Most Affordable Online Master’s in Communications Degrees

MAOM Communications CollegeChoice

Communication is learning to listen carefully, engage meaningfully, and respond appropriately– even in the most demanding situations.

A communications degree can lead to a career in just about any industry – from law and politics to media, public relations, health care, teaching, and more! The art of learning how to communicate effectively with colleagues, consumers, managers, high-level executives, and others will make it that much easier for you to move up in your career. Of course, learning to communicate is about so much more than writing well or knowing what social media platform to use for different types of content. Nearly every industry is desperate for employees who can convey a clear message with ease– and without losing their temper! 

What kind of Communications degree should you get?

While Communications degrees used to be mocked for their worthlessness, it is actually one of the best degrees you can earn today! With the rise in social media and digital communication platforms, there’s a need for folks who are well-versed in all of these areas. Plus, there are so many specializations you can obtain while earning a Communications degree.

If you hold a bachelor’s degree and have some professional work experience, you should consider a graduate-level Communications degree. For working professionals or those who can’t commute to a college campus, an online program is a great option. In fact, with so much of our communication happening online these days, it may be even more beneficial to earn this degree in an online setting! If you’re looking for a more flexible and affordable degree, there are plenty of options. In fact, we’ve ranked the Most Affordable Online Colleges and Universities for your convenience!

How much money do people make with a Communications degree?

With so many different careers across so many industries, it’s hard to say exactly how much people can earn with a master’s degree in communications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists earn an average annual income of nearly $60,000. Technical writers can earn over $71,000 per year.

Of course, salaries not only depend on your actual career path, but they also depend on the city in which you work and your level of education. If you’re looking for the big bucks, consider a career as an Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager. These folks earn over $130,000 per year, on average.

What can you do with a Master’s degree in Communications?

An advanced Communications degree will open many exciting doors for you! With a Master’s in Communications, you can become a crisis communication specialist, a social media communication manager, a marketing manager, an advertising professional, an editor, or an HR or PR specialist, and the list goes on and on! 

You can make anything you’d like of this degree across a number of exciting industries. Whether you’re interested in business communications, health communications, digital communications, or something entirely different, your future awaits! In fact, many of the below programs offer specialized tracks and areas of emphasis to help you tailor your degree to your career goals. Having a specified niche can help you land your dream job after graduating. 

What are the requirements for a Master’s degree in Communications?

Many of the below programs don’t require students to necessarily have a background in communications, however you should hold a bachelor’s degree. Many programs also require applicants to have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Once admitted, graduates will often have to complete a number of core courses, electives, and either a capstone project or a thesis. You can expect to take courses in Crisis Communication, Digital Video Production, Media Ethics and Law, and more.

What are the best Communications degrees?

Nearly every college and university offers a Master’s in Communications degree, which can make it quite difficult to find the best program for your specific career goals. The folks at College Choice have worked hard to make your decision easier by narrowing the playing field. We’ve selected schools that offer specialized tracks, convenient online learning platforms, and affordable tuition rates. Most of the below programs can be completed entirely online, offering many of the same resources that the students on-campus have access to. 

1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Average Net Price: $11,100

School Website

Overview

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened its doors to students in 1795, making it the oldest public university in America. Now, over 220 years later, UNC Chapel Hill remains one of the most prestigious and popular universities in the country, with an overall enrollment nearing 30,000. Through its School of Media and Journalism, graduate students can earn a Master of Arts in Digital Communication.

Program Features

This master’s program is offered entirely online and is made up of nine courses and a final comprehensive project. Most students earn their degree within two years of starting the program. Required courses may include:

  • Media Law for the Digital Age
  • Multi-platform Storytelling
  • Information Visualization
  • Strategic Communication
  • Psychology of Audiences

While this is an online program, all students are required to participate in two on-campus experiences. Not only will master’s students enjoy small class sizes, they’ll also have access to all UNC resources, including libraries, IT support, and Adobe software. 

Notables

While many master’s degrees are offered full-time, UNC Chapel Hill offers the MA in Digital Communication in a part-time format to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Plus, for your final project, you’ll work one-on-one with a faculty member to hone in on a particular subject that’s either related to your current job or one you’d like to pursue. 

2

Bellevue University

Average Net Price: $11,359

School Website

Overview

A leader in adult education, Bellevue is a private university that opened its doors in 1966. Bellevue University now offers more than 80 unique degree programs across its four colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences. For working professionals and those who want to earn an advanced degree, check out Bellevue’s Master of Arts degree in Business and Professional Communication. 

Program Features

This 36-credit online degree will not only equip you with proper communication skills but also a savvy set of business skills as well! Students in this program can choose from a multitude of specialization areas, including Computer Information Systems, Project Management, Executive Coaching, and more. Based on your career goals, required courses may include:

  • Writing on Purpose
  • Conflict and Negotiation
  • Ethics and Decision Making
  • Leadership and Organizational Communication
  • Twenty-First Century Communication Technologies

All master’s students must also complete a capstone that requires a multimedia presentation. 

Notables

Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers as meeting, convention, and event planners, public relations specialists, technical writers, and other related professions. Bellevue University makes it affordable to earn your master’s – offering the same low-cost tuition for both online and in-class students. All applicants must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree to be considered for this program.

3

West Virginia University

Average Net Price: $11,486

School Website

Overview

Located in the city of Morgantown, West Virginia University is a public land- and space-grant research university that was founded in the 1860s. Home to the West Virginia Mountaineers, WVU offers nearly 250 unique majors. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications through WVU’s Reed College of Media.

Program Features

This 30-credit program is offered exclusively online and is made up of ten courses. Students taking courses on a full-time schedule can earn their degrees in as little as 1.5 years. However, the university also offers part-time course scheduling. Required courses may include:

  • Audience Insight
  • Concepts & Strategy
  • Digital Video Production
  • Brand Equity Management
  • Global Brand Communication

Additionally, all graduate students must complete an Integrated Marketing Communications campaign for a real-world client as their capstone experience.

Notables

Common careers for graduates of this program include marketing strategist, market research analyst, public relations specialist, and other related professions. West Virginia University offers the same rate of tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Interested students may apply for admission into this master’s program during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

4

University of North Texas

Average Net Price: $12,053

School Website

Overview

The University of North Texas is a research university that offers close to 100 master’s degree programs across its 14 schools and colleges. While the university is conveniently located in the city of Denton, Texas, you no longer need to be nearby to take advantage of UNT’s programs! In fact, the university’s Mayborn School of Journalism offers an accelerated online degree in Digital Communication Analytics. 

Program Features

This Master of Science degree program includes flexible 8-week courses and five start dates throughout the year. Required courses in this 36-credit program may include:

  • Strategic Social Media
  • Marketing Metrics for Managers
  • Computer Graphics for Mediated Communication
  • Research Fundamentals in Digital Communication

In addition to the above, all graduate students must complete a Seminar in Digital Communications Analytics as their capstone experience. For those interested in this program, you must apply first to the university’s Toulouse Graduate School before enrolling in the above program.

Notables

The University of North Texas offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities for its graduate students. In fact, with over $360 million in funds awarded annually, nearly 75% of all UNT students receive some form of financial assistance. Admissions at UNT are rolling, so apply today!

5

Purdue University

Average Net Price: $12,117

School Website

Overview

Named after Indiana businessman John Purdue, this public research university was founded in 1869 and is home to over 40,000 students. Purdue University offers more than 130 graduate programs, including many online degrees. In fact, Purdue Online has a unique Master of Science degree in Communication for interested graduate students.

Program Features

This 30-credit degree program can be completed entirely online and requires no GRE or residency. Plus, most students can earn their degree in just 20 months. Students may choose from one of four areas of concentration, or pursue a general track. The concentration areas include:

  • Health Communication
  • Communication and Leadership
  • Strategic Communication/Public Relations
  • Integrated Communication and Advertising

Depending on your area of specialization, courses may include Strategic Communications and Ethics, Strategic Public Relations, Persuasive Communication, and other related coursework. Purdue also offers many elective courses that cover topics in leadership, investor relations, fundraising, crisis communication, and more. A thesis is not required for this program.

