In this article, we profile the 30 top affordable online master’s in communication degree programs.

Featured Programs

Good communication is essential to every organization, whether leading a sales team or building strong customer and client relationships. Nearly every employer seeks an employee with effective communication skills. With value on communications, graduates with advanced skills are able to find work in a wide range of industries. Fields that hire communication experts include education, law, media, and public relations.

Methodology

We examined 77 accredited colleges and universities that offered at least one online master’s degree in communications. We narrowed our pool to schools ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. We then selected the 30 most affordable among these recognized schools based on the most recent graduate tuitions rates found at NCES College Navigator. We listed our selections in order of affordability, with the #1 spot going to the most affordable.

Below are the resulting selections for our 30 top affordable online master’s in communication degrees.

#30 – Northeastern University

Online MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Northeastern University - Online Master's Degree Programs in Communications

Northeastern University’s online master’s in communication program focuses on corporate and organizational communication.

Graduate tuition/fees: $23,166

Northeastern University offers an online master’s in communication degree program that focuses on corporate and organizational communication. Students learn the latest communication trends and challenges faced by communication leaders in the field. In fact, industry professionals with real-life work experience in private and non-profit sectors teach all classes. Four concentration areas are available and include human resources, leadership, project management, and public and media relations. Online courses include communication networks and managing information, ethical issues in organizational communication, and organizational communication assessment. Northeastern is a nationally ranked institution. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school ranks #47 in the country.

More information for Northeastern University

#29 – Western New England University

Online Master’s in Communication

Springfield, Missouri

Website

Western New England University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Interested in public relations? Western New England University’s online master’s in communication program offers this emphasis.

Graduate tuition/fees: $22,482

Western New England University’s master’s in communication online program offers a concentration in public relations. Students interested in PR may focus their studies to include classes that integrate media with public relations. Required courses include communication research methods, ethics in public communication, crisis management and public relations, manufacturing and managing public opinion, and principles and practices of public relations. A master thesis in public relations is required. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school is ranked as the 58th best regional university in the North.

More information on Western New England University 

#28 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Communication

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

SNHU’s online master’s in communication degree program offers three concentrations.

Graduate tuition/fees: $18,810

Southern New Hampshire University offers online communications degree programs with three available areas of concentration – health communication, new media and marketing, and public relations. The program is designed for working adult students and provides convenient access to online classes. Also, depending on the student’s needs, the graduate degree may be completed in just 15 months by taking two 10-week courses each term. Online courses include communication for leadership, law and ethics in communication, and strategic communication in a new age. The school is regionally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the institution as the 131st best regional university in the North.

More information on Southern New Hampshire University

#27 – University of Illinois

Online Master of Science in Health Communication

Champaign, Illinois

Website

University of Illinois - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

University of Illinois’ online master’s in communication program focuses on health communication.

Graduate tuition/fees: $18,041

For those interested in a health-related online degree in communication studies, University of Illinois offers a program that may be completed in two years. The focus of the program is on health communication and is designed for students with current careers or career aspirations in health-related fields. The program is entirely online with no set class times. Students have close interaction with faculty and peers, and learn to work together in small groups via distance learning technology. Required online courses may include health informatics, introduction to health communication, provider-patient communication, and social marketing for health and behavior change. The university is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 41st best national university.

More information on University of Illinois 

#26 – Quinnipiac University

Online MS in Interactive Media

Hamden, Connecticut

Website

Quinnipiac University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Quinnipiac University’s online MS in interactive media offers a new spin on communications.

Graduate tuition/fees: $17,874

Quinnipiac University’s online MS in interactive media may appeal to those interested in pursuing an online master’s in communication. The program emphasizes communications through digital and interactive media often seen in entertainment, healthcare, journalism, marketing, and public relations. The program is offered entirely online and designed for busy and working students who want to immediately apply the skills learned to their current career. Required courses include advanced multimedia production, information design, introduction to front-end development, internet ethics and policy, and writing for interactive media. Quinnipiac is ranked as a top regional university by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #11 among the best regional universities in the North.

