35 Best Online Masters in Communication No GRE Programs

Good communication helps organizations thrive. Whether a nonprofit agency, a corporation or a political entity, all groups need skilled communicators to help them deliver their internal or public messages. A master’s degree in communication can prepare you to fill this critical role.

masters in communication student working at computer with professor

Becoming a more effective communicator can be beneficial for a number of career paths.

For example, human resources, public relations and marketing professionals can enhance their skills with a master’s in communication.

Online Master’s in Communications Programs

Click on your program of interest to jump to that section of the guide:

Whichever career path you choose, to learn more about becoming an effective, influential communicator, consider earning an online master’s degree in communication.

Communications

Students in communications learn strategies for transferring or disseminating information from one party to another. If you choose this field, you’ll explore the ins and outs of both written and oral communication. You’ll also study digital communication and discuss how technology has changed the ways that people interact with one another.

Your coursework will cover topics like mass communication, crisis management and social media. You’ll also talk about the laws that govern media and communication, and you’ll strategize ways to use your skills to persuade and influence others. You may be able to take electives that focus on communications in the realms of healthcare, politics, community development or advertising. This degree can be useful for people who run public relations departments, work on political campaigns or represent nonprofit organizations.

As a graduate, you might also choose to become a writer, a marketing executive or a consumer researcher.

Media Communications

Do you want to influence others through printed words, online publications or video presentations? If so, a master’s degree in media communications can help you achieve your goals. This degree program focuses on forms of communication that are distributed to or viewed by large groups of people. These may include websites, magazines, newspapers, flyers, videos, movies and posters.

To prepare you for a leadership role in the field of media communications, you’ll study consumer behavior, website copywriting, public relations campaigns, ethical behavior and digital data analysis. You may have the option to further refine your studies with a specialization like Film Production, Advertising, Social Media or Journalism.

Depending on your course of study, you may be able to put this degree into practice with a career as a reporter, an advertising specialist, a film director, a user experience researcher or a news reporter.

Telecommunications

To merge your interests in technology and communications, pursue a master’s degree in telecommunications. This field focuses on communication that is carried out through technological or digital means. That may include computers, artificial intelligence, robots, websites and multimedia systems.

Your classes will cover topics like computer science, networking, circuits, operating systems, data processing and cybersecurity. Not only will you learn how to build and develop technology-based communication systems, but you’ll also learn about protecting these systems from internal or external threats. After completing your degree program, you may find a job related to network management, online security, app development or data analysis. Your particular career focus might deal with radio, computer networks, websites or mobile phones.

As technology becomes increasingly integral to modern life, professionals with graduate-level education in telecommunications will find themselves highly in demand by a variety of companies.

Visual Communications

Students in the field of visual communications learn to influence people through the media that they consume with their eyes. They may specialize in print or video media. If you choose this path for your master’s degree, you can expect to study topics like visual design, printing, organizational branding, art history and design software. You and your classmates will explore fonts, still and motion art, and two- and three-dimensional media.

The classes will help you learn how to create compelling pieces for advertising, packaging, storytelling and public relations, and you’ll learn how to invoke a response from your viewers. Your concentration options may include Digital Design or User Experience. A visual communications degree program can prepare you for a career in advertising, journalism or brand recognition.

You might choose to become an illustrator, a filmmaker, a printer, an art director or a web designer.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Communication

As a student in a communication graduate program, you’ll take a variety of classes about transferring ideas, delivering messages, influencing others and solving problems. Your coursework may vary depending on your school and your choice of concentration, but the following list can give you a general idea of what to expect.

Brand and Consumer Research:

  • Learn how to gather and analyze data from customers.

Consumer Trends:

  • Study consumer behavior and learn how to influence spending habits.

Digital Communication:

  • Learn to make the most of social media, email campaigns and other digital formats.

Legal Issues in Media:

  • Explore the laws and ethics that guide communications.

Public Relations for Organizations:

  • Discuss how to represent organizations to the public.

These classes will provide a strong foundation for a variety of communication careers.

Careers & Salary

Nearly every industry relies on communication in one form or another, so you’ll have a wide variety of career options available to you after graduation. For example, you could pursue a job in politics, advertising or public relations.

Salary ranges can vary greatly based on your geographic region, your job title and your professional experience, but the following career suggestions may give you a general idea of what to expect.

Advertising Manager

You’ll build brand recognition and market products and services.

  • Annual Salary: $132,620
  • Job Growth: 8% increase

Art Director

You’ll coordinate communication through graphic styling and other visual means.

  • Annual Salary: $92,780
  • Job Growth: 1% growth

Public Relations Specialist

You’ll serve as the face of an organization. Your responsibilities may include positive promotions and crisis management.

  • Annual Salary: $60,000
  • Job Growth: 6% increase

Reporter

You’ll communicate news and information to the public by means of print, websites, television or radio.

  • Annual Salary: $43,490
  • Job Growth: 10% decrease

Writer

You’ll craft factual or creative pieces for publication in print or digital media.

