Communications

An accelerated, online Master’s in Communications degree allows you to work in a broad range of careers. Public affairs, journalism, various types of media-related positions, education, public relations, and public speaking are all occupations that will allow you to utilize all of the skills and knowledge you will learn with a communications degree. You may even have the option to work in the political field as a speechwriter, researcher, or by holding an office in whatever capacity you choose.

With a Master’s degree in Communications, you can use the skills you learn within your current job. Improving your communication skills allows you to perform your tasks more efficiently. No matter what type of job you do, it is essential for you to be able to communicate with everyone you come in contact with. If you go a little further and explore corporate communications, you may begin to advance to a managerial level and work with the leaders of your company and be able to improve the day-to-day operations.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Communications Online

Fast Online Master’s editors want Communications Students to find a program that pays off for them. That’s why we feature only trustworthy, accredited institutions. In the Most Affordable ranking, we present programs in order from lowest tuition to highest, according to current IPEDS stats.

1. East Carolina University                 

East Carolina University (East Carolina) Collee of Fine Arts & Communication/School of Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications degree program that is among North Carolina’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Students enrolled in East Carolina University’s graduate degree in communications are offered two academic concentrations in health communication or strategic communication. This Masters in Communications online degree program requires the completion of a minimum of 30 graduate semester units.

The affordable accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program from East Carolina University in strategic communication prepares students for roles in public relations, organizational communication, or social media. The health communication academic tracks focus on interpersonal communication and how the media influences health decisions. Required core classes for East Carolina University’s graduate communication degree include research methods and communication theory, and students have the personal option to select from a thesis or non-thesis completion track.

East Carolina University

2. The University of North Carolina – Wilmington            

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The University of North Carolina (UNC Wilmington) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) that is available entirely online. UNCW is a proud member school of the National Communication Association and offers its Masters in Communications online degree with a thirty-credit unit requirement. These online accelerated master’s programs in communications from UNC Wilmington are offered with multiple start dates throughout the calendar year. The final capstone project demonstrates a student’s learned abilities and skills.

The featured classes for this graduate degree from UNCW include digital storytelling, communication ethics, critical topics in integrated marketing, organizational culture, identity and brand, diversity, and inclusion, to name a few. The University of North Carolina’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program can be completed in as few as twelve months for full-time students and about two years for part-time students.

The University of North Carolina

3. Southern New Hampshire University            

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Southern New Hampshire University (Southern NH at a Distance) offers a Master of Arts degree program (MA) in Communications that offers students two academic tracks that are both available online – new media and marketing and public relations. Students enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s Masters in Communications online degree program requires candidates to complete at least 36-semester units at the graduate level to meet Southern New Hampshire University’s graduation criteria but allows for up to 12 transfer credits if the credits meet the university’s eligibility requirements.

As one of New England’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications, Southern New Hampshire University’s program offers students a fifteen-month completion track but the flexibility to study at one’s own pace. Students enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program find rewarding careers as public relations specialists, marketing research analysts, marketing managers, or fundraising specialists, to name a few.

Southern New Hampshire University

4. Eastern New Mexico University               

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Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications that is designed for working professionals and available entirely online, in a flexible format. This affordable Masters in Communications online degree program from Eastern New Mexico University offers a thesis track (with 24 credits plus a six-credit thesis) or a non-thesis track (with 30 credit units required and a communication capstone project). The university offers graduate assistantship opportunities, which are resident positions in Portales.

Eastern New Mexico University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program requires degree candidates to take these featured core classes – research methods, communication theory, mass media and society, and critical analysis of mass media. Students graduating from Eastern New Mexico University’s online accelerated master’s programs in communications enter the workforce in the areas of journalism, public relations, publishing, media relations, and advertising, to name a few.

Eastern New Mexico University

5. Austin Peay State University                   

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Austin Peay State University (APSU Online) College of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communication Arts recognized to be one of Tennessee’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Students enrolled in Austin Peay State University are offered the opportunity to select from four academic tracks – a general communication track, a media management track, a corporate communication track, or a marketing track. This affordable 34 credit hour Masters in Communications online degree program can be completed entirely online, with classes delivered in eight-week modules.

