This article ranks online masters degrees in communications, public relations or related topics for affordability. Because there is a limited number of colleges offering these academic programs online at the graduate level (either Comm or PR or both), and because there is an overlap of studies in these two fields, we’ve combined them into one college rankings list for reader convenience.
The 25 colleges ranked here offer either 100% fully online grad degrees (and some certificates) or in a hybrid format that requires some on-campus presence. Typical degrees covered in this article include:
- MA Communications (MAC)
- MA Communication Arts (MACA)
- MA Corporate and Organizational Communication (MACOC)
- MA Multimedia Communications (MAMC)
- MA Public Relations (MAPR)
- MBA with Corporate Communications Concentration (MBACC)
- MBA with Integrated Marketing Communications Concentration (MBAIMC)
- MBA with Public Relations Concentration (MBAPR)
- Master of Mass Communication (MMC)
- MS Emerging Media (MSEM)
- MS Integrated Marketing Communications (MSIMC)
- MS Technical Communications (MSTC)
As can be seen above, there are a wide range of online master’s degrees in the multidisciplinary study areas of communication and public relations. If you came to this page by accident and are actually looking for bachelor’s degrees in these topics — online or traditional — here are some other AffordableSchools.net college ranking articles that may interest you:
- 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications
- 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Relations
- 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism
- 20 Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications and Public Relations
Careers in Communications and Public Relations
The skills and knowledge gained collectively are applicable to a wide range of fields and organizations. We’ve compiled a partial list of occupations to which a degree in Communications, Public Relations or related topics could lead. Some only require a bachelor’s degree, while others may require a graduate degree and/or professional certification.
- account executive
- account manager
- advertising account executive
- advertising agencies
- advertising executive
- brand champion
- business marketing
- church-related media professional
- colleges and universities
- communication analyst
- communications manager/director
- communications researcher
- communications writer
- community relations coordinator
- community relations director
- community services manager
- consulting firms
- corporate communication professional
- corporate communications manager
- corporate public relations
- creative director
- crisis communication manager
- digital content producer
- digital marketing manager
- director of audience engagement
- director of employee communications
- director of media relations
- director of public affairs
- director of public relations
- film production
- fundraising manager
- government agencies
- grant writer
- human resources manager
- interactive media producer
- internal communications manager
- investor relations manager
- market research analyst
- marketing firms
- marketing manager
- marketing/promotions manager
- marketing/public relations researcher
- media brand advisor
- media management
- media relations specialist
- multimedia communication producer
- multimedia journalist
- multimedia/web-based media
- new media journalist
- non-profit organizations
- nonprofit advocate
- postsecondary instructor
- product manager
- product/brand management
- project manager
- promotion director
- public affairs officer
- public image manager
- public information officer
- public opinion researcher
- public relations agencies
- public relations assistant
- public relations consultant
- public relations coordinator
- public relations director
- public relations executive
- public relations manager
- public relations officer
- public relations specialist
- radio/podcast personality
- sales manager
- social media manager
- social media producer
- social media strategist
- strategic planning
- technical writer
- television production
- training and consultancy
- video producer/editor
Some of the occupations listed in the scrolling window above are profiled in BLS OOH (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) Web pages:
- Public Relations Specialists: 6% (same as national average for all jobs in the U.S.)
- Public Relations and Fundraising Managers: 7%
- Technical Writers: 10%
- Media and Communication Occupations
- We use the average out-of-state tuition listed in NCES for affordability rankings of master’s programs. However, a given program’s actual costs may differ from what we list and is subject to change by the colleges in question. Check Web sites for up-to-date graduate tuition rates.
- As college accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- This college rankings list uses the most recently reported data at time of writing; however, NCES data is subject to change as colleges report new information.
- The Areavibes cost of living score is from Areavibes.com and represents the city/ town of the college in question. It is completely independent of each college’s on-campus housing costs.
Rankings: Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Communications and Public Relations
Arizona State University-Tempe is a public institution established in 1885 and located in Tempe, Arizona, about 10 miles roughly east-southeast of Phoenix. It is the oldest and largest of ASU’s four campuses.
ASU offers nearly 50 online master’s degrees (MA, MAS, MS, MEd, MEng, MSTech, MGM, MAS, MHI, MBA, MLS, etc.). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MS Technical Communication (MSTC). The MSTC program focuses on the communication aspects that pertain to the design and production of print and digital texts, including the necessary technologies and platforms. IT requires 36 credits, of which 6cr are for Core courses (two), 24cr for Restricted Elective courses (eight), 6cr for Culminating Experiences courses (one 6cr course). The latter category requires the choice of either a Thesis or an Applied Project. A Fundamentals course is required of students without previous technical communication course work.
Sample courses: Applied Rhetoric and Technical Communication; Content Management and Topic-Based Authoring; Copyright and Intellectual Property in the Electronic Age; Fundamentals of Technical Communication; Grant and Proposal Writing; Information in the Digital Age; Principles of Technical Editing; Principles of Visual Communication; Principles of Web Authoring; Research in Technical Communication; Social Media in the Workplace; Technical and Scientific Reports; User Experience; Visualizing Data and Information
Western New England University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1919 and located in Springfield, Massachusetts, about 27 miles roughly north-northeast of Hartford, CT. Original name: Northeastern College, Springfield Division.
WNE offers nine online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication with Concentration in Public Relations (MAC-PR). The MAC-PR program combines the principles of communication theory and strategies with public relations –skills that can be applied to a number of industries in terms of brand-building, developing media relationships and more. It requires 30 credits and has a minimum timeline of 15 months full-time and 30 months part-time. There are 10 courses in total, with six Required courses (18cr) and 12cr for Electives. For the latter, students can choose between a Masters Thesis or a Independent Study Project, both in Public Relations. Each choice is worth 3-6 credits.
Sample courses: Communication Research Methods; Crisis Management and Public Relations; Ethics in Public Communication; Independent Study in Public Relations; Manufacturing and Managing Public Opinion; Masters Thesis in Public Relations; Principles and Practices of Public Relations; Public Relations for NonProfits; Strategic Approaches to Public Relations; Strategies for Social and Digital Media; Writing for Communication Professionals
Academy of Art University is a private, for-profit institution established in 1929 and located in San Francisco, California with regional accreditation through WASC/WSCUC. Original name: Academy of Art College.
AAU offers nearly 30 online master’s degrees (MA, MArch, MFA), plus alternate degree types and specializations. For example, the online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations includes an MA Multimedia Communications (MA-MC). This MA-MC program is designed to build the necessary skills and knowledge for the digital storytelling and Web video aspects of multimedia communications. It requires 36 credits, of which 33 credits are for Major courses and 3 credits are for an Elective course. The program requires a Thesis project for degree completion.
Sample courses: Creating Original Content; Digital Tools for Multiplatform Interactive Design; Evolution of Global Media; Final Thesis: Your Media Portfolio; Media Production: Working with the Client; Multiplatform Production: Original Series; Multiplatform Specialty Writing; On-Camera Performance for Multiplatform Media; Social Media Production and Branding; Visual Storytelling Production; Visual Storytelling: Editing for Short-Form Video Content.
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at, http://www.academyart.edu/disclosures
West Virginia University (WVU) is public research university established in 1867 as the Agricultural College of West Virginia. The three sub-campuses that make up WVU’s main campus are all located in Morgantown, West Virginia, about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
WVU offers 25 online master’s degrees and six graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MS Data Marketing Communications (MSDMC); MA Corporate and Organizational Communication (MACOC); MS Integrated Marketing Communications (MSIMC); MBA with Emphasis in Integrated Marketing Communications (MBA-IMC); graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. Students have five program options at WVU. The MSDMC combines “the art and science of marketing communications” for professionals who want to use data for strategic messaging, marketing communications campaigns and more. It requires 33 credits, and the first cohort starts Aug 2016. The MACOC program is aimed at working professionals seeking to improve communication skills using traditional and emerging media (social media, etc.). It has a two-year timeline and requires 36 credits. The MSIMC program is intended “for communications professionals who want to re-align their marketing activities” in order to ensure consumers receive regular information from multiple sources. The program requires 33 credits, which consists of 11 courses, and takes 18+ months. The MBA-IMC combines core business with IMC principles. It requires 48 credits and has two start dates yearly. Although courses are online, there are four in-person residencies, and hence it is a hybrid program. Finally, there is a 15-credit IMC grad certificate that takes five terms to complete (eight weeks per term).
