A master's in media and communication open doors to careers in marketing, radio, television, journalism, and public relations. The annual salary potential can exceed $60,000, depending on occupation. Opportunities for graduates with an online media and communication master's degree will increase as media industries continue to grow. Below is information on universities, graduate programs, and careers to help you make an educated decision for your future.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAMS?

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Since it opened its doors in 1971, FIU grew its program offerings immensely, expanding to reach more students from around the world. Through its online degrees, students from all over can now access an FIU education without ever leaving home. The online MS in mass communication with a global strategic communications track offers students the skills and the social responsibility to take on leadership positions within communications departments in various industries. Learners gain the option to specialize in communications management or digital media and delve into the areas of advertising and public relations.

Within the 30-credit online master of arts in mass communication, students complete five core courses covering ethics, research methods, theories, and management. The final core course requires learners to complete a professional project, and the remaining credits come from electives. Students typically take two courses in each of the six, eight-week terms, completing all required credits in less than 12 months.

At FIU, online students benefit from spring and fall start dates, plus the flexible asynchronous delivery of courses. All online students, regardless of location, pay the standard flat tuition rate for the entire degree. In addition to receiving all university resources, online learners gain access to tutoring, academic coaches, and career services assistance.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. FIU may request that students submit GRE scores, as well. Transfer students may receive up to 20% of the required degree credits via transfer, permitted the credits carry a 3.0 GPA. FIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Mass Communication - Global Strategic Communications Track
Available Concentrations: Communications management; digital media
Tuition: $25,000
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (305) 348-7500
Email: carta@fiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

MSU offers more than 100 courses online and many fully online degrees. The MA in strategic communications allows professionals in the field to take the next step in their careers, utilizing the industry's latest tools and techniques to excel in marketing and advertising. The program also offers concentration options in media analytics, digital media, and organizational leadership.

The 30-credit program consists of nine courses, including persuasion techniques, digital content creation, analytics, and crisis communication. Students also complete a capstone project in a virtual team setting and apply their learning to realistic business problems. Each week, students engage with their cohort, collaborating and growing together.

MSU offers a start date in each of the three semesters, with a new cohort beginning every fall, spring, and summer. Students choose among one-, two-, and three-year tracks. While most courses feature asynchronous delivery, some courses may require scheduled sessions. MSU invites students from all over the world to attend this program, but Michigan residents benefit from lower tuition rates.

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree with a 3.25 GPA. MSU may accept students with a lower GPA, but those applicants likely need to submit proof of additional academic merit or relevant professional experience — as most candidates possess at least three years of communications experience. MSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Strategic Communications
Available Concentrations: Media analytics; digital media; organizational leadership
Tuition: $786/credit in-state; $1,544/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum

Contact
Phone: (517) 884-2397
Email: stratcom@msu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Texas Tech now offers more than 40 online degrees. The MA in strategic communication and innovation teaches students to strategize and implement effective communications campaigns in many different industries. This program, designed primarily for communications professionals, prepares graduates for leadership and management positions in advertising and communications.

The 30-credit program includes seven required courses and three electives. Curriculum covers topics in media management, global communications, and writing. Students also complete a final capstone project as part of their required courses. For the electives, learners choose three of six available courses in specialized communications topics.

At Texas Tech, online courses run asynchronously to allow for maximum schedule flexibility. The program features four start dates, including two in the summer, and students typically take 1-3 courses each semester. This variance means that students complete their degrees in 1-3 years, on average. All online students also pay the same tuition rate no matter their location.

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students with strong GRE scores may wish to submit them, but the school does not require them. While the admission requirements do not include professional experience, Texas Tech does prefer experienced candidates. TTU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Strategic Communication and Innovation
Tuition: $918/3 credits
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (806) 742-6500
Email: graduate.admissions@ttu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Webster University

Saint Louis, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Since its founding in 1915, Webster has expanded its reach globally, with campus locations across North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and online. The online MA in media communications teaches students to analyze and develop communication campaigns to operate within multiple industries. The combination of an advanced degree and communications experience gives graduates the necessary qualifications to progress through the ranks of the field.

Students must complete 36 credit hours in total to graduate, including 21 credit hours in core courses. These courses cover topics in media regulations, production management, and media and culture. Students complete their remaining 15 credits through electives, either within the communications department or from another complementary discipline.

At Webster, online learners participate in asynchronous courses, typically taking no more than one course per term. Students with flexible schedules may apply to take more courses and finish the degree more quickly, but the average student completes the program in two years. No matter where students live while attending online, the tuition stays the same.

The admission requirements for the program include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. While Webster does not make a communications degree or professional experience mandatory, those without either must complete prerequisite courses. Transfer students may receive up to 12 credits to put toward their degree, as long as each credit carries a 3.0 GPA. Webster holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Media Communications
Tuition: $780/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (314) 968-7154
Email: admissions@webster.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

As part of the journalism and mass communications college, students can earn an MA with a specialization in integrated media communications or professional journalism. In the online MA in journalism and mass communications with a specialization in integrated media communications, learners navigate through the advertising and public relations worlds, using modern media practices to create effective communications strategies.

In the 36-credit program, students complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in the major, including nine credit hours in marketing or communications. The remaining nine credits come from advertising topics. Students may also create an unofficial focus in the fields of advertising and public relations by choosing certain electives. Depending on the course load, students can finish the program in as quickly as 18 months, though UNL allows for up to 10 years to complete a master's degree.

At UNL, online students build their programs and study on their own time. The school offers three starts, one in each semester, and allows students to take up to 15 credits per semester. The journalism and mass communications college encourages employed students to consider taking fewer credits. While students from around the world can take the program without restriction, Nebraska residents pay lower tuition rates than those from outside the state.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. UNL may request that some students submit GRE scores, as well. Transfer students may receive half of the required credit hours via transfer, permitted the student earned them with satisfactory grades. UNL holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Journalism and Mass Communications With a Specialization in Integrated Media Communications
Available Concentrations: Marketing; communications
Tuition: $357/credit in-state; $629/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1.5-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (402) 472-2055
Email: cmorse@unl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

The New School

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

In keeping with its founding mission, the New School strives to offer collaborative, progressive, and accessible educational programs. Through its online and hybrid programs, the institution provides study options for students outside of the New York area. The online MA in media studies combines media analysis, design, and theory with the production side of the field. Students learn to strategize and design media campaigns as well as create and implement them.

The 39-credit program offers students significant customization options. While all students complete core courses in media theory, design, production, and research methods, this program features several focus areas. Students may explore media history, analytics, digital cinema production, and sound studies. Online students may choose to take an internship or assistantship, as well. Finally, each master's degree student chooses between a thesis and a non-thesis option.

At the New School, online courses run asynchronously, and all students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. While online students may study at their own pace, most students complete this program within two years of full-time study. The New School offers start dates every fall and spring, with some summer start dates available, as well.

Every applicant must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The New School does not require standardized test scores or professional experience, though applicants should submit documentation regarding any relevant experience. Transfer students may earn up to nine transfer credits to put toward the degree. The New School holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Media Studies
Available Concentrations: Media history, criticism, and philosophy; transmedia and digital storytelling; media analytics; documentary studies; digital cinema production; sound studies
Tuition: $1,625/credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (212) 229-5150
Email: ramosk@newschool.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

The online programs at WVU help make the school a global institution, reaching students in every state and across the world. WVU offers more than 600 online courses and more than 30 fully online degrees. The online MA in communication studies provides students with the skills to design and roll-out effective communication campaigns for a contemporary audience, which entails utilizing modern techniques and technologies.

The 36-credit program includes courses in organizational culture, diversity in the workplace, digital media management, and persuasion. Students also take leadership courses and complete an organizational case study. Though WVU may not offer all the required courses online, students may choose to concentrate in areas like corporate communications, communications research, and instruction communications. By working through the standard program outline, learners can complete the program in two years.

