Best Online Master’s in Communications

Learn how to appropriately convey different concepts and business practices with one of the 30 best online master’s in communications degrees!

Best Online Master's in Communications

Pursuing your master’s in communications is a great idea if you’ve studied communications or are interested in certain aspects of the field and how it applies to your current career. If you want to be a leader in the field of communications, a master’s degree will get you there. 

In this list of online master’s in communications programs, you’ll find one that’s flexible enough to fit your schedule but also extensive enough to lead you to success. Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned professional, an online study format will allow you to juggle whatever you may have on your plate. Do you want to be on the fast track towards change in your professional life? Find plenty of options by browsing through our 30 best online master’s in communications programs.

What Is an Online Master’s in Communications Degree?

A graduate-level communications degree can be obtained either through a Master of Arts or Master of Sciences program. If you opt for an MS degree, your education will more than likely prioritize theory and research. An MA degree, on the other hand, will be more creativity-driven, focusing on certain subjects like media and journalism. 

An online master’s in communications is a diverse degree, preparing students for a wide variety of jobs. Students with this graduate degree can either work toward a career that is more socially-focused, like public relations and human resources, or can choose a more strategic route by becoming a marketing consultant or research analyst.

Whichever path you take, the application of research, writing, and presentational skills will be at the forefront of your education.

How Much Can You Earn With an Online Master’s Degree in Communications?

Depending on how you use it, an online master’s degree in communications can score you a high-paying career.  

The variety of jobs available for graduates of a communications master’s degree makes for a variety of potential incomes. According to Payscale.com, an academic advisor usually brings in an average salary of $42,000, whereas the salary of a product marketing manager averages at $104,000, and a master’s in communications can land you either of these positions. 

After comparing the wide range of careers in communications, however, the median yearly income rests at $62,000.

What Is Required for an Online Master’s in Communications?

The admissions process for an online master’s in communications truly depends on the program itself. Some programs don’t require any prior communications experience, whereas others require a bachelor’s degree with extensive undergrad credits pertaining to communications or related topics.

With that said, most programs will share similar requirements, which often include:

  • GMAT or GRE exam scores
  • A cover letter and a personal essay
  • An application (and an associated fee)
  • Recommendation letters

Once enrolled in your program of choice, online students can expect anywhere from 12-24 months of coursework, depending on the number of credits taken each semester. Typically, students will be required to complete 30-45 credits in order to graduate. The credit requirements directly affect the time it will take to complete your degree, as will the expectations (or lack thereof) of a final project or thesis. 

What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Communications?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Marist College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,400(in state) / $14,400(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • Can be completed in three semesters
    • Students must be enrolled in at least six credits to receive financial aid

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.80%
    Admission Rate43%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School18.44%
    100%
    OSR Score

    A 100% online curriculum makes Marist College’s MA in Integrated Marketing a good fit for all schedules and availability. Throughout this program, ten of the courses focus on the integration of marketing and communication, which is the main priority of this degree. Students here also have the option to choose between a full- or part-time curriculum. 

  2. Webster University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,140(in state) / $13,140(out of state)
    • Requires 33 credit hours
    • Requires GPA of 2.5 or higher for admission
    • Petition required to graduate

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.20%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online17

    Program Level

    Median Debt$51,071
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School11.89%
    96%
    OSR Score

    The online Master of Arts in Communications from Webster University teaches students via hands-on experience within the field. This program’s focus is kept broad so that learners and faculty advisors can work together to figure out a plan specific to the individual. What’s more, students here will not have to worry about completing a final project to graduate.

  3. Ithaca College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $20,304(in state) / $20,304(out of state)
    • Requires 32 credit hours
    • Requires seven to ten hours of coursework per week 
    • Can be completed in two years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.00%
    Admission Rate71%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School22.41%
    96%
    OSR Score

    The online Master of Science in Communications Innovation degree from Ithaca College values peer collaboration. Most of the classes are offered online, however, in-person workshops are integrated in order to encourage peer interaction and foster real-world experience. Prospective students must have five or more years of professional work experience in the field to apply to this program. 

  4. Asbury University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,242(in state) / $10,242(out of state)
    • Features Christ-centered education
    • Three concentrations available
    • Offers credits for prior experience

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction80.60%
    Admission Rate70%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School18.99%
    95%
    OSR Score

    Asbury University offers three online, master’s-level programs in communications: an MA in Digital Storytelling, an MFA in Screenwriting, and an MFA in Film & Television Production. Each program focuses on becoming a master storyteller through the use of new technology, optional hands-on experience, and rigorous coursework. Graduates of the MFA degree will participate in a two-week summer workshop at the Los Angeles Media Workshop. 

