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online communications program
Top rated programs
Online Communications Master’s Degree Programs
Careers & Salaries
Careers & Salaries
Communications Associations
Accredited Online Communications Masters Programs
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Affordable Programs List
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Best Programs List

Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Communications

online communications program

Online communications master’s degree programs prepare graduates for leadership roles in in the diverse communications field.  Master’s in communication students can specialize in marketing communications, journalism, public relations, academia, advertising, and social media.  According to the U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics (BLS), the nationwide employment in media and communications occupations is projected to grow six percent, from 2016 to 2026, generating 43,200 new jobs. 

Top-Rated Online Master’s in Communications Programs for 2020

The best-rated online Master of Communication degree programs deliver a top-notch, 100 percent online education with specializations in the field.  Ratings should also evaluate the program’s flexibility, online support, length of program, accreditation and tuition. Tuition can vary dramatically based on whether the university is a public or private institution and whether grad students attend classes on a full- or part-time basis.  Tuition and fees are lower for in-state students than those for students hailing from out of state.  The total tuition cost for schools on our list range from $11,000 to $64,000. Common admissions requirements include the completion of a baccalaureate degree and professional communications experience. Master’s students should be prepared to submit two to three recommendation letters from professors, employers or coworkers. Here are the best online Master’s in Communications programs for 2020:


Q&A: Online Communications Master’s Degree Programs & Career Opportunities 

Are there specialized jobs available to communications graduates?

In addition to the careers identified above, communications specialists can be well-suited for roles in print, broadcast, and digital journalism.  Depending upon your specialization, there are jobs in public diplomacy, communications consulting, translation, corporate event planning, brand managers, and human resource experts.

Is financial aid available for online communication master’s students?

There are loans, grants and scholarships for graduate students from the federal or state government, communications associations and employers.  In addition, many universities and communication departments offer institutional grants, scholarships and tuition waivers.  They may be based on financial need, academic excellence or a combination of both.  Universities require aid aspirants to begin their aid application at the Department of Education’s online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).  Learn more about Federal Aid for Graduate students.

Read more about Financial Aid here.

How long will it take communication master’s students to complete the degree?

Evaluate each online master’s degree program on your short list.  Average time to completion is two years for full-time students and three years for those attending on a part-time basis. Be sure to note any additional credits that are required for adding specializations.

Are there scholarships for graduate students in communications?

Yes. Below are several communication scholarships grad students can apply for:

Are there job search sites that list leadership roles in communications?

Here are some current communications listings at major employment websites or dedicated organizations:


Specialized Careers and Salaries for Communications Master’s Graduates

An online communications master’s programs prepare graduates to undertake rules in reporting and editing, broadcasting, public relations, digital media and technical writing.  Graduates can also take on college teaching jobs in their field.  The following are some career-field options, along with annual median pay as reported by the BLS,  communication master’s graduates are qualified for:

Resources for Online Communications Master’s Students

Communications master’s students benefit from memberships in professional organizations and associations.  Members of these associations find opportunities for exploring careers, undertaking ongoing education, and a network of industry professionals. Some host conferences, offer scholarships, career certifications, and advanced training across the disciplines.  The following list provides links to these supportive organizations:

Communications Associations

Social Media Association (SMA): In this era of ever-advancing communication options, the SMA helps its members to update their skills to take advantage of best practices in social media.  Members participate in association events and have access to a contemporary blog of social media news.

American Communications Association (ACA): The ACA is a not-for-profit virtual professional association with actual presence in the world of Communication scholars and practitioners. ACA is committed to enabling the effective use of new and evolving technologies to facilitate Communication instruction, research and criticism, and to offering a technologically supportive venue for all who study the ways in which humans communicate. While the association is based in the U.S., it is a virtual organization that welcomes participation from academics and professionals throughout the world.

Society for Editing:  Members of the society include editing professionals, educators, and post-secondary students. It establishes standards of editorial excellence and networking opportunities for editors employed in journalism, business and government.

National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA): The NSPRA works to assure that university degree programs provide students with the necessary career skills in the planning and execution of public relations initiatives.

Association for Women in Communications (AWC):  All disinclines in communication are supported by this national network for women professionals who work in Communications is open to all disciplines.  AWC provides scholarships and supports educational research.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA):  The world’s largest society of public relations professionals, the PRSA assists its members in professional development. More than 10,000 members are affiliated with universities.

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC):  IABC membership is open to professionals who work in the business communication field.  It offers its members access to educational resources, a business communications library certification and an online journal.

The American Marketing Association (AMA): The American Marketing Association offers members access to resources for developing best marketing practices along with cutting-edge initiatives. The group pairs academic members with professional marketers to provide continuing education in the professions.

Licensing and Certifications for Communication Graduates

Certifications for Business Communicators. The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), a team of Communication professionals assembled by IABC’s international executive board, has developed two certifications: The Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification and the Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certification.

The Public Relations Society of America. For communication experts focused on public relations, the Public Relations Society of America offers three types of certification:

  • Accreditation in Public Relations (APR): designed for the experienced public relations professionals.
  • Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication: for people interested in civilian or military positions in military Communications.
  • Certificate in Principles of Public Relations: for seniors in and recent graduates of university Communication programs.

Read more about Accreditation here.

The International Association of Business Communicators.  IABC offers two forms of certification in business Communications: Communication Management Professional Certification Communication Management Professional (CMP). For generalist, specialist and other business communicators established in their careers as managers and looking to demonstrate their competence.

Certified Journalist Institute. The Certified Journalist Institute and the Global Academy of Finance and Management awards certifications that can boost your qualifications for employment.  In institute offers certifications including the CPS Certified Political Scientist, CPJ Certified in Political Journalism, CIR Certified Investigative Reporter, the CFR Certified Financial Reporter, and the CTJ Certified Technology Journalist.

American Medical Writers Association. The Medical Writing Certification Commission (MWCC), in collaboration with the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), has developed the Medical Writer Certified (MWC) credential that defines the scope of medical writing practice and distinguishes individuals in the field.  The MWC credentialing program is a rigorous, exam-based professional certification.  Professionals who hold this credential have demonstrated their understanding of medical writing core competencies.


Media and Communications
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Cost of a Master’s Degree: 8 Drivers Within Your Control
Franklin University


Accredited Online Communications Masters Programs and Colleges

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
Walden University
100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515
Lasell College Graduate & Professional Studies
1844 Commonwealth Ave. | Newton, MA 02466
per credit
Spring Arbour University
106 E Main St, Spring Arbor, MI 49283
$10,325 54.2%
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242  
$9,693 70%
Purdue University
610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907
$10,002 73%
Gonzanga University
502 E Boone Ave, Spokane, WA 99258    

Affordable Online Communications Masters Programs and Colleges

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
Arizona State University
Tempe , AZ
Southern New Hampshire University Online
2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106
Queens University of Charlotte
1900 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28207
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311460 Denton, TX 762037 USA
$14,021.00 51.5%
Brenau University
500 Washington St SE, Gainesville, GA 30501  
$12,730 37.2%
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY    
John Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21218

Best Online Communications Masters Programs and Colleges

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
East Carolina University
E 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007
Sam Houston State University
1905 University Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340
Westminster College
Salt Lake City, Utah
Notre Dame of Maryland University
4701 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210  
University of Central Missouri
108 W South St, Warrensburg, MO 64093
St Bonaventure University
3261 W State St, St Bonaventure, NY 14778  
Eastern New Mexico University
1500 S Avenue K, Portales, NM 88130

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