Best Online Master's in Communication Programs

Updated November 10, 2022

A ranking of the best online master's in communication programs. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, academic quality and

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Timeline to a Master's in Communication & Post-Grad Possibilities

The online master's in communication degree is often sought after by professionals who have been working in or near the communications field for a while and have a specific career path in mind, as well as those who choose to enter the program immediately upon graduating with a bachelor's degree. Either way, students in an online master's in communication program can expect to take several high-level courses that will prepare them for meaningful work in the communications field. Read on to learn more about what students can gain from earning an online master's in communication degree.

Best Online Master's in Communication

Earning an online master's in communication degree can be the ticket to a variety of promising career paths. With so many online programs available, finding the right program can be tricky. Our rankings focus on important criteria to consider when making this important decision: graduation rates, tuition costs and teacher-student ratio. These rankings can help aspiring communication students narrow down options to create a shorter, more manageable list.

#1 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois, is a private institution that makes flexible programming one of its strengths. Students can earn one of four degrees remotely with little or no need to visit the school. Presently, 418 enrollees choose online learning as their preferred format. At the college, grad students can earn a master of science in communication fully online.

Distance learners can access academic advising and career services just like their on-campus peers. Many students rely on faculty and other staff for assistance helping them transition into the workplace.

Prospective applicants can contact the program for additional information on admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Northwestern University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 147

Online Master's Programs: 4

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $56,067

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$56,232
Out-of-state
$56,232
Retention Rate
98%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
22,448
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Southern California, a private institution, enrolls degree-seekers who want flexible learning alternatives to in-person sessions on the Los Angeles campus. The school’s 76 online programs highlight a commitment to distance learners and their needs. Approximately 8,203 enrollees classify as online learners. Technological advancements have made it unnecessary to quit your job or neglect other obligations in order to earn a master’s.

Enrollees pursuing a master of communication management receive preparation for higher-level careers. The graduation requirement is at least 38 credits for this degree. The institution understands the importance of support services, which it provides through options like academic advising and career services. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, enrollees can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

The school can provide more information about the communications program, including how to apply and qualify for financial aid.

University of Southern California at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 199

Online Master's Programs: 55

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $46,272

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$57,256
Out-of-state
$57,256
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
48,321
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Webster University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Webster University, located in Saint Louis, Missouri, is a private institution that makes flexible programming one of its strengths. Students can choose from 96 online programs in various fields. These programs have attracted 4,741 enrollees who choose to study exclusively online. Degree-seekers are drawn to online master’s programs because of the flexibility.

Enrollees pursuing a master's in communication management receive instruction from faculty who are skilled in teaching courses online. All distance learners can take advantage of career services and academic advising opportunities. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, students can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

Interested applicants should contact the school or department for more information about application requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Webster University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 59

Online Master's Programs: 31

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,500

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,500
Out-of-state
$28,500
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
9,860
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Queens University of Charlotte

  • Charlotte, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

North Carolina-based Queens University of Charlotte offers five degrees that enrollees can complete remotely or mostly online. School information shows an enrollment of 1,659 online learners. The online learning platform allows students to earn a master’s without giving up other important obligations.

The curriculum of the institution's online master's in communication is the same as a similar one delivered on campus. The degree plan's 30 credits may include hands-on training. All distance learners can take advantage of career services and academic advising opportunities. Many degree-seekers rely on faculty mentorship and industry connections to help advance their careers.

Applicants can contact the communications program department for more information about how to apply to the school and for financial aid.

Queens University of Charlotte at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 9

Online Master's Programs: 5

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,824

Religious Affiliation: Christian

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,438
Out-of-state
$34,438
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
65%
Students Enrolled
2,463
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Mississippi College

  • Clinton, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Clinton-based Mississippi College is a private institution that offers 40 online programs, including master's in communications programs. School information shows an enrollment of 2,635 online learners. A master’s degree delivered online can help many professionals keep their jobs, and that is why virtual learning is so popular.

Enrollees receive instruction from faculty who excel at teaching online programs. Career services and academic advising are made available to all distance learners. Many degree-seekers rely on faculty mentorship and industry connections to help advance their careers.

The school can guide prospective applicants on how to apply to the communications program and qualify for financial aid opportunities.