The online courses at WVU combine synchronous and asynchronous delivery to allow students flexibility and the chance to collaborate with their peers. All online students pay the same tuition rate and receive access to student support services like academic advisers and enrollment coaches.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. WVU also requests that candidates submit GRE or GMAT scores, recommending that they score in the 290-310 range on verbal and quantitative. Transfer students should possess GPAs of 3.3 to secure admission. WVU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication Studies
Available Concentrations: Corporate and organizational communication; communication in instruction; communication theory and research
Tuition: $597/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 253-2762
Email: wvuonline@mail.wvu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Lindenwood University

St. Charles, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Lindenwood offers flexible programs that fit around a variety of student schedules. With more than 100 online courses every semester and 31 online degrees, students from all over can access a Lindenwood education. The online MA in mass communications provides students with a theoretical foundation in communications, along with the skills and knowledge to solve problems and apply practical solutions. While there are no official concentrations, students can fine-tune their program path to meet their personal and professional interests.

The 36-credit online master of arts in mass communication features six core courses, including research methods. As part of the core courses, each student chooses between a thesis track or a non-thesis, project-based track. For the remaining 18 credit hours, students choose courses that fit their interests like television news production, writing, reporting, and audience analysis.

The online programs at Lindenwood feature asynchronous delivery to allow for schedule flexibility, and all online students pay the same tuition rate. By taking nine credits each semester, which Lindenwood recommends as the maximum, students can complete the program in two years. Courses start in fall and spring, providing students with fewer scheduling restrictions.

Each aspiring student must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. For those with lower GPAs, Lindenwood requests that applicants submit their GRE scores. Transfer students with satisfactory grades may receive up to nine credits to apply toward the degree. Lindenwood holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Mass Communications
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (636) 949-4949
Email: admissions@lindenwood.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

With five study locations and online learning available, UI makes its programs as accessible as possible for students. The institution offers more than 600 online courses and more than 40 online programs, including the online MA in strategic communication, which provides students with the skills to build and implement communication campaigns in a variety of industries and contexts. Students can customize curriculums based on their interests through electives and options.

The 30-credit program consists of four core courses that explore research, digital communications, and writing. Students also complete a three-credit capstone project at the end of the program. Learners then complete the remaining 15 semester hours in electives, with UI recommending that students take the majority from the journalism and mass communications school.

At UI, students in online courses meet once per week, typically in the evenings, to work around traditional work schedules. Online learners benefit from three start dates throughout the year and the ability to adjust their course loads. Depending on the number of semester hours taken each session, students can complete the degree in 2-3 years. Furthermore, all online students pay the same tuition.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. Transfer students may earn transfer credits for previous graduate study, but they must complete at least 24 semester hours at UI to satisfy the residency requirements. UI holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Strategic Communication
Tuition: $544/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (319) 335-3341
Email: rachelle-biderman@uiowa.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Washington State University

Pullman, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

In 1992, WSU began developing programs to reach students from around the globe. Those offerings expanded over the years, including the online MA in strategic communication. This degree uses traditional and cutting-edge methods to teach students how to develop effective communications plans. Enrollees earn skills using various technologies within different media, putting their training to practice in hands-on courses.

The MA program requires 30 total credits and features 12 required credits. These courses include training in professional multimedia, crisis communication, and ethics. Students then complete 15 credits in strategic communications courses like creative media, persuasion, and consumer behavior. Each learner can complete the program with a capstone project incorporating all their prior training.

Online students at WSU benefit from the flexibility of three start dates throughout the year and asynchronous online course delivery. Enrollees then join a cohort and work through the program with their peers, typically completing the degree requirements in 1-3 years. Regardless of location, all online students pay the same tuition.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, as well as three years of professional experience. For transfer students, the school permits up to six transfer credits for applicable courses with a 3.0 GPA. WSU holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Strategic Communication
Tuition: $587/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (509) 335-5608
Email: christine.curtis@wsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 75%

At Quinnipiac, online programs provide students with considerable flexibility, allowing them to study when and where they want. As one of their 11 online master's degrees, the MS in interactive media and communications teaches students to use contemporary media and strategies to solve business problems and reach audiences effectively.

The 30-credit program typically takes students 1-2 years to complete, depending on their course loads. The highly customizable curriculum features only three core courses, including a foundations class and writing for interactive media. The final core requirement comes in the form of a capstone portfolio project that requires students to put their learning into practice. For the bulk of the program, students select electives to make up 21 credits.

Each online course at Quinnipiac runs asynchronously. Once admitted, online students gain access to a variety of resources, including academic, financial, and career support. Quinnipiac offers a standard online rate for all learners, regardless of their residency, and most online programs offer start dates in the fall and the spring.

Each applicant needs only a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Some applicants may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores depending on their academic performance. While Quinnipiac does not require professional experience, candidates must submit portfolios of professional and academic work, so relevant experience may improve one's chances. Quinnipiac holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Interactive Media and Communications
Tuition: $940/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (203) 582-8672
Email: graduate@qu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Stephen F Austin State University

Nacogdoches, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

SFA incorporates years of experience into its online programs. One of more than 20 online degrees available, the MA in mass communication provides students with the expertise to assess and solve communications problems using media in its many forms. Students can concentrate in one of several options, including journalism, broadcasting, advertising, and public relations.

The online master of arts in mass communication consists of 36 credit hours, including 12 credit hours in required courses like research methods, media law, and media theory. Students then take the remaining 24 credits through electives, building a concentration if they wish. Each learner also chooses between a thesis track, a non-thesis track, and a capstone project track. In total, most students complete the program in one year.

Online courses at SFA run asynchronously. Online students receive access to numerous resources, including a digital library, counseling services, academic support, and career services. While the online programs encourage students from all over to apply, SFA offers Texas residents lower tuition rates.

Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA overall or a 2.8 GPA over their last 60 undergraduate credits. For certain applicants, SFA may request GRE or GMAT scores, as well. Transfer students with a 2.0 GPA may receive transfer credit. SFA holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Mass Communication
Available Concentrations: Journalism; broadcasting; advertising and public relations
Tuition: $1,186/3 credits in-state; $1,546/3 credits out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (936) 468-4001
Email: jhendricks@sfasu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Online programs at Regent provide students with access to an education they might otherwise miss. In the online MA in communication with a concentration in media and arts management and promotion, students learn to tackle complex communications problems from a management perspective. The program equips graduates with advanced media skills, marketing expertise, and practical experience.

To finish the degree, students complete a minimum of 33 credit hours. In addition to media and arts management and promotion, learners may also choose one of the two other available concentrations in strategic communication and political communication. Regent offers students significant choice and customization in their curriculums. While 15 credit hours come from required courses, students choose their research, business, law, and concentration courses.

Online students at Regent benefit from asynchronous course delivery, eight different start dates throughout the year, and courses that run throughout condensed eight-week sessions. With the flexibility to create individualized educational paths, the program length varies, but most students complete the online master of arts in mass communication in two years. Online students all pay the same tuition.

Regent requires each applicant to possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. There are no minimum-grade, standardized-test, or experience requirements. Transfer students may receive up to 49% of the program's required credits via transfer, as long as they carry a 2.5 GPA with them. Regent holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication With a Concentration in Media and Arts Management and Promotion
Available Concentrations: Strategic communication; political communication
Tuition: $650/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 777-7729
Email: comadmissions@regent.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Brenau University

Gainesville, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

In 1998, Brenau first introduced its online programs to help push innovation in education. The institution now offers more than 40 online programs, including an online MA in communication and media studies. This program prepares students to navigate the competitive communications industry and apply their knowledge and expertise to a variety of communications and media-related positions.

The 30-credit program features 10 courses to provide a well-rounded education. Students start with foundational courses in theory and research, then move into negotiation, communication in society, and business practices. Learners also engage with emerging technologies and consulting methods.

The online programs at Brenau run asynchronously, and courses operate within accelerated, seven-week sessions. Full-time graduate students must take a minimum of six credits per semester to maintain full-time status, meaning most students complete the degree in 1-2 years. Regardless of location or status, all online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate.

For program admission, applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Brenau may accept transfer credits, permitted they carry satisfactory grades. Upon admission, online students gain access to student support services and career services resources. With start dates all throughout the year, admitted students may start as soon as they wish. Brenau holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication and Media Studies
Tuition: $695/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (770) 534-6100
Email: admissions@brenau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Marshall University

Huntington, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Since 1837, MU students has made Huntington, West Virginia home. Now, with more than 200 online courses and several online degrees, students from all over can earn an MU degree from the comfort of their home. The MA in journalism with an emphasis in new media studies prepares students to use contemporary technologies to deliver effective communication campaigns.

The interdisciplinary program encourages students to consider the evolution of media and new communication strategies. It offers either a professional track with a capstone project or a thesis track.

Within 30 credit hours, learners in MU's MA in journalism program take six required courses covering topics in reporting, design, and ethics and law. Students also complete a traditional thesis or six credits in courses on creating digital products as part of their core course requirements. The final 12 credits come from electives: six from within the journalism school, with a focus on storytelling and media, and six from outside of it, which students may put toward a minor. All students complete a final comprehensive exam at the end of the program.

At MU, online courses run asynchronously. Online students typically complete between 9-12 credits per semester, plus 4-6 credits in the summer, meaning most students finish their degree in 12-18 months. MU charges the same tuition rate for all online students, regardless of where they live.

For program admission, applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and a 371 score on the GRE. Applicants with a 2.5 GPA require a 396 GRE score for admission. Transfer students may allocate up to 12 credits to their degree, as long as each credit carries a 3.0 GPA. MU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Journalism With an Emphasis in New Media Studies
Tuition: $366/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (304) 696-2360
Email: services@marshall.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Located in Pittsburgh since 1960, Point Park University expanded its offerings to include online courses and programs. In the MA in communication technology, students learn to design, create, and implement communications in a variety of roles and contexts. The program provides training in areas like multimedia, search engine optimization, and graphic design, ensuring graduates receive a well-rounded understanding of communications in different forms.

To complete the 36-credit program, students typically require 2-3 years. They choose between concentration options in applied practices and social media. Applied practices focuses on multimedia training and global communication strategies. The social media concentration, meanwhile, zeroes in on social media campaigns, designs, and analytics. In total, students dedicate 12 credit hours to core courses, 12 to their concentration, six to electives, and six to either a capstone project or a thesis.

Online courses at Point Park University run asynchronously to allow learners to study around busier schedules. The condensed courses each last eight weeks, and the institution provides multiple start dates throughout the year. For program admission, applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA. No matter where they live, all online students pay the same tuition rate. Point Park University holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication Technology
Available Concentrations: Applied practices; social media
Tuition: $650/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.25 minimum

Contact
Phone: (855) 410-0098
Email: online@pointpark.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

SDState constitutes the largest university in South Dakota, offering more than 200 programs, including many available online. Serving communications professionals seeking a skills upgrade, the online master's degree in mass communication trains students on the latest technologies and communication strategies. Students learn to utilize new media from within a variety of contexts and professions.

In the mass communication program, students choose between a professional project track, which requires 32 credits, or a portfolio track, which requires 36 credits. Students can complete either track in less than two years. The program includes five core courses covering topics in storytelling, media law, and cross-platform campaigns. Learners then complete the remaining credits in elective courses.

The online courses at SDState run asynchronously in eight-week sessions. In this mass communications program, students enroll as part of a cohort and work their way through each class with their peers. Regardless of where they live, all online students pay the same tuition rate.

For program admission, applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The institute encourages transfer students with strong academic performances to apply for transfer credit. Once enrolled, online students gain access to a wealth of resources, including academic, financial, and career support. SDState holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and the program holds accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Mass Communication
Tuition: $451/credit
Credit Requirements: 32-36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Preferred

Contact
Phone: (605) 688-4171
Email: sdsu.mmc@sdstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

UA Little Rock strives to make its courses and programs accessible and innovative. The school's online program offerings, with more than 450 courses each semester and many full programs, go a long way in achieving that goal. The online MA in mass communication provides students with the skills to navigate journalistic and communication worlds and employ effective strategies to reach and impact audiences. Students may choose between a media research option and a professional mass media option.

The 30- to 33-credit online master of arts in mass communication requires students to complete the vast majority of their credits within their major. In the media research option, students take research and theory courses, along with a three- or six-credit thesis. The professional mass media option, meanwhile, offers students a choice of tracks in either multi-platform journalism or public relations. Both tracks require 30 credits in core and major courses, plus a three-credit capstone project.