Sample courses: Applied Public Relations; Brand Equity Management; Campaigns; Case Studies in Organizational Communication; Cause Marketing; Communication Campaigns; Communication in the Organization; Computer-Mediated Communication and Professional Identity; Conflict in the Organization; Creative Strategy and Execution; Crisis Communication; Current Topics in IMC; Digital Storytelling; Emerging Media and the Market; Entrepreneurship in IMC; Global Brand Communication; Internal Brand Communication; Introduction to IMC; PR Concepts and Strategy; Public Affairs; Visual Information Design; Web Metrics and SEO
Austin Peay State University (APSU) is a public university established in 1927 and located in Clarksville, Tennessee, about 50 miles northwest of Nashville, TN.
APSU offers nine online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication Arts with three Specializations: (1) Corporate Communication (MACA-CC); (2) Marketing Communication; (3) Media Management/ General Communication (MACA-MM). This MACA program develops skills and knowledge that students can use in professional communications roles or towards earning a doctorate degree. It requires 34 credits, though these breakdown differently between the three available concentrations. For the MACA-CC concentration, student choose between a Research Paper (3 credits) or a Thesis (6cr). For the other two concentrations, there is only a Research Paper option. Terms run for eight weeks and students can choose from professional or fast-track options.
Sample courses: Advanced Communication Research Methods; Applied Communication Theory; Communication and Public Opinion; Communication Internship; Communication Law; Communication Research Methods; e-Communication Strategies; Integrated Corporate Communication; International Communication: Corporate Communication; Leadership and Communication; Marketing Communication Strategies; Organizational Communication; Proseminar in Communication; Social Media Theories and Practices; Special Topics in Graduate Communication; Sports Broadcasting Direction and Criticism; Video Production Criticism; Web Content Maintenance and Management; Web Design and Criticism
Loyola University Maryland is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1852 and located in Baltimore, Maryland, about 38 miles roughly northeast of Washington, DC. Original name: Loyola College in Maryland. Affiliation: Roman Catholic/ Jesuit.
LUM offers nearly master’s programs, some of which are online. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Emerging Media (MA-EM). This MA-EM program focuses primarily on communication technology, including digital platforms and social media. It requires 33 credits consisting of nine core courses (27cr) and a 6cr Capstone. The timeline is 12 months full-time, up to 44 months part-time. Internship/ practicum courses require presence in one of several available cities, and courses are offered in fall, spring and summer semesters — varying from from 6-week to 14-week courses dependent on semester.
Sample courses: Content Creation Boot Camp; Emerging Media Applications; Emerging Media Capstone Project; Emerging Media in Strategic Communication; Emerging Media Internship; Ethical Issues in New and Emerging Media; Exploring Digital Culture; Global Communication and Social Media: Policy and Trends; Law and Regulation for Emerging Media; Media Innovation; Orientation to Online Learning; Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural Issues and Emerging Media; The User Experience
Gonzaga University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1887 and located in Spokane, Washington, about 279 miles roughly east of Seattle, WA. Original name: Gonzaga College. Affiliation: Roman Catholic/ Jesuit.
GU offers seven online master’s degrees (MA, ME, MSN). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication and Leadership (MA-COML) with three Concentrations: (1) Strategic and Organizational Communication, (2) College Teaching of Communication, (3) International and Intercultural Communication. This MA-COML program combines studies in leadership with communication theory and practice. Skills gained can be applied to several fields, including communications, public relations, advertising, broadcasting and others. The program requires 30 credits and averages a two-year timeline. Students can choose between online, hybrid or on-campus mode; however, there is one required 3-day immersion (practicum) in Spokane, WA. Admission is on a rolling 8-week basis. The degree can be customized by choose one of the three aforementioned concentrations, depending on whether the candidate wants to teach communication (undergrad level) or have some other professional career role involving communications.
