2023 Best Master’s in Media Communications Programs
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a master’s in media communications, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in media communications programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
- Florida International University, Miami, FL
Since it opened its doors in 1971, Florida International has expanded its degree program offerings immensely, reaching more learners from around the world. Through its online degree programs, learners from all over can access an FIU education without ever leaving home. The online MS in mass communication with an international strategic communications path offers learners the skills and the social responsibility to take on leadership positions within communications departments in various industries. Learners can choose to concentrate in communications management or digital media and delve into the areas of advertising and public relations.
In the 30-credit online master of arts in mass communication, learners finish five core classes covering ethics, research methods, theories, and management. The final core class requires learners to finish a professional project, and the remaining credits come from electives. Learners normally take two classes in each of the six, eight-week terms, completing all required credits in less than 12 months.
At FIU, online learners benefit from spring and fall start dates, plus the adaptable asynchronous delivery of classes. All online learners, regardless of location, pay the standard flat tuition rate for the entire degree. Along with receiving all institution resources and supports, online learners get access to tutoring, academic coaches, and career services assistance.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. FIU may request that learners submit GRE scores, as well. Transfer learners may obtain a maximum of 20 percent of the required degree credits through transfer, permitted the credits to carry a 3.0 GPA.
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Michigan State offers more than 100 classes online and has many fully online degrees. The MA in strategic communications enables professionals in the field to take the next step in their careers, utilizing the sector’s latest tools and methods to excel in marketing and advertising. The degree program has concentration options in media analytics, digital media, and organizational leadership.
The 30-credit degree program consists of nine classes, including persuasion methods, digital content creation, analytics, and crisis communication. Learners also finish a capstone project in a virtual team setting and apply their learning to real business problems. Each week, learners engage with their cohort, collaborating, and growing together.
MSU has a start date in each of the three semesters, with a new cohort beginning every fall, spring, and summer. Learners select among one-, two-, and three-year paths. While most classes feature asynchronous delivery, some classes may require scheduled sessions. MSU invites learners from all over the world to attend this degree program, but Michigan residents benefit from lower tuition rates.
Each applicant needs a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.25 GPA. MSU may accept learners with a lower GPA, but those candidates likely need to submit proof of additional academic merit or relevant professional experience—as most candidates possess at least three years of communications experience.
- Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech has more than 40 online degrees. The MA in strategic communication and innovation teaches learners to strategize and implement effective communications campaigns in many distinct industries. This degree program, designed primarily for communications professionals, prepares graduates for leadership and management positions in advertising and communications.
The 30-credit degree program includes seven required classes and three electives. The coursework covers concepts in media management, international communications, and writing. Learners also finish a final capstone project as part of their required classes. For the electives, learners select three of six available classes in focused communications concepts.
At Texas Tech, online classes run asynchronously to allow for maximum schedule flexibility. There are four start dates, including two in the summer, and learners normally take one to three classes each semester. This variance means that learners finish their degrees in one to three years, on average. All online learners also pay the same tuition rate no matter their location.
Each applicant needs a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Learners with strong GRE scores may wish to submit them, but the school does not require them. While the admission requirements do not consist of professional experience, Texas Tech does prefer experienced candidates.
- Webster University, Webster Groves, MO
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 learners to examine and develop communication campaigns to operate within several industries. The combination of an advanced degree and communications experience gives graduates the necessary qualifications to progress via the is rated of the field.
Learners must finish 36 credit hours in total to graduate, including 21 credit hours in core classes. These classes cover concepts in media regulations, production management, and media and culture. Learners finish their remaining 15 credits via electives, either within the communications department or from another complementary discipline.
At Webster, online learners partake in asynchronous classes, normally taking no more than one class per term. Learners with adaptable schedules may apply to take more classes and finish the degree more swiftly, but the average learner finishes the degree program in two years. No matter where learners live while attending online, the tuition stays the same.
The admission requirements for the degree program consist of 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 finish prerequisite classes. Transfer learners may obtain a maximum of 12 credits to put toward their degree, as long as each credit carries a 3.0 GPA.
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
As part of the Journalism and Mass Communications College, learners can earn an MA with a concentration in integrated media communications or professional journalism. In the online MA in journalism and mass communications with a concentration in integrated media communications, learners navigate through the advertising and public relations worlds, using modern media practices to design effective communications strategies.
In the 36-credit degree program, learners finish at least 18 credit hours in the major, including nine credit hours in marketing or communications. The remaining nine credits come from advertising concepts. Learners may also design an unofficial focus in the fields of advertising and public relations by choosing certain electives. Depending on the class load, learners can finish the degree program in as little as 18 months, though the university allows a maximum of 10 years to finish a master’s degree.