Notables

Through Purdue Online, most courses are offered asynchronously, which means students don’t have to log on at certain times or dates. Virtual classrooms offer many of the same resources and expectations as those on-campus. Students will participate in discussions, take exams, and more. Prospective students may apply for fall, spring, or summer admission. 

6

Troy University

Average Net Price: $12,146

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1887, Troy University is a public school located in Alabama and has a total enrollment of nearly 20,000 students. TROY Online offers flexible 9-week terms for those who are unable to commute to campus or for those with full-time jobs and busy schedules. Graduate students can now pursue an online Master of Science degree in Strategic Communication at Troy University.

Program Features

This 30 semester-hour online program is broken up into 15 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives. Required courses may include:

  • Communication and Influence
  • Communication Law and Ethics
  • Strategic Communication Theories
  • Strategic Communication Inquiry and Research

Additionally, all students in this program must complete a Strategic Communication Capstone to earn their degree. Most students graduate within just one year of starting this online program. 

Notables

Graduates of this master’s program at Troy University have gone on to pursue unique and exciting careers. Popular professions include becoming a grant writer, account executive, social media producer, public information officer, and other related careers. TROY Online offers a variety of scholarships for distance learners, including the Corporate Achiever Scholarship and the Horizon Scholarship. 

7

Florida International University

Average Net Price: $12,219

School Website

Overview

Florida International University is a public school located in Miami with two major campuses for its more than 55,000 students. Of course, if you’re looking for flexibility in a graduate program, FIU offers many online degree programs as well. In fact, you can pursue an Online Master of Science degree in Mass Communication: Global Strategic Communications Track through FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture, and the Arts.

Program Features

This 30-credit, 12-month program can be completed entirely online and is offered in both the spring and fall semesters. The entire program is made up of six eight-week terms. Required courses may include:

  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Mass Communication Professional Project
  • Global Strategic Communication Management
  • Communication in the Digital Age Communication
  • Strategic Storytelling and Digital Content Creation

Students in this program will also have the option to earn a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building. This certificate will help you to learn to navigate and manage complex communication conflicts within the global market.

Notables

The cost of this program is the same for both residents and non-residents. Plus, FIU offers a bunch of financial aid packages and scholarships for eligible students. Florida International University has been ranked among the Top Public Schools in the states by U.S. News & World Report.

8

University of Central Missouri

Average Net Price: $12,711

School Website

Overview

Home to mascot Mo the Mule, the University of Central Missouri is a public state university that offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Many courses and degrees are now offered entirely online through UCM Online. Those looking for a flexible, advanced degree should check out the university’s online Master of Arts in Communication. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s School of Communication, History, and Interdisciplinary Studies, this program is entirely online and courses are taught by the same professors who teach those on-campus. Students may choose to pursue one of two tracks: Mass Communication or Speech Communication. Depending on your course of study, requirements may include:

  • The Law and Digital Media
  • Theories of Communication
  • Contemporary Communication
  • Theories of Interpersonal Communication
  • Quantitative Research Methods for Communication

Additionally, graduate students may choose between a thesis and a non-thesis option. 

Notables

Prospective students should note that the University of Central Missouri admits students based on a cohort model, and new cohorts begin every fall semester. The deadline for applying to this program is July 15th. Graduates of this program go on to work in news, sales, marketing, public relations, and other related professions.

9

Arizona State University

Average Net Price: $12,947

School Website

Overview

As one of the largest universities in the country, Arizona State University offers plenty of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. ASU Online is great for those looking for flexibility; in fact, the university offers 200 degree programs entirely online. Check out the university’s online Master of Arts degree in Communication. 

Program Features

This 30-credit program is made up of 10 classes, with each class lasting just 7.5 weeks. Both residents and non-residents pay the same rate of tuition. Required courses may include:

  • Communication and Gender
  • Social Influence and Persuasion
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • Communication in Global Contexts 
  • Crisis Management and Communication

Additionally, all graduate students in this program must complete a capstone as their culminating experience. Prospective students may apply for admission during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. 

Notables

Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers as communications consultants, public relations specialists, and other related professions. Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication is known for its prestigious faculty members and innovative research programs. ASU has been ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

10

Austin Peay State University

Average Net Price: $13,045

School Website

Overview

Named after former Tennessee Governor Austin Peay, this public university is home to over 10,000 students and their aptly chosen mascot, The Governor. APSU offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a variety of subject areas. Looking for a flexible communications degree? Check out APSU’s fully-online Master of Arts degree in Communication Arts. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s Department of Communication, this 34-credit program can be completed in just two years on a full-time schedule. Courses are offered in convenient eight-week terms. Graduate students in this program can choose from a variety of concentration areas, including General Communication, Corporate Communication, Marketing Communication, and Media Management. Depending on your track, required courses may include:

  • Media Management
  • Communication Law
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Social Media Theories and Practices
  • Marketing Communication Strategies

Students in this program may also choose to complete a master’s thesis in preparation for eventual doctoral studies.

Notables

Austin Peay State University has been ranked among the nation’s Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. In-state tuition rates may differ from those out-of-state. APSU offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid packages for eligible students. 

11

East Carolina University

Average Net Price: $13,327

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1907, East Carolina University is now a bustling campus made up of nine undergraduate colleges, four professional schools, and a graduate school. ECU offers more than 70 unique master’s degree programs, including many online. In fact, graduate students can earn a Master of Arts degree in Communication entirely online at ECU.  

Program Features

This 30-credit program offers both thesis and non-thesis options for students. Required courses may include:

  • Health Communication Campaigns
  • Family Communication and Health
  • Interpersonal Health Communication
  • Communication Approaches to Health Advocacy
  • Intercultural Communication in Health Contexts

Online courses at ECU are taught by the same professors who teach students on-campus. For those who pursue the non-thesis option, a comprehensive exam must be passed in order to fulfill requirements for this degree. Admissions are rolling so prospective students may apply at any point throughout the year.

Notables

East Carolina University also offers a Master’s in Health Communication for those looking for a more specialized degree program. Online students at ECU have access to many of the same resources as those on-campus, including tech support, library access, and career services. U.S. News & World Report included ECU in its ranking of Top Public Schools in the nation.

12

Ball State University

Average Net Price: $13,535

School Website

Overview

Located in Muncie, IN, Ball State is a public research university that was founded in 1918. Home to mascot Charlie the Cardinal and over 20,000 students, Ball State University offers a variety of flexible and affordable online graduate degree programs. Check out BSU’s Master of Arts degree in Journalism. 

Program Features

Offered through BSU’s College of Communication, Information, and Media, this 36-credit online program has two areas of specialization, including Media Analytics & Management and Reporting & Storytelling. Required courses may include:

  • Media Analytics Measurement and Data Management
  • Studies in Journalism and Communication Theory
  • Journalistic Judgments and Sociology of News
  • Media Audiences and Content Strategy
  • Emerging Technologies

Ball State University doesn’t require applicants to submit GRE scores, and prospective students may apply for fall, spring, or summer admission. Graduate students in this program may choose between completing a capstone creative project or a thesis. 

Notables

Distance learners at Ball State University have access to library services, the Writing Center, tech support, and tutoring. Most online courses are asynchronous, meaning you won’t be required to log in at specific times or days. Students are able to interact with professors and other classmates via discussion boards, email, file sharing, and more.

13

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Average Net Price: $13,704

School Website

Overview

Home to the mascot Stomper the Maverick, Minnesota State University, Mankato offers over 130 unique degree programs. Of those programs, 50 are offered entirely online. Graduate students can pursue a flexible online Master of Science degree in Communication and Composition. This program is specifically intended for those who wish to teach Communication and/or Composition at the college level.

Program Features

This 37-credit degree can be completed in as little as two years on a full-time schedule. Required courses may include:

  • Persuasive Writing on Public Issues
  • Teaching Communication Studies Online
  • Perspectives on Culture and Communication 
  • Pedagogical Grammar and Academic English
  • Speech-Debate: Interpretation and Performance

In lieu of a capstone, students may choose to complete an internship or an alternate plan paper instead. Prospective students do not have to submit GRE scores but should have a GPA of at least 3.0. 

Notables

Online courses at Minnesota State University, Mankato are asynchronous, meaning you don’t need to be online on any specific day or at any specific time. There are no on-campus requirements for this program and student orientation is completed online. Eligible students may apply for program-specific scholarships, including the Sue Menton Scholarship and the Suzanne Pothast AP Style Scholarship.

14

Southern Utah University

Average Net Price: $14,451

School Website

Overview

Southern Utah University is a public university that was founded in the late 1890s in Cedar City, Utah. With almost 20 unique graduate programs housed across the university’s six colleges, students have plenty of degrees to choose from. In fact, now students can earn an online Master of Arts degree in Professional Communication through the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Program Features

This 36-credit program offers the flexibility for working professionals to complete the degree requirements on their own terms. Courses may include:

  • Professional Social Media
  • Communication and Popular Culture
  • Professional Writing and Presentations
  • Advertising and Public Relations Strategies
  • Communication and Professional Development

In addition to the core courses, all graduate students in this program must fulfill the capstone requirement. Students may choose to complete an experience or project based on their career goals, whether it be a professional thesis, project, or internship. 

Notables

Southern Utah University is affordable for students both near and far. Unlike other online programs, distance learners at Southern Utah pay the same tuition rate as those who reside in-state and take courses on-campus. U.S. News & World Report ranked Southern Utah University among the nation’s Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities in the West.

15

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Average Net Price: $14,766

School Website

Overview

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is home to nearly 10,000 students who can pursue one of the 87 degree programs offered across nine unique colleges. With an average graduate class size of just 13 students, the university offers plenty of one-on-one time between professors and students. Through Bama By Distance, graduates can pursue an online Master of Arts in Communications Studies. 

Program Features

This 30-credit online degree program offers students the opportunity to specialize in Organizational Leadership. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and all students pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency. Required courses may include:

  • Conflict and Negotiation
  • Human Communication Theory 
  • Gender and Political Communication
  • Technology, Culture, and Human Communication
  • Seminar in Organizational Communication: Assessment and Intervention

Most students can complete degree requirements in just two years or less on a full-time schedule. For a final project, students may choose between completing a professional or academic option. These options include a capstone portfolio or a comprehensive exam. 

Notables

The University of Alabama in Huntsville offers plenty of financial aid and scholarship opportunities, as well as a Back to Bama Grant for graduate students. U.S. News & World Report has included this university in its ranking of the Best National Universities. 

16

The University of Iowa

Average Net Price: $14,845

School Website

Overview

Known as the oldest university in the state, The University of Iowa was founded in the 1840s and is located in Iowa City. The university has since grown to boast a total enrollment of over 33,000 students. Interested in earning one of 200 degrees across the university’s 11 colleges?  Check out the online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, this 30-credit online program accepts new students each fall, spring, and summer semester. With no GRE requirement, students are encouraged to apply year-round. Admitted students can expect to take courses which may include:

  • Risk Communication
  • Leadership Communication
  • Digital Strategic Communication
  • Copywriting for Strategic Communication
  • Media Management for Strategic Communicators

All students are expected to complete a capstone project in lieu of a thesis. 

Notables

The University of Iowa prepares graduates to go on to pursue careers in health communication, event management, public affairs communication, and other related professions. For interested students, the university also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communications. The university has been ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report

17

Northern Arizona University

Average Net Price: $14,901

School Website

Overview

Based in Flagstaff, AZ, this public research university was founded in 1899 and is home to over 30,000 students. When they’re not cheering on mascot Louie the Lumberjack, students are pursuing one of the university’s 180 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. Interested in an affordable, flexible online degree? Check out NAU’s Master of Arts degree in Communication.

Program Features

This 36-credit online degree program is offered through the university’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and offers both a general track and a documentary studies emphasis. Depending on your track, required courses may include:

  • Graduate Study in Communication 
  • Communication Theory and Application
  • Documentary Skills and Storytelling Practicum
  • Introduction to Documentary Issues, Theories, and Methods

Additionally, all graduate students must choose to complete either a thesis option or a project option to earn their degree. 

Notables

Northern Arizona University has been ranked among the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The university offers rolling admissions and all students pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency. Not only that, but eligible NAU students receive more than $325 million each year in scholarships, grants, and other financial aid offerings.

18

Missouri State University

Average Net Price: $15,173

School Website

Overview

The second-largest university in the state, Missouri State University was founded in 1905 and has an enrollment of over 20,000 students. With more than 45 unique graduate degrees and over 700 full-time faculty members, MSU is a great place to pursue advanced studies. If you’re looking for an affordable online program, check out the university’s Master’s degree in Communication.  

Program Features

Students in this program can choose from the following areas of specialization: conflict, organizational communication, or public relations. Additionally, graduates may also choose whether or not to pursue an accelerated program or a traditional master’s degree. Depending on your track, required courses may include:

  • Rhetorical Theory
  • Theory and Research in Communication
  • Rhetorical Research Methods in Communication
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Communication  

In addition to required coursework, all graduates must complete a research component. This can be either a thesis, seminar paper, or professional project. 

Notables

Online courses at Missouri State University are created and taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus. Not only do distance learners have the same curriculum as those who study on-campus, but they also have access to many of the same resources. These include virtual research assistance, one-on-one tutoring, writing assistance, and more.

19

University of Florida

Average Net Price: $15,283

School Website

Overview

Founded in gator country back in 1905, it’s no surprise that the University of Florida’s mascots are Albert and Alberta Gator. Over 50,000 students call this university home whether they’re physically on-campus or taking classes through UF Online. For those looking to earn an advanced communications degree, the University of Florida offers a unique Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication with a focus in Global Strategic Communication.

Program Features

This 37-credit degree is offered entirely online and prospective students may apply for admission during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The curriculum revolves around three core topics, which include Messaging, Communication, and Culture. Required courses may include:

  • Mass Communication Theory
  • Public Affairs Communication
  • Foundations of Intercultural Communication
  • International Issues and Crisis Communication
  • Global Activism and Social Change Communication

Graduate students also have the option to choose one of ten specialized tracks within this degree program. Areas of specialization include Cross-Media Sales, Digital Strategy, Public Relations, Storytelling, Web Design, and more. All students must complete a capstone course as well. 

Notables

The University of Florida is perfect for those looking to make a global impact with their advanced studies. Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers as Chief Communications Officers, Global Communications Specialists, International Media Consultants, and other related professions.

20

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Average Net Price: $15,513

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1857 and named after Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, Edinboro University is a small public university offering a variety of online graduate degrees. More than 6,000 enrolled students cheer on mascot Mac Cato, the Fighting Scot when they’re not busy with their studies. The university’s School of Graduate Studies offers an online Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. 

Program Features

Graduate students enrolled in this program may choose from one of two areas of emphasis, including Managerial & Leadership Communication and Integrated Marketing Communication. Plus, students in this program can simultaneously earn a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management. Required courses may include:

  • Persuasion and Propaganda
  • Gender and Communication
  • Technology of Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Intercultural Conflict and Communication

For a capstone, students may choose to complete either a comprehensive examination and project/portfolio, a thesis, or a practicum. 

Notables

The Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has been ranked among the nation’s Top 100 Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report. This university is also a “Military Friendly” school, offering tuition breaks and scholarships for service members and their families. With core values of excellence, curiosity, respect, responsibility, and integrity, Edinboro is a popular choice for those pursuing advanced studies.

21

Texas Tech University

Average Net Price: $15,820

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech is a public research university that’s home to nearly 40,000 students. Texas Tech is made up of 12 distinct schools and colleges that offer over 150 undergraduate degrees, 100 graduate degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees. Graduate students can pursue an online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation through TTU’s College of Media and Communication. 

Program Features

This 30-credit program is offered exclusively online and is intended for working professionals who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Admitted students can start coursework during the fall, spring, or summer semesters, and all courses are offered asynchronously. Required courses may include:

  • Media Management, Entrepreneurship, and Consulting
  • Strategic Communication in a Global Environment
  • Audience/Data Analysis and Reporting
  • Production of Digital Media Content
  • Communication in Organizations

Graduate students may also choose to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Digital and Social Media in conjunction with this degree. 

