Texas is home to many different universities and colleges, some of which offer online graduate degree programs in the communications field. These tend to be available at the master's level, and potential students can learn about five options in greater detail below.
Overview of Online Communications Graduate Degrees in Texas
Sam Houston State University
One option for students is the online Master of Arts in Communications Studies that is offered at Sam Houston State University. This program requires that students complete a total of 36 credit hours, or 12 total courses. Of these courses, six are part of the required core curriculum which covers topics in family communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, and research methods, among others. Students can then select the remaining courses from a list of electives according to their interests.
Texas Tech University
At Texas Tech University, students may be interested in the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation. This 30-credit hour program is designed primarily for individuals who are already working professionally in the communication field, as the curriculum is structured to equip graduates with new skills to be successful in the changing digital communication landscape. The program is highly flexible, as students can begin the curriculum at four different start dates per year and are able to choose whether to take one, two, or three courses at a time. The curriculum is comprised of seven required courses, one of which is a final project, and three additional elective courses that students can choose.
University of North Texas
The University of North Texas offers an online Master of Science in Digital Communication Analytics that students can choose to begin during any one of five available start dates. This program requires that students complete a total of 36 credit hours, 24 of which are required courses and 12 of which are elective courses. Some of the required courses cover topics in marketing metrics, computer graphics, and the fundamentals of digital communication. Students can complete each course over an 8-week period and can either take breaks between courses, depending on their schedules and other commitments, or can take courses continuously to complete the degree in less than two years.
Texas State University
Another option for students is the Master of Arts in Mass Communication offered by Texas State University which can be completed in an online format to accommodate students who need more flexibility in their degree plan. This program requires the completion of a total of 36 credit hours. Of these, 18 are required courses, 15 are elective courses, and three credits are earned through a final student project. Students also have the option of selecting a concentration in either digital media, strategic communication, or global media. In order to complete a concentration, students will need to select nine hours of the appropriate courses when choosing what electives to take.
Stephen F. Austin State University
Stephen F. Austin State University offers an online Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree that may be of interest to some students. In this program, students will complete a total of 36 credit hours, 12 of which are required courses and 24 of which are elective courses. The required curriculum covers topics in research methods and media theory, as well as ethics and the relationship between media and society. When selecting elective courses, students can make their choices according to one of three offered concentrations: broadcasting, journalism, or advertising and public relations. The program also offers both a thesis and non-thesis option, with the thesis option typically designed for students who are planning on continuing their studies in another graduate program.
Admissions Standards for Online Communications Graduate Degree Programs
In order to be admitted into a graduate degree program in communications, students will first want to check with each individual program that they are interested in, as there are likely some differences in admissions standards among programs. However, in general, applicants will need to follow a similar process in order to apply, which includes compiling and submitting an application file. This includes a completed application form, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional CV or resume. Results from the GRE are also often expected, so applicants will need to take this exam before applying. Additionally, all graduate programs will expect applicants to hold bachelor's degree either by the time they apply to the program or by the time the program begins. Many communication graduate degrees are open to students from a variety of academic backgrounds, though students who hold undergraduate communication-related degrees may be exempt from certain requirements, like taking the GRE.
In review, students have a wide variety of options to choose from when seeking an online graduate degree in communications in the state of Texas. By identifying future career goals and the field of communication that interests them most, students will likely be able to narrow down their options, which will typically be found at the master's level.