Available careers for graduates of Austin Peay State University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program find rewarding careers in the area of strategic planning, public relations, training & consultancy, nonprofits, media relations, media management, human resources, or admission to a doctoral program, among others. This program is available to international students.

Austin Peay State University

6.  Purdue University                 

Purdue University appears in our ranking Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Communications Online.

Purdue University’s Lamb School of Communication offers a Master of Science in Communications degree that is ranked among Indiana’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications. This online degree program offers four academic communications tracks – public relations/strategic communications, health communication, integrated communication & advertising, and communication & leadership, although a general track is available as well. Purdue’s master’s program in communication requires 30 graduate semester units to meet program requirements.

Purdue University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program includes these core classes – seminar in strategic communication, strategic communications & ethics, and seminar in communication research media. This communications degree from Purdue prepares students for rewarding careers as an organizational development director, marketing communications strategist, or corporate communications manager, to name a few. Previous graduates work for Boeing, the United Way, Time Warner, and UNICEF, among others.

Purdue University

7. Sam Houston State University                 

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Sam Houston State University (SHSU Online) Department of Communication Studies offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications Studies that is recognized as one of the nation’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications, according to TheBestSchools.org. Students enrolled in Sam Houston State University’s Masters in Communications online degree program must complete a minimum of 36 credit units at the graduate level to meet program criteria. SHSU offers potential degree candidates three start dates in the Summer, Spring, and Fall.

Sample classes for Sam Houston State University’s graduate communications degree include risk communication, intercultural communication, advanced communication theory, communication studies methods, interpersonal and family communication, and computer-mediated communication, to name a few. Students enrolled in Sam Houston State University’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program is designed for those students who wish to further their communications career or those aspiring to enter a doctoral program in the communications realm.

Sam Houston State University

8. The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill              

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Media Communications Online for 2019

The University of North Carolina (UNC Chapel Hill) Hussman School of Journalism and media offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Communication that ranks among the most innovative online accelerated master’s programs in communications in the marketplace. Chapel Hill’s Masters in Communications online degree has been developed to meet the needs of working learners and communication professionals. The final project required for the graduate degree in communication includes working with a faculty member one-on-one.  

The University of North Carolina’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program is also one of the state’s most affordable graduate online programs. There are two on-campus experiences, but most of the coursework is available online, including media analytics, the business of media, reputation management, visual literacy, and user experience, and communications strategy and planning, to name a few.

The University of North Carolina

9. Franklin University         

Franklin University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Marketing and Communications (MCM) that is among Ohio’s leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications with IACBE accreditation. This Masters in Communications online degree program from Franklin University is available with multiple start dates each year and an accelerated format that can be completed in only fourteen months for those students studying full-time. Franklin University‘s graduate degree in communications and marketing offers two academic tracks – digital marketing or marketing management – both of which focus on communications aspects of digital media, marketing, advertising, and public relations.

Franklin’s affordable accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program includes these features courses – marketing strategy, new media, brand management, creative production, and market research and analytics, to name a few. Graduates of this communications master’s degree find rewarding work in academia, business, nonprofit organizations, or as an entrepreneur in any number of fields.

Franklin University

10. Arizona State University             

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Arizona State University (Arizona State Online) College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications degree program that can be completed entirely online. With multiple start dates and 7.5-week modules, ASU’s Masters in Communications online degree program is one of Arizona’s best online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Students enrolled in Arizona State University’s graduate degree are required to complete ten classes or thirty graduate semester hours to meet ASU’s program criteria.

ASU’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program is an affordable option with featured classes that include communication in global contexts, theories & models in communication, communication and conflict transformation, and social influence and persuasion, among others. Available careers for graduates of this communication program include fundraising manager, human resource specialist, public relations manager, communication consultant, or postsecondary educator, to name a few.

Arizona State University

11. Park University                    

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Park University (Park U) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications and Leadership that is ranked among the most innovative of Missouri’s online accelerated master’s programs in communications that can be completed 100% online. This affordable Masters in Communications online degree program requires the completion of 36-semester units, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. The featured core curriculum for Park University’s program includes human communication perspectives, cross-cultural communication, and the epistemology of communication, to name a few. Students may complete the degree with a thesis or a graduate and comprehensive exam.

Park University’s affordable accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program prepares degree candidates to enter the workforce in a number of leadership communication jobs that include organization development consultant, chief executive officer, nonprofit director, VP of human resources, or corporate spokesperson, to name a few.

Park University

12. Texas Tech University                    

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Media Communications Online for 2019

Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Strategic Communications & Innovation that requires applicants to the program to hold a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree. This online accelerated master’s programs in communications are available entirely online and designed for the working professional. Students enrolled in this affordable Masters in Communications online degree program from Texas Tech must complete a minimum of 40 graduate level semester credits to meet program criteria.

This accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program offered by TTU includes seven core classes and three electives, culminating with a communications-related final capstone project in the last semester. TTU’s graduate degree in communication and innovation can be started in one of four semesters, fall, spring, summer 1, or summer 2. Students enrolled in Texas Tech’s graduate degree can opt to take one, two, or three classes each semester, depending on their time availability.

Texas Tech University

13. Washington State University                   

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Washington State University (Washington State) Murrow College of Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications with an academic specialty in Strategic Communication that is offered with three start dates through the academic year. The coursework for Washington State University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program requires 30 credits of classes – all available entirely online. Featured classes for Washington State University’s online accelerated master’s programs in communications include crisis communication in global contexts, ethics for professionals, multimedia content creation, creative media strategies and techniques, and persuasion for professional communicators, to name a few.

This Masters in Communications online degree program from Washington State University prepares students for careers in the areas of communication management, advertising, corporate communications, and public relations, to name a few. Students are also required to complete a non-research or non-thesis capstone project followed by a comprehensive exam.

Washington State University

14. The University of South Carolina            

The University of South Carolina’s (USC Online) College of Information and Communications offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications that ranks among the leading South Carolina online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Students enrolled in USC’s Masters in Communications online degree must complete 36 graduate credit hours, including a practicum in a related company or organization. Sample classes include research methods in mass communication, communication principles, communication campaigns, and applied visual communication.

The coursework for the University of South Carolina’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program can be earned in as few as twelve months for full-time students, and about two years for part-time students covers the areas of new technologies, media law, strategic communication, management, and research. The practicum requires 300 hours which is completed over 15 weeks and has previously included several television stations, NBC News, BMW, and Auburn Athletics, to name a few.

The University of South Carolina

15. National University                   

National University (NU) College of Letters & Sciences offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Strategic Communications that can be completed entirely online. This Masters in Communications online degree program from National University is among the most innovative, military-friendly, online accelerated master’s programs in communications on the west coast. These online accelerated master’s programs in communications from NU fosters logical analysis and strategic thinking that can be successfully applied to a number of economic sectors and applications. Classes are delivered one at a time, in four-week modules.

Featured coursework for National University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program covers the competencies and research skills required for a rewarding communications career across economic sectors. Graduates of this National University affordable master’s degree are prepared for careers in both traditional and emerging applications like podcasts, mobile media, and blogs, to name a few.

National University

16. Liberty University               

Liberty University School of Communication and the Arts offers a Master of Arts in Communications degree program that is ranked among the best online accelerated master’s programs in communications in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. This online degree program requires students to complete 33-semester credits, of which half may be transferred if eligible. This graduate degree is offered with multiple start dates each year. Students graduate with a professional portfolio that helps move their careers forward.

This accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program is available entirely online, offering flexibility and convenience to working learners and ranked among the best affordable degrees by AffordableCollegesOnline.com. Features classes for this graduate communications degree from Liberty University include strategic storytelling, effective social media, and conflict analysis and resolution, to name a few.

Liberty University

17. Drury University                

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Drury University Graduate Studies offers a Master of Arts degree in Communications (MA) that offers two academic specialties – the first is available in organizational leadership and change, or, alternatively, students can opt for a track in integrated marketing communications. This online program in communications in Missouri and beyond that has no GRE requirement for admission. This program from Drury is customizable to suit each student’s professional objectives and interests and can be finished in only 15 months but is available with academic study plans for three- and two-year timeframes.