  5. Northwestern University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $52,239(in state) / $52,239(out of state)
    • Accepts international applications
    • Career Connection workshops available
    • Offers one-on-one advising through career coaches

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.20%
    Admission Rate9%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$52,131
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School19.68%
    94%
    OSR Score

    The online MS degree in Communications at Northwestern University can be earned either through the custom leadership program or the hybrid leadership program. The former offers a part-time approach at all levels, while the latter follows a more standard curriculum for experienced individuals. Both are considered to be highly interactive programs that encourage collaboration between peers. 

  6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,943(in state) / $27,154(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • Can be completed in two years and one summer term
    • Students must be enrolled in four and half credit hours per semester to receive financial aid

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77.20%
    Admission Rate24%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School11.97%
    94%
    OSR Score

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an online Master’s in Digital Communication that emphasizes applied research and critical thinking. A broad curriculum and small class sizes in this program allow for close relationships with faculty, so each student gets the attention they need to excel. Two on-campus experiences are required, one of which is a five-day summer residency. 

  7. Academy of Art University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $23,568(in state) / $23,568(out of state)
    • Features 36-unit curriculum
    • Final Portfolio Review required 
    • 2.0 cumulative GPA required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.80%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online32

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School7.17%
    91%
    OSR Score

    Academy of Art University offers an online MA in Communications and Media Technologies with a focused curriculum. This program aims to cultivate skills in short-form production, on-camera performance, and multimedia writing. Courses are highly interactive and feature slideshows, interviews, and instructional videos. 

  8. Mississippi College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,584(in state) / $10,584(out of state)
    • Requires 31 credits
    • Accepts up to six transfer credits
    • Includes $35 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77.40%
    Admission Rate39%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School3.97%
    91%
    OSR Score

    The educational philosophy behind the Master’s in Communications program at Mississippi College is to meld theory and practice. There are several concentrations for students to choose from here, tailored to different strengths and interests. Some of the concentrations offered are in journalism, theater, and sports. 

  9. Liberty University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,217(in state) / $8,217(out of state)
    • Requires 33 credits
    • Features Christian-based curriculum
    • 2.5 GPA required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.40%
    Admission Rate30%
    Programs offered online23

    Program Level

    Median Debt$27,333
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School1.51%
    90%
    OSR Score

    Gain practical skills and hands-on experience through the Master’s in Communications program offered by Liberty University. This degree keeps up with today’s changing world and places an emphasis on branding through the use of social media platforms. Featured courses include Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Strategic Storytelling, and Effective Social Media.

  10. California Baptist University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,287(in state) / $13,287(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credit hours
    • Requires GPA of 2.5 or higher for admission
    • 500-word personal statement required for admission

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77.80%
    Admission Rate77%
    Programs offered online23

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,543
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School4.04%
    87%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Strategic Communications at California Baptist University explores the inner workings of communication – specifically, its historical, cultural, and political facets. CBU also prioritizes its Christian focus and integrates Biblical thought throughout the curriculum. What’s more, students at CBU are prepared beyond the digital classroom as online career services provide students with assistance in resume writing, career assessment, and interview skills.

  11. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,186(in state) / $28,773(out of state)
    • Requires 32 credits
    • Prefers 16 credits in undergraduate communication classes for admission
    • Features optional thesis

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate62%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School7.53%
    86%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Communications at the University of Illinois values a balance of group dynamics and individualized programs. Since Communications students follow a broad curriculum, they are asked to get specific about their interests with their advisors to best prepare for their personal career goals. Additionally, at Illinois, interdisciplinary programs are not only available but are also often encouraged.

  12. National University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,976(in state) / $14,976(out of state)
    • Requires 45 quarter units
    • Accepts up to four and a half transfer units
    • Capstone project required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70.80%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online46

    Program Level

    Median Debt$29,348
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.09%
    84%
    OSR Score

    National University offers a Master’s in Strategic Communications, which has an all-encompassing curriculum ranging from more traditional courses to courses based on modern-day communication platforms like social media. This program values convenience, offering year-round enrollment and four-week classes that help speed up the process to the graduation. Best of all, a combination of intellectual, managerial, and communication skills are promised upon degree completion. 

  13. Florida International University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,912(in state) / $21,393(out of state)
    • Features eight-week terms
    • Requires 12 credits per semester
    • Includes $30 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.40%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online26

    Program Level

    Median Debt$30,668
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.12%
    84%
    OSR Score

    Florida International University offers an MS in Mass Communication that can be completed over the course of a year. Students here can choose from a variety of electives such as Media Planning, Strategic Facilitation, and Digital Content Creation. Overall, this program has a globally-minded approach and places emphasis on social responsibility and professional ethics. 

  14. Ohio University-Main Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,444(in state) / $17,436(out of state)
    • Can be completed in 21 months
    • Requires one prerequisite, undergraduate course in statistics for admission
    • GRE may be waived for applicants with IT work experience

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.20%
    Admission Rate74%
    Programs offered online9

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School9.62%
    84%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Information and Telecommunication Systems at Ohio University is unique in that it is a content-driven degree that focuses on all aspects of the IT industry. This degree helps to hone skills related to the ever-changing IT environment, primarily by teaching its students to apply IT technology to business solutions. The program ends with a case-study-based course featuring the completion of a professional project that applies to real-life concepts. 

  15. University of Florida

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,770(in state) / $27,335(out of state)
    • Requires 37 credit hours 
    • Requires a capstone course
    • Features a variety of specializations

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.60%
    Admission Rate42%
    Programs offered online15

    Program Level

    Median Debt$36,500
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.39%
    84%
    OSR Score

    The University of Florida offers a Master’s in Mass Communications that gives students a generous option of eight specializations to choose from, ranging from Global Strategic Communication to Social Media; work with an advisor or take the program’s online quiz to find out which could be a good fit for you. Whichever specialization you choose, curriculums are built around three core subjects: messaging, communication, and culture. 

  16. Michigan State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $17,436(in state) / $34,260(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits 
    • Requires a capstone project
    • GRE required for admission

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.60%
    Admission Rate72%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School12.54%
    83%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Strategic Communications from Michigan State University provides the option of two major tracks: the thesis-option, pre-PhD track and the final-examination-option, career-oriented track. Both require the additional choice of a focus area, like Interpersonal Communication or Social Influence. There are only two courses that every student is required to take: Communication Theory and Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods.

  17. Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $23,797(in state) / $23,797(out of state)
    • Requires 45 credit hours 
    • Students can transfer up to 20% of total tuition 
    • Requires a capstone project

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School4.28%
    82%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication from NUPAN offers six concentrations to choose from, ranging from Leadership to Cross-Cultural Communication. Electives within these concentrations include Crisis Communication and Web Creation Boot Camp. The University believes in the power of experiential learning opportunities and real-world practices, which can be achieved through its virtual public relations firm. 

  18. Southern New Hampshire University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $18,810(in state) / $18,810(out of state)
    • Requires 36 credits 
    • Includes $40 application fee
    • Includes $150 graduation fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.60%
    Admission Rate78%
    Programs offered online43

    Program Level

    Median Debt$36,900
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School3.54%
    82%
    OSR Score

    Southern New Hampshire University offers a Master’s in Communications that allows students to choose between two concentrations: New Media & Marketing and Public Relations. The former focuses on emerging and evolving platforms such as social media, whereas the latter focuses on brand management and interpersonal communication. Best of all? This online degree can be completed in as little as 15 months. 

  19. Loyola University Maryland

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,210(in state) / $15,210(out of state)
    • Requires 33 credits 
    • Can be completed in under two years
    • Must be completed within five years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate75%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School11.29%
    81%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Emerging Media from Loyola University Maryland is all about innovation and exploring new trends in communication. The program claims to encourage even more peer interaction than a traditional classroom through the use of social media tools like discussion forums and VoiceThread. What’s more, class sizes are typically limited to 20 students. 

  20. Grand Canyon University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,737(in state) / $9,737(out of state)
    • Requires 34 credits 
    • Accepts up to 12 transfer credits
    • Features eight-week courses

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction69.20%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    80%
    OSR Score

    GCU’s Master’s in Communication with an emphasis in Education degree focuses on adult learning theory. Throughout this program, students will learn to become teachers in communications at the post-secondary level. The curriculum provided here is based on three specific principles: pedagogy, theory, and practice. 

  21. Texas Tech University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,724(in state) / $13,068(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • Requires 12 prerequisite credits in communication studies for admission
    • Requires GPA of 3.0 or higher for admission

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.60%
    Admission Rate69%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School6.47%
    79%
    OSR Score

    Texas Tech University offers an MA in Strategic Motivation and Communication that is designed specifically for communication professionals. The degree can be completed entirely online, further catering to students who may already be in the field. Additionally, online courses at TTU follow the same schedule as on-campus classes. 