More information on Quinnipiac University

#25 – Gonzaga University

Online Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies

Spokane, Washington

Website

Gonzaga University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Gonzaga University’s online master’s in communication emphasizes leadership studies.

Graduate tuition/fees: $15,090

Gonzaga University’s master’s in communication online degree program offers three concentration areas, including college teaching of communication, international and intercultural communication, and strategic and organizational communication. The school offers one of the few programs to incorporate study abroad options for online students to gain global media perspectives and experience in places like Ireland and Italy. All courses are delivered online and include topics in communication and leadership ethics, international and intercultural communication, master’s level writing, and theorizing communication. Gonzaga is a top-ranked institution, according to Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 4th best regional university in the West.

More information on Gonzaga University

#24 – Westminster College

Online Master of Strategic Communication

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Westminster College - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Westminster College’s online master’s in communication program is designed for those interested in advertising, marketing, and PR.

Graduate tuition/fees: $13,580

Westminster College offers an affordable online degree in communication studies that emphasizes corporate and non-profit communication, marketing and advertising, and public relations. The program is designed for busy students who require balance and flexibility in order to attend school. The project-based learning curriculum emphasizes various sequences so that students gain hands-on experience, even while learning outside of the classroom. Project sequences include corporate training, organizational strategy, strategic communication in action, strategic marketing, and visual branding and communication design. Westminster is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 20th best regional university in the West and the 6th best value school.

More information on Westminster College

#23 – Washington State University

Master’s in Strategic Communication Online

Pullman, Washington

Website

Washington State University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

WSU’s online master’s in strategic communication is designed for busy, working students.

Graduate tuition/fees: $12,745

Washington State University offers an affordable online communications degree program designed for those interested in careers in advertising, corporate communication, management, and PR. WSU’s online master’s in communication program requires courses in crisis communication in global contexts, ethics for professionals, professional digital content promotion, and research methods for professionals. The degree requires 30 credits and all courses are delivered online. WSU is ranked nationally by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 140th best national university. Additional rankings include #71 among top public schools and #115 among best colleges for veterans.

More information on Washington State University

#22 – University of Florida

Online Master’s in Global Strategic Communication

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

University of Florida’s online master’s in communications focuses on global strategy.

Graduate tuition/fees: $12,737

The accredited online master’s in communication from University of Florida focuses on global strategy as a key business advantage. All courses are delivered online and the program is well suited for busy professionals who desire a balance between education and life obligations. Online courses include applied strategic communication research methods, foundations of intercultural communications, global activism and social change communication, international public relations, and strategic communication ethics and concepts. The university is nationally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 47th best national university and the 14th top public school.

More information on University of Florida

#21 – Walden University

Online MS in Communication

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Walden University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Walden’s MS in communications is entirely online.

Graduate tuition/fees: $12,609

From digital storytelling to social media and PR, the master’s in communication online degree program at Walden University explores the latest communication practices on a national and global level. The program is designed for working professionals and busy adults who require the convenience of online learning. Courses include creative strategy and execution, interpersonal communication, marketing communication, media effects in mass media and modern society, and public relations concepts and strategy. The program requires the completion of a capstone project that allows students to showcase their skills and knowledge gained in a real-life communication situation. Walden is a proprietary institution that has earned recognition for offering quality education and master’s degree programs online.

More information on Walden University

#20 – Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Online MS in Mass Media Arts and Journalism

Clarion, Pennsylvania

Website

Clarion University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Clarion offers an affordable online MS in communications that focuses on mass media arts and journalism.

Graduate tuition/fees: $12,222

Clarion University of Pennsylvania offers an alternative to the online master’s in communication degree through its MS in mass media arts and journalism program. Students learn practical communication skills and techniques that are applicable to various fields of marketing, communication, and journalism. The program is designed for working adults and may be completed in just 18 months. Required online courses include advanced public relations writing, journalism foundations, mass communication theory, public relations foundations, and society, law, and media technology. Clarion is a regionally ranked institution and many of the school’s online programs have been recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

More information Clarion University of Pennsylvania 

#19 – National University

Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communications

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

National University offers an affordable online master’s in communication.

