United States Online Communications Studies Graduate Programs
At the graduate level, Communications Studies Online Programs are available as certificates, masters, and doctoral degrees. Students who pursue Communications Graduate Programs Online might develop their ability to communicate effectively and professionally while they maintain a busy lifestyle.
Communications Studies Online Graduate Programs
In today’s digital, social, and mobile world, a communications graduate degree may provide graduates with an edge in fields such as public relations, advertising, new media, and corporate communications.i
What Is a Major in Communications Studies Online?
Students in communications online programs may explore multiple theories and practices due to the interdisciplinary quality of their major. Some programs focus on rhetoric, crisis management, and persuasion. Others may draw elements from leadership and organizational communication to address corporate decisions that involve strategy and management. T
here are also programs that focus on the study of family systems and healthcare or explore interactive media, brand messages, and other dynamics.
Why Consider Communications Graduate Programs Online?
While students in traditional programs attend class on site, students who pursue their graduate degree in communications studies online often benefit from a self-paced, completely virtual classroom. While course names vary, some of the core topics might draw from this generalized sample.
- Introduction to the digital age
- How to change behavior through communication
- Theory of mass communication
- Analytics and research methods
Convenient Access to Communications Courses - Online Gradute Programs in Communications
Students who pursue their communications degree online may not be required to log on at set times. In fact, they might log on multiple times a week at their convenience. When students do log on, they might watch, read, or listen to a lecture. And, they could engage in discussions with classmates and the instructor through email, chat, or video conferences.
Students usually submit papers, assignments, projects, presentations, and exams through the course management system as well.
Apply What You Learn During Online Communications Graduate Programs
Online communications students might take the knowledge they gain in the classroom and immediately apply it to the challenges faced in their professional careers. For instance, to align a marketing strategy to reflect current best practices to reach key audiences. Or, solve problems and conflicts with new found capability based on research and tested theory.
Multiple Start Dates in Communications Online Graduate Programs
Some universities with online communications programs might offer rolling acceptance. Also, they might have short sessions (e.g. 8 weeks) with multiple start dates. So this means that students can start when they want and finish when they can. Plus, they may build a professional portfolio along the way.
Prepare for a Variety of Possible Career Paths
Whether you hope to climb the corporate ladder, switch careers, or cultivate your expertise, a communications studies online program may prepare you to pursue various opportunities. These might range from market research, public relations, and brand management, to business development, among others.ii
Pursue a Concentration in Communications Studies
Some online communications studies graduate programs provide a way for students to tailor their degree to an interest through an area of emphasis.
- Public Relations: Courses in a public relations concentration might address theory as well as legal and ethical issues. Students may develop techniques that help them to lead and build relationships across agencies. Also, their coursework might cover concepts such as target audiences, client needs, and how to craft effective written and visual messages.
- Integrated Marketing Communications: Integrated marketing communications (IMC) courses may develop students’ cross-functional skills and know-how. For instance, they might learn how to navigate public relations, promotions, and interpersonal communications. All these things might help a company build and maintain their brand, communicate their product, or maintain their reputation.
- Health Communication: Courses in a Health Communication graduate program might help students acquire the experience to design and deliver media support services for health campaigns and promotions. Also, they might take courses that address concepts such as how to brand health products and services
- Speech Communication: Speech communication courses address the study of how and why people communicate. It includes both spoken language and nonverbal messages. Some students might pursue this area of emphasis as an independent profession. It is also an important part of many other professions. For example, good communication skills are essential in law, business, advertising, public relations, journalism, and sales.
- Strategic Communication: As the name suggests, Strategic Communication examines all aspects of public communication strategies. Courses in Strategic Communication Graduate Programs Online may highlight campaigns, public opinion, the media, the role of research, target audiences, message creation, and ways to address specific groups. Also, from a theoretical point of view, courses in politics, culture, business might help analyze the role of persuasion.
We asked Maleeka T. Hollaway about how earning an Online Master's in Communication Studies degree helps you:
"My advice to anyone studying in a Communications field is to know how you want to use your degree and be open to the endless possibilities your degree can bring you."
~ Maleeka Hollaway, Communications Professional Click to Tweet
Online Communications Masters Degree Programs
To apply into an Online Masters in Communications program, students are usually required to have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited school. They may also have to show strong written skills, a minimum GPA, and a history of relevant experience or coursework. While course content varies, most programs attempt to fulfill several goals, which might draw from the ones below.