Students enrolled in this affordable, 30-credit Masters in Communications online degree program from Drury University can select from two academic emphases – organizational leadership and change or integrated marketing communications. The ten classes required for this graduate communications degree can be taken in 8 or 16 modules.

Drury University

18. Asbury University               

Asbury University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Storytelling that can be completed entirely online and is recognized to be among Kentucky’s most affordable top online accelerated master’s programs in communications. The degree includes coursework that includes marketing, new media, communication theories and principles, and communication ethics, to name a few. Asbury University’s Masters in Communications online degree program is offered with small class sizes (with a faculty to student ratio represented by a 1 to 10 ratio) to ensure students receive the attention they deserve.

Asbury University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program is designed for working professionals as it offers the convenience and flexibility required for working learners. Graduates of this master of arts degree in digital storytelling find rewarding careers across industries, including journalism, media, film, academia, and publishing, to name a few.

Asbury University

19. California Baptist University                      

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California Baptist University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Strategic Communications that is recognized to be among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in communications on the west coast and California. This online degree program requires degree candidates to complete a minimum of 30 graduate semester units to meet university graduation criteria. Sample coursework for CBU’s graduate degree in communications includes media effects on communication behavior, communication ethics, social influence & persuasion, applied communication research, and advanced communication theory, to name a few.  

Students enrolled in California Baptist University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program prepares students for rewarding work across sectors as market research analysts, research writers, marketing directors, strategic communications officers, and public relations consultants, to name a few. Full-time students attending California Baptist University can complete this master’s degree in about 12 months.

California Baptist University

20. Queens University of Charlotte              

Queens University of Charlotte (QU Online) Knight School of Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications that offers two concentrations – in strategic communication or organizational communication – both available entirely online. Students enrolled in Queens University’s Masters in Communications online degree will complete 30 graduate semester units and have the option of including stackable certificate options.

This accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program offered by the Queens University of Charlotte can be earned in as few as 18 months for those students studying full-time. The core coursework for these online accelerated master’s programs in communications covers 12 credits, with students having the opportunity to tailor the communication degree program to suit their career interests completed with the remaining 18 credit units. Featured classes for Queens University include issues in intercultural communication, principles of public relations, and communication research methods, to name a few.

Queens University of Charlotte

21. Lasell College    

Lasell College (Lasell) Graduate and Professional Studies offers a Master of Science in Communications (MS) that ranks among New England’s leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Lasell’s Masters in Communications online degree program offers student academic concentrations in public speaking, public relations, digital media, corporate communication, negotiations & conflict resolution, and health communication. This 36-credit unit graduate communications degree from Lasell College can be completed with a blended delivery of coursework for students who prefer that method.

Lasell College’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program requires degree candidates to complete 12 classes, which can be finished in only twelve months, for those students studying full-time. Graduates of this master’s in communications degree program find rewarding careers as marketing specialists, public relations, fundraising, and grant writing, and client support, to name a few.

Lasell College

22. Notre Dame of Maryland University      

The Notre Dame of Maryland University (Notre Dame MD) School of Arts, Sciences & Business offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Contemporary Communication that is available 100% online without residency requirements. This Masters in Communications online degree program is available for part-time or full-time students and requires 36 graduate credit (twelve classes) units to meet ND’s program requirements.

Required classes for these online accelerated master’s programs in communications are interdisciplinary in nature, covering topics that include media criticism, visual media, philosophy, art, computer studies, multiculturalism, and business communications, to name a few. The Notre Dame of Maryland University’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program can be completed by full-time students in as few as twelve months, with most students finishing in 18 to 24 months. This can be completed without a thesis requirement, but an optional capstone project in a contemporary communication project is offered.

The Notre Dame of Maryland University

23. Fairfield University             

Fairfield University’s (FU) College of Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communications that can be completed with a thesis (or, instead, a project track) or a non-thesis track for interested students. Both Masters in Communications online degree program tracks require degree candidates to complete 36-semester units to meet program criteria. Core classes for Fairfield University’s affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communications include communication philosophies, theories and research traditions, ethics and communication, and communication research design and methodologies, to name a few.

