Why This Matters

  • MASTER THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER SOFT SKILLS

    Communication is regularly listed as one of the most in-demand transferable skills by employers across all fields. Communications programs also sharpen your critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity skills.

  • NEED FOR MARKETING MANAGERS INCREASING 10%

    The need for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, especially those with social media skills, is growing at a faster-than-average pace thanks to an increasing emphasis on digital marketing.

  • EARN $54,800 MORE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE

    Leadership positions such as public relations manager, which typically require an advanced degree, earn a median average wage of $114,800, compared to $60,000 per year for PR specialists, a bachelor’s-level position.

Our Research

Most graduate degrees in communications are Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees. Both types of programs provide the necessary knowledge for a successful career in communications, but there are subtle differences.

A Master of Science takes a more technical approach, while Master of Arts programs tend to be rooted in theoretical knowledge. We included both degree types on this list. When researching programs, consider your learning style and career goals to help you choose the best degree for you.

The programs on our list are offered on-campus, online, and in hybrid formats. All of the programs listed have regional accreditation, ensuring that they meet high education standards.

We evaluated all of the programs on our list on their cost, course offerings, reputation, and flexibility. Based on these evaluations, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 74 hours to write this article
  • 116 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 344 education programs we compared

The Top 53 Master’s in Communications Programs

Best Online Masters in Media Communication Degree Programs
01
Minnesota State University, Mankato - College of Arts & Humanities

intelligent score 99.54

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Mass Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Arts & Humanities

Estimated Cost per Credit $427.45 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-722-0544

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Mass Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Southern Utah University

intelligent score 99.23

Award Best Master of Arts Degree

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best Master of Arts Degree

Delivery Format Online, Hybrid, On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in Professional Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $375 per credit

accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 435-586-7700

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, Hybrid, On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in Professional Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
South Dakota State University

intelligent score 98.46

Award Best in the Midwest

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best in the Midwest

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Mass Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

Department School of Communication & Journalism

Estimated Cost per Credit $465.80 per credit

accreditation Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 605-688-4171

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Mass Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

01
Purdue University

intelligent score 97.96

Award Best Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

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No

Award Best Research University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Brian Lamb School of Communication

Estimated Cost per Credit $601 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 765-494-1776

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
JHU Advanced Academic Programs

intelligent score 97.93

Award Best Dual Degree Option

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best Dual Degree Option

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, Corporate/Non-profit Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,362.33 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 202-452-1285

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Communication
Available concentrations: Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, Corporate/Non-profit Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

intelligent score 97.53

Award Most Flexible Admissions

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Flexible Admissions

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

Department College of Media

Estimated Cost per Credit $490 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 217-333-1462

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

01
Sam Houston State University

intelligent score 97.38

Award Best Student-Teacher Ratio

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Student-Teacher Ratio

Delivery Format Online

Programs Masters of Arts in Communication Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $790.05 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 936-294-1971

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Masters of Arts in Communication Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Arkansas State University

intelligent score 97

Award Best for Veterans

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Veterans

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Liberal Arts & Communication

Estimated Cost per Credit $317 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 870-972-2100

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Syracuse University Online

intelligent score 96.28

Award Best for International Students

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

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Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best for International Students

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master's in Communications

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

Department Newhouse School of Public Communications

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,964 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 844-797-2666

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master's in Communications

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

01
University of Central Missouri

intelligent score 95.98

Award Best Assistantships

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Assistantships

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

Department School of Communication, History, and Interdisplinary Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $418.45 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-729-8266

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Arts in Communication

Required Credits to Graduate 32 credits

01
Best in the Southwest
Northern Arizona University
01
Best in the Northeast
Edinboro University
01
Best in the South
Mississippi College
01
Best Faith-Based Institution
Spring Arbor University
01
Most Best Dual Degree Options
UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media
01
Best for Audience Analytics
University of Florida
01
Best Global Communications Focus
Florida International University
01
Best Interdisciplinary Curriculum
Arizona State University
01
Best Baptist University
California Baptist University Online
01
Best Digital Storytelling Focus
Asbury University
01
Best in the Northwest
Washington State University
01
Best Corporate Communications Focus
Austin Peay State University
01
Best Interactive Media Focus
Quinnipiac University
01
Student Recommended
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
01
Best Journalism Focus
University of Nebraska
01
Best Christian University
Liberty University
01
Best in the Southeast
Mercer University
01
Best Catholic University
Notre Dame of Maryland University
01
Most Affordable
The University of Alabama
01
Best Public University
Texas Tech University
01
Flexible Electives
The University of Iowa - School of Journalism and Mass Communication
01
Best in the West
Colorado State University
01
Corporate Communications Focus
West Virginia University
01
Most Flexible Completion Time
Michigan State University
01
Best Online University
Southern New Hampshire University
01
Best Faith-Based Institution
Regent University
01
Best Liberal Arts College
Marist College
01
Best Concentration Options
Northeastern University
01
Fastest Completion Time
Ohio University
01
Good Value
National University
01
Best Private University
Gonzaga University
01
Study Abroad Opportunities
Webster University
01
Most Specialization Options
Lasell University
01
Most Experienced Faculty
Missouri State University
01
PR Concentration
Western New England University
01
Best Digital Strategy Focus
Queens University of Charlotte
01
Best Alumni Network
University of Southern California
01
Best Alumni Network
American University
01
Most Military Friendly School
University of Denver
01
Alumni Recommended
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University
01
Best Project-Based Curriculum
Westminster College
01
Best Internship
Drexel University
01
Best Ivy League Program
Columbia University

What You Should Know About This Degree

While demand for communications majors is growing in some areas, particularly fundraising and social media marketing and management, employment in other communications-related fields is declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a nine percent drop in employment of broadcast reporters and correspondents as the journalism industry continues to change and fragment. Employment in public relations is predicted to grow as fast as average, so competition for jobs may be tough.

A specialization may help give you an edge in pursuing the types of jobs you want. Programs may offer concentrations focused on a specific industry, like healthcare, journalism, and advertising, or on particular skill-sets like social media, human resources, and media literacy and criticism. When considering a master’s in communication, you should decide if a specialization is needed for your career goals.

Although no formal credentialing is needed for most communications jobs, a number of associations exist to provide additional training and quality assurance to employers. These include the International Association of Business Communicators, the Events Industry Council, and the Public Relations Society of America. There may be annual dues required to join and maintain membership in these organizations.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Communications programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in communications programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in communications or a related field. Be sure to check each program’s eligibility requirements to make sure you have a relevant education background.
  • Does this program offer credit for having the APR credential? If you are currently a communications professional and have the Accreditation in Public Relations credential from the Public Relations Society of America, some programs will waive credits or requirements for you.

Once you have narrowed the list of programs that interest you, visit their websites or contact their admissions departments to research their admissions requirements and processes. You should also consider your options for paying for graduate school, including scholarships, assistantships, financial aid, and tuition benefits from your employer.