Graduate tuition/fees: $10,962

National University offers an accredited online communications degree that equips students through theory and practical application to develop strategic communication techniques used in today’s organizations. The program is entirely online and includes courses in crisis communications, integrated marketing communication, legal and ethical issues, persuasion, and research methods. According to the program website, each course is designed to prepare students with effective strategies and planning used by professional and ethical communicators. National University is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned rankings and accolades in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges.

More information on National University

#18 – Lasell College

Online MS in Communication

Newton, Massachusetts

Website

Lasell College - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Lasell College’s online MS in communication degree program is highly affordable.

Graduate tuition/fees: $10,870

Lasell College’s Graduate and Professional Studies department offers an online master’s in communication degree program with three specialized concentrations. Students may select to focus their studies on health communication, integrated marketing communication, or public relations. The program is designed for individuals who require a flexible and convenient schedule due to an already busy life. All classes are delivered online and include communication research, media relations, negotiations and conflict resolution, organizational communication, and persuasion and public opinion. Lasell College is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication lists Lasell as the 26th best regional college in the North.

More information on Lasell College

#17 – Mississippi College

MS in Applied Communication Online

Clinton, Mississippi

Website

Mississippi College - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Mississippi College’s online master’s of communication program is designed for those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree.

Graduate tuition/fees: $10,302

Mississippi College offers an online master’s degree in communication studies program that is designed for students interested in pursuing doctoral enrollment or advancing their current career. The program is offered entirely online with flexible course schedules and 24/7 access to class materials. Various concentrations are available for students to specialize their studies. Concentrations include corporate communication, journalism, health services, sports, and theater. Online courses include communication research, persuasion, process and effects of communication, and public relations. Mississippi College is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 32nd best regional university in the South.

More information on Mississippi College 

#16 – University of Alabama

Online Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

University of Alabama - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Want to specialize in organizational leadership? University of Alabama’s online master’s in communication program offers this concentration.

Graduate tuition/fees: $10,170

The accredited online master’s in communication degree program at University of Alabama offers a specialization in organizational leadership. The program consists of 30 credit hours of coursework, including 12 specialization hours. All courses are delivered online and include conflict and negotiation, gender and political communication, group leadership, human communication theory, qualitative research methods, and relational communication. An internship or professional project is also required. University of Alabama is ranked as a top national university by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the institution as the 96th best national university and the 43rd top public school.

More information on the University of Alabama

#15 – Purdue University

Online Master of Science in Communication

West Lafayette, Indiana

Website

Purdue University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Purdue’s MS in Communication is 100% online.

Graduate tuition/fees: $10,002

Purdue University offer an accredited online communications degree designed for those with a bachelor’s in communications who want to pursue a master’s via distance learning. The program is offered by one of the highest-ranked universities in the country. Online courses include communication research methods, global strategic communication, strategic communication and ethics, and strategic communication and social media. The 30-credit online program is comprised of ten courses and may be completed in as little as twenty months. The school and its graduate communication program are accredited. Also, the institution is nationally ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #61 among the best national universities in the country in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges.

More information on Purdue University

#14 – University of Iowa

Online Master’s in Strategic Communication

Iowa City, Iowa

Website

University of Iowa - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

University of Iowa’s online master of communication degree program is cheap and accredited.

Graduate tuition/fees: $9,693

The online degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa serves current industry professionals who want to earn advanced skills in communication. The school offers an online master’s in strategic communication that may be completed in less than two years. Class offerings include digital strategic communication, foundations of strategic communication, risk communication, strategic communication campaigns, and strategic communication writing. The University of Iowa is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 82nd best national university and the 34th top public school.

More information on University of Iowa

#13 – Quincy University

Master of Arts in Communication Online

Quincy, Illinois

Website

Quincy University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Quincy University offers an affordable online master’s in communication program.

Graduate tuition/fees: $9,600

Quincy University’s online master’s in communication program is offered entirely via distance education and is designed for busy professionals who require the balance between life obligations and graduate school. The program may be completed in just four semesters and requires a total of ten courses. Online courses include advanced technical communication, crisis communication, ethics in strategic communication, integrated communication – social media, integrated marketing communication, and organizational communication. Quincy and its graduate programs are accredited, and the institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 68th best regional university in the West.