  22. Washington State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,224(in state) / $24,656(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • No GRE requirement
    • Requires capstone project

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.60%
    Admission Rate73%
    Programs offered online13

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,789
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School6.79%
    78%
    OSR Score

    The MA in Strategic Communication at Washington State University is a great fit for those new to the field and seasoned professionals alike. The fully online program takes a multidisciplinary approach, preparing students with traditional skills and new, modern-day experiences. Individualized coursework propels each student towards their desired career and caters to their specific job needs. 

  23. American University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $29,556(in state) / $29,556(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • Two concentrations available
    • Can be completed in under two years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.40%
    Admission Rate29%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$51,248
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School9.49%
    78%
    OSR Score

    American University offers a Master’s in Strategic Communication that encourages the application of both creative and analytic knowledge. Having the option to choose your concentration allows students to tailor their educational experience in a way that supports their future endeavors. For instance, the Advocacy and Social Impact concentration focuses on how to best apply strategies to issues involving social justice, and the Digital Strategy and Analytics concentration focuses on the analytical side of communications and its latest developments. 

  24. Queens University of Charlotte

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,583(in state) / $11,583(out of state)
    • Requires 36 credits 
    • Requires an additional three credits to complete a concentration
    • Can be completed within two years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction78.40%
    Admission Rate79%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median Debt$37,374
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School11.21%
    78%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s in Communications from Queens University of Charlotte provides a broad and diverse curriculum that tackles traditional methods and studies modern perspectives. The optional integrated Digital Strategy concentration specializes in the latter, exploring the role of digital technology and how it affects our communities and environments. This fully online program utilizes the site MyCourses to create a highly collaborative, hands-on learning environment. 

  25. University of Southern California

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $43,200(in state) / $43,200(out of state)
    • Requires 32 credit hours 
    • GRE or GMAT recommended 
    • Includes $90 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate16%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$58,350
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School8.86%
    77%
    OSR Score

    The University of Southern California presents an online Master’s in Communications that is broad enough to cover all areas of the communications fields. Experiential learning and extensive coursework are featured in this program and present a wealth of knowledge on everything from data synthesis to strategies for emerging media. Upon completion, students will have gained practical training that applies to real-world experience in a leadership role. 

  26. Park University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,036(in state) / $9,036(out of state)
    • Requires 36 credits 
    • Includes $50 application fee 
    • Accepts up to nine transfer credits

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.40%
    Admission Rate69%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    77%
    OSR Score

    The MA in Communication and Leadership at Park University emphasizes interpersonal success, innovation, and organizational skills. The program is designed for professionals who are looking to advance in their careers, and the curriculum intends to groom students for leadership roles. Upon completion, students will be able to apply communication skills to a multitude of environments and on a global level. 

  27. Murray State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,631(in state) / $26,811(out of state)
    • Requires 31 credits 
    • No thesis requirement
    • No GRE no requirement

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate87%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School6.21%
    76%
    OSR Score

    Students enrolled in the Master’s in Mass Communications program from Murray State University will study communications from an ethical point of view. MSU dives into today’s communications climate through the lenses of social understanding, cultural norms, and mass media. This flexible and interactive online program also allows you to make your own hours without sacrificing the benefit of small classes and qualified professors. 

  28. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,917(in state) / $24,312(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credits
    • Requires in-person, once-per-week meetings at the Denver Learning Center
    • Can be completed in two years

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate83%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.16%
    76%
    OSR Score

    Colorado State University-Fort Collins offers an MA in Communications and Media Management that zeroes in on digital media and its varying applications. The curriculum requires face-to-face meetings and group projects, making peer interaction a strong value of this program. A wide variety of electives also lets students customize their experience based on their unique interests. 

  29. West Virginia University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,450(in state) / $24,390(out of state)
    • Requires 36 credit hours 
    • No GRE requirement
    • No background in communications required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate72%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$36,104
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.10%
    74%
    OSR Score

    West Virginia University places emphasis on corporate and organizational communication through its MA in Communication Studies. Through this emphasis, students will learn about the role that communications have in communities and other organized groups. The program is designed for working professionals who want to further excel in their current careers. 

  30. Troy University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,506(in state) / $15,012(out of state)
    • Requires 30 credit hours 
    • Can be completed within one year
    • 3.0 GPA required for admission

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.60%
    Admission Rate88%
    Programs offered online18

    Program Level

    Median Debt$30,750
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School3.73%
    74%
    OSR Score

    Gaining an MS in Strategic Communication through Troy University will allow you to develop critical skills and an evolved point-of-view in as little as one year. Although challenging, this curriculum will provide you with advanced knowledge of communication technologies, crisis communication management, and the strategic use of social media. Should you choose to follow the doctoral path offered, this degree will provide you with the steps to do so.