  • Annual Salary: $62,170
  • Job Growth: No change

A communications degree doesn’t limit you to any particular field. The knowledge you gain can be applied in a variety of settings. The skills you develop may include:

  • Building a social media following
  • Communicating clearly through the written word
  • Tailoring messages to a particular audience, whether local or global
  • Promoting brand image
  • Understanding communication theory

Financial Aid

Because the need for college financial aid is so common, the federal government provides a starting point for requesting help. The FAFSA is a free application that you can submit to learn about the types of federal aid for which you might qualify, such as grants, loans and Federal Work-Study. Other organizations, such as your state’s financial aid program, may rely on FAFSA data as well.

Additional aid sources include scholarships and fellowships. These can be need-based or merit-based. They may come from private organizations or your school.

Accreditation

You should always select a school with regional accreditation. Official accrediting bodies review colleges and universities to confirm that their educational offerings meet set standards for academic rigor and student support. To qualify for financial aid and have the option to transfer credits, it is essential that you attend a school with regional accreditation.

Your communication program may have industry-specific accreditation as well. This demonstrates that the program meets the highest standards in the field. If that’s important to you, choose a school where the communication department is accredited by the American Communication Association.

Professional Organizations

Joining a professional organization while you’re in grad school can help you become more familiar with the industry and establish networking relationships. Members may receive access to newsletters, job boards and scholarship opportunities.

Look into the following organizations:

  • American Communication Association
  • American Marketing Association
  • Association for Women in Communication
  • International Communication Association
  • National Communication Association
  • National Human Resources Association
  • Public Relations Society of America

Grad school is a great time to try out a professional organization because you may be able to sign up at a student rate.

frequently asked questions for masters of communication degrees

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Communications?

Your master’s degree may qualify you for management or leadership positions in a variety of industries. Potential job titles include advertising director, social media coordinator, brand strategist and public relations manager. As a communication manager, you could oversee all print, oral and digital communications released by an organization.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master’s Degree in Communication?

In general, full-time master’s programs usually take two years. If you select a program with a low credit-hour requirement, transfer in credits or attend a school with fast-track classes, you may be able to finish sooner. Part-time enrollment will, of course, take longer.

How Much Can You Make With a Masters in Communications Online?

On average, employees with a master’s in communication earn $65,000 each year. Salaries vary depending on where you live in the country and what your job responsibilities entail. Your earnings will likely increase with experience.

Do You Need GRE for Online Master’s Degree in Communication?

You may not need GRE scores for getting into grad school. Some schools do not ask for test results from any of their communication applicants. Other colleges do look at scores but may offer you a waiver if you have a high undergraduate GPA or several years of professional experience.

What Is the Difference Between Full-time and Part-time Online Master’s Degree Program in Communication?

If you earn nine or more credits per semester, you’re usually considered a full-time student. A full-time program helps you complete your degree quickly. On the other hand, part-time schooling may allow you more flexibility for keeping up with your job and other responsibilities.

What is the Format of an Online Master’s Degree in Communication?

Online programs may use readings, discussion boards, video lectures and other media formats help you learn the material. Some universities allow you to engage in class activities at a pace that fits your schedule. Other schools require you to log in at set times for class lectures or live discussions.

How Will an Online Masters in Communication Degree Equip Me with the Skills I Need to Further My Career?

In a master’s program, you’ll learn the latest theories related to communication, and you’ll go beyond the introductory topics that are presented in a bachelor’s program. With a master’s, you’ll be prepared to go beyond an entry-level job and instead take on a leadership or managerial role in communication.

How Can Previous Work Experience Benefit Me Pursuing a Masters in Communication Online?

Some schools ask applicants to have at least a few years of professional experience in the communication field before applying to their programs. Even if a college doesn’t require this, having work experience on your resume may give you an advantage over other applicants.

Conclusion

Every professional relies on communication skills, so improving your abilities in this area is sure to benefit your career. Whether you have dreams of working in politics, advertising, public relations or another field, earning an online master’s in communication will help prepare you for top leadership and management positions.

To take your career to the next level, seek out a master’s in communication program with a flexible online format. You’ll be able to earn your communication degree in a way that suits your busy schedule.

List of Colleges Offering Online Master’s in Communication

The following universities offer online master’s in communication degrees. Each school offers one or more specializations in the field of communication.

Rank University Featured Image tbl-programs Location mdgtbl-description
1 American University
GRENo
LOCATIONDistrict of Columbia
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
AU is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication – Advocacy and Social Impact
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication – Digital Communication Strategies and Analytics
2 Arizona State University
GRENo
LOCATIONArizona
ACCREDITATIONHLC
ASU has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1931.
  • Master’s in Communication
  • Master’s in Technical Communication
3 Asbury University
GRENo
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Asbury is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and education specialist degrees.
  • Master’s in Communication – Digital Storytelling
4 Ashland University
GRENo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Ashland is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
  • Master’s in Corporate and Strategic Communication
5 Austin Peay State University
GREWaiver
LOCATIONTennessee
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
APSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctorate degrees.
  • Master’s in Communication Arts – Corporate Communication
  • Master’s in Communication Arts – Marketing Communication
  • Master’s in Communication Arts – Media Management
6 Bellevue University
GRENo
LOCATIONNebraska
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Bellevue is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Business and Professional Communication
7 Clark University
GRENo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Clark is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Master’s in Communication
8 Colorado State University
GRENo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
CSU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • Master’s in Communications and Media Management
9 Concordia University, St. Paul
GRENo
LOCATIONMinnesota
ACCREDITATIONHLC
CSP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication Management
10 Drexel University
GRENo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Master’s in Communication – Public Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Science and Health Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Technical Communication
11 East Carolina University
GRENo
LOCATIONNorth Carolina
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
ECU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees ranging from baccalaureate to doctoral levels.
  • Master’s in Communication
12 Eastern Illinois University
GRENo
LOCATIONIllinois
ACCREDITATIONHLC
EIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Communication Studies – Communication and Leadership
13 Florida International University
GREWaiver
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees, and is reaffirmed every ten years by the SACSCOC.
  • Master’s in Global Strategic Communications
14 Fordham University
GRENo
LOCATIONNew York
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Fordham is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the Middle States Association.
  • Master’s in Strategic Marketing Communications
15 Gonzaga University
GRENo
LOCATIONWashington
ACCREDITATIONNWCCU
Gonzaga is accredited, as an institution, by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – Change Leadership
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – College Teaching
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – Digital Media Strategies
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – Global Leadership
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – Servant Leadership
  • Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies – Strategic & Organizational Communication
16 Johns Hopkins University
GREWaiver
LOCATIONMaryland
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
JHU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Master’s in Communication – Applied Research in Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Corporate and Non-Profit Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Digital Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Health Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Political Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Public and Media Relations
17 Liberty University
GRENo
LOCATIONVirginia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • Master’s in Communication
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication
18 Lynn University
GRENo
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Lynn is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication
19 Maryville University
GRENo
LOCATIONMissouri
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Maryville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership
20 Michigan State University
GRENo
LOCATIONMichigan
ACCREDITATIONHLC
MSU holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication
21 Murray State University
GRENo
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Murray State has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1928.
  • Master’s in Mass Communications
  • Master’s in Organizational Communication
22 National University
GRENo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
Since 1977, National University has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication
23 Northeastern University
GRENo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Northeastern is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
  • Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication – Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication – Public and Media Relations
  • Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication – Social Media
  • Master’s in Technical Communication
24 Northern Arizona University
GRENo
LOCATIONArizona
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The Higher Learning Commission accredits NAU through 2027-2028.
  • Master’s in Applied Communication – Documentary Studies
  • Master’s in Applied Communication – General
25 Pennsylvania State University World Campus
GRENo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communications
26 Purdue University
GRENo
LOCATIONIndiana
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Purdue has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA) since 1913.
  • Master’s in Communication – Communication and Leadership
  • Master’s in Communication – Health Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Integrated Communication and Advertising
  • Master’s in Communication – Strategic Communication/Public Relations
27 Regent University
GRENo
LOCATIONVirginia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.
  • Master’s in Communication – Media & Arts Management and Promotion
  • Master’s in Communication – Political Communication
  • Master’s in Communication – Strategic Communication
28 Rider University
GRENo
LOCATIONNew Jersey
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Rider is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Master’s in Business Communication
  • Master’s in Health Communication
29 Sam Houston State University
GRENo
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
SHSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.
  • Master’s in Communication Studies
  • Master’s in Technical Communication
30 Southern New Hampshire University
GRENo
LOCATIONNew Hampshire
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Master ‘s in Communication – New Media & Marketing
  • Master ‘s in Communication – Public Relations
31 Spring Arbor University
GRENo
LOCATIONMichigan
ACCREDITATIONHLC
SAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership
32 St. Bonaventure University
GRENo
LOCATIONNew York
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
St. Bonaventure is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications
33 University of Denver, University College
GRENo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
DU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Dispute Resolution
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Leadership Communication
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Learning and Development
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Marketing Communication
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Organizational Development
  • Master’s in Communication Management – Public Relations
34 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
GRENo
LOCATIONIllinois
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was re-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) in 2010.
  • Master’s in Health Communication
  • Master’s in Strategic Brand Communication
35 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
GREWaiver
LOCATIONNorth Carolina
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
UNC-Chapel Hill receives 10-year accreditation from the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • Master’s in Digital Communication
36 Washington State University
GRENo
LOCATIONWashington
ACCREDITATIONNWCCU
WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Master’s in Health Communication and Promotion
  • Master’s in Strategic Communication
37 Webster University
GRENo
LOCATIONMissouri
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Webster is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
  • Master’s in Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Master’s in Communications Management
  • Master’s in Media Communications
38 West Virginia University
GRENo
LOCATIONWest Virginia
ACCREDITATIONHLC
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Master’s in Communication Studies

 

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