Mississippi College at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 54

Online Master's Programs: 23

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,250

Religious Affiliation: Christian

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,550
Out-of-state
$17,550
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
42%
Students Enrolled
4,733
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Drexel University, a private institution located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers programs delivered using different modalities to meet the needs of today’s learner. Distance learners can choose from 89 online programs in addition to what is available on campus. School data show about 9,300 enrollees study online. Online master’s degrees appeal to full-time workers and others who want to advance their education without making unnecessary sacrifices.

Enrollees pursuing a master's in communication, culture, and media learn from faculty who have expertise in this field, equipped to prepare highly skilled workers and potential scholars. Learners receive additional support through academic and career advising. Degree candidates can plan for the future by working with faculty mentors to establish a career plan.

The school can provide more information about the program, including how to apply and qualify for financial aid opportunities.

Drexel University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 119

Online Master's Programs: 39

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $35,181

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$52,146
Out-of-state
$52,146
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
24,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Notre Dame of Maryland University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students can choose from a variety of programs offered at Notre Dame of Maryland University, a private institution located in Baltimore. About seven online programs are now available for distance learners. Currently, 886 online learners use this format to earn their degrees. Students are drawn to online master’s programs because of the flexibility.

The curriculum of the online master of arts in contemporary communication program is the same as a similar one delivered on campus. To graduate, students need to take at least 36 credits. Learners receive additional support through academic and career advising. Faculty mentors and career advisors help students set professional goals.

Application requirements are accessible online or by contacting the department.

Notre Dame of Maryland University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 13

Online Master's Programs: 3

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 7-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,345

Religious Affiliation: Catholic

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$37,000
Out-of-state
$37,000
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
2,277
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Quinnipiac University

  • Hamden, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers can access a comprehensive academic catalog at Quinnipiac University, a private institution located in Hamden, Connecticut. Students can pick from five online programs if they do not want in-person sessions. School data show an enrollment of 2,156 online learners. At the college, grad students can earn a master of science in interactive media and communications in a fully remote format.

The program's instructors are held to the highest professional and instructional standards, just as their on-campus peers. Career services and academic advising are made available to all distance learners. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, students can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

Prospective applicants can contact the program for additional information on admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Quinnipiac University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 36

Online Master's Programs: 2

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $18,990

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$46,790
Out-of-state
$46,790
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
9,708
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Johns Hopkins University, a private institution, enrolls degree-seekers who want flexible learning alternatives to in-person sessions on the Baltimore, Maryland, campus. Students can choose from 76 online programs in various fields. Presently, 12,506 enrollees choose online learning as their preferred format. The promise of a fully online master’s degree is enticing to many students.

The master of arts in communication builds on bachelor's-level education with advanced training in communications. To graduate, students complete at least 30 credits. Distance learners enjoy a variety of support services, including academic advisement and career guidance. Enrollees can work with faculty mentors and career advisors to set professional goals.

Application and financial aid requirements are available online or by contacting the communications program department.

Johns Hopkins University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 124

Online Master's Programs: 30

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $55,350

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Not Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$55,350
Out-of-state
$55,350
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
27,079
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

South Dakota State University

  • Brookings, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers can access a comprehensive academic catalog at South Dakota State University, a public institution in Brookings. Students can pick from 45 online programs if they do not want in-person sessions. According to recent data, about 4,358 enrollees attend online classes. One of the key benefits of a master’s delivered online is that it helps students manage multiple obligations like work and family life.

The master of mass communication curriculum explores advanced concepts in the field. The institution supports distance learners with academic advising and career services. Faculty mentors and career advisors help students set professional goals.

Prospective applicants can contact the program for more information about application requirements and how to apply for financial aid.

South Dakota State University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 47

Online Master's Programs: 16

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,083

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,697
Out-of-state
$11,172
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
11,512
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Liberty University, a private institution, enrolls degree-seekers who want flexible learning alternatives to in-person sessions on the Lynchburg, Virginia, campus. The school appeals to graduate students who prefer remote learning with 161 online programs now available. School data show an enrollment of 78,511 online learners. Students are drawn to online master’s programs because of the flexibility.

Prospective applicants can receive more information about the master's in communications program, application, and financial aid requirements by contacting the school. learners. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, students can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

Prospective applicants can receive more information about the Communications program, application, and financial aid requirements by contacting the school.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 68

Online Master's Programs: 67

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,980

Religious Affiliation: Christian

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Lasell University

  • Newton, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private institution, Lasell University offers a variety of degrees on campus in Newton, Massachusetts, and through remote learning. In addition to on-campus programs, the school offers eight online programs. School information shows an enrollment of 640 online learners. The appeal of a master’s degree delivered online includes the option for students to continue working.

The master of science in communication provides advanced training in the field, knowledge that employers value. A rigorous curriculum is blended with equally important services such as career and academic advising. Faculty mentors and career advisors help students set professional goals.

The school can provide more information about the Communications program, including how to apply and qualify for financial aid opportunities.

Lasell University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 11

Online Master's Programs: 8

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,800

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,700
Out-of-state
$35,700
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
2,041
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#13 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Marist College

  • Poughkeepsie, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Marist College, a private institution, teaches degree-seekers from its campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. Students can earn one of 10 degrees remotely with little or no need to visit campus. School information shows an enrollment of 1,573 online learners. The online learning platform allows enrollees to earn a master’s without giving up other important obligations.

Enrollees pursuing the master's in communication learn from faculty who have expertise in this field, equipped to prepare highly skilled workers and potential scholars. Degree candidates receive additional support through academic and career advising. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, students can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

The school can guide prospective applicants on how to apply to the communications program and qualify for financial aid opportunities.

Marist College at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 16

Online Master's Programs: 6

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,300

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,925
Out-of-state
$39,925
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
6,738
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#14 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Kent State University at Kent

  • Kent, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio-based Kent State University at Kent is a public institution that makes flexible programming one of its strengths. The school has developed 44 degrees that students can earn from a distance. Currently, 15,098 learners enroll in distance education programs. These online learners appreciate the flexibility of a master’s degree.

The online master of arts in media and journalism features a curriculum similar to one delivered on campus. Support for the school’s enrollees include access to academic and financial advising and career services. Faculty can work with students to set professional goals and define ways to achieve them.

Prospective applicants can contact the program for additional information on admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Kent State University at Kent at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 104

Online Master's Programs: 23

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,766

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,602
Out-of-state
$19,478
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
27,716
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Troy University

  • Troy, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Troy University is a public institution with a comprehensive catalog delivered from its campus in Troy, Alabama. This is a good school for graduate students who prefer remote learning with 49 online programs now available. School data show about 9,242 enrollees study online. Technological advancements have made it unnecessary to quit your job or neglect other obligations in order to earn a master’s.

The master of science in strategic communication provides advanced knowledge and training in communications. Career services and academic advising are made available to all distance learners. Degree-seekers can plan for the future by working with faculty mentors to establish a career plan.

Interested applicants can learn more by contacting the school or department.

Troy University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 29

Online Master's Programs: 18

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,650

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,800
Out-of-state
$15,600
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
16,436
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#16 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Riverside-based California Baptist University is a private institution that uses flexible program delivery to meet the needs of busy learners. The school’s 39 online programs highlight a commitment to distance learners and their needs. Currently, 6,112 online learners use this format to earn their degrees. Technological advancements have made it unnecessary to quit your job or neglect other obligations in order to earn a master’s.

Online enrollees pursuing the master of arts in strategic communication receive the same advanced career preparation as on-campus degree-seekers. Learners can take advantage of career services and academic advising opportunities. By working with faculty mentors and career advisors, students can prepare for successful professional lives after college.

Application requirements are accessible online or by contacting the department.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 32

Online Master's Programs: 13

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,830

Religious Affiliation: Christian

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,942
Out-of-state
$32,942
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,045
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#17 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Lincoln, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers can access a comprehensive academic catalog at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a public institution. This is a good school for graduate students who prefer remote learning with 16 online programs now available. Approximately 12,449 enrollees classify as online learners. These online learners appreciate the flexibility of a master’s degree.

The master's in communication studies program features a curriculum that covers advanced topics in the field. The institution supports distance learners with academic advising and career services. Students can work with faculty mentors and career advisors to set professional goals.

Interested applicants can contact the school or department for more information.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 73

Online Master's Programs: 11

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,976

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,560
Out-of-state
$24,000
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
25,390
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Purdue University-Main Campus

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University-Main Campus teaches degree-seekers as a public institution. This is a good school for graduate students who prefer remote learning with 35 online programs now available. The number of online enrollees is 10,129, according to recent data. Online master’s degrees are great for full-time workers and others who want to advance their education without making unnecessary sacrifices.

Enrollees pursuing the master's in communication receive preparation for higher-level careers. Students complete 30 credits to earn this degree. Distance learners receive additional support through departments such as academic advising and career services. Degree candidates can plan for the future by working with faculty mentors to establish a career plan.

Application requirements are accessible online or by contacting the department.

Purdue University-Main Campus at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 81

Online Master's Programs: 20

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,208

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,208
Out-of-state
$28,010
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
45,500
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

  • Fargo, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Fargo, North Dakota State University-Main Campus teaches degree-seekers as a public institution. The school has developed nine degrees that students can earn from a distance. Online learning is an option chosen by 5,328 enrollees, according to school information. A master’s degree delivered online can help many professionals keep their jobs, and that is why virtual learning is so popular.

Enrollees pursuing the master's in communication learn from faculty who have expertise in this field, equipped to prepare highly skilled workers and potential scholars. Distance learners enjoy a variety of support services, including academic advisement and career guidance. Students can work with faculty mentors and career advisors to set professional goals.

The school can guide prospective applicants on how to apply to the program and qualify for financial aid opportunities.

North Dakota State University-Main Campus at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 77

Online Master's Programs: 9

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,743

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,275
Out-of-state
$12,413
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
13,173
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#20 Best Online Master’s in Communication Programs

Gonzaga University

  • Spokane, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Gonzaga University is a private institution with a comprehensive catalog delivered from its campus in Spokane, Washington. In addition to on-campus programs, the school offers five online degrees. The number of online enrollees is 1,317, according to recent data. Technological advancements have made it unnecessary to quit your job or neglect other obligations in order to earn a master’s.

Enrollees pursuing the master of arts in communication and leadership studies receive preparation for higher-level careers through advanced curriculum. Distance learners receive additional support through departments such as academic advising and career services. Faculty mentors and career advisors can play a key role in helping students plan their careers.

The school or program can provide prospective enrollees with application information for the degree.

Gonzaga University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 17

Online Master's Programs: 3

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,672

Religious Affiliation: Catholic

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,280
Out-of-state
$44,280
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
7,537
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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The Online Communication Master's Degree Timeline

The online master's in communication degree is designed for those who want to hone their skills in one particular area of communications or already have a strong background in journalism, English and the like, and want to shift gears a bit to enter a communications career. Depending on the school, the master's degree typically takes between one and two years to complete. Those who choose to attend school part-time might take up to three years to complete the coursework. But before the work begins, the application process must be conquered.

Application Process

The master's program is rigorous, and schools expect to see many qualified applicants, so it's important to work hard and stand out from the pack. The following requirements are necessary to create a stellar application.

  1. 1

    Provide proof of bachelor's degree

    A bachelor's degree is the absolute prerequisite for the master's program in communications. In addition, some schools require students to earn a minimum GPA during their undergraduate education, as well as complete certain courses, such as Public Speaking, Advanced English or Communication, that will serve them well during the pursuit of the master's degree. The proof can be submitted through official transcripts. Some schools will allow students to send the transcripts themselves, while others might require the transcripts to be sent electronically from the awarding institution.

  2. 2

    Provide a resume

    Many schools will give more weight to the application of someone who has pursued a career in a communications field; the resume will provide evidence of that experience, through formal employment, internship or volunteer work. Be sure to include specific details on any job that relates in any way, to communications.

  3. 3

    Write a statement of purpose

    Why communications? A strong statement of purpose explaining why this particular field is the ultimate goal can help a student stand out from the competitive pack of applicants. Show how communications is already a big part of the career plan, as well as how the master's degree is a necessary step in order to achieve the dreams of working in the communications field.

  4. 4

    Obtain recommendations

    Recommendations from employers, coworkers, former professors, and others who can verify academic and professional accomplishments are a vitally important part of the application. Some schools will require students to obtain letters of recommendation themselves, while others will simply require the student to provide contact information, which will then be used by the school to reach out to these contacts on the student's behalf.

  5. 5

    Submit official GRE scores

    Many schools require GRE scores for communications majors. This requirement might be waived if the student has met a certain minimum GPA in their undergraduate work, especially courses that pertain to communication, or has at least five years of proven work experience in a related profession. Since GRE scores might take several weeks to get to the admissions office, it is important to take the test early so as to not miss important application deadlines.

  6. 6

    Submit application and necessary fees

    The application must be submitted by the deadline, along with the application fee. Some schools have a rolling application process, which means students can submit their application anytime throughout the year. It's important to remember, however, that GRE scores, recommendations and other documents must be dated within a certain time frame relevant to the application. Prompt submission matters, so documents need to be current. For example, send GRE scores within six months of the date, and recommendations within three months.

  7. 7

    Make sure technology is up-to-date

    Online education is made possible through an internet connection, the right software and proper hardware. Ensuring a computer system is up-to-date and capable of handling the workload is a very important part of starting any online degree. Look at the requirements listed for online students on the school's website, and ensure that all computers used for the program are up to par. If not, now is the time to upgrade, before the first class begins.

Year 1 Milestones


During the first year of a master's in communication program, students will brush up on the skills they learned while earning their bachelor's degrees, as well as hone new ones that they can use immediately in the field. The following are important milestones that can be expected for communications students.

  • Dive into the concentration

    The world of communications offers numerous concentrations, including public and media relations, political communication, health communication, applied research, digital communication and non-profit work. The first year will introduce the student to the concentration with in-depth core classes that set the foundation for further learning.

  • Brush up on applicable concepts

    For those who took time away from school after earning a bachelor's degree, this essential overview of previous concepts can serve as a nice refresher course, and helps the student see areas of their current work where those concepts might apply. These required courses will also delve into research and writing skills that must be top-notch for serious communication students.

  • Start research for major projects

    Now is the time to put those hard-earned research skills to good use. During the first year of the program, students will be expected to choose their thesis topic or begin their work on a capstone project. These projects require a large time commitment and will involve in-depth research and writing on a unique topic that closely relates to the communication field.

Year 2 Milestones


The second year dives deeper into the concentration, allowing students an opportunity to pepper their curriculum with electives that further enhance what they want to learn from their education. Now is the time when students are truly putting their writing and research skills to the test, as well as using their newfound knowledge as a way to enhance their careers.

  • Take advanced courses

    The second year is usually the final year of study for full-time students, and it's all about the more specialized core courses that make up the bulk of the concentration. These courses are very focused on the chosen path of the communication professional. For example, those who are interested in political communication will focus on lobbying, spokesperson development, campaign management, polling strategies and other related courses.

  • Put knowledge into action

    In addition to studying these subjects in-depth, students will put them into action in their day-to-day jobs. Since most master's degree students are also full-time or part-time employees, they will be able to take their newfound knowledge to work with them. For example, someone working on a health communication major can begin working with colleagues to create new crisis communication strategies or ensure the old ones are up to par.

  • Final project draws to a close

    For many students, those last few months are a mad scramble of research and writing as the big project finally comes to an end. This might be the capstone project, the thesis or simply preparing for the comprehensive final examination, which depends on what the school decides as the best way to prove the amount of knowledge a student has learned and retained.

  • Plan out the future

    By the time the second year ends, communication students usually have a very good idea of what they want to do with their new degree. This is the time to plan out the future by applying for various jobs in the communication field, taking on extra projects at work to set the stage for a promotion or rehearsing the best way to present a raise request to the boss.

Graduation Requirements


Each school will have their own graduation requirements. The most basic requirement is to complete all courses satisfactorily and finish out the program with a minimum GPA. However, other requirements also come into play. Here's what to expect:

  • A minimum GPA

    Completing the coursework is not enough; most schools require that it be completed with a minimum grade. Though a 3.0 is the common requirement, it depends on the school, and in some cases, the program itself. The most important part will be the core courses; which are almost always required to be completed with a higher GPA than other courses.

  • The master's thesis

    Many online master's in communication programs require a thesis to wrap up the educational experience. The thesis will focus on a unique question or situation in the world of communication. For example, someone interested in media and public relations might look toward questions of how social media affects how news travels, while those in political communication might explore new ways of polling potential voters.

