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Is a Master's in Communications Worth It?

Sep 22, 2017

Learn about the master's degree program in communications to help you decide if the degree is worth pursuing. We also explore some of the other master's degree program options in the field.

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A master's degree in communications can prepare graduates for a wide range of careers in the field that may fit their interests. Here you can learn about this master's degree program, as well as some ways to evaluate if earning a master's in communications is worth it to you. We also look at a few other communications-related master's degree programs.

Master's Degree in Communications Program Information

A master's degree program in communications prepares students to be effective leaders and understand a variety of communications methodologies. Degree programs in communications at the master's level are usually offered as a Master of Arts degree, but there are some Master of Science degree programs as well, both of which can be offered online or on-campus. The program can be completed in as little as 15 to 20 months, and may offer concentrations in areas such as public relations, new media and marketing or health communication. Applicants generally need a bachelor's degree and a certain GPA, and may be required to submit GRE scores. Some typical course topics include:

  • Ethics
  • Strategic Communication
  • Global Communication
  • Communication for Leadership
  • Survey Design
  • Social Media

Why Earn a Master's in Communications?

There are several different factors to consider when choosing a master's degree program that is right for you. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2016, graduates with a master's degree earned a weekly median salary that was $224 greater than that of graduates with only a bachelor's degree. Specifically, a master's degree in communications can help graduates pursue careers in various industries, such as public relations, management or human resources. Job titles in this field may include public information officer, marketing communications strategist or community relations liaison.

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Other Communications-Related Master's Degrees

Master's Degree in Public Relations

A master's degree program in public relations prepares graduates to work in careers that require them to communicate and interact effectively with the public. The program may be completed in as little as 16 months and typically includes course topics in strategic public relations, media relations, legal and ethical issues in the field and communication research. Students of these programs may participate in seminars and/or complete a thesis or final project. Applicants usually need GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation and a resume.

Master's Degree in Journalism

A master's degree program in journalism aims to further develop a student's skills in writing and reporting. This program can be completed in as little as 9 months in some cases or range in length from 2 to 5 years, depending on if it is taken part-time or full-time. Common course topics include digital journalism, ethics in journalism and reporting, and some programs may require a capstone course. Applicants usually need to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume and writing samples, and some may need to submit GRE scores and/or a personal statement.

Master's Degree in Media Studies

A master's degree program in media studies gives students a well-rounded understanding of various forms of media and how media impacts today's world. Programs last about two years, and may offer thesis or non-thesis tracks, as well as specializations in areas such as media analytics, media history, digital storytelling, media institutions and politics and global and transcultural communication. Typically course topics include media theory, media design, research methods and various seminars. Those who wish to apply will need transcripts, letters of recommendation, writing or creative samples, a personal statement and GRE scores.

A master's degree in communications is a versatile degree that gives students the necessary knowledge to work a range of careers in the field. Graduates with a master's degree could make more money than those who only have a bachelor's degree.

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