Why This Matters


    Regardless of industry, communication skills are always valuable. Employers often list them, along with other skills like critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and collaboration, among their most sought-after skills for employees.


    A combination of education and experience in media communications can prepare you for leadership roles as a PR or fundraising manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,100 new jobs in this field by 2031, thanks to digital media advances.


    Leadership positions such as advertising and marketing manager, which typically require an advanced degree, earn a median annual wage of $133,380, compared to the average annual salary for entry-level positions, which is $52,340.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online Master’s in Media Communications programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, which assesses the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of media-related programs.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Master’s in Media Communications programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 20 Online Master’s in Media Communications Programs

Best Online Master's in Communications Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
University of Florida
Best Public Institution
University of Georgia
Best Nonthesis Option
Stephen F. Austin State University
Best Private Institution
Webster University
Best for Media Research
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Most Affordable
South Dakota State University
Fastest Completion Time
Tiffin University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Most communications jobs are bachelor’s-level entry, meaning an undergraduate degree is the minimum level of education required to find employment. A master’s degree can help you move into management positions, but experience and on-the-job training are also valued in this field. When considering pursuing a master’s in media communications, reflect on your career and personal goals to help you determine what is the right path to achieving them.

While demand for communications occupations like fundraisers, public relations specialists, and social media marketers is growing, employment in other related fields is declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9 percent drop in employment of broadcast reporters and correspondents, as the journalism industry continues to change and fragment.

Depending on the type of job you want or field in which you are interested in working, a specialization can give you an edge when it comes to training and employment opportunities. Programs may offer concentrations focused on a specific industry, like healthcare, journalism, or advertising, or on particular skill-sets like social media, human resources, or media literacy and criticism.

Membership in a professional organization can help you demonstrate your expertise and experience in your field. Communications-related organizations include the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America.

What’s Next?

As you research online master’s in media communications programs, here are some questions to ask:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in media communications programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in communications or a related field, or professional experience in communications. These requirements vary by program, so look at the eligibility requirements before applying to confirm that you meet the program’s minimum qualifications.
  • Are there any in-person requirements? Find out if the program has any experiential learning components, such as an internship, that require in-person attendance. Even programs that deliver coursework online may have these requirements, so it’s important to be aware of them before you enroll in a program. This way, you can make the necessary arrangements in your schedule and budget to accommodate them.

As you research programs, you should also gather your application materials and confirm application deadlines and procedures. This is also a good time to explore your options for funding your graduate education, including student loans, institutional and outside scholarships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer if you are currently working.