Sample courses: Advanced Criticism; Advanced Topics: International Media and Culture; Communication and Culture; Communication and Leadership Ethics; Communication Consulting and Training; Communication Teaching and Pedagogy; International and Intercultural Communication; Interpersonal and Small Group Communication; Masters Level Writing; Media Literacy; Multi-Media Practicum; Organizational Communication; Peacebuilding Through Dialogue in Northern Ireland (Derry, Ireland); Renaissance Rhetoric and Contemporary Leadership (Florence, Italy); Social Dynamics of Communication and Technology; Strategic and Corporate Communication; Theorizing Communication; Travel Writing
18: Troy University
Troy University is a public university established in 1887 and located in Troy, Alabama, about 51 miles south and slightly east of Montgomery, AL. It was created as the merger of four original Troy State University campuses (including the main campus) in 2005 under a single unit, with the oldest founded as Troy Normal School.
Troy offers over 20 online master’s degrees (including specializations/ concentrations). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MS Strategic Communication (MS-SC). This MS-SC program requires 30 credits and has a timeline of one year. Its curriculum covers a range of topics including crisis communication, social media strategies, communication technologies and more. The skills and knowledge gained can be used towards the teaching of communication and journalism at the undergrad level, or in professional roles outside of academia.
Sample courses: Communication and Influence; Communication Law and Ethics; Contemporary Issues in Strategic Communication; Leadership and Media Strategies; Public Relations and Strategic Communication; Strategic Communication and Emerging Media; Strategic Communication Capstone; Strategic Communication Inquiry and Research; Strategic Communication Theories; Strategic Organizational Communication
Full Sail University is a private, for-profit institution established in 1979 and based in Winter Park, Florida, about seven miles roughly northeast of Orlando, FL. Original name: Full Sail Recording Workshop.
FSU offers 11 online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Public Relations (MA-PR). This MA-PR program has a 12-month timeline and consists of 12 courses covering topics such as leadership, interactive media, tools and resources for public relations, event marketing, strategies and more.
Sample courses: Events Marketing and Production; Innovative Public Relations Tools and Resources; Legal Aspects of Media; Market and Consumer Research Analysis; Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership; Media Relations; Public Relations Final Project and Thesis; Public Relations in a Digital World; Reputation Management Strategies; Social Media Metrics and ROI; The Online Media Room; Writing for Interactive Media
16: Marist College
Marist College is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1929 and located in Poughkeepsie, New York, about 85 miles roughly north of New York, NY. Original name: Marist Normal Training School.
MC offers six online/ distance learning master’s degrees and two graduate certificates.. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication: Organizational Communication & Leadership (MAC); MA Integrated Marketing Communication (MA-IMC). Students have a choice between two programs, both of which require 30 credits (10 courses). The MAC program can be completed in 1-2 years, and covers basic communication theory and practices. The IMC program is broader in scope, and focuses “on the integration of marketing and communication.” Both programs can be taken either full- or part-time and have no residency requirements. Courses run for 8 weeks. (See site for suggested schedules.) The MAC has an optional thesis, while the IMC has a Capstone project.
Sample courses: Advertising Management; Analytical Tools for Decision Making; Brand Management; Communication Theory; Global Consumer Insights; IMC Mobile Marketing; Interpersonal Communication; Leadership Communication; Managing Organizational Change; Marketing Foundations; Marketing Research; Media Relations; Organizational Communication; Persuasion; Principles of Integrated Marketing Communication; Public Relations Management; Research Strategies and Methods; Seminar in Communication; Social Media Strategies and Tactics; The Role of Communication in Conflict and Negotiation
Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a public institution established in 1867 and located in Clarion, Pennsylvania, about 178 miles roughly east-southeast of Cleveland, OH. It is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Original Name: Carrier Seminary of Western Pennsylvania.
CUP offers nine online master’s degrees (not including specializations/ concentrations). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MS Mass Media Arts and Journalism with Concentration in Public Relations (MMAJ-PR); graduate certificate in Public Relations. The MMAJ-PR program combines journalism with communications skills and knowledge. It requires 36 credits, of which 21cr are for Required courses (seven), 9cr for electives (three) and a 6cr Thesis/ Research Study in Communications requirement. (There is no comprehensive exam.) The timeline is a minimum of 18 months. There is also a 15-credit grad certificate in Public Relations, intended “for public relations professionals, business owners, non-profit managers” and others.
Sample courses: Advanced Public Relations Writing; Journalism Foundations (new course); Management of the Communication Process; Mass Communication Research; Mass Communication Theory; PR Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Principles of Integrated Communications; Public Relations Cases and Campaigns; Public Relations Foundations; Society, Law and Media Technology; Thesis/Research Study in Communication
Webster University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1915 and located in Saint Louis, Missouri, about 242 miles southwest of Indianapolis, IN. It was originally founded as Loretto College by the Sisters of Loretto. Affiliation: Roman Catholic.
Webster offers 24 online master’s degrees and nearly 2 graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Public Relations (MAPA); MA Media Communications (MAMC); MA Communications Management (MACM); MA Advertising and Marketing Communications (MAAMC); MA Communication Arts (MACA). WU students have five program options. The MAPA program is designed for students seeking roles in public relations or related fields. It requires 36 credits, of which 27cr are for Core courses (nine) and a minimum 9cr are for Elective courses (three plus). The MAMC program is designed for students with a background in communications who wish to further their knowledge in terms of skills, strategies and perspectives. It requires 36 credits, of which 21cr are for Required courses (seven). An additional six credits of prerequisite course work is required for students lacking previous educational background in communications. The MACM program is meant for professionals currently working in communications or related fields and who are seeking a managerial role. It requires 36 credits, plus any necessary prerequisites. The seven core courses take up 21cr, while electives make up the remaining 15cr (five courses). The MAAMC is for students seeking career roles in advertising and marketing communications, with experience being optional. It requires 36 credits, with 24cr for Core courses (eight) and 12cr for Elective courses (four). The MACA program covers a wide range of communications topics through 11 emphasis areas. However, only the General Communication Arts Emphasis courses are online. It requires 33 credits, of which 15cr are for Core courses, 12cr for Emphasis courses and 6cr are for Elective courses.
Sample courses: Communication Strategies for Investors and Financial Stakeholders; Communication Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations; Communication Strategies for Public Affairs and Government Relations; Crisis Management Communications; International Communications; Introduction to Interactive Communications; Marketing Communications: Business-to-Business; Marketing Communications: Direct and Internet; Marketing Communications: Merchandising and Point-of-Purchase; Marketing Communications: Product Publicity; Marketing Communications: Sales Promotion; Media Communications; Multinational Public Relations; Organizational Communications; Public Relations; Seminar in Media Communications; Speech Writing; Strategic Communication Applications; Strategic Communications; Strategic Principles of Advertising and Marketing Communication; Topics in Advertising and Marketing Communications; Topics in Media Communications; Writing for Media Communications: Journalism; Writing for Public Relations
Walden University is a private, for-profit/ PBC (Public Benefit Corporation) established in 1970 and located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded by two teachers from New York, Bernie and Rita Turner.
Walden offers over four dozen online master’s degrees and dozens of graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MBA with Specialization in Communication (MBA-C). This MBA-C program offers students a combination of business and communications topics. It requires 36 credits, with Core courses taking 24cr, 9cr for Specialization courses and 3cr for the Capstone course. Students can transfer a maximum of 18 credits. Semesters run 16 weeks, with each having two 8-week courses offered sequentially. For candidates with no undergrad business background, the Business Essentials course (zero credits) may be a prerequisite.
Sample courses: Accounting for Management Decision Making; Capstone: Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies; Creative Strategy and Execution: From Brief to Presentation; Dynamic Leadership; Fostering a Culture of Innovation; Improving Business Performance; Interpersonal Communication; Managerial Finance; Managing Business Information Systems; Managing People and Promoting Collaboration; Marketing for Competitiveness; Public Relations Concepts and Strategy
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is a public university established in 1947 and located in Adelphi, Maryland, about nine miles approximately northeast of Washington, DC. It is part of the University System of Maryland and has multiple locations besides Adelphi.
UMUC offers 16 online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: Master’s in Management with Specialization in Public Relations (PRPA). The PRPA program combines management with public relations principles and skills. Topics include public relations theory, legal and ethical issues, analytic and creative skills and more. Students lacking recent course work in finance, statistics and writing are encouraged to also take specific refresher courses. A zero-credit master’s level orientation course is also required. Total required credits: 30.
Sample courses: Crisis Communication Management; Financial Decision Making for Managers; Global Public Relations; Marketing Management; Organizational Theory and Behavior; Public Relations Campaigns; Public Relations Techniques; Public Relations Theory and Practice; Public Relations Writing; Statistics for Managerial Decision Making
California Baptist University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1950 and located in Riverside, California, 58 miles roughly east-southeast of Los Angeles, CA. Original name: California Baptist College.
CBU offers over two dozen online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Public Relations (MAPR); MA Communication (MAC). The CBU MAPR program teaches students to “integrate biblical thought with contemporary cultural concepts,” in terms of public relations and communications roles. It requires 33 credits, which is 11 Core courses. The MAC program also teaches students to integrate biblical thought with communication theories, and covers skills such as social media strategies. It requires 30 credits, consisting of 10 Core courses. Both programs have an average 12 months completion time.
Sample courses: Communication Ethics; Communication in the Digital Age; Communication Research and Evaluation; Communication Theory and Application; Critical Thinking and Crisis Management; Global and Intercultural Communication; Graduate Communication Project; History and Theory of Public Relations; International Public Relations; Legal, Ethical and Social Foundations of Public Relations; Marketing and Communications Programs; Media Effects on Communication Behavior; New Media Strategies; Public Relations Campaigns: Social and Physical; Public Relations Management and Leadership; Public Relations Research and Evaluation; Rhetorical Criticism and Contemporary Culture; Risk Communication; Specialized Writing for Public Relations; Strategic Communication and Leadership
South Dakota State University (SDSU) is a public university that was founded in 1881 as the Dakota Agricultural College. It is a research university that has land-grant status. SDSU’s main campus is in Brookings, SD. It also has centers in Sioux Falls, SD, some 60 miles south; Rapid City, SD, about 360 miles roughly west; and Pierre, SD, around 190 miles west.
SDSU offers over a dozen online master’s degrees (MS, MEd, MMC, MPH). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: Master of Mass Communication (MMC) with two options. This MMC program develops communications skills that are applicable in a wide range of fields, including media, law, health, social marketing, health journalism and more. It requires 32-36 credits and covers a range of topics in mass communication and journalism.
Sample courses: Conducting Professional Research; Cross-Platform Campaigns; Cross-Platform Storytelling ; Health Campaigns; Health Journalism; International Media; Introduction to Master of Mass Communication; Mass Communications Teaching Methods; Master’s Research Problems/Projects; Media Administration and Management; Media Law Case Studies; Opinion Writing; Social Marketing for Health and Behavioral Change; Women in Media
National University (NU) is a 4-year, private, non-profit university that is based in La Jolla, California, about 13 miles roughly northwest of San Diego, CA, with dozens of campuses and learning centers in other parts of CA, as well as four other states (Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Virginia), plus an online division. It was founded in 1971 as Pikeville Collegiate Institute and is a member of the National University System.
NU offers nearly 40 online master’s degrees and a selection of graduate certificates. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Strategic Communications (MA-SC). This MA-SC program covers communication skills through “both traditional and emerging channels such as social networks, blogs, podcasts, and mobile media.” The program requires 45 quarter units (qu), 40.5 qu of which are for nine Core courses, and the rest for one elective course (4.5 qu). Students may also be required to take specific prerequisites in writing/ English.
Sample courses: Campaign and Program Evaluation; Campaign and Program Management; Comm in Global Environment; Crisis Communications; Integrated Marketing Communications; Legal and Ethical Issues; Persuasion; Research Methods
Asbury University is a private, Christian, nonprofit institution established in 1890 and located in Wilmore, Kentucky, about 100 miles roughly south of Cincinnati, OH. Original name: Asbury College.
Asbury offers nearly 20 master’s programs (including specializations), some of which are online. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA in Communication: Digital Storytelling (MAC-DS). This MAC-DS program is designed for students who want to apply “narrative as a way of sharing and interpreting experience, creating community, engaging culture, and generating universal understanding.” It requires 30-45 credits and is offered in hybrid mode (some courses online; some on-campus presence).