Online students at UA Little Rock benefit from asynchronous online courses and plenty of support and resources. The school suggests that students who work 40 hours per week should take no more than six credits at one time. Students who work fewer hours may take up to 18 credit hours at once. This means program lengths vary from less than one year to up to three years. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

For admission into the program, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA in their most recent 60 undergraduate credits. Transfer students may receive transfer credits for previous graduate-level education in which they earned a 3.0 GPA. UA Little Rock holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Mass Communication
Available Concentrations: Media research; professional mass media
Tuition: $383/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-33 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (501) 569-3206
Email: gradschool@ualr.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Accessibility is one of the driving forces for NU. With more than 20 campus locations available, plus online programming, students from all over can gain access to the program they want, when they want. The online MA in strategic communication provides students with the skills to analyze and evaluate an organization's communication needs. They also learn to develop and implement the necessary solutions, and to utilize both traditional and cutting-edge technologies and communication channels.

The MA program consists of 45 quarter units spread across 10 core courses. These core courses cover topics in emerging interactive media, marketing, crisis communication, and persuasion. The program also includes a final capstone project, in which students put their training to practice. In total, most students complete the entire degree in 1-2 years. Once enrolled, students gain access to resources like academic and career support services, along with online wellness resources.

Online students at NU benefit from the flexibility of asynchronous online courses and a flat tuition rate. For program admission, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 overall GPA. Transfer students from accredited institutions may receive up to 4.5 transfer quarter credits, but they must complete at least 40.5 credits at NU to fulfill residency requirements. NU holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Strategic Communication
Tuition: $430/credit
Credit Requirements: 45 credit
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (858) 642-8486
Email: ffornaciari@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, TN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 38%

In addition to campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky, APSU offers online programming for even greater access. The online MA in communication arts provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform a variety of professional communications tasks. Students can also choose between a thesis option and a non-thesis option, and between concentration options in marketing communication and media management.

The 34-credit program includes 10 credit hours in core courses, covering areas like research methods and communication law. Students then complete 12 credit hours in their concentration and 12 credit hours in electives. These electives allow students to individualize their program and to choose courses that help with their desired careers. Most students take a minimum of nine credit hours each semester and finish the program in less than two years. The asynchronous online courses run in eight-week sessions and allow students to study at their convenience.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 overall GPA, plus a score of 145 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. Applicants with a 3.5 GPA or higher can waive the GRE requirement. While APSU welcomes students to take lighter course loads, students taking more than 10 credit hours per semester receive tuition discounts. State residents also pay lower tuition rates than those from outside of the state. APSU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication Arts
Available Concentrations: Marketing communication; media management
Tuition: $440/credit in-state; $699/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 34 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (931) 221-7662
Email: gradadmissions@apsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Lynn University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Lynn emphasizes innovation, striving to advance its offerings and help move education into the future. Offering accelerated online programs featuring cutting-edge educational technology, the institution provides students outside the Florida region with chances to earn their degrees more quickly, with minimal required travel. The online MBA in media management offers students a strong foundation in business, with specialized training in media management. This allows students to evaluate and solve organizational problems.

The online MBA program features 37 credits, including 17 credits in MBA foundation courses. In this section, students take courses in accounting, operations management, and leadership. Learners also complete nine credits in the media management specialization, taking courses in media technologies, media presentation, and media and culture. The remaining credits come from electives or an optional internship. At Lynn, all online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence.

The online courses at Lynn run asynchronously to allow for schedule flexibility, and students choose among three annual start dates. For admission, applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.25 GPA. Lynn does not require candidates to hold a bachelor's degree in business, and students with degrees in other subjects may need to complete additional business courses. Lynn holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Business Administration in Media Management
Tuition: $740/credit
Credit Requirements: 37 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.25 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 388-7239
Email: onlinemba@lynn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Founded in 1932, SNHU boasts a long history of providing quality education, which it now incorporates into more than 200 online programs. The online MA in communication with a concentration in new media and marketing provides students with training on emerging communication and media technologies. Students learn effective communication strategies for multiple platforms and how different audiences interact. The program also offers a concentration in public relations.

The 36-credit program includes 24 major credits. These core courses cover topics in leadership, design, and law and ethics. Students also complete a capstone project as part of their core requirements. From there, learners complete 12 credits in electives or in their specialization, taking courses like digital tools and media technology.

