Most Affordable Online Master’s in Communications Degrees

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Most Affordable Online Master's in Communications Badge

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!

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Communications Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
2 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
3 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
4 University of North Texas Denton, TX
5 Purdue University Hammond, IN
6 Troy University Troy, AL
7 Florida International University Miami, FL
8 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
9 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
10 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN


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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
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Hammond, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Troy, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Clarksville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

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