More information on Quincy University

#12 – Ohio University

Online Master’s in Organizational Communication

Athens, Ohio

Website

Ohio University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Ohio University offers an accredited online master’s in organizational communication.

Graduate tuition/fees: $9,510

Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies offers an affordable online master’s in communication degree program that is intended for working students. This flexible program offers courses entirely online and an option to complete the degree requirements in just 15 months. Online courses include communicative practices in organizations, cross-cultural communication, gender and communication, instructional training and development in communication, and measurement methodology in communication. Students are required to complete a capstone experience, which includes an applied project, comprehensive examination, or master’s thesis. Ohio University is ranked by Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 135th best national university in the country.

More information on Ohio University

#11 – West Virginia University

Online Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

West Virginia University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

West Virginia University’s online master of communication is highly affordable.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,568

Online communications degree programs at West Virginia University include the online master’s in corporate and organizational communication. This program is designed for working professionals who want to improve their knowledge and communication skills to help increase their career trajectories. Online students with an earned undergraduate bachelor’s degree are eligible for the program. All classes are delivered through an online format and include communication in the organization, conflict in the organization, organizational culture, organizational research and evaluation, social media management, and theory in professional life. The institution and its graduate programs are accredited and nationally ranked. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 175th best national university in the country.

More information on West Virginia University 

#10 – University of Nebraska

Online Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communications

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebraska - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

University of Nebraska’s online master’s in communication degree program focuses on mass communications.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,556

University of Nebraska’s master’s in communication online program offers three areas of specialization. Students may choose to focus their graduate communication studies on integrated media communications, media studies, or professional journalism. The flexible program is designed for current media professionals, communications instructors or teachers, and self-motivated individuals with a strong commitment to the communication field. Online courses may include advertising issues and strategies, diffusion of innovations, leadership communication, rhetorical theory, and theories of organizational communication. In addition to university accreditation, the program is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The University of Nebraska is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 103rd best national university.

More information on University of Nebraska

#9 – Concordia University

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management

St. Paul, Minnesota

Website

Concordia University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Concordia’s online master’s in communications may be completed entirely via distance education.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,550

Concordia University’s online master of communication program consists of 36 credit hours that may be completed entirely online. Courses are seven weeks in length and explore topics in communication strategies for conflict management, crisis communication management, innovative communication, intercultural communication, persuasive communication, and strategic communication management. The program is accredited and the school is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the institution as the 99th best regional university in the Midwest and the 77th best college for veterans.

More information on Concordia University

#8 – South Dakota State University

Online Master of Mass Communication

Brookings, South Dakota

Website

South Dakota State University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

South Dakota State University offers an accredited online master’s in mass communications.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,329

The master’s in communication online degree program at South Dakota State University focuses on mass communication. The program is designed for working journalists and professional communicators who want to improve their skills and knowledge of the industry. Online classes are delivered 24/7, with course materials available at all hours of the day. Online classes include cross-platform storytelling, introduction to mass communication, media administration and management, media law case studies, opinion writing, and social marketing for health and behavioral change. South Dakota State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 187th best national university.

More information on South Dakota State University 

#7 – Queens University of Charlotte

Online Master of Arts in Communication

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

Queens University Charlotte - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Queens University of Charlotte is a top-ranked school and offers an online master’s in communications.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,147

The accredited online master of communication degree program offered at Queens University of Charlotte is designed to help prepare students for advanced careers in various fields of communication and media. Online courses and a capstone research project are required to complete the program. Courses include communication fluency, creativity and networks, organizational identity and brand, strategic communication for global audiences, and the social creation of organizing. Queens University is ranked as a top regional school by U.S. News and World Report. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, the school ranks #20 among the best regional universities in the South and #18 among the best colleges for veterans.

More information on Queens University of Charlotte

#6 – Liberty University

Master of Arts in Communication Online

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Liberty University’s online master in communication degree is highly affordable.