Notables

Texas Tech University has been ranked among the nation’s Top Public Schools and Best Online Graduate Programs by U.S. News & World Report. One of the most affordable colleges, TTU offers the same rate of tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Plus, eligible students may apply for grants, scholarships, and other financial aid assistance through the university.

22

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Average Net Price: $16,638

School Website

Overview

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was founded in the late 1860s and has since graduated more than ten Nobel Laureates and over 15 Pulitzer Prize winners. Over 44,000 students choose this university for their studies, my of whom are graduate distance learners. In fact, the university offers an online Master of Science degree in Strategic Brand Communication.

Program Features

Offered through both the College of Business and College of Media, this fully online, 32-credit program can be completed in as little as 15 months. With no electives, all students are required to take the same courses, which may include:

  • Messaging Strategy
  • Strategic Media Management
  • Managing Projects and Teams
  • Essentials of Business Management
  • Strategic Branding: Global Perspectives

This program offers a blend of both business courses and communication studies, which is ideal for those looking to work within the global multimedia environment. Students will take courses within the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business as well as the Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media.

Notables

Graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign must complete a professional capstone project to earn their degree. The university also offers once-weekly live sessions for each course that are not mandatory, but participation is highly encouraged. Prospective students do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores in order to be considered for admission.

23

Michigan State University

Average Net Price: $16,684

School Website

Overview

Michigan State University was founded in the 1850s and now enrolls over 50,000 students. While MSU is known for its vast campus with over 550 buildings, more and more students are choosing to pursue graduate degrees entirely online. In fact, the university’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences offers an online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication.

Program Features

This 30-credit program is made up of nine courses as well as a capstone project. Required courses may include:

  • Catalyst Thinking in the C-Suite
  • Professional Communication Ethics
  • Branding and Image Communication
  • Digital Content Creation, Curation, and Promotion
  • Organizational Communication for Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Additionally, all graduate students must successfully complete a final exam or evaluation to earn their degree. Prospective students do not need to submit GRE scores in order to be considered for admission.

Notables

At Michigan State University, out-of-state and international students pay a higher rate of tuition than those in-state, even for online programs. However, the university offers plenty of financial aid packages and options for eligible students. Plus, MSU was ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

24

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Average Net Price: $16,813

School Website

Overview

Founded in the late 1860s, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is home to over 25,000 students. UNL is the oldest university in Nebraska and offers more than master’s degree programs. Interested in a flexible online degree? Check out the university’s online Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. 

Program Features

Students in this program have the option of specializing in one of two areas, including Integrated Media Communications or Professional Journalism. Plus, the university offers three unique options for all of its graduate programs. Students may choose a 30-credit option that requires a thesis and optional minor or a 36-credit option with no thesis and a required minor. There’s also a 36-credit option with no thesis and no minor. Depending on your choices, required courses may include:

  • Mass Media History
  • Politics and the Media
  • Race, Gender, and Media
  • Media, Ethics, and Society
  • Financial Communications

Courses are offered both in asynchronous and synchronous formats. The university also offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Social Media.

Notables

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers admission into this program in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Prospective students are encouraged to apply at any point during the year. All applicants must have an electronic portfolio of their work as well as three letters of recommendation. 

25

Mississippi College

Average Net Price: $17,098

School Website

Overview

Founded in the 1820s, Mississippi College is now the largest private university in the state. The college offers more than 80 unique degree programs to its more than 5,000 enrolled students. Interested in an affordable and flexible online degree? Check out Mississippi’s online Master of Science degree in Integrated Communication.

Program Features

Offered through the college’s Communication Department, this online degree is made up of just 31 semester hours. Required courses may include:

  • Communication Theory
  • Public Relations Writing 
  • Practices in Public Relations 
  • Process and Effects of Communication 
  • Media Programming and Management

The university also offers a master’s degree in Professional Communication in Health Services Administration. 

Notables

Mississippi College awards over $50 million in scholarships and financial aid to students each year. Tuition rates are the same for all students no matter where they reside. Plus, undergraduate students who are enrolled in an accelerated degree program will receive a discounted rate of 10% per credit hour. Accelerated degree programs offer courses that are just seven weeks in length.

26

Colorado State University

Average Net Price: $17,191

School Website

Overview

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State is a public research university that was founded in 1870. CSU is now home to more than 33,000 students who lovingly cheer on their mascot, CAM the ram. If you’re looking for affordability and flexibility in an advanced degree program, check out the university’s hybrid Master’s of Communications and Media Management degree.

Program Features

While this cohort program offers most courses online, it does require students to meet face-to-face once a week at the Denver Learning Center. Requirements for this 30-credit program may include:

  • Writing for Specialized Magazines
  • Corporate Media Ethics and Issues
  • Digital Media Writing and Production 
  • Technologies of Public Communication
  • Advertising and Marketing Communication

Graduates of this program have gone on to work for non-profits, health facilities, the government, and other related fields. On a normal, full-time schedule, most students can earn this degree in just two years. All distance students at CSU pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency.

Notables

Unlike other programs on this list, Colorado State University offers students the opportunities to meet face-to-face, which can help expand their professional networks. Plus, the cohort model allows students to get to know each other better over the course of the program. U.S News & World Report has ranked CSU among the nation’s Best National Universities and Best Value Schools.

27

University of Missouri

Average Net Price: $17,762

School Website

Overview

The University of Missouri, better known as “Mizzou,” is a public, land-grant research university that was founded in 1839 in Columbia, MO. Mizzou is the state’s largest university, with a total enrollment of nearly 30,000 students and more than 300 unique degree offerings. The university now has nearly 100 online degree options as well. In fact, graduate students can now pursue an online Master of Arts degree in Journalism with an Emphasis in Strategic Communication.

Program Features

Offered through the university’s School of Journalism, this 37-credit program does require at least one campus visit during the fall semester. Required courses may include:

  • Media Ethics
  • Theory of Mass Communication
  • Changing Media Business Models
  • Communication in Media Organizations
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Journalism
  • Principles and Tools in Strategic Communication Planning

In addition, students must complete a capstone requirement. Graduate students have the option of completing either a thesis seminar and research course, or a project seminar and area problem course. 

Notables

Mizzou Online offers a variety of tuition discounts, including a 10% tuition reduction for eligible students. In fact, 3-out-of-4 undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Missouri among the nation’s Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, and Best Colleges for Veterans.

28

Regent University

Average Net Price: $17,820

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1977 in Virginia Beach, this private Christian research university is home to over 8,600 students. The university offers more than 125 unique graduate and undergraduate areas of study both on-campus and online. Now, interested students can earn an online Master of Arts degree in Communication through the university’s School of Communication and the Arts.

Program Features

This fully-online, 33-credit degree program offers courses in flexible 8-week sessions. Areas of concentration include Media and Arts Management and Promotion, Political Communication, and Strategic Communication. With 8 start dates each year, prospective students are encouraged to apply at any point. Required courses may include:

  • Viral Marketing
  • Social Media and Internet Marketing
  • Story, Popular Culture, and Worldview
  • Leadership Theory and Communication
  • Organizational Research, Analysis, and Problem-Solving

Regent University charges the same rate of tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students, making this program one of the most affordable for distance learners.

Notables

U.S. News & World Report placed Regent University at the top of their list for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia in 2018. Not only does the university have incredible programs, the professors teaching them are top-notch as well. In fact, five faculty members at Regent University have been named Fulbright Scholars! Students can learn from the best with the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world.

29

Washington State University

Average Net Price: $17,885

School Website

Overview

Home to nearly 30,000 students and mascot Butch T. Cougar, Washington State University was founded in 1890 and remains one of the oldest land-grant universities in the West. The university offers over 200 unique degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Interested in earning a degree entirely online? Check out the university’s online Master’s in Strategic Communication. 

Program Features

This 30-credit program can be completed entirely online. Required courses may include:

  • Professional Marketing Communication Management and Campaigns
  • Consumer Behavior and Brand Development
  • Persuasion for Professional Communicators
  • Professional Multimedia Content Creation
  • Crisis Communication in Global Contexts

All graduate students in this program must also complete a Master’s Independent Capstone Project and/or Examination. This degree is made up of just ten courses, and the program is not considered a Ph.D. preparatory stepping stone. You may select either a one-, two-, or three-year track depending on your personal and professional schedule.

Notables

Washington State University’s Global Campus also allows online students opportunities to conduct research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students also have the opportunity to work as tutors and teacher’s assistants for further hands-on experiences. WSU offers plenty of resources for its distance learners, including online tech support, student services, writing workshops, and more. 

30

Kent State University

Average Net Price: $18,156

School Website

Overview

Located in Kent, Ohio, this public research university was founded in September of 1910 and is now home to over 40,000 students. With mascot Flash, the Golden Eagle cheering them on, many students at Kent State University opt to take courses entirely online. In fact, the university offers an online dual-degree program with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master’s of Business Administration.

Program Features

This unique dual-degree program requires applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores, along with references and professional experience. Admitted students may be required to take courses such as:

  • Theories of Communication
  • Human Resources Management
  • Communication in an Information Society
  • Intercultural/International Communication
  • Accounting for Managerial Action and Evaluation

All students in this program must complete a capstone experience as well. This can be via either coursework-only, a thesis, project, or internship. To assist you through this program, Kent State University offers many of the same resources to its distant learners as it does to those on-campus. 

Notables

Kent State University offers admission into this program each fall and spring semester. Students may choose to take courses on either a part-time or full-time schedule depending on their other obligations. Graduate assistantships are also available for those who wish to apply.

31

South Dakota State University

Average Net Price: $18,204

School Website

Overview

Home to over 12,000 students, South Dakota State is a public research university that was founded in 1881. SDSU is the state’s largest and oldest university where students have been cheering on the Jackrabbits since the early 1900s. With over 200 unique degree programs, students at SDSU may now pursue an online Master’s of Mass Communication. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, this online program is made up of courses that last just eight weeks each. Graduates may choose between a 32-credit research/design paper option or a 36-credit coursework-only option. Depending on your track, requirements may include:

  • Media Law Case Studies
  • Cross-Platform Campaigns 
  • Cross-Platform Storytelling
  • Conducting Professional Research
  • Mass Communications Teaching Methods 
  • Social Marketing for Health and Behavioral Change

Applicants interested in this program do not need to submit GRE scores to be considered for admission. 

Notables

South Dakota State University has been ranked among the nation’s Top Public Schools and Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Admissions are rolling at SDSU, so prospective students may apply at any point throughout the year.

32

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Average Net Price: $18,409

School Website

Overview

Located in Clarion, PA, this public university is home to the Golden Eagles and nearly 5,000 students. Ranked among the Top 50 Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report, Clarion offers small class sizes and nearly 150 student clubs and organizations to get involved in. Interested in Communication studies? Clarion’s Department of Communication now offers a Master of Science in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. 

Program Features

This 36-credit program is perfect for working professionals and can be completed in as little as 18 months. Required courses may include:

  • Journalism Foundations
  • Public Relations Foundations 
  • Mass Communication Theory 
  • Society, Law, and Media Technology
  • Management of the Communication Process 

All students must also complete a Thesis/Research Study in Communication in lieu of a comprehensive exam. 

Notables

The Clarion University of Pennsylvania has been ranked among the nation’s Best Regional Universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report. The university’s online programs have also been touted among the best in the country. 

33

Spring Arbor University

Average Net Price: $18,963

School Website

Overview

Based in Michigan, this small private Methodist university is home to about 2,000 students who can choose majors within four unique schools. With nearly 100 majors and programs, more and more graduate students are choosing to earn their degrees online. Spring Arbor University now offers a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership entirely online.

Program Features

Graduate students in this 36-credit program can earn their degree in as little as 18 months. Applicants do not have to submit GRE scores to be considered. Required courses may include:

  • Communication Ethics and Moral Reasoning
  • Communication as Vocation and Calling
  • Communication Theory and Worldview
  • Group and Public Communication 
  • Digital Media Strategies

Each student in this program is paired with a mentor who offers personalized support along the way. SAU charges the same rate of tuition for all distance learners, regardless of residency.

Notables

Graduate students at Spring Arbor University will build a professional ePortfolio throughout the course of their studies. This digital portfolio will serve as a culmination of your experiences and is an excellent resource moving forward in advancing your career. 

34

Concordia University, St. Paul

Average Net Price: $19,714

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1893 in Saint Paul, MN, Concordia University is a liberal arts university that’s home to over 5,000 students. When they’re not cheering on the Golden Bears, students are studying one or more of over 75 majors and nearly 50 minors this university offers. Looking to get the best of Concordia without having to step on campus? Check out the university’s online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication Management.

Program Features

This 36-credit degree offers a variety of unique courses for students to choose from. Requirements may include:

  • Digital Communication
  • Strategic Customer Experience
  • Project Management and Analytics
  • Communication Inquiry and Measurement
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Leadership

A reflection and capstone are required of all students as well. Distance learners may also choose to participate in a study abroad opportunity to gain more hands-on experience within the field.

Notables

Each course at Concordia University, St. Paul is just 7 weeks long and most students complete their degree requirements in less than 2 years. Once finished, graduates will have enhanced communication skills, as well as in-depth knowledge of emerging technologies and industry innovations. A whopping 95% of graduates receive job offers within a year of graduating from CSP!

35

The University of Alabama

Average Net Price: $19,993

School Website

Overview

The University of Alabama is home to nearly 40,000 students who can pursue one of the 87 degree programs offered across nine unique colleges. With an average graduate class size of just 13 students, the university offers plenty of one-on-one time between professors and students. Through Bama By Distance, graduates can pursue an online Master of Arts degree in Communications Studies. 

Program Features

This 30-credit online degree program offers students the opportunity to specialize in Organizational Leadership. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and all students pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency. Required courses may include:

  • Conflict and Negotiation
  • Human Communication Theory 
  • Gender and Political Communication
  • Technology, Culture, and Human Communication
  • Seminar in Organizational Communication: Assessment and Intervention

Most students can complete degree requirements in just two years or less on a full-time schedule. For a final project, students may choose between completing a professional or academic option. These options include a capstone portfolio or a comprehensive exam. 

Notables

The University of Alabama offers plenty of financial aid and scholarship opportunities, as well as a Back to Bama Grant for graduate students. U.S. News & World Report has included this university in its ranking of the Best National Universities. 

36

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Average Net Price: $20,356

School Website

Overview

This small, private Catholic university was founded in Baltimore in 1873 and is now home to nearly 3,000 students. The university offers a Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, College of Graduate and Professional Studies, as well as NDMU Online. For those interested in distance learning, check out NDMU’s Master of Arts degree in Contemporary Communication. 

Program Features

This fully online degree program offers rolling admission and several start dates each year. Required courses may include:

  • Ethical Issues in Leadership
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Media Technology Management
  • Approaches to Contemporary Communication
  • Technology in Contemporary Communication

All students pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency, which makes this university one of the most affordable in the country. 

Notables

Graduates of Notre Dame of Maryland University have gone on to pursue careers as web communication managers, social media communication managers, strategic communication managers for public relations, and digital marketing coordinators. U.S. News & World Report included this university on its ranking of the nation’s Best Value Schools and Best Regional Universities in the North. 

37

Ohio University

Average Net Price: $21,607

School Website

Overview

This public research university located in Athens, Ohio was founded in February of 1804 and has an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students. Home to mascot Rufus the Bobcat and over 500 unique clubs and organizations, Ohio University is bustling with energetic and innovative students. For those looking to get the best of this school without visiting the campus, Ohio University offers an online Master of Arts degree in Organizational Communication.

Program Features

Offered through the university’s School of Communications Studies and the Scripps College of Communication, this degree can be completed in as little as one year. Graduate students must take two core courses, four electives, and a capstone experience to earn their degree. Requirements may include:

  • Communication in Social Conflict
  • Communicative Practices in Organizations
  • Communication and Information Diffusion
  • Measurement Methodology in Communication
  • Instructional Training and Development in Communication 

For your capstone experience, you may choose one of the following options: a comprehensive exam, an applied project, or a master’s thesis. The choice is yours depending on your specific career goals and aspirations. 

