Communication Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Communication is the study of how people relate, share information and learn from one another through various situations and the media. Graduate-level programs in communication may result in a master's degree or doctorate.

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Students can find master's and doctoral programs in communications at several colleges and universities in the U.S. Some schools offer dual-degree programs with an M.A. or M.S. in Communication and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.).

Schools with Communication Graduate Programs

There's a lot that goes into researching schools that offer graduate programs in communication. This table provides a few details about schools and their tuition costs, which may help to make researching a little easier.

College/University Location Institution Type Graduate Degrees Offered* Tuition/Semester (2017-18)*
Robert Morris University Moon Township, PA 4-year, Private Doctoral $14,145
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $27,180 (master's), $22,432 (doctoral)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $36,000 (master's), $43,200 (doctoral)
The University of Texas-Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $6,553
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $5,390 (In-State)

Source: *School websites

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School Selection Criteria

Aspiring students might want to consider the following when looking for communication graduate schools:

  • Prospective students can decide whether they'd like to achieve a master's degree or a doctorate.
  • There are several potential areas of specialization within the field, including journalism, public relations, international communication and political communication.

Master's Degree in Communication

The Master of Arts in Communication program requires 16-24 months of study. Students can choose an area of emphasis in areas such as corporate or non-profit communication, public relations, broadcast media, health communication or journalism. Many Master of Science programs feature similar course loads but emphasize analytics and research methodologies. Dual degree programs could incorporate an examination of law, public affairs, business or public relations.

Programs often include a practicum or internship. Some programs also include a capstone or research project, and students interested in continuing their studies at the doctoral level may have the option to complete a thesis.

Doctoral Degree in Communication

Doctoral programs offer a diverse range of studies. Candidates can specialize in designing information systems, or they might pursue expertise in cultural studies, new media, media literacy, globalization or other subsets of the communication field. Dual or joint degree programs are available at some graduate schools; students learn communication while focusing on a complementary field like law, business or journalism. This program commonly results in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) but may result in a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). Ph.D. programs require students complete and defend a dissertation, while D.Sc. programs (which focus more on information systems technology) require a field project.

Students looking to study communication at the graduate level can opt for a master's or doctoral degree. It should be noted that not all schools offer Ph.D. programs in communication, and some schools offer a dual program that allow you to work towards two master's degrees or a master's and a doctoral degree at the same time.

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