At the University of Nebraska, online learners build their programs and study on their own time. The school has three starts, one in each semester, and enables learners to take a maximum of 15 credits per semester. The Journalism and Mass Communications College encourages employed learners to consider taking fewer credits. While learners from around the world can take the degree program without restriction, Nebraska residents pay lower tuition rates than those from outside the state.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from a sanctioned institution, and learners may be requested to submit GRE scores. Transfer learners may obtain half of the required credit hours via transfer if they carry satisfactory grades.
- The New School, New York, NY
In keeping with its founding mission, the New School strives to offer cooperative, progressive, and available educational programs. Via its online and blended programs, the institution offers study options for learners 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. Learners learn to strategize and design media campaigns along with design and implement them.
The 39-credit degree program offers learners substantial customization options. While all learners finish core classes in media theory, design, production, and research methods, there are several focus areas. Learners may investigate media history, analytics, digital cinema production, and sound studies. Online learners may elect to take an internship or assistantship as well. Finally, each master’s degree learner selects between a thesis and a non-thesis choice.
At the New School, online classes run asynchronously, and all learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. While online learners may study at their own pace, most learners finish this degree program within two years of full-time study. The New School has start dates every fall and spring, with some summer start dates available, as well.
Every applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from a sanctioned institution. The New School does not require standardized test scores or professional experience, though candidates should submit documentation regarding any relevant experience. Transfer learners may earn a maximum of nine transfer credits to put toward the degree.
- West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
The online programs at WVU help make the school an international institution, reaching learners in every state and across the world. WVU consists of more than 600 online classes and more than 30 fully online degrees. The online MA in communication studies offers learners the skills to design and implement effective communication campaigns for a contemporary audience, using modern methods and technologies.
The 36-credit degree program includes classes in organizational culture, diversity in the workplace, digital media management, and persuasion. Learners also take leadership classes and finish an organizational case study. Though WVU may not offer all the required classes online, learners may select to concentrate in areas like corporate communications, communications research, and instruction communications. By working through the standard degree program outline, learners can finish the degree program in two years.
The online classes at WVU combine synchronous and asynchronous delivery to allow learners flexibility to collaborate with their peers. All online learners pay the same tuition rate and obtain access to learner 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 learners should possess GPAs of 3.3.
- Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO
Lindenwood has adaptable programs that fit around an array of learner schedules. With more than 100 online classes every semester and 31 online degrees, learners can access a Lindenwood education. The online MA in mass communications offers learners a theoretical foundation in communications, along with the skills and knowledge to solve problems and apply real-life solutions. While there are no official concentrations, learners can fine-tune their degree program path to meet their individual and professional interests.
The 36-credit online master of arts in mass communication comprises six core classes, including research methods. As part of the core classes, each learner selects between a thesis path or a non-thesis, project-based path. For the remaining 18 credit hours, learners select classes that fit their interests such as television news production, writing, reporting, and audience analysis.
The online programs at Lindenwood feature asynchronous delivery to allow for schedule flexibility, and all online learners pay the same tuition rate. By taking nine credits each semester, which Lindenwood recommends as the maximum, learners can finish the degree program in two years. Classes start in fall and spring, providing learners with fewer scheduling restrictions.
Each candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. For people with lower GPAs, Lindenwood requests that they submit their GRE scores. Transfer learners with satisfactory grades may obtain a maximum of nine credits to apply toward the degree.
- University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
With five study locations and online learning available, UI makes its programs as available as possible for learners. The institution has more than 600 online classes and more than 40 online programs, including the online MA in strategic communication, which offers learners the skills to build and implement communication campaigns in various industries and contexts. Learners can customize the curriculum based on their interests via electives and options.
The 30-credit degree program consists of four core classes that investigate research, digital communications, and writing. Learners also finish a three-credit capstone project at the end of the degree program. Learners then finish the remaining 15 semester hours in electives, with UI recommending that learners take the majority from the journalism and mass communications school.
At UI, learners in online classes meet once per week, normally in the evenings, to work around traditional work schedules. Online learners benefit from three start dates across the year. Depending on the number of semester hours taken in each session, learners can finish the degree in two to three years.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. Transfer learners may earn transfer credits for previous graduate study, but they must finish at least 24 semester hours at UI to satisfy the residency requirements. UI holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
- Washington State University, Pullman, WA
In 1992, WSU began developing programs to reach learners from around the globe. The university has an online MA in strategic communication, which uses traditional and cutting-edge methods to teach learners how to develop effective communications plans. Enrollees earn skills using various technologies within distinct media, putting their training to practice in real-life classes.
The MA degree program requires 30 total credits, including 12 required credits. These classes consist of training in professional multimedia, crisis communication, and ethics. Learners then finish 15 credits in strategic communications classes like creative media, persuasion, and consumer behavior. Each learner must finish the degree program with a capstone project incorporating all their prior training.
Online learners at WSU benefit from the flexibility of three start dates across the year and asynchronous online class delivery. Enrollees then join a cohort and work through the degree program with their peers, normally completing the degree requirements in one to three years. Irrespective of location, all online learners pay the same tuition.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA, along with three years of professional experience. For transfer learners, the school permits a maximum of six transfer credits for applicable classes with a 3.0 GPA. WSU holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
- Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT
At Quinnipiac, online programs provide learners 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 learners to utilize contemporary media and strategies to solve business problems and reach audiences effectively.
The 30-credit degree program normally takes learners one to two years to finish, depending on their class loads. The highly customizable coursework only three core classes, including a foundations class and writing for interactive media. The final core requirement comes in the form of a capstone portfolio project that requires learners to put their learning into practice. For the bulk of the degree program, learners select electives to make up 21 credits.
Each online class at Quinnipiac runs asynchronously. Online learners have access to an array of resources and supports, including academic, financial, and career support. Quinnipiac has 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 a sanctioned institution. While Quinnipiac does not require professional experience, candidates must submit portfolios of professional and academic work so that relevant experience may improve one’s chances. Quinnipiac holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX
Stephen F. Austin incorporates years of experience into its online programs. One of more than 20 online degrees available, the MA in mass communication offers learners expertise to assess and solve communications problems using media in its many forms. Learners 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 classes like research methods, media law, and media theory. Learners then take the remaining 24 credits via electives, building a concentration if they wish. Each learner also selects between a thesis path, a non-thesis path, and a capstone project path. In total, most learners finish the degree program in one year.
Online classes at SFA run asynchronously. Online learners have access to numerous resources and supports, including a digital library, counseling services, academic support, and career services. While online programs encourage learners from all over to apply, SFA gives 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 candidates, SFA may request GRE or GMAT scores. Transfer learners with a 2.0 GPA may obtain transfer credit.
- Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA
Online programs at Regent provide learners 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, learners learn to tackle complex communications problems from a management viewpoint. The degree program prepares graduates with advanced media skills, marketing expertise, and real-world experience.
To complete the degree program, learners finish at least 33 credit hours. Along with media and arts management and promotion, learners may also select one of two concentrations in strategic communication and political communication. Regent offers substantial choice and customization in the curriculum. While 15 credit hours come from required classes, learners select their research, business, law, and concentration classes.
Online learners at Regent benefit from asynchronous class delivery, eight distinct start dates across the year, and classes that run across condensed eight-week sessions. With the flexibility to design individualized educational paths, the degree program length varies, but most learners finish the online master of arts in mass communication in two years. Online learners pay the same tuition regardless of residency.
Regent requires each applicant to possess a bachelor’s degree from a sanctioned institution. There are no minimum-grade, standardized-test, or experience requirements. Transfer learners may obtain a maximum of 49 percent of the required credits through transfer, as long as they carry a 2.5 GPA.
- Brenau University, Gainesville, GA
In 1998, Brenau first introduced its online programs to help push innovation in education. The institution now has more than 40 online programs, including an online MA in communication and media studies. This degree program prepares learners to navigate the competitive communications sector and apply their knowledge and expertise to an array of communications and media-related positions.
The 30-credit program provides a well-rounded education. Learners start with foundational classes in theory and research, then move into a negotiation, communication in society, and business practices. Learners also engage with emerging technologies and consulting methods. Online programs at Brenau run asynchronously, and classes operate within accelerated, seven-week sessions. Full-time graduate learners must take at least six credits per semester to maintain full-time status, meaning most learners finish the degree in one to two years. Irrespective of location or status, all online learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate.
For program admission, candidates need a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Brenau may accept transfer credits, permitted they carry satisfactory grades. Upon admission, online learners get access to learner support services and career services resources and supports. With start dates all across the year, admitted learners may start as soon as they wish.
- Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Marshall University was founded in 1837 and continued to expand its program offerings and formats over the years. Currently, with more than 200 online classes and several online degrees, learners from all over can earn a degree from Marshall in the comfort of their homes. The MA in journalism, with an emphasis in new media studies, prepares learners to utilize contemporary technologies to deliver effective communication campaigns.
The multidisciplinary degree program encourages learners to consider the evolution of media and new communication strategies. It has a professional path with a capstone project or a thesis path.
Within 30 credit hours, learners in MU’s MA in journalism degree program take six required classes covering concepts in reporting, design, and ethics, and law. Learners also finish a traditional thesis or six credits in classes on creating digital products as part of their core class requirements. The final 12 credits come from electives—six credits from within the journalism school, with a focus on storytelling and media, and six credit from outside the journalism school, which learners may put toward a minor. All learners finish a final holistic exam at the end of the degree program.
Online classes run asynchronously. Online learners normally finish between 9 to 12 credits per semester, plus 4 to 6 credits in the summer, meaning most learners finish their degree in 12 to 18 months. MU charges the same tuition rate for all online learners, regardless of where they live.
For degree program admission, candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA and a 371 score on the GRE. Candidates with a 2.5 GPA must have a 396 GRE score for admission. Transfer learners may transfer a maximum of 12 credits toward their degree as long as each credit carries a 3.0 GPA. MU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.