An online Master of Arts in Communication Studies with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from The University of Alabama can help you develop a deep understanding of the theory and strategy behind impactful, decisive communication.
With a keen interest in general communications, and a passion for higher education and teaching, a master's in communication studies may be the graduate-level degree option for you. Many schools offer this master's degree, which gives students a broad foundation in high-level communication theories and practices. In fact, some students in this field choose to go on to earn doctoral degrees and/or teach in the discipline. In any event, choosing a school with a quality online master's in communication studies program is of paramount importance, as it will set the stage for your future career.
For those concerned about going back to school, master's level communication studies programs are offered in a variety of formats, from traditional classroom-based to online. This allows students to fit their education into their own busy lives and schedules.
With the abundance of graduate-level communications studies programs available online, it may seem nearly impossible to narrow them down. However, a few key assurances should help you feel confident about choosing the right school. Be sure to consider the following when researching schools with master's in communication studies programs:
Those interested in entering a master's of communications studies program should look for a school that is properly accredited. A few regional accrediting associations to keep an eye out for are the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the Higher Learning Commission. Accredited programs are generally the most trustworthy, and you don't want to take a gamble on your education.
Total expenses for online master's in communication studies programs depend on a number of factors, including location, type of school, and more. Students will need to cover the costs of tuition, course materials, and any other mandatory school fees. As an example, the Master of Arts in Communication Studies degree through the University of Alabama's Bama by Distance online program will cost you roughly $420 in tuition per credit hour, with 30 credits required.
Most online master's in communication studies programs require around 30-36 credit hours. Typically designed for working professionals, some online programs are broken into 8-week sessions. Generally, students can complete these online programs in 1-2 years, depending on how many courses they are able to take at a time.
The curriculum of a master's in communication studies program will consist of courses that culminate in a final capstone project or thesis. Class titles may be similar to the following, which are offered as part of Stevenson University's online master's in communication program:
An online master's in communication management is convenient and ideal for many potential grad students. Taking courses from home, on your own time schedule, is a life-saver for many working professionals and those with family obligations who wish to complete their graduate degrees. Aside from the flexibility, online options are typically less expensive overall, as students don't have to deal with the transportation costs of commuting and parking. An online master's in communication management program is also essential for those in more rural settings who don't have access to a nearby university. Many students appreciate utilizing technology to complete this degree in a way that fits into busy lifestyles.
On top of these options, students of online programs have access to additional specialization options that may not be offered by a local college or university. MastersinCommunications.com currently classifies programs into 10 different concentrations according to their curricula. These specializations include organizational communication, strategic communication, health communication, public relations (PR) and marketing communication, political communication, and more. Students should note that while some schools offer the same concentrations in their online programs as they do in their campus-based programs, others may offer more or fewer concentrations in their online program. For example, a school may offer a campus program with multiple specializations while their online program focuses on just one like strategic communication.
Many online programs offer students both full-time and part-time courses of study (although some may only offer one enrollment option), so that students who wish to continue working during the completion of their degree have the option to do so. The definition of full-time and part-time enrollment has been less clear as schools have introduced alternative academic calendars with four-, five-, and eight-week terms. These shorter terms are designed to allow students to concentrate on fewer courses over a shorter period of time. For example, a student may take three five-week courses instead of three courses over a traditional 15-week semester. In both situations, a student may be considered as enrolled full-time.
Typically full-time enrollment is the equivalent of 9 graduate credit hours earned over a traditional 15-week semester. Students enrolled full-time can typically complete a program in 12-24 months depending on how many classes they take per term and if they enroll during the summer. Students attending part-time typically take 24-36 months to graduate, although some programs give students up to 5 to 8 years to finish the program. When deciding whether to pursue a degree full-time or part-time, students should weigh the benefits of completing their program sooner, versus being able to work more during their degree program. In addition, for students who plan to seek financial aid for their studies, eligibility may require students to enroll in a minimum number of credits per term. Therefore, students should contact programs to ask what is the minimum number of credits they must take to be eligible for financial aid.
With good communication skills you can spread information, influence people, and drive change. Earning a master's in communication degree can be a big step toward a career where your voice matters. This degree appeals to people with a variety of professional goals. If you are pursuing or advancing a career in media, public relations, marketing, or a similar field, read on to see how this degree can help you accomplish your goals.
Opportunities for communications professionals are growing. Graduates with this degree can earn a salary well above $100,000 per year in areas like advertising, promotions, and marketing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Most students can graduate with their master's in two years from an online or on-campus program. Accelerated and part-time options are also available. Use this guide to learn what to expect from a communication program, explore careers you can pursue, and discover top online schools offering a master's in communication degree.
The curriculum of a communication degree is broad and can be applied to many industries. Choosing a concentration for an MA or MS in communication allows students to graduate as experts in their field. Some programs are more academic, focusing on theories and preparing graduates for further study. Alternatively, some pathways take a more applied approach and feature practical, hands-on experiences.
You can earn your master's in communication degree on campus or online. The quality of the curriculum should be comparable for both program types. When comparing the costs of online and on-campus programs, distance learners may be able to save on some expenses, such as those related to commuting or parking on campus.
A degree in communications depends heavily on interactions between students and their professors. For this reason, on-campus learning is an attractive option for many learners. However, with new technological capabilities, online courses can also support many of these interactions.
Students should only consider schools that hold institutional accreditation to ensure their degree will be high quality and recognized by future employers. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) also accredits many top communication programs.
Much like joining a club, joining a professional organization can help you meet and network with others who study communication and work in the field. Students can practice networking during their studies by joining these organizations to meet experienced professionals.
Why It's #1: The University of Southern California (USC) is the top-ranked school on our Best Online Master's in Communication Degree Programs list. While this institution is competitive with an acceptance rate of only 11%, USC has a high graduation rate of 92% and a student-to-faculty ratio of nine-to-one. Graduate students pay an estimated $63,470 in tuition per year. While this is more expensive than average, 69% of students receive financial aid. Nearly 17% of students are enrolled in online classes, including students pursuing an online master of communication management, making USC a good option for distance learners.
USC's online master's in communication management offers a generalist curriculum and three optional focus areas: marketing communication, market research and analytics, and strategic and organizational communication. By taking two courses per semester, full-time students can graduate in just 16 months.
The Johns Hopkins online master's in communication teaches students to critically interpret theory, evaluate scientific communication research, and develop effective content. Six optional concentrations cover topics, such as corporate and nonprofit communication, health communication, and applied research in communication.
UF's online master's in global strategic communication offers eight concentrations, such as audience analytics, political communication, digital strategy, and web design. Requiring between 33-37 credits, this graduate degree focuses on building competitive career skills. 59ce067264