Notables

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ohio University among the Top Public National Universities in America. Students can choose to major in any one of the university’s 11 colleges including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, and the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.

38

Point Park University

Average Net Price: $21,832

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1960 in downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park is a liberal arts university with a total enrollment of over 4,000 students. Offering more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs, students come from more than 40 states and nearly 50 countries to study at PPU. Now, you don’t have to travel to Pennsylvania to join in on the fun. Check out the university’s online Master of Arts degree in Communications Technology.

Program Features

Offered through PPU’s School of Communication, this 36-credit program is extremely technology-driven. Graduate students will have the opportunity to choose between two areas of concentration, including Social Media and Applied Practices. Depending on your track, required courses may include:

  • Global Communication
  • Professional Video Techniques
  • Visual Communication Technology
  • Communication, Technology, and Culture
  • Social Media Crisis and Strategic Communication

Each course is just eight weeks long and most students complete this degree in 2-3 years. The university accepts up to 9 transfer credits, and all students pay the same rate of tuition no matter where they reside. All students may choose to complete either a thesis or professional track requirements. 

Notables

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Point Park University among the nation’s Best Regional Universities in the North. PPU was named one of the 2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges for a Master’s in Communications. The university has also been ranked as having one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in the nation.

39

University of the Incarnate Word

Average Net Price: $21,895

School Website

Overview

A private university based in San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word was founded in 1881. Over 10,000 students are now enrolled here and faculty members include more than 15 Fulbright Scholars. If you can’t make it to Texas to pursue your advanced studies, don’t worry. The university offers an online Master’s in Administration with a Concentration in Communication Arts.

Program Features

This unique degree program is offered through the university’s School of Professional Studies and is made up of 30 semester hours for students to complete. Required courses may include:

  • Media Ethics
  • Communication Theory
  • Aesthetics of Visual Perception
  • Principles of Writing for the Media
  • Organizational Behavior and Learning

All students must complete a capstone project in addition to their required courses as well. 

Notables

The University of the Incarnate Word does not require applicants to submit GRE test scores in order to be considered for admission into this program. However, prospective students should have at least a 2.5 GPA as well as a bachelor’s degree. U.S. News & World Report included the University of the Incarnate Word in its ranking of the nation’s Top 40 Best Value Schools and Top 25 Best Colleges for Veterans. 

40

St. Bonaventure University

Average Net Price: $22,409

School Website

Overview

This private Franciscan university was founded in 1858 in Allegany, NY. Now home to over 2,000 students along with mascot Bona Wolf, St. Bonaventure University is an excellent choice for those looking to earn an advanced degree. In fact, you no longer need to step foot on campus to study at St. Bonaventure. Check out the university’s online Master of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Program Features

This fully online degree is made up of a series of lectures, videos, and assignments. Required courses may include:

  • Finding Connections: Digital Communications
  • Embracing Your PR Skills: Developing a Voice for Your Client
  • Embracing Strategic Thinking: Marketing Strategy and Planning
  • Finding Them Where They Are: Mobile Marketing Communications
  • Finding Meaning in Data: Analytics, Data Visualization, and Interpretation

Each student in this program is paired with a dedicated enrollment advisor to make the transition to online learning as easy as possible. Graduate students will get to work with Adobe Creative Cloud, Google AdWords, Qualtrics survey software, and other innovative media tools. 

Notables

St. Bonaventure University has seen its graduates go on to work in public relations, marketing research and analytics, creative strategy and design, and other related fields. The university has been ranked among the nation’s Top 5 Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report

41

Asbury University

Average Net Price: $22,500

School Website

Overview

This private Christian liberal arts university was founded in 1890 in the city of Wilmore, KY. Asbury University is a small school with an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. Though small, Asbury offers over 50 unique majors across its 17 departments. Interested in online learning? Check out Asbury’s online Master of Arts degree in Communication: Digital Storytelling.

Program Features

Students admitted into this program may take courses on either a part-time or full-time schedule. Required courses may include:

  • Reading the Great Scripts
  • Multi-Camera Television Production
  • Viral Marketing: Methods, Messages, and Media
  • Deconstructing the Documentary: Myths, Propaganda, and the Truth
  • Communication Research Methods: Creativity, Tools, and Evaluation

Most students complete all of their requirements and earn their degree in two years or less. This program is ideal for those looking to become better storytellers and for those who wish to create compelling narratives for television, print, or across other mediums.

Notables

Asbury University is one of the most affordable on this list because all students pay the same rate of tuition regardless of their residency. Plus, there is no application fee. Once admitted, students may also apply for a Graduate Assistantship. 

42

Columbia University in the City of New York

Average Net Price: $22,824

School Website

Overview

This private Ivy League is located on the Upper West Side of the most populated city in America: New York. Established in the 1750s, Columbia University was ranked third among National Universities in the 2020 edition of U.S News and World Report’s Best Colleges. Columbia’s School of Professional Studies offers an Executive Master of Science degree in Strategic Communication.

Program Features

This 16-month graduate program is offered in a part-time hybrid format. Students will attend monthly weekends on Columbia’s New York City campus in addition to their online classes. Requirements for this 36-credit program may include:

  • Strategic Communications Management
  • Communication Research and Insights
  • The Compelling Communicator
  • Principles in Persuasion
  • The Reflective Leader

New students are only admitted in the fall, and all admitted students must attend a 4-day intensive study each fall on campus. All graduate students must complete a capstone project as well. 

Notables

Over the years, Columbia University has seen many graduates go on to find great success. Noteworthy examples include President Barack Obama, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Warren Buffet. Columbia graduates have gone on to pursue careers at a number of prestigious companies, including Citi, Deloitte, and Morgan Stanley. Plus, the average base salary for Columbia grads is $125,000.

43

National University

Average Net Price: $23,232

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1971 in La Jolla, CA, National University is a private, nonprofit school with a total enrollment of 17,000 students. The university has several CA-based campuses, as well as one in Nevada and an online platform. Through its College of Letters and Sciences, National University offers an online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication.

Program Features

Classes at National University are offered in four-week chunks, one at a time, which makes it easier and quicker to earn your degree. NU offers most classes on a monthly basis making it easy for new students to dive into a course. New student applications are also accepted year round. Students admitted into this MA program may have to take the following courses:

  • Persuasion
  • Crisis Communications
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Emerging Interactive Media
  • Campaign and Program Evaluation
  • Campaign and Program Management

National University also requires all students in this program to complete a capstone project.

Notables

National University is considered a Yellow Ribbon school and offers tuition discounts to military servicemembers and their dependents. Distance learning is made easy at NU with 24/7 access to courses, interactive environments, and support whenever you need it. Graduates will also have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with their classmates and professors. 

44

Webster University

Average Net Price: $23,835

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1915, Webster is a private, nonprofit university that has an enrollment of over 14,000 students. Located in Webster Groves, MO, this university also has campuses across Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as many online programs. This international university is now home to one of the best communication studies programs in the nation. Check out their online Master of Arts degree in Communications Management below.

Program Features

Offered through Webster’s School of Communications, this program is made up of 21 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives. Requirements may include:

  • Media and Culture
  • Media Production Management
  • Organizational Communications
  • Seminar in Media Communications 
  • Media Organization and Regulations 

All online students pay the same rate of tuition, regardless of residency. Plus, military service members are eligible to receive discounted tuition rates.

Notables

Webster University was ranked among the Top 15 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. The university also ranked well among the nation’s Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, as well as the Best Value Schools. With a variety of scholarships and financial aid options, Webster University is a popular choice for those looking to earn advanced degrees.

45

Queens University of Charlotte

Average Net Price: $24,512

School Website

Overview

A small, private university in North Carolina, Queens University of Charlotte is home to over 2,300 students. With a variety of unique degree programs to choose from, this university now offers more of its courses online. In fact, graduate students may pursue an online Master of Arts degree in Communication through the university’s James L. Knight School of Communication.

Program Features

Graduate students enrolled in this online MA program may choose an optional Integrated Digital Strategy concentration as well. Through shared blogs, Skype conferencing, and more, distance learners are able to interact with both professors and fellow classmates. Required courses may include:

  • The Social Creation of Organizing
  • Constructing Messages and Audiences
  • The Mediated Self and Changing Relationships
  • Communication and Culture in a Networked Society
  • Leadership, Empowerment, and the Management of Meaning

Students must also complete a capstone project in lieu of a thesis. Most graduates earn their degree in as little as 24 months. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores and there are no on-campus requirements. All students pay the same rate of tuition no matter their state of residence.

Notables

Graduates of the Queens University of Charlotte have gone on to work in marketing, human resources, consulting, media production, and other related fields. Distance learners will have access to 24/7 tech support, as well as guidance and feedback from faculty and staff along the way.

46

California Baptist University

Average Net Price: $25,714

School Website

Overview

Known as one of the top private Christian schools in Southern California, California Baptist University offers more than 30 unique master’s degree programs with over 45 concentrations. CBU Online is an excellent way to earn a degree from a highly-acclaimed university while cutting both costs and time. One of the university’s 13 online Master’s program offerings is the Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication.

Program Features

This 30-credit program can be completed entirely online in as little as 12 months. There are no prerequisite courses; requirements may include:

  • Communication Ethics
  • Social Influence and Persuasion 
  • Media Effects on Communication Behavior
  • Digital Trends in Strategic Communication
  • Communication Management, Leadership, and Decision-Making

Graduate studies will culminate in a comprehensive, creative capstone project that relates to strategic communication. Prospective students do not need to submit GRE scores, however, they must hold a bachelor’s degree and have a 2.5 GPA minimum. 

Notables

Online courses at California Baptist University offer the flexibility needed by working professionals to complete their studies with ease. Each course is just eight weeks long and students may transfer in credits towards their degree. Plus, distance learners have access to CBU’s career services, 24/7 online tutoring, and more. 

47

Northwestern University

Average Net Price: $26,099

School Website

Overview

Northwestern is a private research university that was founded in 1851 in Chicago. With over 21,000 students cheering on mascot Willie the Wildcat, Northwestern University offers a dozen unique schools and colleges to choose from. If you’re interested in earning an advanced degree, check out Northwestern’s Master of Science degree in Communications. 

Program Features

This is a hybrid program that offers one course at a time; each course is delivered through the university’s cutting-edge distance learning technology. Courses are offered in five-week sessions and may include:

  • Leading Collaboration
  • Using Data to Make Informed Decisions
  • Understanding and Leveraging Networks
  • Current Issues in Law, Technology, and Strategy
  • Foundations of Strategic Communication Management

All graduates in this program must also participate in four, in-residence seminars on the university’s Evanston campus. The culminating assessment for this degree is the MSC Capstone.

Notables

All Northwestern University graduate students in this program will be paired with an MSC executive career coach. Students should plan to meet with their coaches one-on-one and in-person throughout the course of their studies. While some online courses are live and others require in-person sessions, there are plenty of flexible, asynchronous classes as well.

48

Liberty University

Average Net Price: $26,954

School Website

Overview

Based in Lynchburg, VA, Liberty is a private evangelical Christian university that was founded in 1971 and currently enrolls over 110,000 students. With over 600 unique areas of study, including over 400 online programs, Liberty University remains a popular choice for both undergraduate and graduate students. Liberty Online offers a Master of Arts degree in Communication through its School of Communication and Digital Content.

Program Features

This 33-credit program is offered entirely online and each course is just eight weeks long. Students may transfer in up to 50% of the degree total, saving both time and money in earning their degree. In addition to building a comprehensive portfolio over the course of this program, graduate students may take the following classes:

  • New Beginnings: Research, Insight, and Application 
  • Problem Solving and Collaborative Communication 
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Effective Social Media
  • Strategic Storytelling

Most students complete all degree requirements in just four semesters.

Notables

Liberty University also offers an online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and an online Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing. For military members and their dependents, Liberty awards a discounted tuition rate along with other perks including eight start dates a year. 

49

Stevenson University

Average Net Price: $27,904

School Website

Overview

Located in Pikesville, MD, Stevenson is a private university that’s home to over 4,000 students. Stevenson University was known as Villa Julie College up until 2008 when it was named after Baltimore grain merchant, Robert Stevenson. If you’re looking for an advanced degree but aren’t located in Maryland, not a problem! Check out Stevenson’s online Master’s in Communication Studies.

Program Features

This program is intended for working adults who need the flexibility to complete coursework on their own schedules. This 36-credit program may require completion of the following courses:

  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Cultures and Communication
  • Conflict Communication and Leadership
  • Communication Ethics in the Public Sphere
  • Contemporary Organizations and Communication

Additionally, all students must choose between completing a Capstone: Communication Architecture Project or a master’s thesis. 

Notables

Stevenson University offers a partnership tuition rate through its relationships with local community colleges, hospitals, and organizations. Stevenson is also more affordable than most colleges as there are no fees or hidden costs associated with degree programs. Plus, students may transfer in credits to save both time and money in their advanced studies.

50

Lasell College

Average Net Price: $28,441

School Website

Overview

Located in Newton, MA, Lasell College enrolls over 2,000 students who pursue studies in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional fields. Just eight miles from Boston, Lasell offers a convenient location and exciting opportunities. However, if you’re not local to the area, you can pursue Lasell’s online Master of Science degree in Communication. 

Program Features

With six start dates throughout the year, this program is flexible and convenient for any working professional. Most students earn their degree in just 12-24 months, and applicants need not submit GRE or GMAT scores. Plus, tuition is a flat $600 per credit for all students no matter their residency. Students may choose from one of six areas of concentration, including:

  • Digital Media
  • Public Speaking
  • Public Relations
  • Health Communication
  • Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
  • Integrated Marketing Communication

Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue jobs as public relations managers, marketing managers, directors of digital marketing, and more. 

Notables

Lasell College offers online graduate students support through each and every step of their academic journey. From academic advising to career counseling, the Lasell staff and faculty are always ready to assist. Plus, Lasell hosts a Graduate Communication Series each semester where faculty and professionals speak about their experiences within the field.

51

Johns Hopkins University

Average Net Price: $29,066

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1876 in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins holds the prestigious honor of being America’s first research university. The university has since grown to include nine campuses spread across three continents. Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences now offers a unique online Master of Arts degree in Communication

Program Features

This 10-course program can be completed in just 12-24 months and is offered completely online. Prospective students may apply for admission during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Students may choose an optional concentration from the following areas:

  • Health Communication
  • Digital Communication
  • Political Communication
  • Public and Media Relations
  • Applied Research in Communication
  • Corporate and Non-Profit Communication

Students may declare more than one concentration if they wish, however, you cannot count one course towards two different concentrations. Students may take courses on a part-time or full-time schedule depending on their needs. 

Notables

Johns Hopkins University also offers a Dual MA in Communication/MBA as well as a combined MA in Communication/Certificate in Nonprofit Management. The university has been ranked among the nation’s Most Innovative Schools, Best Value Schools, and Top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.

52

Western New England University

Average Net Price: $30,305

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1919 in Springfield, MA, Western New England University is a private school that’s home to nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. You may pursue a degree in one of the university’s five schools, including its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, School of Law, and College of Pharmacy. Check out WNEU’s online Master of Arts degree in Communication. 

Program Features

This 30-credit, fully-online degree offers a public relations concentration and can be completed in as quickly as 15 months. Graduate students will take 10 courses which may include:

  • Ethics in Public Communication
  • Crisis Management and Public Relations
  • Writing for Communication Professionals
  • Principles and Practices of Public Relations
  • Manufacturing and Managing Public Opinion

This program is designed to be completed in a part-time fashion and uses the 11-week term calendar which includes two courses per semester, including summers. 

Notables

Admissions for this program are rolling and new students are admitted each fall, winter, and spring. U.S. News & World Report has included Western New England University on their ranking of Best Regional Universities in the North. The school also ranked among the Top 40 Best Value Schools in the nation. 