Graduate tuition/fees: $8,000

Liberty University’s online degree in communication studies is a graduate program that integrates Christian worldview into the professional practice of communication. According to the program website, the degree is ideal for those seeking careers in teaching or doctoral communication studies. The program is entirely online and includes courses in communication theory and practices, interpersonal communication theory and practice, leadership communication, small group and team communications, and strategies and tactics of persuasion. Liberty’s programs are accredited and the institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 80th best regional university in the South.

More information on Liberty University

#5 – Minnesota State University

Online Master’s in Communication Studies

Mankato, Minnesota

Website

Minnesota State University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

All courses are online for those enrolled in the master’s in communication studies degree at Minnesota State University.

Graduate tuition/fees: $7,547

The online master of communication program at Minnesota State University is designed for those who want to increase their knowledge and expertise in the field of communications. Courses are delivered online and include communication for professionals, conflict management, modern rhetorical criticism, and teaching communication studies online. Graduate certificates are also available and include forensics, teaching writing, and technical communications. Minnesota State is a regionally ranked institution. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school ranks 75th for best regional universities in the Midwest. Additional rankings include #21 for top public schools and #58 for best colleges for veterans.

More information on Minnesota State University 

#4 – Spring Arbor University

Online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership

Spring Arbor, Michigan

Website

Spring Arbor University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Spring Arbor University’s online master’s in communication degree program focuses on strategic communication and leadership.

Graduate tuition/fees: $6,878

Spring Arbor University offers an affordable master’s in communication online degree program that requires no GRE or GMAT. The program has six available start dates and offers all courses online. Required online classes include communication as vocation and calling, communication theory and worldview, group and public communication, interpersonal communication, mass communication – culture and technology, and writing for results. Students are also required to complete a digital portfolio of their work and learning experiences. Spring Arbor is a regionally ranked institution. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school ranks #64 among the best regional universities in the Midwest.

More information on Spring Arbor University

#3 – East Carolina University

Online MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

East Carolina University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

East Carolina University’s online master’s in communication is a highly specialized program approved by the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

Graduate tuition/fees: $6,857

The accredited online communications degree program from East Carolina University includes the online MS in communication sciences and disorders. Accredited by the Council for Academic Accreditation of American Speech Language-Hearing Association, the program offers quality courses that are delivered entirely online. Classes include language disorders, multicultural communication disorders, professional issues in communication, and research design. An internship is required during the spring of the student’s second year. The program is designed for students who want clinical training and desire to specialize in speech and language disorders. East Carolina is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 194th best national university and the 111th top public school.

More information on East Carolina University

#2 – Missouri State University

MA in Communication Online

Springfield, Missouri

Website

Missouri State University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Missouri State University offers one of our most affordable online master’s in communication programs.

Graduate tuition/fees: $5,500

The highly affordable online master of communication degree program offered at Missouri State University has three areas of specialization. Students may focus their studies on a particular area of interest, including conflict, organizational communication, or public relations. All classes are delivered online and include applied communication research methods, introduction to graduate studies, rhetorical analysis in communication research, and theory and research in communication. Independent study and a master’s thesis are also required. Missouri State is regionally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 64th best regional university in the Midwest.

More information on Missouri State University

#1 – Regent University

Online Master of Arts in Communication

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - Online Master’s Degree Programs in Communications

Regent University is our #1 pick for the most affordable top online master’s in communication degree program.

Graduate tuition/fees: $1,167

Regent University offers an accredited online master’s in communication degree program with an optional concentration in strategic communication. The program is highly flexible and caters to students who require accommodating schedules in order to attend graduate school while balancing life obligations. The program requires 33 credits and may be completed in as little as 12 months. Required courses include critical approaches to strategic communication, information research and resources, media research and analysis, public relations – cases and campaigns, and social media and internet marketing. Regent is a nationally ranked institution by U.S. News and World Report and has earned the #1 spot on our list of the top affordable online master’s degree programs in communications.

More information on Regent University

This concludes our ranking of the 30 top affordable online master’s in communication degree programs.

By GSH Staff
August 2016