Guide to Master’s Degrees in Communication

MastersInCommunication.com is a site committed to quality resources for students pursuing a master’s degree in communication. Earning a master’s in communication degree online can be a convenient, easy way to take your career further, especially if you are already a working professional. A graduate-level degree will also give you the eligibility to apply for a PhD program.

The field of communications encompasses the areas of marketing, advertising, film, journalism, public relations, and broadcasting. With so many fields of study to choose from, it’s no wonder why countless degree programs exist. This is great news for students at all education levels. Whether you’re just starting out in the field or ready to pursue a master’s degree, finding a program is relatively easy.

Southern New Hampshire University The Southern New Hampshire University is a highly-rated college based in Manchester, New Hampshire, placing it in a city field with a vibrant culture and history. However, you can obtain an MA in Communication Administration or specialize in Public Relations or New Media & Marketing through online classes without having to spend time on campus for completion, cutting down on commuting and living expenses.
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Lasell College Lasell College has two degrees for students seeking advanced careers in the communication field, a Public Relations program and an Integrated Marketing Communications program. Lasell is based in Newton, Massachusetts and has over 150 years of service to students and alumni alike, delivering quality and results-oriented curriculum.
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University of Southern California If an engaging student life, peer-to-peer interaction, and flexibility are appealing to you, then an online degree from the University of Southern California can be an excellent choice. USC is a large school, home to almost 40,000 students, but you can earn your degree online like the Master of Communication Management with no campus time required.
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Walden University If you are interested in obtaining your communication degree from a small college either online or on -campus, Walden University can be an excellent choice due to its long-established reputation and active student life. The school offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree with a PR or Marketing focus that can be completed relatively quickly compared to traditional study.
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Liberty University The MBA in Public Relations from Liberty University is a versatile degree that can be completed in two years of study. The program covers communication and leadership issue both within a company and outside the company via public relations. Students will study communication technologies, public speaking, writing, and leadership skills and philosophies.
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Graduate-level programs are growing in size and scope, and for good reason. Communications is a field with a growing need for advanced professionals in all areas. Graduate study prepares graduates to be leaders in their field, and in two or three years you’ll be ready to put your degree to work.

Getting Started: Choosing a Master’s Degree Program in Communications

To get started, you need to decide what area of communications best suits you. Are you interested in reporting, film, corporate communications, or marketing? Do you enjoy social networking and advertising or do you see yourself TV, radio, or online production? Deciding what area to focus on depends on your long-term career goals.

Since you already have your bachelor’s degree (in communications or a related field), choosing an area of interest might be a no-brainer. However, some prospective students may be career changers or paraprofessionals looking to move into a new field.

Either way, it’s important to know your options. Graduate-level degrees in communications are plentiful so we’ve provided a list of degree programs that will help you sort through the possibilities:

  • Master of Art (MA) in Communication: This program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the field of communication through film, cultural studies, rhetoric, and more. You’ll hone your writing and critical thinking skills as well as oral presentation skills.
  • Master of Science (MS) in Communication: The curriculum in this program offers core courses related to the discipline in addition to elective courses that allow you to customize your degree program. Professionals from a variety of backgrounds can benefit from an MS in Communication, as the principles and practices involved can be applied to many fields.

The difference between an MA and an MS is slight. An MA places a strong emphasis on the humanities while an MS is more research- and practice-focused.

Many schools offer areas of concentration, allowing you to further customize your degree. Possible areas of concentration include:

  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Communication, Culture and Community
  • Communication Studies
  • Corporate Communications
  • Leadership, Organizing and Relating
  • Journalism and Media Studies
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Radio/TV

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Each program is different, but you can expect similar course topics across the board. For example, you’ll likely study:

  • Communication theory
  • Cognitive processes
  • Communication research methods
  • Creative expressions
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Listening and discussion skills
  • Media and culture
  • Statistics

In addition to the above, you’ll also take courses in your area of concentration. Make sure to consult an academic advisor before enrolling to ensure you know what’s expected of you. If you’re working full-time or need maximum flexibility with your schedule, you might want to look into online, part-time, or evening programs.

Degree requirements also vary. Some programs take two or three years to complete and consist of at least 40-60 credit hours. Other degree requirements may include an internship, practicum, or other experiential learning opportunity.

Common Careers in Communications

  • Journalism: If you want to work as a reporter, journalist, or broadcaster, consider pursuing a career in journalism.
  • Advertising: The advertising world can be an exciting one. Copywriters, ad executives, and art directors can find employment at advertising agencies and marketing communications firms.
  • Publishing: If you love reading and writing, working in the publishing industry might be a good fit. Writers, editors, and agents are typically employed by publishing houses of all sizes.

Other career choices include:

  • Broadcasting journalist
  • Public relations manager
  • Speech writer
  • Sports commentator
  • TV broadcaster

A communications degree opens doors to a variety of different careers in business, education, politics, advertising, and much more. With a master’s degree in hand, you’ll be even more qualified for high-level jobs and leadership positions. Our list of accredited degree programs will help you find the right program to get you where you want to be.