  • The capstone project

    Rather than expecting a thesis, some schools require a capstone project. This is essentially the same process as the thesis, as heavy research and writing will be required. However, the capstone might go further by requiring hands-on work by the student. As an example, those in broadcast communications might try different types of reporting and then poll audiences to determine how the reporting worked in getting their attention.

  • Final examination

    Some schools might also require a final examination. This comprehensive exam focuses on all the points students are expected to learn during the master's in communication program, and proves that students know how to apply that knowledge to practical applications. The examination will cover many of the core concepts of the concentration as well as communication in general.

Core Principles and Skills Learned in an Online Communication Program

Master's in Communication

  1. 1

    Analyze how theory relates to practical application

    Students will not only learn about the essential knowledge and theories of communication, but will be able to translate them into practical applications on the job. Knowledge can be seen in action when graduates work political campaigns, educate the public on health topics, work in public relations departments, join a broadcast team or work to get their message out on digital media.

  2. 2

    Earn real-world job skills

    The skills a communication graduate learns during the master's program will definitely come into play in their job; common skills include analyzing an issue from all sides, appropriately conveying information to select audiences, researching pertinent issues, writing succinct reports, and creating and implementing new strategies that enhance the public, organization or individual experience.

  3. 3

    Boost critical thinking and problem solving skills

    One of the most important skills to take away from a master's in communication education is the ability to think critically about current issues and solve problems, whether long-term or short-term, with solutions that will foster true change over time. In the world of communication, those skills can translate into a wide variety of jobs, including campaign managers, public relations specialists, health advocates, digital media specialists and researchers.

  4. 4

    Conduct in-depth research and analysis

    Being a good researcher is another important skill that will carry a communications graduate through their lifelong career. Researching the current issues, as well as understanding the historical context, is a vital component of creating new approaches in the communications world. From researching how individuals get their news to analyzing how communication between teachers and parents affects the way students learn, there is no limit to the possibilities that come with top-notch research in this field.

After Your Degree: What to do with a Master's in Communication

Many positions in communications require a bachelor's degree, but a whole new world of opportunity opens up with a master's degree. Those with a master's in communication degree are trained to take on more responsibility, move into management positions and advance in their current career path or even dive into something new. The following jobs are just a few of the many possibilities available to those who graduate from online master's in communication programs.

Browse Master's in Communication Careers

Community Association Manager

These managers work with community associations to manage the daily affairs of a group of homeowners. The daily work might include collecting fees, negotiating with a contractor, resolving complaints, supervising regular maintenance or helping homeowners ensure compliance with rules and regulations.

Mean Annual Wage: $55,380

Growth Potential: 8%


Lobbyist

These very specialized public relations specialists work closely with government entities and lawmakers in the hopes of garnering advantageous legislation for their clients. Lobbyists research regulatory proposals, monitor governmental issues, meet with top lawmakers or their staff, attend hearings, work with other public relations professionals to educate the public and work in concert with lawmakers to develop effective policy strategy.

Mean Annual Wage: $56,770

Growth Potential: 6%


Campaign Manager

Campaign managers work closely with political candidates and their extended team on such things as creating a campaign platform, raising funds to run an election campaign, educating the public on the candidate, managing the campaign budget, advertising and conducting polls. Campaign managers are the behind-the-scenes experts that help ensure a campaign runs smoothly and effectively.

Mean Annual Wage$104,140

Growth Potential 7%

Source: BLS

Additional Resources

Students and professionals in the communications field can benefit from numerous professional associations, networking options and job resources. The following resources are designed to help those in the field of communications, no matter what their concentration and ultimate career goals might be.

The AWC focuses on females in communications, offering awards, job boards, pertinent events and other perks that help women advance, network and earn recognition for their work. This comprehensive website offers numerous resources for students in various communication disciplines, including speech, public speaking, mass communication, broadcasting and more. Designed for professionals in business communication, the IABC offers education, certification, resources, certification, online magazines and an international conference. The NCA works to advance the communications disciplines and promotes appreciation of the need for communications in everyday life. Members can take advantage of teaching and learning resources, career advice and more. Students in various communications disciplines can take advantage of the events, scholarships, competitions, and other resources offered by PRSSA.

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