Graduate Degrees in Communication Studies: Online & Campus-Based Programs

Master's and doctoral degree programs in communications typically offer various specialty tracks, such as advertising or health communications. Common coursework includes communication law and communication theory. Read on for more information about degree programs and distance learning options. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Graduate Programs in Communications Are Available?

You'll find that most schools offer both master's and doctoral degree programs related to communication studies, and some offer graduate certificates as well. All of these programs will give you the opportunity to choose an area in which you'd like to specialize, such as mass communications, advertising, journalism, public relations, international communications, health communications or political communications.

Degree Levels Master's, doctoral, and graduate certificates
Admissions Requirements Relevant prior degree and good writing skills; minimum GPA and entrance exam scores may be required
Common Courses Communication theory, persuasion, research methods, media effects
Online Availability Master's programs available online

What Prior Education Do I Need?

For the master's program, you will need an undergraduate degree from an accredited school and a specified grade point average (GPA) - typically, at least 3.0. Doctorate programs require a master's degree. If you've been out of school awhile, your work experience may be considered instead of your GPA. Some programs may ask you to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), and all programs expect you to have strong writing skills.

What Courses Will I Take?

Your specific coursework will depend on the concentration or degree track you choose, but topics you can expect to cover include communication theory, law and technology. Other common course subjects include the following:

  • Technical writing
  • Contemporary mass media
  • Organizational communication
  • Quantitative and qualitative research
  • Persuasion
  • Branding and advertising
  • Crisis communication
  • Media effects

In a master's degree program, you will also be expected to write a thesis. In a doctoral program, you will have to write and defend a dissertation and take a qualifying exam; you may also be asked to complete a teaching assistantship. In most cases, assistantships are not required to graduate but are strongly recommended.

Are These Programs Available through Distance Learning?

Quite a few schools offer master's programs online, but very few (if any) offer online doctoral programs. This is because the doctorate requires you to be on campus to research your dissertation, meet with your advisory panel and - if applicable to your program - teach an undergraduate communication course to complete your teaching assistantship.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools