Thanks to the rapid growth in the media industry, you can find many jobs in this sector. You can find a job as a producer in an advertising agency, public relations specialist, or you may even own your own media company. You can also take your expertise into different fields such as marketing, teaching, copywriting, journalism, and more.

Many of these positions require an advanced degree in communications or a communications-related field. With a bachelor’s degree, you can work your way up from entry-level jobs. With a master’s degree, you can qualify for leadership positions with more responsibility. 

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

Fast Online Master’s editors want Communication 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. The University of Alabama      

The University of Alabama (Bama Online) offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Communication Studies that is one of Alabama’s leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communications. Students enrolled in the University of Alabama’s Master’s in Media Communications online program complete a minimum of 30 graduate-level semester credits, of which 12 hours are offered for electives. The University of Alabama’s graduate degree in communications is offered with three start dates each year.

The University of Alabama’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program can be completed in less than 24 months if studying full-time each semester. Featured classes for this affordable communications degree include gender and political communication, human communication theory, communication, technology, culture & human communication, on and diversity, plus an exam or a capstone portfolio, among others.

2. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock 

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

The Little Rock Campus @ the University of Arkansas (UA Little Rock Distance) offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Mass Communication that ranks among Arkansas’ most affordable of online accelerated master’s programs in mass communications. This accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program offers students three academic tacks in mass media research, a professional mass media in multi-platform journalism, or professional mass media in strategic communication. The minimum cumulative GPA for this program is 3.0.

The University of Arkansas’s (Little Rock Online) Master’s in Media Communications online program requires thirty-three graduate semester hours in coursework that includes news media and the First Amendment, Internet Policy and Regulation, Media Criticism, and Seminar in Journalism History, plus a final project, to name a few. Graduates find rewarding work applying critical thinking skills to journalistic communication strategies across a number of sectors.

3. Texas Tech University   

Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Human Development/Family Studies Online for 2018

Texas Tech University’s (TTU Online). College of Media and Communication (CoMC) offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Strategic Communication that is one of the most affordable of online accelerated master’s programs in communications in the Lone Star State. Texas Tech University’s 30-hour Master’s in Media Communications online program prepares students for senior positions as critical thinking strategic communicators in the modern digital environment.

The featured required classes for this accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program from Texas Tech University include strategic communication planning & writing, strategic communication in a global environment, and media management, entrepreneurship, and consulting, plus a final capstone project, among others. This graduate degree in communications from Texas Tech University offers start dates at the beginning of each semester and is available to full-time or part-time students and working learners.

4. Stephen F. Austin State University   

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

 Stephen F. Austin State University’s (SFA Online) College of Liberal and Applied Arts/Department of Mass Communication offers a Master of Mass Communication that is ranked among the best and most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in mass communication in Texas. Students enrolled in this Master’s in Media Communications online program from Stephen F. Austin State University must complete 36 semester hours to meet graduation criteria in one of three academic tracks in journalism, broadcasting, advertising, and public relations.

There are no campus visits or thesis required for Stephen F. Austin State University’s s graduate degree in mass communication. This 36-credit accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program can be completed in as few as 24 months, contingent on the student’s time availability. Sample classes for this Stephen F. Austin State University graduate communications degree include media research methods, mass media, communication law and ethics, and media and society, plus a thesis or media project, among others.

5. South Dakota State University           

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

South Dakota State University (SDSU Distance) School of Communication & Journalism offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree program recognized to be among South Dakota’s most innovative online accelerated master’s programs in mass communication by OnlineU & BestMastersDegrees.com. This affordable Master’s in Media Communications online program from South Dakota State University (is designed for working professional communicators and journalists and has received accreditation from the ACEJMC – the Accreditation Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Coursework for South Dakota State University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program includes 8-week classes that offer a completion date of approximately two years. There are several tracks in South Dakota State University’s program that include a professional project (32 credit units) or a professional portfolio requirement (36 credit units). This South Dakota State University graduate communications degree, is designed to build professional skills that can be applied to broadcasting, advertising, public relations, and marketing.

6. The University of Iowa             

The University of Iowa’s (UI) School of Journalism & Mass Communication offers a Master of Arts Journalism degree program that is among Iowa’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in mass communication. The University of Iowa’s 34 semester hour Master’s in Media Communications online program includes a thesis requirement for those students who are not planning to enroll in a doctorate program.