53

Northeastern University

Average Net Price: $30,784

School Website

Overview

Home to the Huskies, Northeastern is a private university that was founded in 1898 in Boston. Known for its distinctive approach to education and research, Northeastern is built on the values of experiential learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship. If you don’t live near Boston but would like to become a Husky, check out Northeastern University’s online Master of Science degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication.

Program Features

This online master’s program offers six unique concentration areas, including Cross-Cultural Communication, Social Media, Public and Media Relations, and more. Depending on your course of study, requirements may include:

  • Crisis Communication
  • Organizational Communication Assessment
  • Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication
  • Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques
  • Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication
  • Strategies for Cross-Cultural Facilitation and Negotiation

New students are admitted into this program each fall, spring, summer, and winter semester. Students may choose to take courses on a full-time or part-time schedule. Most graduates earn their degree within 1-2 years of starting the program.

Notables

Northeastern University allows students to transfer in up to 20% of their credits if they hold an APR, CMP, SCMP, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, SPHR, or HubSpot Academy certification. Admitted students will complete a portfolio as well as a final capstone project over the course of this degree program. You’ll also have opportunities to participate in co-ops and consulting projects if you’d like.

54

American University

Average Net Price: $32,732

School Website

Overview

Home to mascot Clawed Z. Eagle and over 13,000 students, American University is conveniently located in Washington, D.C. With over 100 unique degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue, nearly 95% of American University faculty members hold the highest degree in their respective fields. Learn from the best and earn an online Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication at AU. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s School of Communication, this 30-credit program can be completed on either a part-time or full-time schedule. Looking to specialize with a concentration? Popular studies include Digital Communication Strategies and Analytics, and Advocacy and Social Impact. Depending on your track, required courses may include:

  • Crisis Communication
  • Communication Theory
  • Grassroots Digital Advocacy
  • Writing for Strategic Communication
  • Social Media Marketing for Social Impact

This online program is made up of 10 courses, each just eight weeks long. This degree culminates with a comprehensive capstone course for students to apply all they’ve learned along the way.

Notables

Prospective students do not need to have a Communications background to be considered for this program. Most students earn their Master’s in just 20 months. American University has been ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.

55

University of Southern California

Average Net Price: $32,892

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in the state. This private university is located in Los Angeles and boasts a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of over 44,000. Interested in earning an advanced degree online? Check out USC’s online Master’s in Communication Management.

Program Features

Offered through USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, students will complete eight courses, for a total of 32 credit hours. All students also have the option of completing a capstone practicum experience. Required courses may include:

  • Principles of Public Relations
  • Global Marketing Communication
  • Strategic Corporate Communication
  • Communication, Attitudes, Values, and Behavior
  • Online Marketing Communication Development and Analysis

The curriculum of this program blends creativity, technology, strategy, and interconnectivity so that graduates may become better communicators no matter the industry in which they work.

Notables

The University of Southern California is ranked No. 3 in the world in Communication and Media Studies by QS World University Rankings. U.S. News & World Report has also ranked the university among the nation’s Most Innovative Schools and Best Value Schools.

56

Gonzaga University

Average Net Price: $34,085

School Website

Overview

Gonzaga is a Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1887 in Spokane, WA. Home to mascot Spike the Bulldog and over 7,500 students, Gonzaga University offers over 15 unique master’s degrees across its seven schools and colleges. Through Gonzaga Online, graduates can earn a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership.

Program Features

This 30-credit program includes six optional concentrations for students to choose from, including: 

  • College Teaching
  • Global Leadership
  • Change Leadership
  • Servant Leadership
  • Digital Media Strategies
  • Strategic and Organizational Communication

Graduate students in this program must complete 4 electives, 2 capstone courses, and 4 core classes, including a required on-campus immersion. If you’re interested, Gonzaga also offers study abroad opportunities for students in this program in Belgium, Colombia, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Most students complete all program requirements in just 2-2.5 years.

Notables

All online courses at Gonzaga University are taught by the same professors who teach students on-campus. Additionally, all distance learners will have access to the university’s Foley Library, career center, tech support, and more. Plus, tuition is the same for both online and on-campus courses. Active members of the military and their spouses, as well as veterans, receive a 10% discount on tuition rates.

57

Ithaca College

Average Net Price: $34,791

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1892 in Ithaca, NY, this is a private liberal arts college with an enrollment of over 6,500 students. Ithaca College has had many famous graduates, including David Muir, Ricki Lake, Matt Cavenaugh, and more. Interested in joining the ranks of these grads without having to step foot on campus? Check out Ithaca’s online Master of Science in Communications Innovation. 

Program Features

This 32-credit degree program can be completed in just two years and offers asynchronous courses, making it easy for working professionals to earn their degrees. Courses are offered through Ithaca’s Roy H. Park School of Communications and may include:

  • Media Ethics and Governance
  • Consumer Behavior: Theory and Application
  • Intellectual Property and Business Contracts
  • Global Product Management: Bringing Concept to Reality
  • New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs

Typically, graduate students in this program take just one course at a time over a five-week period. This master’s degree culminates in a final research and development project. 

Notables

Prospective students should note that this program begins and ends with a three-day, on-site intensive class in Ithaca. This takes place in August and is a great opportunity for students to meet each other as well as their professors. 

58

University of Denver

Average Net Price: $35,163

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1864 near the Rocky Mountains, this private research university is home to over 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. Interested in earning a degree here but can’t make it to campus? Check out the university’s online Master of Arts in Communication Management with a concentration in Marketing Communication.

Program Features

Each term is just 10 weeks long and students can complete all degree requirements in as little as 18 months. Applicants do not have to submit GRE or GMAT scores to be considered for admission into this program. Required courses in this 48-credit program may include:

  • Brand Management Strategies
  • Marketing Strategy and Process
  • Digital Marketing Communication
  • Storytelling through Research and Measurement
  • Communication and Society: Theories and Applications

In addition to coursework, all graduate students must complete either a Capstone Project or Portfolio Capstone.

Notables

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Denver among the nation’s Top 25 Best Online Programs. The university was also ranked among the Top 100 Best National Universities and Top 60 Best Value Schools. Scholarships are also available for students who need more financial assistance.

59

Syracuse University

Average Net Price: $35,306

School Website

Overview

Home to beloved mascot Otto the Orange, Syracuse is a private research university that was founded in 1831. Located in upstate New York, Syracuse University offers more than 200 degree programs. Famous graduates include Vanessa Williams, Bob Costas, Dick Clark, and Aaron Sorkin. Join the ranks and check out the university’s online Master’s in Communications. 

Program Features

Offered through the university’s famous S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, this master’s degree can be completed in as little as 15 months. Students may choose from three areas of concentration, including Public Relations, Advertising, and Journalism Innovation. Based on your track, required courses may include:

  • Media Law
  • Multimedia Storytelling
  • Digital Communications Systems
  • Social Media for Public Communicators
  • Introduction to Digital Communications

To finish the program, all graduate students must attend two in-person immersions and complete a capstone project focused on digital communications innovation.

Notables

Syracuse University’s online platform allows distance learners to log on from anywhere, at any time. Coursework includes interactive components like video case studies and live Q&A sessions with professors. Flexible class schedules make it easy for working professionals to earn this advanced degree. U.S. News & World Report named Syracuse University a Best Value School and Best College for Veterans. 

60

Marist College

Average Net Price: $36,576

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1905 in Poughkeepsie, NY, Marist is a private liberal arts college with a total enrollment of over 6,000 students. Marist College houses eight unique schools and colleges where students can pursue a variety of degree programs. Interested in communication studies but don’t have time to travel to campus? Check out Marist’s online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Program Features

Online classes start every eight weeks at Marist College, making it easy for working professionals who need flexibility. This 30-credit program can be completed on either a part-time or full-time schedule. Required courses may include:

  • Principles of Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Public Relations Management
  • Global Consumer Insights
  • Advertising Management
  • Brand Management

Distance learners in this program have access to many of the same resources as those on-campus, including tech support, tutoring, career services, library access, and more. 

Notables

All online courses at Marist are offered in an asynchronous format to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Full-time graduate students can complete this degree in as little as three semesters, while part-time students may take up to three years. Start dates are flexible as students can choose to begin this program in either a fall or spring semester.