Communications is a broad discipline encompassing a range of fields including public relations, advertising and journalism. As digital media and technology continue to revolutionize these fields, students are increasingly seeking advanced degrees to gain the latest skills, develop stronger portfolios and professional networks, and expand their career options.
Online master’s in communication programs make these career-building degrees more accessible than ever.
Master of Science in Communications
Offered by the renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Communications@Syracuse prepares students to excel in today’s digital media landscape. With a choice of specializations, students can advance their skills in the fields of public relations, advertising or journalism.Learn More About Communications@Syracuse
Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism Innovation
This is a part-time program and can be completed in as little as 18 months.
Start Dates: January, April, July and October
Types of Programs
Reflecting the diverse opportunities in this field, leading universities offer a variety of communications programs designed to suit different career goals:
Master of Science in Communications: These programs provide a foundation in media law, applied research, theory and practice with a focus on digital media trends. Many programs offer additional concentrations to deepen students’ expertise in a particular career interest.
Master’s in business or corporate communications: These programs provide the combination of business, communications and management skills needed to lead and manage the communications function in corporations.
Master’s in specialized communications fields: These programs provide the advanced skills needed to accelerate careers in specialized fields such as PR, advertising and journalism. Applicants can explore a range of degree options:
- Master’s in Advertising
- Master’s in Public Relations
- Master’s in Journalism
- Master’s in Marketing
- Master’s in Branding
- Master’s in Social Media
Most graduate communications programs require:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Official transcripts and letters of recommendation
- Personal essay
- Application and application fee
While many communications programs have no GRE requirement, some require submission of a portfolio or links to the applicant’s personal blog or social media pages.
Curriculum and Concentrations
Master’s in communications programs are designed to prepare students to create and communicate messages through critical thinking, analysis and successful implementation of strategy, developing writing, research and rhetoric skills. Since applying best practices is a critical focus of these programs, some programs, such as Communications@Syracuse, will concentrate on modern digital communication. With an emphasis on adapting to the latest trends and technology, the core curriculum generally provides a strong foundation in media and digital communications. Core courses may include social media, multimedia storytelling, content marketing and management, and media law and ethics.
Many programs also offer career-focused concentrations:
A journalism concentration is designed to develop students’ skills in news gathering and distribution, digital media editing and production, investigative journalism, and data-driven journalism and information visualization.
A public relations (PR) concentration prepares students with the critical skills needed to help organizations build and maintain positive reputations and brands — preparing students for careers in corporate communications, PR agencies, nonprofit PR or government agencies.
An advertising concentration prepares students with the research, digital advertising and marketing skills needed to execute effective advertising campaigns across different media platforms.
Choosing the Best Online Communications Master’s Program
When comparing programs, applicants should consider the factors that set the top online master’s in communications programs apart:
Career and Support Services: The best online programs offer comprehensive student support throughout the academic program and after graduation. These may include admissions support, technical support, advising and career services.
Platform: An innovative technology platform and engaging, flexible format are essential to the online graduate school experience. When evaluating an online program, applicants should consider whether it offers:
- The flexibility to earn a graduate degree while maintaining career and family commitments.
- A learning platform that connects students and faculty through live classes with face-to-face interaction, social media and online collaboration tools.
- Networking opportunities with expert faculty and alumni established in the field.
- Hands-on learning experiences through residencies or immersions.
2U-Powered Communications Programs
2U partners with top universities to offer their degree programs online, including master’s programs in communications. Students in 2U partner programs benefit from the highest-quality online learning platform available, with access to an online campus from anywhere they have an Internet connection. University faculty lead all academic issues related to programs, including instruction and curriculum development. 2U-powered programs feature:
created by faculty and available 24/7.
in a collaborative online classroom.
between students and universities.
at field placements or immersions.
from application through graduation.
A graduate degree in communications opens a wide range of career options with opportunities for competitive salary. Typical positions and salaries include: