohio University's main campus is in Athens, OH, a college town of about 24,000 about 75 miles from Columbus, OH. Ohio University runs on a semester calendar. Its online Master of Arts in Organizational Communication is offered through the School of Communications Studies and the Scripps College of Communication, along with its eCampus program. The online courses enable students to take part in class discussions and group projects and to interact with instructors and advisers via video conference. The coursework can be completed in about 15 months if the student enrolls in two classes per semester, or in about two years if one class per semester is completed. The curriculum calls for two core courses, four elective courses, and a capstone project. Electives include Cross-Cultural Communication, Gender Communication, and Communication and Information Diffusion. Degree application requirements include a completed bachelor's degree (a GRE isn't required if the cumulative GPA was 3.0 or more), three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,444 / $17,436

 

#39 – Asbury University

Master of Arts in Communication Arts: Digital Storytelling

Wilmore, KY
Website

asbury-university-online-master-of-arts-in-communications-digital-storytelling

Asbury University is a private institution located in a small community southwest of Lexington, KY. It uses a semester calendar and has an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,700. U.S News & World Report give it a No. 14 ranking among Best Regional Universities in the South. Asbury's Master of Arts in Communication Arts program has a unique subtitle: Digital Storytelling. Students learn the technical, organizational, and emotional elements of storytelling. As the university's course description puts it, the degree program teaches students how to make stories "compelling, mesmerizing, and memorable." Asbury's online program is faith-based, and gives students opportunities for collaboration and for feedback from professional, allowing for the creation of a strong portfolio. These abilities can be applied to the television and film industries, ministry and church media, and journalism. Most online students can complete the coursework in about two years. Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and must provide a resume, a brief statement of purpose, and two references.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,990

 

#38 – National University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communications

La Jolla, CA
Website

National University is a private institution with multiple campuses, mostly in California but there is one campus in Las Vegas. National specializes in online learning and uses a hybrid academic calendar that often allows students to complete a course in one month. The university's online Master of Arts in Strategic Communications, offered through its College of Letters and Sciences, is designed to sharpen analytical and practical skills in communications. Students will be able to create and carry out plans in both traditional channels and in emerging media such as social networks and podcasts. The degree program calls for 45 quarter credit hours of coursework, of which at least 40.5 must be taken through National. There are ten courses, which include a capstone project. Classes include Emerging Interactive Media, Crisis Communications, and Campaign and Program Management. Students in the degree production must demonstrate that they can write in English at an advanced level. As a Yellow Ribbon school, National provides tuition discounts to service members and their dependents.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

 

#37 – Drexel University

Master of Science in Communication

Philadelphia, PA
Website

Drexel University is a private institution located in central Philadelphia. It operates on a quarter calendar. The university is ranked No. 53 by Journalism-Schools.com. The Master of Science in Communication degree is a broad program that prepares students for numerous professional applications of communications skills, from grant writing to journalism and from public relations to digital media. Students with previous professional experience in communications can do a six-month internship through the program. There are three coursework concentrations: public communication, technical communication, and science and health communication. The program requires 45 quarter credit hours and is organized into four ten-week quarters a year. There are three core courses, along with several courses that align with the student's preferred concentration. In addition to an accepted bachelor's degree with a preferred minimum GPA of 3.0, application requirements include a resume, two recommendation letters, and an essay of no more than 1,000 words describing past work, career goals, and how the degree will be a benefit.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,155

#36 – Austin Peay State University

Master of Arts in Communication Arts

Clarksville, TN
Website

Austin Peay State University runs on a semester calendar. The public institution in Clarksville, TN, is a university town about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. The Master of Arts in Communication Arts online degree program, offered through the Department of Communications, is designed to accommodate full-time graduate students and part-time students who are balancing schoolwork and a professional career. The program calls for 34 credit hours of coursework. Students who take nine or more credit hours a semester can complete the degree in two years. There are two degree concentrations: Marketing Communication or Media Management. After three required core courses and three requires courses in a concentration, students take 12 credit hours from a selection of electives. A research paper is required. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5, along with GRE scores which can be waived if the student's undergraduate GPA is at least 3.5.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,920 / $20,502

 

#35 – Washington State University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communications

Pullman, WA
Website

 

FILE – This Aug. 17, 2011 file photo shows the campus of Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. The recent deaths of two Washington State University students driving back to campus in Pullman, Wash., after the 2016 winter break have revived concerns about the safety of roadways leading to the rural college town. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times via AP) ORG XMIT: WASET501

Washington State University is located in a lively college town in the eastern part of the state. Washington State uses a semester calendar. The Master of Arts in Strategic Communications degree is offered by the online arm of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. It is described as a highly competitive program for people who want to learn skills or advance careers in industries such as public relations, advertising, corporate communication, and communication management. Students learn how to leverage the latest media tools and create promotional campaigns for traditional and digital channels. The degree requires 30 credits, which include four courses in the professional core which is made up of classes such as Ethics for Professionals and Crisis Communications in Global Contexts. There are also five classes required in the health communication core such as Persuasion for Professional Communicators. A capstone project is required. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree attained with a minimum GPA of 3.0, along with a statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,224 / $24,656

 

#34 – South Dakota State University

Master of Mass Communication

Brookings, SD
Website

South Dakota State University is located in the rural community of Brookings with a population 24,000, about 55 miles north of Sioux Falls. It's a public university that runs on a semester system. The Master of Mass Communication program is aimed at journalists and mass-communications professionals who want to put a charge in their career and more them more marketable. More than half of the required courses are skills-based. Courses last eight weeks. Students can pursue a degree that has 36 hours of classes, or 32 hours of classes plus a research paper. There are five core courses, such as Media Law Case Studies and Cross-Platform Campaigns. Electives cover 15 or 21 credit hours, depending on whether the student opts for the research paper. Applications to the program basically require a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,825 / $15,044

 

#33 – Gonzaga University

Master of Arts in Communication & Leadership

Spokane, WA
Website

Gonzaga University, a private institution on a semester calendar, is ranked No. 4 among all universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report. The campus is located next to the Spokane River and about a half-mile from downtown Spokane, WA. The Master of Arts in Communication & Leadership is offered by Gonzaga Online and has numerous options for coursework concentrations and methods of study. Students gather skills to negotiate solutions, analyze audiences, resolve conflicts, and interpret data. Optional areas of concentration include college teaching, digital media strategies, change leadership, global leadership, servant leadership, and strategic and organizational communication. Online students also can take advantage of several study-abroad options in locations such as Belgium, Italy, and the Czech Republic. The degree curriculum has four core classes, four elective classes, and two capstone-project classes. One brief but intensive on-campus immersion is required. Undergraduates enrolled at Gonzaga can enter a 4+1 program in which they begin the master's program early and can complete it in one additional year.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,725

 

#32 – University of Iowa

Master's Degree in Strategic Communication

Iowa City, IA
Website

The University of Iowa runs on a semester calendar. The university is ranked No. 58 by Journalism-Schools.com. Its online Master's Degree in Strategic Communication focuses on skills that can be applied to careers such as event planning, public affairs, social media communication, and crisis communication. Most online courses are held once a week in the early evening (Central Time). The program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, including a capstone project that allows the student to display mastery of his or her new skills. No thesis is required. There are four core courses that cover the areas of writing, research, and digital pathways in strategic communication. The remainder of the curriculum – 15 credit hours – is taken up by five elective courses chosen by the student with assistance from advisors. There are 11 elective courses offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. They include Copywriting, Financial and Budget Fundamentals, and Media Management. Applicants to the master's programs must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0. GRE test scores aren't required.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,785 / $28,726

 

#31 – University of Denver

Master of Arts in Communication Management

Denver, CO
Website

The University of Denver, a private institution, uses a quarterly academic calendar. Its campus is located just south of downtown Denver. The university is ranked No. 49 by Journalism-Schools.com. The university, known as DU, offers an online Master of Arts in Communication Management that has a concentration on communication marketing. Students learn how to create effective marketing campaigns through traditional and digital channels. The program takes a deep dive into market trends such as social media, mobile, email, and search. Online students can complete the program in as few as 18 months. The degree program consists of 12 courses for a total of 45 quarter credit hours. There are three core courses, along with a capstone project or portfolio. The remaining credit hours are electives that can be chosen from the Communication Management program or DU's catalog. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two references.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $49,392

 

#30 – California Baptist University

Master of Arts in Communication

Riverside, CA
Website

California Baptist University is a private, faith-based institution that uses an academic calendar with semester format. It has an urban location just southwest of downtown Riverside, CA. Cal Baptist tied for No. 7 in U.S. News & World Report's list of most innovative schools in the West. The university's Master of Arts in Communication is offered through its CBU Online arm. Online classes start every eight weeks. Three semesters each year allow students to graduate faster. The communication master's program covers 30 required credit hours and can be completed in 12 months. Students learn how to create programs and campaigns for strategic communication, public relations, and media. The straightforward curriculum consists of nine classes and a capstone project. Classes include Media Effects on Communication Behavior, Social Influence and Persuasion, and Communication Ethics. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree and a minimum GPA of 2.75 for unconditional admission, along with a 500-word statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,420

 

#29 – Western New England University

MA in Communication with a Public Relations Concentration

Springfield, MA
Website

Western New England University is located in south-central Maryland, about four miles east of downtown Springfield, MA. It is a private university on a semester calendar. U.S. News & World Report places it at No. 44 on a list of Best Value Schools in the North region. The MA in Communication with a Public Relations Concentration is offered by WNE's College of Arts and Sciences. Students develop strategies for using publicity to enhance an organization's image and to expand its brand. They also learn the tricks of crisis management. WNE's communication master's program consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 15 months if a student is able to take two courses a semester. WNE's Kodiak online classroom system facilitates lectures, discussions, assignments, and communication with professors. Students can begin the program in fall, winter, and spring. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, three completed recommendation forms, and a personal essay of at least 500 words.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,318

 

#28 – University of North Texas

MS in Digital Communication Analytics

Denton, TX
Website

The University of North Texas is a public institution that runs on a semester calendar. Its main campus in Denton, TX, is about 45 miles north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. UNT's accelerated online MS in Digital Communication Analytics is offered through the university's Mayborn School of Journalism. The program is geared toward careers in public relations, marketing, and advertising. Students learn how to locate and analyze data, and to develop effective strategies from the information. Online classes are eight weeks long with five available start dates, providing flexibility for busy students. The master's degree consists of 36 credit hours. There are eight required core courses such as Strategic Social Media and Marketing Metrics for Managers for a total of 24 credit hours. The remaining 12 credit hours are covered by elective courses. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, a personal statement of goals, and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,450 / $12,920

 

#27 – Colorado State University

Master of Communications and Media Management

Denver, CO
Website

Colorado State University, a public institution, uses the semester system. The main campus is located about 65 miles north of Denver. The university is ranked No. 76 by Journalism-Schools.com and No. 140 among all universities by U.S. News & World Report. CSU's Master of Communications and Media Management program is not offered fully online. It's a hybrid program in which students take core courses at the Denver Learning Center, a facility in the city's downtown that's a hub for alumni and professionals. Students meet once a week at the Learning Hub during a semester while taking an elective course online. Electives cover several specialties in the communications field, such as digital video editing, public relations, media ethics, and writing for specialized magazines. The degree curriculum has 30 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree completed with a GPA of at least 3.0 with no GRE scores required. Other requirements include a resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and writing samples.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,214 / $25,040

 

#26 – Loyola University Maryland

MA in Emerging Media

Baltimore, MD
Website

Loyola University Maryland is a private institution located in urban Baltimore. It's a Jesuit school that operates on a semester calendar. It is the No. 5 university in the North region, according to U.S. News & World Report. The online MA in Emerging Media degree program consists of 33 credit hours – nine courses and a capstone project. Students taking a full load of classes can complete the program in 12 months but part-time students will need up to 44 months. Fall and spring semesters have a 14-week schedule, summer sessions are completed over a condensed six-week calendar. The master's program focuses on all the aspects of new media – how to recognize trends, how to develop techniques and strategies, and how to ensure best practices are being followed for social media and other platforms. Students also learn about legal and regulatory issues raised by new media. Application requirements include a resume, two letters of recommendation, and an essay that describes social media's importance in your career and how the master's program will help you achieve your goals.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,460

 

#25 – Quinnipiac University

MS in Interactive Media and Communications

Hamden, CT
Website

Aerial view of York Hill Campus at sunrise

Quinnipiac University is a private institution located in a suburb of New Haven, CT. The university uses a semester calendar. The MS in Interactive Media and Communications degree program is available fully online. The degree is for communications professionals or those who aspire to the field. The program gives students the knowledge to design and manage interactive content. Students learn the principles and best practices of human-centered design. Coursework explores web design and production; digital audio, video, and graphics; social media analytics; and UX and AI. The program has 30 credit hours – nine for core courses and 21 for electives. Elective classes include Motion Across Media, Content Strategy, Visual Storytelling, and Understanding Your Audience. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 must be maintained. A capstone project is required plus there are internships and independent study for credit are available. The program can be wrapped up in 21 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,630

 

#24 – Queens University of Charlotte

Master of Arts in Communication

Charlotte, NC
Website

Queens University of Charlotte is a small, private institution that uses a semester calendar. The urban campus is located just south of downtown Charlotte. The Master of Arts in Communication program combines online coursework about communication theory and strategy with instruction about how to effectively use traditional, digital, and emerging media channels. Online interaction uses Skype conferencing, blogs, instant messaging, and other community tools. There are no on-campus meetings. The degree can be completed in 24 months. The coursework covers 36 credit hours, which includes a capstone project. For an additional three credit hours, students can give the degree a concentration in integrated digital strategy. The concentration allows the student to develop marketable skills in the use of emerging digital media. Degree application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. GRE scores are waived if the undergraduate GPA is at least 3.0.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,608

 

#23 – Northwestern University

Master of Science in Communications

Evanston, IL
Website

Northwestern University, a private university near the shore of Lake Michigan, uses a semester calendar. The university is ranked No. 3 by Journalism-Schools.com and No. 10 among all universities by U.S. News & World Report. Northwestern's Master of Science in Communications program is offered through the School of Communication. It is a hybrid leadership program that combines online coursework – one class at a time – with four on-campus seminars. The program is designed for seasoned professionals who want to take their careers to another level. The seminar topics are Cultural Intelligence and Managing Inclusion; Crisis Communication Management; Leading Collaboration; and Executive Presence and Elegant Communication. There are eight online courses, plus a capstone project. Students receive a comprehensive leadership review that combines the curriculum with personalized career coaching. Degree application requirements include transcripts, information for two recommendations, a resume, and an essay about what the program would add to your career.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $54,120

 

#22 – University of Missouri-Columbia

MA in Online Strategic Communication

Columbia, MO
Website

The University of Missouri-Columbia is a public institution that uses a semester calendar. The Columbia campus is located 124 miles west of St. Louis and 126 miles east of Kansas City. The university is ranked No. 71 by Journalism-Schools.com. The MA in Online Strategic Communication program is offered through the School of Journalism. It emphasizes theory and research and is based on five principles: technology, building relationships, global/multicultural perspectives, strategic planning, and a skills toolbox. The degree program consists of 37 credit hours. Ten to 12 credits go to four core courses. Seven courses in strategic communication take up 15-17 hours. Classes include Public Relations, Digital Strategy, and Changing Media Business Models. The remaining 10 hours are for a capstone project or thesis. Application requirements include transcripts, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and three brief statements describing your professional and academic background, including the reasons you want to join the Missouri program and your approach to researching a selected topic.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,822 / $24,156

 

#21 – Syracuse University

Online Master's in Communications

Syracuse, NY
Website

Syracuse University is a private institution located in central Syracuse, NY. It uses a semester system. Syracuse is tied for #53 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities. It is ranked #21 by Journalism-Schools.com. The hybrid Master's in Communications is offered through the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Online coursework includes video case studies and question-and-answer sessions that are available at any time on desktop, laptop or mobile devices. There also are two weekend-long in-person immersions that take place on the Syracuse campus and at selected U.S. and international locations. Students develop hands-on skills and meet peers, faculty, and communication industry leaders. The degree program can be finished in as few as 15 months. The program starts with five core courses that cover areas such as media law and multimedia storytelling. Four specialization courses dive into public relations, advertising, or journalism innovation. A capstone project completes the degree program. Graduates join a network of 26,000 alumni of Newhouse, one of the most highly regarded communications schools in the country. Application requirements include transcripts, a resume, three recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and a video interview.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $37,416

 

#20 – Arizona State University

Online Master of Arts in Communication

Tempe, AZ
Website

Arizona State University is a public institution located about ten miles east of Phoenix. It uses a semester system. The university is ranked No. 59 by Journalism-Schools.com and is listed No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report among Most Innovative Schools. The Online Master of Arts in Communication is offered through ASU Online and the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. The program teaches workplace communication, global communication, conflict management, persuasion, and social influence. There are 30 total credit hours, including three core courses for everyone. Students then choose six of eight available courses ranging from Communication and Gender, to Social Media and Persuasion. The final piece of the program is a capstone project in which students demonstrate their acquired skills. There are three admission deadlines in the calendar year in December, May, and August. Applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better in their final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Other requirements include a resume and personal statement.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,406 / $25,160

 

#19 – American University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

Washington, DC
Website

American University is located just a few miles from the U.S. Capitol. The private university uses a semester calendar. It is ranked No. 37 by Journalism-Schools.com. U.S. News & World Report places it at No. 78 among the nation's universities. The university offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication that is fully online. There are 30 credit hours, and the degree can be completed in one year. The degree program feeds off of U.S. politics by designing a curriculum that will help graduates thrive in a competitive market. The program has four areas of concentration: Digital Strategies and Analytics; Public Diplomacy and Global Affairs; Advocacy and Social Impact; and Corporate Communications and Reputation Management. Previous academic work in communications or a professional resume in the field isn't required for acceptance into the program, but a required essay in the application process must show a strong desire to succeed in the field. Other application requirements include two recommendation letters and a resume, in addition to a bachelor's degree that includes a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of coursework.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,744

 

#18 – Texas Tech University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation

Lubbock, TX
Website

Texas Tech University uses a semester calendar. The public university's main campus is located about 315 miles west of Dallas-Forth Worth. Texas Tech is ranked No. 66 by Journalism-Schools.com. Its Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation degree is offered through its eLearning and Academic Partnerships program and the School of Media & Communication. It is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the industry. The degree consists of 30 credit hours of coursework. There are seven required courses, plus three electives chosen from a list of six classes. Electives include Production of Digital Media Content, Digital Media Storytelling, and Interpersonal Communication. A capstone project complete the degree requirements. All applicants to the degree must have maintained a 3.0 GPA in the last 90 credit hours of coursework. They also must provide transcripts and a two-page statement expressing interest in the program and a communications career.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,832 / $13,302

 

#17 – University of Alabama

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Tuscaloosa, AL
Website

The University of Alabama is ranked No. 55 by Journalism-Schools.com and No. 80 by U.S. News & World Report on its list of Best Value Schools. A public institution, Alabama operates on a semester system. Its Master of Arts in Communication Studies degree is offered fully online by the Bama By Distance program. The degree specializes in organizational leadership – the dynamics of negotiation, discussion, and persuasion. The degree calls for 30 credit hours and the coursework can be completed in two years. There are four specialized courses in organizational leadership, four core communications courses, one course in research methods, and a choice between a capstone project or a comprehensive exam. Applications are accepted at any time. Application requirements include GRE scores, plus undergraduate coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 over the past 60 credit hours. Other requirements include transcripts, three academic references, and a brief essay that describes goals and motivations.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,780 / $29,230

 

#16 – Michigan State University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

East Lansing, MI
Website

Michigan State University, a public institution, uses a semester calendar. U.S. News & World Reports ranks Michigan State No. 85 among all universities and No. 49 among Best Colleges for Veterans. The university is ranked No. 41 by Journalism-Schools.com. The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication degree is offered by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The degree focuses on sharpening digital communication skills for roles in public relations, advertising, and other media roles. The degree calls for 30 credit hours of coursework. This includes five core courses and five electives chosen from among nine communications classes. Courses include Digital Media Strategies, Audience Analytics, and Catalyst Thinking in the C-Suite. Application requirements include a one-page description of the student's academic path and goals, a one-page personal statement, transcripts, a resume, and email contact information for three references. Faculty are looking for exemplary academic skills, experience with technology in an academic setting, and professional goals that align with the program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,132 / $35,628

#15 – Ball State University

Master of Arts in Journalism

Muncie, IN
Website

Ball State University, a public institution about 60 miles from Indianapolis, has a semester academic calendar. U.S. News & World Report ranks Ball State No. 91 on its list of Top Public Schools. Ball State's Master of Arts in Journalism is aimed at professionals in the field who want to jump-start their career, along with reporters who want to add a keen knowledge of media analytics to their toolbox. All of the degree courses can be done online. Students use connectivity tools such as discussion boards, file sharing, journals, and wikis. The program has 36 credit hours and two specializations: Reporting and Storytelling or Media Analytics and Management. There are three core classes for all degree students, plus a capstone project. Online students interested in media analytics can join Cardinal Metrics, a student-operated agency based on campus. Basic application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree that features a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the second half of undergraduate work.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,730 / $21,666

 

#14 – Marist College

Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication

Dutchess County, NY
Website

Marist College is located along the Potomac River in a suburban part of New York state's 23rd largest city. U.S. News & World Report ranks Marist No. 8 among colleges in the North region. Marist's Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication is offered fully online through the university's School of Communication and the Arts. The degree is aimed at giving aspiring or current marketing professionals the skills to develop and manage power brand messages on traditional and digital channels. It can be completed in six semesters. Most students in the degree program enroll in a total of four courses for fall and spring semesters. The degree has a total of 30 credit hours – 10 courses that include a capstone project. All are available online in an asynchronous format to provide flexibility for the student. Application requirements include transcripts, a resume, three recommendation letters, and a statement that outlines personal objectives and plans for how the master's degree will be used.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,400

 

#13 – West Virginia University

Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications

Morgantown, WV
Website

The Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications degree is offered through Western Virginia University's Reed College of Media. West Virginia is a public university that runs on a semester calendar. The degree program consists of ten classes totaling 30 credit hours. The university says it places a premium on always updating its coursework with practical information that graduates can immediately plug into a career in advertising, social media, public relations, and other communications fields. A unique aspect of the degree program is its accelerated, eight-week classes. The academic year has five terms: fall and spring semesters that are essentially split in two, plus a summer session. The program starts with an introductory course, followed by three core classes, three electives, and two courses in a communications specialty. A capstone program completes the program. Admission requirements include a resume and a statement of 300-500 words that describes your career goals and interest in the West Virginia program. Letters of recommendation and GRE scores are optional.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,990 / $25,776

 

#12 – East Carolina University

Master of Arts in Communication

Greenville, NC
Website

East Carolina University's Master of Arts in Communication targets a specific field: healthcare. Coursework prepares graduates for internal communication in the health industry, and for dealing with the media. East Carolina is a public university on a semester system. The campus is located about 80 miles east of Raleigh, NC. This master's consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed with or without a thesis. The degree is fully available online, where various methods are used to connect students and instructors, including discussion forums, group messaging, and live chats. There are two basic courses for six credit hours, then four electives chosen from nine available communications courses, for 12 hours. Topics include Interpersonal Health Communication, Family Communication and Health, and Media and Health Communication. The remaining credit hours are taken by targeted upper-division electives at the university and, if the student chooses, a thesis. Requirements to apply for the degree include an approved bachelor's degree, a resume or curriculum vitae, an essay of no more than 750 words stating your reasons for applying, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,749 / $17,898

 

#11 – Webster University

Master of Arts in Communications Management

Webster Groves, MO
Website

 

Webster University is a small, private school located in suburban St. Louis. It uses a semester calendar. Webster is ranked No. 79 by Journalism-Schools.com. U.S. News & World Report ranks Webster No. 23 among universities in the Midwest. Its Master of Arts in Communications Management is for people with a rigorous academic background who want a leadership role in the communications field, or for communications professionals who are ready to take their careers to another level. Students who want to enter the degree program might be required to take six credit hours of prerequisite classes and complete those courses with a 3.0 GPA or better. The degree consists of 36 credit hours that can be taken fully online. There are 21 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives. Applicants to the degree must have a bachelor's degree that meets Webster's standards and that was earned with at least a 2.5 GPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,500

 

#10 – Florida International University

Master of Science in Global Strategic Communications

Miami, FL
Website

florida-international-university-online-ms-in-mass-communication-global-strategic-communications

The Master of Science in Global Strategic Communications is offered through Florida International University's College of Communication, Architecture & the Arts. Degree coursework is done fully online in FIU's semester calendar. The degree prepares students with an international audience in mind. The program can be wrapped up in one year, giving graduates opportunities for leadership in advertising, public communications, and numerous other roles in the field. The degree also can be earned with a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building. The degree program is broken up in two eight-week terms. Students take four courses a term, which is the same as two courses per semester. There are five core courses. Electives include Communication for Change Management, Fundamentals of Conflict Resolution, and Media Planning. Application requirements include transcripts from a bachelor's degree approved by FIU and have been completed with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, GRE scores, an essay that describes background and goals, and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,912 / $21,393

 

#9 – Mississippi College

Master of Science in Integrated Communication-General

Clinton, MS
Website

Mississippi College, a suburban campus about 15 miles from Jackson, MS, offers a Masters of Science in Integrated Communication-General. In short, this degree incorporates all aspects of communications instruction. It is described as the most flexible graduate degree available in Mississippi College's Communications Department. MC is a private, Christian-based institution that uses a semester calendar. This fully online degree has 31 credit hours. There are five core classes for 15 hours, along with a one-credit convocation paper. Recommended courses for the 15 credit hours of electives include Communications Law, Intercultural Communication, and Negotiation. Master's students must keep a coursework GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing with the college. Applicants to the master's degree must have a bachelor's degree in hand, along with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all undergraduate work. An applicant can be admitted provisionally if the GPA is lower than 2.5 but higher than 2.25.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,962

 

#8 – Liberty University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

Lynchburg, VA
Website

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is offered by the School of Communication and Digital Content at Liberty University, a Christian-based institution that uses a semester-based academic calendar. The degree's primary focus is positioning graduates into leadership roles in the creation and implementation of marketing programs and business briefs. Liberty says its status as a nonprofit university allows it to keep tuition relatively low. Students who are veterans receive a discount of $275 per credit hour. The online master's program requires 33 credit hours of coursework and can be completed in a year and a half, though many students take two years. There are 11 three-credit courses. Subjects include Transmedia Storytelling; Video, Social and Mobile Production; and Strategic Organizational Communication. The university's online program helps students set up their computers and phones for the necessary connections. The program uses Blackboard for some instruction. Degree application requirements include an accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of least 2.5.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,904

 

#7 – University of Southern California

Master of Communication Management

Los Angeles, CA
Website

The Master of Communication Management degree at the University of Southern California is offered through USC's highly regarded Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. USC is a private university that runs on a semester calendar. USC is No. 22 on U.S. News & World Report's list of all universities. It also is ranked No. 4 by Journalism-Schools.com. Students merge research and real-world applications in communication. Upon graduation, they can plug into a network of more than 15,000 Annenberg alumni. The online Master of Communication Management program has 32 credit hours that include a capstone experience. The coursework is usually composed of eight classes and is designed to match what's needed by communications professionals to take the next step in their careers. Course descriptions include Audience Analysis, Uses of Communication Research, and Communication in Work Settings. Application requirements include transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,712

 

#6 – Purdue University

Master of Science in Communication

West Lafayette, IN
Website

The Master of Science in Communication degree program at Purdue University is aimed at professionals in the field who want to take their careers to another level and sharpen their skills in strategic communication. Purdue, a public university, runs on a semester calendar. It is ranked No. 56 among all universities by U.S. News & World Report. Purdue also is ranked No. 48 by Journalism-Schools.com. The degree program is available fully online. Students can choose one of two concentrations: Strategic Communication and Public Relations or Integrated Communication and Advertising. Students also can create a custom concentration based on their background and goals. The degree can be completed in 20 months and consists of ten courses. Three classes can be tied to a chosen concentration. Course descriptions include Persuasive Communication; Financial and Investor Relations; and Survey Design, Analysis and Reporting. Application requirements include an approved bachelor's degree, a resume, a personal statement of 300-500 words, and three letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,208 / $28,010

 

#5 – Johns Hopkins University

Master of Arts in Communication

Baltimore, MD
Website

The Master of Arts in Communication is offered through Johns Hopkins' Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences. The university is ranked No. 10 among all universities by U.S. News & World Report and No. 6 by Journalism-Schools.com. The degree program focuses on providing up-to-date, practical applications to the communication leadership roles, and creating an impressive portfolio of work. Johns Hopkins is a private university with a semester calendar. There are several concentrations in the master's degree, including Communication in Politics, Health, and Corporate/Nonprofit Organizations, along with Public Relations and Applied Research. The degree comprises ten courses that can take a year to two years to complete. The program is available fully online through Blackboard, but students can combine online coursework with on-campus classes. Applicants need an approved bachelor's degree, along with solid writing abilities and a background of relevant coursework or experience. An essay of purpose, along with contact information for two references, also are required.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,740

 

#4 – Northeastern University

Master of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Boston, MA
Website

Northeastern University's Master of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication Degree is offered by the university's College of Professional Studies. An urban campus on a semester system, Northeastern is No. 44 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities. Northeastern also is ranked No. 11 by Journalism-Schools.com. As the degree's title implies, this master's program focuses on communication in and around the workplace, where your audience can be a colleague, customer, client, or investor. There are six concentrations, led by social media, cross-cultural communications, as well as public and media relations. The degree, available fully online, is a 15-course program with six core courses and a capstone project. Elective course titles include Prototyping; Personal Branding; as well as Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation. Degree application requirements include transcripts, a resume, and a statement of 500 to 1,000 words about academic goals. Professionals with an Accreditation in Public Relations can qualify for nine transfer credit hours.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,027

 

#3 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication

Champaign, IL
Website

The Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offered by the College of Business and College of Media. Illinois is No. 46 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities. It also is ranked No. 33 by Journalism-Schools.com. A public institution, Illinois runs on a semester system. The master's program is offered fully online and can be completed in 15 months. It is offered through a partnership between the university's Department of Business Administration and the Sandage Department of Advertising. It is designed for professionals that want to raise their game as communicators. Students learn how to create and drive effective brand messaging through traditional and emerging channels. They also sharpen and strengthen management and leadership abilities. The degree has 32 hours of coursework, all of which must be completed with a GPA of at least 2.75. There are 11 classes and a capstone project. Application requirements include an essay on a topic chosen by the university, along with three letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,068 / $28,221

 

#2 – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Master of Arts in Digital Communication

Chapel Hill, NC
Website

The Master of Arts in Digital Communication is offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism. North Carolina is No. 30 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities. It also is ranked No. 10 by Journalism-Schools.com. North Carolina is a public school on a semester system. The master's degree curriculum is a 30 credit hour hybrid. It is designed for busy professionals who want to take the next step in their career by learning about the latest trends in digital communication. There are nine online courses that are taken in the span of two years – two classes each semester, along with one in the summer. The coursework is designed to be taken in a specific order. There are two on-campus components – a two-day orientation to start the program, then a five-day residency the following May. Class titles include Writing for Digital Media, Information Visualization, and New Media and Society. Application requirements include at least three years of professional experience in communications, along with a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,243 / $27,454

 

#1 – Columbia University in the City of New York

Executive Master of Science in Strategic Communication

New York City, NY
Website

Columbia University in New York City, home of the Pulitzer Prizes, is ranked No. 3 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities. Columbia also is ranked No. 1 by Journalism-Schools.com. It's a private university that runs on a semester system. This program has 36 credit hours. Classes begin each fall and must be completed in 16 months. The program is designed for seasoned professionals with at least six years in the communications industry, or business leaders for which sending a clear message is a critical part of the job. All coursework must be passed with a GPA of 3.0 or better. The degree program is a hybrid combination of online coursework and weekend sessions on campus. About 20 to 25 hours of online coursework a week is normal. Class titles include Principles in Persuasion, the Reflective Leader, as well as Digital Media and Analytics. There are five slots for elective courses suited to professional goals. A capstone project completes the program. Application requirements include completed undergraduate work with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, a statement of purpose, an additional essay, and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $46,216