Sample courses: Audio Production Basics; Communication Technology and Narrative; Directing the Narrative Film; Master Storytellers Seminar; Media Ethics in an Age of Relativity, Agendas and Advocacy; Multi-Camera Television Production and Lab; Research Methods and Tools in Communication; Strategic Marketing; Viral Marketing, Methods, Messages and Media
Concordia University-Wisconsin is a private, nonprofit university established in 1881 and located in Mequon, Wisconsin, about 20 miles roughly north-northeast of Milwaukee, WI. It was originally founded as Concordia College Milwaukee and is part of the Concordia College System (CCS).
CUW offers multiple online master’s degrees in seven areas of study. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MBA in Corporate Communications (MBA-CC); graduate certificate in Corporate Communication. The MBA-CC program in particularly intended for professionals whose role involves extensive speaking or writing — e.g., corporate public relations, spokespeople, consultants, and public image managers. The program requires 39 credits, with 24cr for MBA Core courses (eight) and 15cr for CC concentration courses (six). Alternately, students can first earn the 15-credit grad certificate in Corporate Communication — which consists of the same CC courses — and take the necessary 24cr in MBA Core courses later (within 5 years of certificate start date), to earn the MBA as well. The certificate has the same intent as the CC portion of the MBA program.
Sample courses: Accounting: Financial Analysis for Decision Making; Advanced Interpersonal Communications and Interviewing; Applied Statistical Methods; Business Ethics; Corporate Finance; Effective Business Writing in the Marketplace; Group Dynamics and Leadership; Human Resources Management; Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Managerial Communication: Practices and Principles; Managerial Economics; Public Speaking: Professional Reports and Presentations; Strategic Management
Mississippi College is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1826 and located in Clinton, Mississippi, about 241 miles roughly south of Memphis, TN
MC offers 12 online master’s degrees (MHSA, MS, MAT, MHI, etc.), including concentrations/ specializations. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MS Communication (MSC) in Applied Communications with four concentrations: (1) Generalist, (2) Professional Communication in Health Services Administration (hybrid), (3) Professional Communication in Sports, (4) Public Relations and Corporate Communication. The MSAC program has four concentrations that covers communications for health services, sports, public relations and a general option. (An additional concentration in Journalism is not available online.) It thus offers some degree customization based on the type of communications career they’re seeking. All four versions require 31 credits, with the breakdown dependent on concentration. Students must complete a Thesis.
Sample courses: Communication Law; Communication Research; Communication Theory; Dynamics of Group Communication; Field Studies; Intercultural Communication; International Communication; Listening; Media Programming and Management; Media Sales; Negotiation; Persuasion; Practices in Public Relations; Process and Effects of Communication; Public Relations; Rhetorical Communication Practicum; Science Communication; Seminar In Current Interpersonal Communication Topics; Seminar In Current Mass Communication Topics; Television Workshop
Quincy University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1860 and located in Quincy, Illinois, about 136 miles roughly north-northwest of St. Louis, MO. Original name: St. Francis Solanus College. Affiliation: Roman Catholic.
QU offers three online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication (MAC). This MAC program covers a range of communications skills and knowledge, including storytelling (verbal, visual, digital), media platforms and more. Success graduates can apply what they learn to public relations, marketing, mediated communication and other roles. It requires 30 credits, of which 18cr are for Core courses (six) and 12cr are for Elective courses (four), for a total of 10 courses.
Sample courses: Advanced Business Communication; Advanced Technical Communication; Communication for Change; Coordinating Seminar; Crisis Communication; Digital Communication I: Video; Digital Communication II: Computer-Based; Ethics in Strategic Communication; Integrated Communication: Social Media; Integrated Marketing Communication; Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication; Organizational Communication; Visual Communication
Concordia University-Saint Paul is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1893 and located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, about 12 miles roughly east of Minneapolis, MN. It is part of the Concordia University System. Affiliation: Lutheran Church.
CSP offers 10 online master’s degrees. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Strategic Communication Management (MA-SCM). This MA-SC program is designed to develop communication skills in students from a range of backgrounds, and covers emerging technologies, leadership, intercultural communication and more. Typical student backgrounds include corporate communication, public relations, strategic planning, general management and others. The program requires 36 credits and courses run seven weeks.
