35 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES IN COMMUNICATION

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35 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES IN COMMUNICATION

Those who have studied Communication are desired for their understanding of how to apply critical analysis into innovative, creative, and stimulating projects and solutions. Graduate programs in Communication recognize the importance of these skills and take students even further. 

Communication is a diverse and ever-changing field, and it’s important that those aspiring professionals in its related industries are as prepared as possible. Many students who earn their undergraduate degree in Communication return to school and work towards a Master’s degree, as it’s a strong way to ensure that one will continue to receive opportunities for career growth.

In an ever-changing global society, many industries rely on the skills and knowledge of those from Communication backgrounds and are looking to hire those with the highest credentials and most experience. Those who have studied Communication are desired for their understanding of how to apply thought and research into innovative and creative projects.

Graduate programs in Communications also recognize the value of these skills and look to build off of the undergraduate-level education to prepare candidates with a holistic and dynamic understanding of the field and its prior theories and subsequent research methods. Finding an online Master’s in Communication program is not that difficult either, as many prospective students are already employed in the professional field and need a curriculum that is flexible and accommodating. With this in mind, many universities offer fully-online programs or programs that take place mostly online with minimal on-campus experience. Graduate-level capstones and dissertations are also the perfect final projects to have completed right before entering the professional field. Capstones showcase a student’s culminated knowledge of the field and relevant skills.

Earning a Master’s degree in Communication is a good option for those who want to transition into the professional field as competitive candidates or those who are looking to return post-graduation, ready for promotions and higher-level careers.

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one’s higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Here are the 35 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Communication for 2020!
Rank School Location
1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
3 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
4 Columbia University New York City, NY
5 Northeastern University Boston, MA
6 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
7 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
8 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
9 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
10 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
Advertisement BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a fully online program that can be completed in only 15 months. Consisting of 32 credits, the curriculum is designed to equip working professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to push forward in their field. Students will become well-versed in many aspects of global and media-centered societies. Sixteen credits are taught by faculty in advertising and media, while the remaining 16 are taught by those in business administration. The capstone provides the platform for students to combine their newfound interdisciplinary knowledge in a project showcasing their developed skills.

  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of North Carolina designed their online Master of Arts in Digital Communication specifically for working communications professionals who would benefit from a flexible and accessible program. The degree from UNC has consistently ranked as one of the top online MA in Communication programs. The program gives those in the field the tools necessary to enter into leadership roles or other forms of career growth in their industry. The curriculum is made up of nine courses and a semester-long comprehensive project, all taking place over two years. There are two required residencies: an on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program, and a week-long summer term residency after completion of the first year.

  3. Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Purdue University's Master of Science in Communication equips students with an understanding of both qualitative and quantitative communication methodologies, preparing them for success in all aspects of the field. The program is entirely online and flexible in schedule, as 86% of students in the program work full-time. Students may choose from two concentration areas: Strategic Communication/Public Relations, or Integrated Communication and Advertising. The degree takes 20 months to complete, with courses covering ethics, research methods, crisis communication, public relations, and more. Students have the ability to design a curriculum that best suits their interests, which can consist of only three core courses as well as seven electives.

  4. Columbia University
    Location

    New York City, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia University's Master of Science in Strategic Communication is a 36-credit program that most students complete on a part-time schedule. While a good majority of the program is completed online, there are required in-person intensive study and weekend sessions required of all students. The program is rigorous, preparing students with knowledge on both classical and modern approaches to communication as well as how to apply them to real-world scenarios. The program must be completed within 16 months to be awarded a degree and it must be completed with a 3.0 GPA or better. All students complete a capstone project prior to graduation.

  5. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master's of Corporate & Organizational Communication from Northeastern University offers students six concentration areas: Public and Media Relations, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Social Media, just to name a few. The program is designed to prepare students with the tools necessary to craft and deliver messages through digital media and other platforms, with the goal of influencing attitudes of internal and external audiences. Graduates will be well-versed in field research and theories and will be able to apply those concepts to lead successful real-world projects. Students complete a core curriculum, consisting of courses like Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication and Intercultural Communication. Prior to graduation, students also complete a capstone project.

  6. Arizona State University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Arizona State University's Master of Arts in Communication is designed specifically for business and nonprofit professionals looking to increase their skill level in preparation for further career growth and opportunity. The 30-credit program is made up of ten courses that last seven-and-a-half weeks each, all of which can be completed online. Core topics include conflict management, persuasion and social influence, global communication, and development. Certificates are available in Conflict Management and/or Civil Dialogue. Graduates may go onto careers as corporate managers, human resource specialists, marketing managers, public relations specialists, and more. Applicants must have earned at least a 3.0 in their undergraduate studies.

  7. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University is offered entirely online, consisting of 30 total credits and only ten courses that can be completed in only a year and a half. However, students may take courses part-time as well, as the program is designed with working professionals in mind. Those already in the field benefit from learning how to apply foundational knowledge and analysis in practice, yielding successful results in the professional field. With over 25 available elective options, students are guaranteed to have a degree tailor-fit to their specific interests. Applicants are accepted on a case-by-case basis, where the years of relevant professional experience, personal statements, and academic records are considered.

  8. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins University uses practical and applied knowledge to prepare graduates for successfully using their earned skills to offer informed solutions in the many professional communication-based settings. Students may choose to concentrate in Public and Media Relations, Political Communications, Health Comm., Digital Comm., Corporate/Non-Profit Comm., and Applied Research in Communication. The core courses equip students with an understanding of primary research, and later courses offer the knowledge of how to implement that research and technique. The degree often takes about two years to complete and can be earned entirely online.

  9. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    East Carolina University's Master of Arts in Communication with an emphasis on Health Communication is designed to prepare students for careers in the field or professional-level programs post-graduation. The 30-credit program consists of only two required courses: Communication Theory as well as Research Methods. From there, students take electives that fulfill their particular interests in the field. This may include Media and Health Communication, Family Communication and Health, or Intercultural Health Communication. The program's curriculum is dedicated to giving students the knowledge and tools necessary to combat health issues today through a lens informed by communications. All students have the option of completing a thesis, but if they opt out they'll take comprehensive exams.

  10. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Communication Management from the University of Southern California is an online program that equips students with the tools to combine theory and research into real-world professional success. Students may enter the program at varying levels in their professional careers. The curriculum is grounded in evidence-based decision-making, teaching students how to think critically in a data and analytics-centered setting. Faculty in the school have both undergone extensive academic training themselves and have had professional experience in the field. Because faculty come from well-qualified backgrounds, students are guaranteed to hear examples of how to implement communication theory and research into their own lives.

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