At SNHU, all online students pay the same tuition rate and participate in 10-week course sessions. By taking two courses each session, students can complete the entire program in less than 15 months. Since online courses run asynchronously, learners can also complete the degree while maintaining a healthy work-study balance.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. SNHU does not require students to hold a specific graduate degree, but it may require learners to complete a prerequisite graduate study course to ensure their success. SNHU holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication With a Concentration in New Media and Marketing
Tuition: $627/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 15 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 387-0861
Email: enroll@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

In addition to its original campus in northwestern Pennsylvania, EU and its online programs provide students with a unique opportunity for professional and academic development. In the online MA in communication studies, students learn how to ethically, efficiently, and responsibly use communication tools. The program offers students leadership and management training to ensure they can take the next step in their careers.

Within the 36-credit program, students benefit from a choice of concentrations, including managerial and leadership communication and integrated marketing communication. The program consists of nine credits in core courses focused on theory, research, and ethics. From there, learners complete nine credits in their emphasis and the remaining credits in electives.

At EU, online courses run asynchronously, and students benefit from flexible course load options. Most students complete the program in 1-2 years. EU's program allows students the option of completing an internship or not, but it strongly encourages those who did not take an internship during their bachelor's program to complete one at the graduate level.

EU welcomes students from all over the country and world, but those residing in Pennsylvania enjoy lower tuition rates. For program admission, applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and submit their scores from the GMAT, GRE, or MAT. EU waives this standardized test requirement for applicants with more than two years' professional experience. EU holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Communication Studies
Available Concentrations: Managerial and leadership communication; integrated marketing communication
Tuition: $516/credit in-state; $568/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GMAT, GRE, or MAT (if work experience requirement not met)
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (888) 845-2890
Email: gradstudies@edinboro.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Clarion, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

In addition to the few locations in Pennsylvania for students attending on-campus programs, Clarion offers flexible online courses and programs. In the online MS in mass media arts and journalism, students gain the skills and knowledge to pursue careers in a variety of communications fields and professions. The program focuses on technology and new media training, along with effective communication within global and diverse landscapes.

The 36-credit program features core courses in areas like public relations, journalism, and advanced writing. Students also complete six elective credits. To finish the online master of arts in mass communication, students choose between a six-credit capstone project or a thesis and research component. Most students complete the program in approximately 18 months, though some may finish in as little as 12.

Online students at Clarion benefit from the flexibility of asynchronous classes and the school's accommodations for working professionals. Once enrolled, online students gain access to career services, tutoring, libraries, and writing center. While online learning allows for students from all over to attend the program, Pennsylvania residents benefit from lower tuition rates.

For program admission, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit standardized test scores: either the GRE or GMAT. Students may complete a graduate certificate in public relations, healthcare, or social media management while enrolled in the MS program. Clarion holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Mass Media Arts and Journalism
Tuition: $516/credit in-state; $567/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (814) 393-2337
Email: gradstudies@clarion.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

The College of New Rochelle

New Rochelle, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

CNR offers more than 30 programs, but only a few allow for online study. The online MS in communication management and media provides students with the opportunity to combine new media skills with more traditional leadership and business knowledge. Learners may also choose to concentrate in leadership, communication consulting, or entrepreneurship. This track places more focus on team building and persuasion tactics, offering even more useful skills for students with a management career in mind.

As part of the 36-credit program, students complete 12 credits in core courses like intercultural communication, digital media, and business presentations. If applicable, students then complete 12 credits in their concentration. The remaining 12 credits come from either four elective courses or two elective courses and a thesis. Students who do not wish to complete a thesis may create a specialization through focused electives.

AT CNR, online courses combine the flexibility of asynchronous delivery with the more collaborative synchronous delivery. All online students pay the same tuition no matter where they live, and they engage in a condensed schedule of courses in five- to six-week sessions. By taking a full-time course load, students can complete the degree in less than two years. Program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. CNR holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Communication Management and Media
Available Concentrations: Leadership, communication consulting, and entrepreneurship
Tuition: $996/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (914) 654-5000
Email: info@cnr.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else can I Expect from an Online Master's in Media Communications Program?

Curricula, required time commitments, and schedules for online master's degree in mass communication media studies programs vary by school. However, the information below represents the typical student experience.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Media Communications

Curricula for media communication programs generally focus on marketing and research methods, areas of mass communication, and leadership and business skills. While classes vary by program, below are sample courses typically required during the completion of a master's degree in media communication.

  • Media and culture: This course covers concepts and theories regarding the impact of media and technology on culture, families, and communication. Students may analyze their own communication patterns and skills. The course prepares students for careers in marketing and advertising.
  • Media law and ethics: This course prepares students for careers in public relations and communication. Rapid advancements in technology require strong personal ethics and a deep understanding of policy and legal issues.
  • Communication capstone: Many online media and communication master's programs require a capstone course. This professional project, completed near degree completion, integrates coursework into a practical, real world experience, such as the development and execution of a communication campaign.

How Long Does It Take To Get An Online Master's In Media Communications?

Online media and communication master's programs typically require 30 to 36 credits, which full-time students complete over four semesters. This timeframe varies based on the student's availability and the program structure.

Students who want to complete the degree as quickly as possible, or who prefer to take one or two classes at a time, should consider individually paced programs, which allow students freedom over the course structure. Cohort-based programs, on the other hand, require all students to progress through the program at the same pace.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Media Communications Degrees

As online learning gains popularity, accreditation becomes even more important. When evaluating a potential school for your online media and communications master's degree, ensure the institution is regionally or nationally accredited. Accreditation means the college or university meets and maintains certain educational and operational standards.

Regional accreditation is older and more prestigious than national accreditation. Regionally accredited schools do not not typically accept transfer credits from nationally accredited institutions, but this is rarely an issue for graduate students.

Along with investigating a school's accreditation status, students should research the accreditation agency itself. Two organizations are responsible for overseeing the quality of the nation's higher education by validating accreditation agencies: the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accrediting agencies must meet certain standards to be validated by these organizations. Both the ED and CHEA offer databases of accredited schools on their websites.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Media Communications Graduates

Graduates with an online master's degree in mass communication media studies have the knowledge and skills to compete in many fields and industries. While potential careers are varied, most opportunities require excellent communication skills, an understanding of mass media, and the ability to work outside normal office hours.

Film and Video Editor

Film and video editors manipulate images for television, film, and other media. Editors typically work in office settings or studios and are skilled with digital software.

Median Annual Salary: $59,040

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Camera Operator/Videographer

Camera operators work in video industries, radio, and television broadcasting. While full-time positions typically require a bachelor's degree, those with a master's of communication in digital media often run their own freelance businesses.

Median Annual Salary: $59,040

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Producer

Producers work in television, film, or for companies with producing needs. Producers oversee all aspects of video creation, including scripting, shooting, editing, and acquisition of talent and equipment.

Median Annual Salary: $70,950

Projected Growth Rate: 9%

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts interpret information from reports, such as media and marketing efficacy, and offer recommendations. Successful analysts are excellent at multitasking, time management, and focusing on details.

Median Annual Salary: $62,560

Projected Growth Rate: 19%

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists Public relations specialists promote and create awareness of a company or brand through media outlets. This position requires outstanding communication skills and the ability to work with multiple departments.

Median Annual Salary: $58,020

Projected Growth Rate: 6%

Master's in Media Communications Salary

Due to the wide range of careers open to master's degree holders, salary data varies widely. Starting salaries depend on industry and employment status. Despite the variability in earning potential, most careers in the field display increased salaries for experienced professionals.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees
(0-5 years)
Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees
(5-10 years)
Median Salary for Late-Career Employees
(20+ years)
Film/video editor $44,357 $39,000 $48,000 $69,000
Camera operator/videographer $43,000 $35,000 $51,000 $90,000
Producer $56,040 $39,000 $50,000 $82,000
Market research analyst $62,000 $50,000 $66,000 $69,000
Public relations specialist $46,000 $42,000 $53,000 $60,000

Financing Your Online Master's in Media Communications Program

One of the most pressing issues for higher education students is cost and affordability. While a master's degree can be a costly investment, students can secure funding to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to take advantage of federal grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities. Annual scholarships are available from organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, and the Broadcast Education Association.


AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Media Communications Programs for 2018
Ranking School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
3 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
4 The New School New York, NY
5 Florida International University Miami, FL
6 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
7 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
8 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
9 Washington State University Pullman, WA
10 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN
11 National University La Jolla, CA
12 Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA
13 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
14 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro, PA
15 University of Valley Forge Phoenixville, PA