The University of Iowa’s graduate degree in mass communication and journalism includes these features classes – a humanistic approaches to media communication, and social scientific approaches to media communication, principles of strategic communication, social media today, media ethics & diversity, multimedia storytelling, plus a practicum, among others. This accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program prepares graduates for a doctorate degree or a professional career in communications research.

7. Purdue University           

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

Purdue University’s (PU Distance) College of Liberal Arts & the School of Communication offers a Master of Science degree program (MS) in Communication that is available entirely online and taught by award-winning and distinguished faculty. Purdue University’s 30-credit Master’s in Media Communications online program offers enrolled students these academic tracks – strategic communication & public relations, integrated communication and advertising, health communication, and communication & leadership. Note this graduate degree in communications has no thesis requirement to earn the degree.

Featured core classes for Purdue University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program include communication research media, strategic communications & ethics, law, and communications, seminar in advertising, integrated marketing & communication, and strategic communication & social media, among others. Graduates of Purdue University’s online accelerated master’s programs in communication find rewarding careers in marketing, corporate communications, advertising, media development, and organizational development, among others.

8. Mississippi College          

Mississippi College’s (MC) Department of Communication offers a Master of Science in Integrated Communication degree (MSC) or a Master of Science in Strategic Communication (MSSC) that are among of the most versatile and affordable online accelerated master’s programs offered in the state, as noted by Intelligent.com and BestValueSchools.com.  Mississippi College’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program offers enrolled students these academic concentrations – interpersonal &public communication, generalist, sports, health services, mass media, theater, or journalism that can be completed in as few as 24 months.

Each of Mississippi College’s Master’s in Media Communications online programs requires degree candidates to complete 32 graduate semester hours to meet graduation criteria. Featured classes for this affordable communication degree include public relations, communication ethics and persuasion, communication law, and strategic crisis communication, among others. Graduates find rewarding careers working for nonprofits, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and social media management agencies.

9. The University of Florida         

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The University of Florida (UF Online) College of Journalism and Communication offers a Master of Arts in Global Strategic Communication degree program (MA-GSC) that is among Northern Florida’s most innovative and cost-effective online accelerated master’s programs in strategic communication. The University of Florida’s Master’s in Media Communications online program requires degree candidates to complete 36 graduate semester hours to meet the University of Florida’s graduation requirements. There are three start dates available in the fall, summer, and spring.

The featured core classes required by the University of Florida’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program include global activism, video storytelling, mass communication theory, and foundations of intercultural communication, to name a few. Potential careers for global strategic communication graduates include chief communications officers, international media consultants, internationals affairs specialists, international affairs liaisons, development communications officers, or corporate communications specialists.

10. Tiffin University      

 Tiffin University (Tiffin Online) offers a Master of Humanities (MH) degree program with an academic concentration in communication that is one of the leading online accelerated master’s programs in communication in Ohio and the Midwest. The total credits required to earn this Master’s in Media Communications online degree equals 30 units, which offers students the option of earning the degree with either a comprehensive exam or capstone project.

Tiffin University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program includes these 15-week format classes – logic, reason and persuasion, the philosophy of communication, documentary film engagement, new media, and trans media storytelling. Potential careers for graduates of Tiffin University’s graduate degree in communication include public relations, politics, and the news, critical thinking and reading, research methods, media relations, social media, editing, technical writing, event organizing, or higher education administration, to name a few.

11. Austin Peay State University             

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Military History Online for 2019

Austin Peay State University (APSU) Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts degree (MA) program in Communication Arts with an academic emphasis in corporate communication that is among the most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication in the Volunteer State and beyond. This 100% Master’s in Media Communications online degree requires enrolled students to complete a minimum of thirty-three-semester units to meet Austin Peay State University’s graduation criteria and earn the degree.

Austin Peay State University’s leading accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program prepares students for rewarding careers as a marketing professional, a public relations specialist, a media production consultant, or a social media professional, to name a few. Sample classes in this Austin Peay State University program include communication research methods, communication law, and ethics, a seminar in communication, applied communication theory, and analysis, plus a thesis, among others

12. Liberty University            

Liberty University (Liberty Distance) School of Communication and the Arts offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Communication that is among the most cost-effective of online accelerated master’s programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 33 graduate credit hours required to earn this communications degree are delivered in eight-week classes. Liberty University has a generous credit transfer policy that allows for up to 50% of the required credits to be transferred, if eligible. IN this case, that would be equal to 16 eligible credits.

Liberty University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program is completed by degree candidates in twelve months, on average, and ranked among the best Master’s in Media Communications online degree by BestColleges.com. Featured coursework in Liberty University’s graduate communications program includes strategic storytelling, effective social media, conflict analysis and resolution, and international & intercultural communication. Potential careers for graduates include communication analysts, business marketing specialists, and public relations directors, among others.

13. The University of North Carolina      

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

The University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Journalism & Media offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Media and Communication that is one of the leading North Carolina of online accelerated master’s programs in journalism and media. This accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program offers a two-year degree and is designed for working professionals. The University of North Carolina’s graduate degree in journalism and media offers academic concentrations in journalism, strategic communication, theory & research, and visual communication.

This Master’s in Media Communications online degree offered by the University of North Carolina offers these featured classes – digital storytelling, research literacy for practitioners, advanced reporting, narrative journalism, media law, and the reporting & writing news, plus a comprehensive thesis project, among others. Required credits for these online accelerated master’s programs vary from 36 to 39, depending on the students’ selected course of study.

14. Michigan State University        

Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Business Management Online Michigan State University

Michigan State University (MSU) College of Communication Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Strategic Communication (STRAT COM) that is available entirely online but requires applicants to have three years of professional work experience. Michigan State University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program is available with timelines of 12, 24, and 36 months. Degree candidates enrolled in Michigan State University’s online accelerated master’s programs are required to complete 30 online graduate semester hours to earn the degree. Michigan State University allows for the transfer of up to nine credits if they meet eligibility requirements.

In addition to a required final strategic communication-related project, Michigan State University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree includes these featured core classes – persuasion techniques for working professionals, evaluation techniques for working professionals, strategic message development, ethical concerns, and controversies for emergent thinkers plus a capstone course that offers real-world experience.   

15. Southern New Hampshire University

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Public Safety Administration Online for 2019

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU Distance) offers a Master of Science degree program (MS) in Marketing is among the most affordable of online accelerated master’s programs in New Hampshire and greater New England. This 36-credit Master’s in Media Communications online degree allows for up to 12 credits to be transferred towards the master’s degree requirements. This program offers students these academic concentrations – digital marketing, social media marketing, new media and communications, and marketing research and analytics.

The curriculum included in Southern New Hampshire University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program is aligned with the PCM – the Professional Certified Marketer Credential offered by AMA. Potential career opportunities for graduates of Southern New Hampshire University’s master’s degree program include social media directors, media planners, marketing managers, market research analysts, and business development managers, to name a few. Sample classes include integrated marketing communications, marketing analytics, ethical and legal issues in marketing, and consumer behavior, plus a capstone.

16. Clarion University           

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

Clarion University’s (Clarion U) College of Arts & Science, along with the Department of Communications, offers a Master of Science degree program (MS) in Mass Media Arts & Journalism that is among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in mass media arts in the greater northwest Pennsylvania area. Clarion University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program requires degree candidates to complete at least 36 graduate semester units to earn the degree.

This Master’s in Media Communications online degree offered by Clarion University includes these classes – mass communication theory, society, law & media technology, the management of the communication process, and advanced public relations writing, plus a thesis or preapproved research study, to name a few. Enrolled students have opportunities to network in organizations like the Public Relations Student Society of America and the American Advertising Federation Student Chapter, among others.

17. St. Bonaventure University       

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

St. Bonaventure University (SBU @ Distance) Jandoli School offers a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Communication with an academic concentration in integrated marketing communication that is one of only three schools in the nation that offers an ACEJMC accredited Master’s in Media Communications online degree. In addition, St. Bonaventure University’s affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication are ranked among New York’s best value degrees.

St. Bonaventure University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program includes these required classes – marketing communication research, branding, strategy & execution, empathy & ethics, and marketing strategy and planning, plus a capstone experience that includes a project’s final defense, fieldwork, or the submission of thesis. Graduates of St. Bonaventure University’s graduate degree in communications enter the workforce as digital strategists, marketing data analysts, media managers, and content marketing specialists, among others.

18. Quinnipiac University      

Quinnipiac University (Quinnipiac Online) offers a Master of Science degree program (MS) in Interactive Media and Communications that is available as a stand-alone program or part of a dual degree (with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS)) option plan. Quinnipiac University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program requires degree candidates to complete at least 30-semester units to meet Quinnipiac’s graduation criteria. The 21 credits of electives permit students to customize the degree to meet educational and career objectives. Applicants to Quinnipiac University’s graduate program must submit a digital portfolio of work that demonstrates the student’s current level of experience and knowledge.

Classes for Quinnipiac University’s online accelerated master’s programs in communication include visual design, web technologies, understanding your audience, visual storytelling and ideation, prototyping and testing, plus a master’s level capstone, among others. Potential career opportunities for graduates of Quinnipiac University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program are present in the fields of marketing, journalism, health care, public relations, and entertainment.

19. Gonzaga University         

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

Gonzaga University (GU Online) offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Communication Leadership ranked among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in communication leadership on the west coast. Gonzaga University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program offers degree candidates academic tracks in the strategic organization, change leadership, global leadership, college teaching, servant leadership, and digital media strategies.

This accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program offers international study abroad opportunities in Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Columbia. Classes for GU’s communications graduate degree include theorizing communication, international and intercultural communication, communication and leadership ethics, and content creation and strategy, plus a capstone seminar in communication and leadership, among others. Elective options include strategic and crisis communication, leadership and innovation, digital storytelling, mindful leadership & communication, and communication consulting and training.

20. Webster University                  

webster-university

Webster University’s (Webster U) Graduate Studies (WU) offers a Master of Arts degree in Communications that is among Missouri’s most affordable of online accelerated master’s programs in communications. This Master’s in Media Communications online degree program from Webster University requires 36-semester credits, with start dates available in the spring and fall. Twenty-one of the required credits are required, with 15 hours allotted for electives.

Featured core curriculum classes for Webster University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program include media communications, seminar in media communications, international communications, media production management, and media organization and regulations, to name a few. This degree from Webster University is also offered as a dual degree with an MBA – with a minimum of 51 to 54 credit hours required to complete the dual degree track.

21. Arkansas State University        

Top 30 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Online for 2019

Arkansas State University (Arkansas State Online) offers a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies (MACS) that is among the most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication available in Missouri and other Midwest states. In addition, Arkansas State University’s 30-credit accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program can be completed in as few as twelve months – with all coursework delivered in convenient and flexible online formats.

Arkansas State University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program provides students with these academic tracks in communication – general studies, social media management, technology law and policy, and global communications. Career opportunities for graduates of Arkansas State University’s graduate communications program include content managers, social media strategists, nonprofit communication directors, brand managers, public relations managers, communication managers, or college instructors, among others.

22. Lasell University     

Lasell University (LU Graduate Studies) offers a Master of Science degree program (MS) in Communication that is among the leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication in New England. Degree candidates enrolled in Lasell University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program may opt for a specialized concentration in public speaking, corporate communication, public relations, digital media, negotiations & conflict resolution, and health communication. The required 36 academic units can be completed in as few as twelve months, with many students completing the program in two years.

Lasell University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program includes coursework in ethics, communication and society, integrated marketing communications, crisis communication, social media, digital storytelling, persuasion, and public opinion, negotiations & conflict resolution, plus a professional internship, among others. Students applying who have less than three years of work experience should know that they must be able to show a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) that is no lower than 3.0 to be eligible.

23. Southern Utah University        

southern-utah-university

Southern Utah University (SUU Online) offers a Master of Arts degree program in Professional Communication  (MAPC) that ranks among Utah’s leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication that has no GRE requirement. Students enrolled in Southern Utah University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program can complete this master’s degree in only one year. Southern Utah University has been ranked by US News & World Report among the top public schools in the western section of the United States.

Sample curriculum for Southern Utah University’s program includes applied communication theory, qualitative and qualitative communication research, communication & professional development, and professional writing & presentations. This 36-credit hour Master’s in Media Communications online degree program prepares students for rewarding careers as political campaign managers, public relations managers, social medial content specialists, and marketing consultants, among others

24. Northwestern University         

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Journalism Online for 2018

Northwestern University’s (NU) School of Communication offers a Master of Science in Communication (MSC) degree program that is offered as a hybrid leadership program or a customizable leadership program. Degree candidates enrolled in Northwestern University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program can complete one of Chicago’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication in only twelve months. The required capstone may be individualized and include various components like a visual portfolio, case interview, or an applied research project, to name a few.

Coursework for the hybrid accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program offers five-week classes and includes these core classes – foundations of strategic communication management, leading collaboration, information design, public persuasion, understanding & leveraging networks, and dialogic decision-making, plus a communication-related practicum. In addition, there are four intensive residences that include these related topics -executive presence and elegant communication, cultural intelligence and managing inclusion, leading collaboration, and crisis communication management.

25. Eastern Illinois University         

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Eastern Illinois University (EIU Online) offers a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies with an academic concentration in Communication and Leadership that is considered one of the leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in communication studies in Illinois and beyond. Eastern Illinois University’s Master’s in Media Communications online degree program requires the completion of 33 graduate credit units across two years, with start dates offered in the summer, fall, and spring terms.

Among the required eleven classes for Eastern Illinois University’s accelerated Master’s in Media Communications degree program are communication theory, communication pedagogy, interpersonal communication, social interaction, communication ethics, digital communication, seminar in public relations, and special topic in communication, among others. Potential careers for graduates of Eastern Illinois University’s program include public information officers, digital media specialists, human resource management, social media coordinators, or high school or post-secondary educators, to name a few

Is a Master’s in Media Communications Worth It? 

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if a master’s in media communications is worth it. It depends on your career goals and what you want to get out of your degree. That said, you can gain a lot of benefits from earning a master’s degree. You also have a lot of resources available, like earning a master’s in media communications online.

A master’s degree in media communications is a good investment for media professionals looking to build their career. It can help you get better jobs, with higher salaries and more opportunities to advance.

Also, if you want to make sure that your career in media communications stays relevant, then a master’s degree can help. The media landscape changes constantly. It’s important for the people in the industry to keep up with these changes. Getting a master’s degree can help you do that. Your courses can teach you about current trends, attitudes, and other important information. 

But is a master’s degree worth it if you already have a busy schedule? Yes, as long as you have the right resources. If your current schedule keeps you from learning on campus, for example, you might consider earning your master’s in media communications online. 

Online learning makes a great choice for busy students. You can often learn at your own pace, anytime, and anywhere with an internet connection. By earning your master’s in media communications online, you can keep your knowledge up to date without driving to campus. 

If you want to finish your degree fast, consider earning an accelerated master’s in media communications. With this option, you can finish your degree in as little as one year. An accelerated master’s in media communications will give you an increased course load, so you’ll compress your degree into a smaller time frame. An accelerated degree will definitely keep you busy as you earn it, but it may save you a lot of time in the long run. If you’ll have a stretch of free time in the near future, you might take advantage of that time by taking courses. 

You can even find online accelerated master’s programs. With this option, you can combine the benefits of accelerated learning with the benefits of online learning. Online accelerated master’s programs can give you a lot of flexibility, just like other online programs. They’ll also help you learn as quickly as possible. 

How Much Can I Make with a Masters in Media Communications?

On average, people with an MS in communications make $73,000 per year

However, don’t forget that communications is a broad topic with a wide range of jobs. Even media communications has a lot of sub-categories. Therefore, your salary will depend largely on your title. 

For example, a marketing director will earn over $89,800 on average. A media relations specialist, meanwhile, may earn just under $51,000. 

As you can see, salaries vary widely among communications jobs. As a master in media communications, you can still expect higher earnings than someone with a bachelor’s degree in a similar job. 

Still, to find more specific salary information, you should know your own career goals. Once you become a master in media communications, which career will you pursue? Your goals can help you find the most accurate salary information. 

Other factors can also impact your salary potential. These include company size, location of employment, and more. If you work for a large company, you may make a lot more money than if you work in a small, independent firm. Likewise, if you work in a large city, you’ll probably make more money than if you work in a small town.

Finally, the longer you work in the industry, the more money you can expect to make. Those with more experience generally have higher salaries than those who have just started their careers. 

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