Students graduating from Fairfield University’s accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program find rewarding work across sectors with skills and talents that can be applied to many industries and applications. Available careers include nonprofit and fundraising management, human resource management, health care communications, media specialist, conflict consultancy, or organizational consultancy, to name a few.

Fairfield University

24. Syracuse University       

Syracuse University’s (SU) Newhouse School of Public Communications offers a Master of Science in Communications (MS) degree program that offers four specializations to enrolled students – advertising, public relations, media management, and journalism innovation. Coursework for one of New England’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communications includes two immersions, five core courses, one capstone, and electives in the student’s chosen academic specialty. The core classes for this Masters in Communications online degree program include social media for public communicators, media law, introduction to digital communications, and multimedia storytelling, to name a few.

Students enrolled in Syracuse University’s accelerated Master’s in a Communications degree program can complete this degree in only fifteen months – entirely online. Available careers for Syracuse University’s graduates include content editor, director of digital media, social brand manager, adverting manager, account executive, or product designer, to name a few.

Syracuse University

25. Drexel University                 

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Drexel University (Drexel Online) college of Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communications (MS SDC) degree program that is offered with two academic specializations – digital communication or strategic communication. This Masters in Communications online degree program explores both communication theories and practices in the realm of traditional and digital media options. In addition, Drexel University’s online accelerated master’s programs in communications require the completion of 45 credit hours – all online, with start dates available in any academic quarter.

Students interested in applying to Drexel University’s affordable accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program should understand that the program can be finished in approximately one year if studying full-time or two years for part-time students. Potential careers for graduates of Drexel’s program include public relations, social networking, digital publishing, social media communication, or digital content creation, to name a few.

Drexel University

Is a Master’s in Communications Worth the Time and Effort?

The time and effort you put into earning an online, accelerated Master’s in Communications degree program will pay off quite well in the long run. Communication is essential for almost every aspect of your business. You must communicate with your customers as well as your employees. No communication means nothing gets done. By earning an online accelerated Master’s in Communication, you will receive the skills that are necessary to keep things moving forward as smoothly as possible.

Even if you are already employed, learning the skills associated with this type of degree ensures that you will have the advantage over other people who are applying for the same jobs. Learning online gives you an opportunity to stay on the job and continue to learn at the same time. This is extremely beneficial because it gives you a chance to use what you are learning and apply it to real-life situations. Many employers recognize the benefits as well and may offer to pay your school expenses.

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Communications?

With an online Master’s in Communications, you can earn an average of $50,000 with approximately five years of experience. Starting in an entry-level position may mean a slightly lower wage, but the experience you gain in doing so would be invaluable. If you are already employed, you will be able to apply what you have learned in school and dramatically increase your earning potential over time. Earning a degree that makes you more proficient will also open the door to new opportunities on many different levels.

If you have been working in the communications field for several years and have the benefit of specialization, you may be able to earn as much as $69,000 to $75,000 per year on average. Your location will also play a role in the amount of money you can make each year. With today’s technology and online learning programs, you do not have to remain confined to an office. In fact, you can work remotely as an independent contractor providing services to companies across the country.

Can a Master’s in Communications Be Used with Other Careers?

With an online, accelerated Master’s in Communications degree, you can work in almost any field you choose. While the most common may be journalism, public affairs, communications, media, and author, you also have options that will allow you to become an educator, grant writer, content curator, publisher, and editor. All of these are connected in some way to the communications field and will allow you to expand your area of interest in almost any direction you choose. You may also choose to explore options that would allow you to work within the corporate field as well. 

If you are skilled in communications and have the degree to back up your abilities, you may be able to find work in the political arena. Press secretaries and speechwriters are very popular in the political arena and are well paid for what they do. With the right skills and opportunities, you can set your own course and work as an independent contractor. This allows you to set your own schedule, charge the fees you feel comfortable with, and work from home or in an office setting. You are in control of every aspect of your career!

Related:

5 CAREER OPTIONS WITH A MASTER’S IN MEDIA COMMUNICATION

5 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIZATIONS