Best Online Master’s in Communications

Find top-ranked online master’s in communications degree programs to prepare students to apply for executive and managerial positions.

Best Online Master’s in Communications
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Frequently Asked Questions About Communications Degrees

Professionals who earn their master’s in communications will advance their education and acquire marketable skills through more focused coursework.

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Master’s communication programs are about 30 to 38 credits and typically take one to two years to complete depending on your area of specialization.

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Students can take online or on-campus courses, and areas of concentration include conflict and mediation, family communication, rhetoric and argumentation, global strategy communications, public interest communications, and online communications.

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Because of the more tailored curriculum, graduates will be prepared to apply for executive and managerial positions, such as marketing consultants, market research analysts, human resources managers, sales account executives, and learning and development analysts.

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Learn more about what you can do with a master’s in communications.

Best Online Master's in Communications Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online communications master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

25 Best Online Master’s in Communications Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Southern California

    #31 institution's historical influence
    #30 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Los Angeles, CA

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    Online Degrees

    MCM in Communication Management
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Syracuse University

    #77 institution's historical influence
    #1450 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Syracuse, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Communications

    Concentrations

    • Advertising
    • Journalism Innovation
    • Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
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  3. #3

    Boston University

    #48 institution's historical influence
    #56 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1425/32

    Boston, MA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Health Communication
    • Required Credits: 40
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  4. #4

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    #61 institution's historical influence
    #38 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    Chapel Hill, NC

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Digital Communication
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 30 months
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    University of Georgia

    #128 institution's historical influence
    #58 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1330/29

    Athens, GA

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Arts

    Concentrations

    • Journalism & Mass Communication
    • Emerging Media
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 12-16 months
    • Format: Online
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  6. #6

    Florida State University

    #156 institution's historical influence
    #174 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Tallahassee, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Communication Science and Disorders
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Fordham University

    #172 institution's historical influence
    #66 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    Bronx, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Strategic Marketing Communications
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
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  8. #8

    University of Alabama

    #180 institution's historical influence
    #94 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/27

    Tuscaloosa, AL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Advertising and Public Relations

    Concentrations

    • Marketing Communication Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Communication Studies

    Concentrations

    • Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    University of North Texas

    #495 institution's historical influence
    #1391 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Denton, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Digital Communication Analytics
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Texas Tech University

    #396 institution's historical influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Agricultural Communications
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Mass Communication
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Strategic Communication and Innovation
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    University of Kentucky

    #195 institution's historical influence
    #541 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Lexington, KY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Information Communication Technology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  12. #12

    Sam Houston State University

    #893 institution's historical influence
    #1048 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Huntsville, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Baylor University

    #274 institution's historical influence
    #96 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/29

    Waco, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Executive Communication
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    University of Mississippi

    #330 institution's historical influence
    #710 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/25

    University, MS

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Integrated Marketing Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    University of Nebraska–Lincoln

    #243 institution's historical influence
    #711 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Lincoln, NE

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Journalism & Mass Communications

    Concentrations

    • Professional Journalism
    • Integrated Media Communications
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Public Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    University of Delaware

    #304 institution's historical influence
    #1237 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Newark, DE

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Strategic Communication

    Concentrations

    • Public Relations
    • Digital And Social Media
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Florida International University

    #519 institution's historical influence
    #215 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Miami, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Mass Communication

    Concentrations

    • Global Strategic Communications
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Telecommunications and Networking

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Communications
    • Software
    • Security
    • Wireless And Sensor Network
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    Drake University

    #735 institution's historical influence
    #677 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/27

    Des Moines, IA

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Brand Communication
    • Communication Leadership
    • Public Affairs & Advocacy
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 1 year
    • Format: Online
    MPA in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Executive Leadership Development
    • Healthcare Management Individualized
    • combine courses from MBA
    • MPA and Master of Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Healthcare
    • Business Analytics
    • Individualized
    • combine courses from MBA
    • MPA and Master of Communication
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    Northern Arizona University

    #1104 institution's historical influence
    #303 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Flagstaff, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Communication General
    • Documentary Studies
    • Strategic Communication
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. #20

    St. Bonaventure University

    #1179 institution's historical influence
    #881 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    Saint Bonaventure, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Integrated Marketing Communications
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    University of Central Florida

    #494 institution's historical influence
    #181 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Orlando, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MA in English

    Concentrations

    • Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    University of Memphis

    #558 institution's historical influence
    #787 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Memphis, TN

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Webster University

    #1159 institution's historical influence
    #814 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Saint Louis, MO

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Advertising And Marketing Communications
    • Required Credits: 24
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    State University of New York at Oswego

    #1328 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    Oswego, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Strategic Communication
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Troy University

    #1714 institution's historical influence
    #720 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Troy, AL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Strategic Communication
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

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