Sample courses: Communication Inquiry and Meas; Communication Strategies for Conflict Management; Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Communication; Crisis Communication Management; Innovative Communication; Interactive Media Management; Interactive Project Management; Intercultural Communication; Leadership Communication; Media Strategies; Persuasive Communication; Strategic Communication Management
Liberty University is a private, nonprofit, Christian institution established in 1971 by noted Pastor Jerry Falwell. The university was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College and renamed in 1984. Liberty, which claims to be the world’s largest Christian university, is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, approximately 115 miles west of Richmond, VA.
Liberty offers nearly 50 online master’s degrees (MA, MAT, MBA, MEd, MFA, MS, MSA, MSCJ, MSHI, MSIS, MSIT, etc.), excluding concentrations and specializations. For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communication (MAC); MA Strategic Communications (MASC); MS Marketing with Concentration in Public Relations (MSM-PR); MBA with Concentration in Public Relations (MBA-PR). LU students have four options for studying communications at the master’s level. Each requires 36 credits (12 courses), except for the MBA-PR, which requires 45cr. Maximum transfer credits range from 6-12. The MAC’s courses are spread across the categories of Core, Communication Strategies, Contextual, Electives and Culminating Experience. The MASC’s 12 courses cover integrated marketing communications topics. Students choose a Thesis or Project at program end. The MSM-PR has 12 courses covering marketing, media technologies, communication strategies, digital campaigns and more. The MBA-PR allots 33cr for MBA Core courses (11) and 12cr for Public Relations courses (four).
Sample courses: Communication and Conflict; Communication for Teachers; Communication in Christian Ministry; Communication Theory and Practices; Effective Social Media; Intercultural Communication; Interpersonal Communication Theory and Practice; Investigative Storytelling; Leadership Communication; Listening and Nonverbal Communication; Media Technologies and Communication Strategies; Organizational Communication; Rhetorical Theory and Criticism; Small Group and Team Communications; Strategic Communication Campaigns for the Digital Age; Strategic Media Analysis; Strategies and Tactics of Persuasion; The Transmedia Organization; Web Strategies for Growth
Queens University of Charlotte is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1857 and located in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 245 miles roughly northeast of Atlanta. Original name: Queens College. Affiliation: Presbyterian.
QUC offers four online master’s degrees (MA, MBA, MSN). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Communications. This MAC program consists of 12 courses totalling 36 credits. The curriculum prepares students from a wide range of backgrounds with a variety of communications skills and knowledge of tools and platforms.Incoming backgrounds include: community affairs; consulting; corporate communication; education; entrepreneurship; human resources; journalism; leadership development; marketing; media production; organization development; public relations; training and professional development.
Sample courses: Communicating Mindfully; Communication and Culture in a Networked Society; Communication Fluency; Constructing Messages and Audiences; Creativity and Networks; Expanding Communication Boundaries; Launching Passion into Practice; Leadership, Empowerment, and the Management of Meaning; Organizational Identity and Brand; Strategic Communication for Global Audiences; The Mediated Self and Changing Relationships; The Social Creation of Organizing
Spring Arbor University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1873 and located in Spring Arbor, Michigan, about 90 miles roughly west of Detroit. Original name: Spring Arbor Seminary. Affiliation: Free Methodist Church.
SAU offers eight online master’s degrees (plus concentrations/ specializations). For online master’s level programs in Communications and Public Relations, they offer: MA Strategic Communication and Leadership (MA-SCL). The MA-SCL program requires 36 credits and has a timeline of 15 months. No GRE/GMAT is required, and there are six start dates each year. Courses fall into the categories of Basic (18cr, three courses) and Building Blocks (24cr, seven courses). SAU claims this is the only program of its kind in the U.S. and it pairs students and mentors (“who are influencers in communication”).
Sample courses: Advertising and Public relations; Communication as Vocation and Calling; Communication Ethics and Moral Reasoning; Communication Leadership; Communication Research and Application; Communication Theory and Worldview; Group and Public Communication; Interpersonal Communication; Mass Communication, Culture and Technology; Writing for Results