- Provide theory about the social science of communication which students can take with them into their work
- Implement plans of action to further an organizational goal
- Develop real-world skills such as how to deliver effective messages
- Enhance student’s ability to think critically, solve problems and write well
- Help students to synthesize research to further their own professional goals
- Understand media and information technology
- Learn to communicate professionally through oral and written modes
Online Graduate Certificate in Communications Studies
Students who want to potentially boost a current career, but who do not want the commitment of a full degree might do so with a certificate. An online graduate certificate in communication studies might explore one topic in around 15 credits (a variable). For example, an online certificate in IMC might expand on brand equity, market research, audience insight, emerging media, and strategy. Then, later, the credits earned might be transferable to the school’s masters degree in the same field. Meanwhile, with minimal disruption to a busy work life, new credentials can be added to a current resume.
Online Doctorate in Communications Studies
Online PhD in Communication programs offer the highest degree in the field and are research-focused. Applicants generally need either an accredited bachelors or masters degree. Most programs may accept applicants from a variety of backgrounds, from humanities to the natural sciences, however this depends on each school. Usually, multi-faceted programs, students often take advanced level courses that are tailored to their thematic area of emphasis. Also, they are likely to develop their ability to write and research. These skills are used in the dissertation which is an example of their original thought. Students may work closely with a faculty mentor through video conference.
When surveyed, 21% of Communications Specialists reported they had earned a masters degree.ii
Find List of Accredited Online Communications Schools
Most universities with communications studies online programs are regionally accredited. Also, some individual programs may be approved by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).
Easily compare online communications degrees. Choose your degree level – Masters, Certificate, or PhD, then scroll through programs. From there, use the on-page form to contact the online communications schools on your list. The next start date might be just around the corner, so don’t delay!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1161.00
Technology enables us to seek and present information at our fingertips, leaving no industry immune from a requirement to communicate effectively and professionally.
Earn your online Master of Science in Communication from a pioneer in modern media. Purdue University's Brian Lamb (Founder of C-SPAN) School of Communication gives you industry-leading insight, integrity, and expertise.
Johns Hopkins University
The Master of Arts in Communication offers practical and applied knowledge, taught by the social scientists who study effective communication and the practitioners who use it.
Organizations need to create and deliver important information that communicate value, manage brands, and advance reputation.
Earn your online master’s in communications and become a leader in the communication and media field.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Arts in Communication with an Emphasis in Education degree program provides students who have a passion for communications with the opportunity to pursue a career in teaching.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Prepares students for work in fields such as; human resources, public relations, marketing, and education...
Minnesota State University - Mankato
Bemidji State University
The M.Ed. is an online, applied degree in education with an individualized area of study.
University of Oklahoma - Tulsa
The Administrative Leadership option educates students for success in the 21st century by combining the broad elements of interdisciplinary study with...
University of Memphis
The Department of Journalism's masters program has been approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for teaching via the Internet.
University of Wisconsin - Stout
This flexible program is designed for the professional working in the writing and communication fields.
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Integrated Marketing Communication and New Media...
The certificate program is offered to students who already hold a baccalaureate degree. The certificate will be earned upon...
Fitchburg State College
The certificate in Applied Communication provides a background in the theories and concepts of communication in order to develop professional goals.
Central Michigan University
The General Administration Concentration is designed to serve the needs of a very heterogenous group of students.
The Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership starts with the premise that communication is the essence of effective...
North Dakota State University
The graduate program in Speech Communication prepares students for academic and management positions, as well as advancement within current career fields. Both the M.A. and M.S. degrees are available through online delivery.
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
he practice and theory of leading groups through collaborative decision-making.
Introduces fundamental concepts of digital communications and communication systems; offers strong theoretical background...
West Virginia University
In the WVU DMC program communications professionals learn how to integrate data and quantitative processes into their organizations to support key decision-making about communications initiatives...
Teaching Communication: Leads students through the history and practice of media, communication and related technology from ancient times to the digital age...
University of Michigan - Flint
The Master of Arts in Applied Communication program is designed to give students an opportunity to develop and polish key communication competencies that allow them to excel in their professional lives, regardless of the field they work in...
Northern Arizona University
The graduate certificate in Communication Studies provides an understanding of the breadth and history of the study of human communication, a survey of communication theories, and a range of coursework in specialized areas within the discipline.
Further your career in "Film Production, Television Production, Radio, Public Relations, Multimedia/Web-Based Media,".