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online communications program
Introduction
Best Programs List
Best Programs
Affordable Programs List
Most Affordable Programs
Accredited Online Communications Masters Programs
Program Details
Communications Associations
How to Pay?
Online Communications Master’s Degree Programs
FAQs
Careers & Salaries
Careers & Salaries
Accredited Online Communications Masters Programs
Certifications & Licensing
Communications Associations
Additional Resources

Online Masters in Communication

online communications program

Online Masters in Communication 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. 

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Best Online Masters in Communication

The best-rated online Master of Communication degree programs deliver a top-notch, 100 percent online education with specializations in the field. The factors that go into determining which programs are the best, include – program’s flexibility, online support, length of program, accreditation and tuition. Considering all these factors, Here are the Best Online Master’s in Communications programs for 2020:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599

$10,55291%
#2
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#3
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$14,99785%
#4
Purdue University
Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
$9,20882%
#5
Marist College
3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
$15,30084%
#6
Gonzaga University
E 502 Boone Ave, Spokane, Washington 99258
$16,67285%
#7
Syracuse University
900 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, New York 13244
$38,880 83%
#8
Columbia University
West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
$47,60095%
#9
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$55,350 93%
#10
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
$18,85881%
#11
University of Missouri, Columbia
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
$9,26471%
#12
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#13
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
(blended)
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#14
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016
$30,35179%
#15
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80208
$51,33677%
#16
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
(blended)
02 Administration Building, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
$10,52070%
#17
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79409
$5,95861%
#18
West Virginia University
PO Box 6201, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506

$10,13461%
#19
Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, Mississippi 39058
$11,25057%
#20
Washington State University
French Administration Building, Pullman, Washington 99164
$11,49360%
#21
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
$15,55257%
#22
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
$8,91263%
#23
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
$35,18169%
#24
South Dakota State University
1015 Campanile Avenue, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,08356%
#25
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
$7,98047%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Affordable Online Masters in Communication

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. Here are the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Communications programs for 2020:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
East Carolina University
East 5th Street, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
$4,74966%
#2
Missouri State University
901 S National Avenue, Springfield, Missouri 65897
$5,20256%
#3
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79409
$5,95861%
#4
Minnesota State University
South Rd and Ellis Ave, Mankato, Minnesota 56001
$7,69450%
#5
Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main St, Spring Arbor, Michigan 49283
$7,88659%
#6
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
$7,98047%
#7
South Dakota State University
1015 Campanile Avenue, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,08356%
#8
Concordia University, St. Paul
1282 Concordia Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
$8,550 51%
#9
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
$8,91263%
#10
Purdue University
Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
$9,208 82%
#11
University of Missouri, Columbia
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
$9,26471%
#12
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#13
West Virginia University
PO Box 6201, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
$10,13461%
#14
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
(blended)
02 Administration Building, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
$10,52070%
#15
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
$10,55291%
#16
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#17
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
(blended)
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#18
Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, Mississippi 39058
$11,25057%
#19
Washington State University
French Administration Building, Pullman, Washington 99164

$11,49360%
#20
Queens University of Charlotte
1900 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, North Carolina 28274
$13,82459%
#21
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$14,99785%
#22
Marist College
3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
$15,30084%
#23
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
$15,55257%
#24
Gonzaga University
E 502 Boone Ave, Spokane, Washington 99258
$16,67285%
#25
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
$18,85881%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding Online Masters in Communication Progams

Before you choose to apply and get admitted into an Online Masters in Communication Program, it is essential to understand the programs in depth. In this section, we will walk you through all aspects of graduate programs in communication, including specializations, accreditation, timelines, etc.

Specializations

Health Communication
Strategic Communication
Public Relations
Political Communication
Organizational and Corporate Communication
Media, Mass Communication and Journalism
Technical Communication


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.


Accreditation for Communications Degrees

Accreditation is very important when choosing a masters degree. It becomes even more important for online master’s in communication. With so many online programs available, how can we be sure about the quality of the program? We can be confident about the quality if the online masters in communication are accredited by independent organizations such as The American Communication Association (ACA), Accrediting Council of Education in Journal, and Mass Communication (ACEJM). Many programs are accredited by national accrediting associations or regional accrediting bodies. Read more about accreditation in the Best Accreditation Guide.


Admission Requirements

The admission requirements vary from university to university. The requirements also depend on the applicant’s background, undergraduate degree, professional experience, etc. But the Common admissions requirements include:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree
  • Professional communications experience.
  • Master’s students should be prepared to submit two to three recommendation letters from professors, employers or coworkers.
  • GRE test scores
  • Undergraduate degree transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose

It is important to know that a lot of the above requirements may not apply to many programs and/or can be waived depending on the school that is offering the program.


Curriculum

The curriculum and courses vary from university to university and the specialization that the university offers as part of its online masters in communication program. But most universities divide the masters in communication program into three areas – 1) Core Courses, 2) Elective Courses 3) Capstone Courses. Here are some courses you can anticipate in your online masters in communication program:

  • Strategic Communication
  • Leadership in Communication
  • Internet Impact and Policy
  • Branding
  • Digital Communication Techniques
  • Ethics in Communication
  • Crisis Communication
  • Media Literacy
  • Visual Data Communication
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Online Masters in Communication No GRE 

Most universities’ admission requirement for online masters in communications includes a GRE score. However, some universties do not need a GRE for admission. Here are some online masters in communication no GRE programs:

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How to Pay for Online Masters In Communication Degrees? 

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 for online masters programs on the best financial guide.


Scholarships for graduate students in communications?

Below are several communication scholarships grad students can apply for:

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FAQs about Online Masters in Communication 

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.

Can you get a Masters in Communications?

Yes, there are plenty of universities that offer Masters in Communication degrees. Here is a list of the best online masters in communications programs.

What is a Masters in Communication?

A Masters in Communication is a graduate level degree that prepares students towards leadership roles in the areas of public relations, marketing, media relations, branding etc.

Should I get a Masters in Communication?

Yes, you should. If you want to take advantage of the lucrative career field in the communications, you should get a masters in communication. There are many career titles and upward mobility opportunities that you will qualify for, with a masters in communication degree.

Is a Masters in Communications worth it?

Yes, a masters in communications is totally worth it. According to BLS, the people working as public relations specialists an expect a media wage of $61,150/year and the job outlook is 7%, which is higher than average. And to make your candidature stand out for such roles, masters in communication helps.

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Careers And Salaries for Masters in Communication 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:

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

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Certifications and Licensing for Masters in Communication Students

Getting an masters degree in communication will certainly enhance careers. But when coupled it with certifications and some licenses, it will most certainly put your candidatures for career growth opportunities, ahead of competition. The following certifications and licensing list provides you with details:

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.

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.

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Additional Resources Online Masters in Communication 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.


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