Communication Graduate Programs in Washington, D.C.

There are several different universities in Washington, D.C., that offer graduate-level degree programs in communications. This article explores some of these options by providing admissions information and specifics about each individual program.

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Students who would like to enroll in graduate-level communication degree programs in Washington, D.C., have a number of options from which to choose. We will focus on a few of these programs and what sets them apart from each other, as well as general admission requirements for these programs in order to equip students with the information necessary to make an informed decision.

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Communication Graduate Programs in Washington, D.C.

Selecting a graduate degree program in communication in Washington, D.C., may be challenging for prospective students. Below, we look at five different graduate communication programs in the D.C. area and highlight their special characteristics in order to help students determine which option is best for them.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University offers a Master of Arts in Communication which can be pursued either on campus or entirely online. Students who enroll in this program will take core courses in addition to selecting electives or a concentration in an area like political communication, corporate and non-profit communication, health communication, or public and media relations. The program requires that students complete at least ten courses, which can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis throughout the year, allowing working students the flexibility to study while also maintaining a job. Some topics that students will likely study in the courses in this program include communication theory, qualitative research, persuasion, and consumer behavior. Johns Hopkins also offers a dual MA in Communication/MBA program and a combined MA in Communication/Non-Profit Management Certificate program.

American University

American University offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program which can be completed in as little as 10 months for full-time students. Part-time students can take their time and complete their studies over two years. This program can be pursued on campus or online, depending on the needs of the student. Students who enroll in this program can select one of four concentrations: advocacy and social impact, digital strategies and analytics, corporate communication and reputation management, or public diplomacy and global affairs. Some courses that students would take in this degree program cover topics like research for communication, communication theory, and writing and communication. This university also offers Master of Arts in Political Communication and Ph.D. in Communication programs.

Georgetown University

Another option for students in the Washington, D.C., area is Georgetown's interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology. This on-campus program is designed to be completed in two years, and students have the option of either completing all of the credits through courses or through a combination of courses and writing a thesis. Within the program, students are expected to select a thematic focus area depending on their interests. Some of these options include business and the economy, cultural studies, and globalization studies. Courses focus on topics like technology, dealing with crises through communication, and politics and media.

George Washington University

George Washington University offers a Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication, which is designed for individuals who are interested in working in media and politics. Students who are enrolled in the program full-time can complete all of the coursework in two years, though those who are working can complete the courses on a part-time basis as long as they finish within four years. In addition to required coursework, students have the option of either completing a research thesis, a media project, or a strategic communication project as a capstone in order to fulfill the degree requirements. Some courses that students can take in this program cover topics like data analysis, crisis communication, political communication, and research and design. GW also has a MA in Global Communication program.

Howard University

Howard University is also located in Washington, D.C., and offers a Ph.D. in Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. This program is geared towards students who are primarily interested in careers in research and academia focusing on multiculturalism and media. Students who enroll in this program can select one of three concentrations: media & cultural studies; technology, policy & society; or health communication. In addition to completing coursework in topics like qualitative and qualitative research, gender and media, and intercultural communication, students will be required to complete a doctoral thesis in order to fulfill the program requirements.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Communication Programs in Washington, D.C.

While each program may have admission requirements specific to that school, there are a few application components that are common across communication graduation degree programs. Students will usually need to write a personal statement, submit a resume, submit postsecondary transcripts, and submit letters of recommendation. These programs also typically require that students submit results from the GRE, though this requirement may be waived by some schools, depending on work experience and cumulative GPA. Typically, these programs do not require that students have a bachelor's degree in a communication field, though some programs may take this into account when making admissions decisions. Doctoral level programs may require that students have already completed a master's degree before enrolling.

In summary, students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees in communication have a number of options if they wish to enroll in a program in the Washington, D.C., area. These programs often allow students to select a concentration area or enroll in electives that most suit their interests and career goals.

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