Named after the young Jesuit saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Gonzaga University is a Roman Catholic, private post-secondary educational institution. The Society of Jesus founded in the university in 1887, and it is one of 28 schools that belong to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The campus features 105 buildings on 152 acres one-half-mile from downtown Spokane in Washington State. U.S. News & World Report ranks Gonzaga University 4th on its 2016 rankings of Best Value Regional Universities in the West. Notable alumni include singer and Academy Award-winning actor Bing Crosby, world-class mountain climber Jim Wickwire and former governor of Washington Christine Gregoire.

Gonzaga University Accreditation Details

Gonzaga University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCC), and several of its schools are accredited by the appropriate agencies for their fields.

Gonzaga University Application Requirements

U.S. News & World Report indicates that admission standards at Gonzaga University are “more selective” compared to other similar post-secondary institutions. In order to apply for the online M.A. Communication & Leadership Studies degree, applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university or college. Gonzaga University indicates that the school must obtain authorization from the applicant’s state in order to admit him or her into the online program.

Application requirements include the completion of the online application, a $50 application fee, one official transcript from each university or college attended and a resume of professional experience. Students must also submit a letter of recommendation from a professional who can evaluate the student’s ability and capacity to complete a graduate degree, professional practice, judgment, critical thinking, interpersonal skills and leadership skills.

A statement of purpose is also required in which students must describe their interest in the online communications degree, their strengths and what they hope to gain from earning the degree. All students are required to submit their MAT or GRE scores unless they have already completed a master’s degree or their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students pursuing an online M.A. Communication & Leadership Studies degree can expect to pay $920 per credit hour. Graduate students may be entitled to receive Federal Stafford loans and should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. In order to receive financial aid, students must be admitted as a matriculated student in the graduate program. In addition, graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $20,500 in unsubsidized Stafford loans.

The online M.A in Communication & Leadership Studies program also offers scholarships, graduate assistantships, employer tuition reimbursements and payment plans. Qualified full-time principles, teachers and ministers working in parishes or schools may also be eligible for a 50 percent tuition reduction. Gonzaga University provides a 10 percent tuition discount to all veterans, active service members and their spouses.

Online Master in Communication and Leadership Studies Degree Available

The online Master in Communication & Leadership Studies degree from Gonzaga University focuses not only on communication theory, but also contemporary strategies that equip students with skills they can immediately use throughout the program. The goal of the degree is to prepare ethical, effective communicators who use their highly developed critical thinking skills for both global and local change. There are typically 15 to 20 students in each online course, which may be divided into smaller discussion groups.

The program consists of 30 semester credits, including 12 credits in practice and theory core courses, 12 credits in electives within the communications department and six credits in capstone requirements. The average student completes the online degree within two or two-and-a-half years. Students may take advantage of opportunities to study abroad in places like Derry, Ireland and Florence, Italy to gain global communication and media experience. Visiting industry experts and scholars introduce students to cutting-edge progress in the industry and workshops, internships and service-learning opportunities help to further develop practical communication skills and promote experience. Students may expect to spend between 10 and 15 hours per week on coursework, depending on their learning styles, the courses they are taking and the course load.

Students develop the skills necessary to solve practical problems in their communities and organizations, and topics of focus include communication teaching and pedagogy, rhetorical criticism, interpersonal and small group communication, communication ethics, digital and social media, media literacy and organizational communication. Students will also be exposed to international and intercultural communication, strategic corporate communication and develop a foundational understanding of consulting and training.

The school offers three concentrations in the Master in Communication & Leadership Studies degree, including International & Intercultural Communication, College Teaching of Communication and Strategic and Organizational Communication. In addition to the required concentration elective courses in communication teaching and pedagogy and an internship, electives for the concentration in College Teaching of Communication include media literacy, interpersonal and small group communication, advanced criticism, social dynamics of communication and technology and Renaissance rhetoric and contemporary leadership. The concentration prepares students for careers as college teachers by observing college communication courses, creating a teacher portfolio, developing a teaching philosophy and shadowing a communication professor via an internship.

In addition to the required concentration elective course focusing on organizational communication, students seeking a focus on strategic and organizational communication may choose from electives such as social dynamics of communication and technology, interpersonal and small group communication, corporate and strategic communication and communication consulting and training.

The concentration in international and intercultural communication is designed to prepare students to understand leadership and communication in global contexts. The program helps students develop the skills necessary to quickly discern and assimilate cultural values in fields in which multiculturalism and globalization are important.

Related Resource: 30 Top Affordable Online Master’s in Communication

All online students have access to the university’s resources, including the university ministry, the Grad Student Association, the career center, the IT help desk and Foley Library. The degree is ideal for individuals in fields such as college teaching, military, non-profits, consulting, entrepreneurship, healthcare, human resources, marketing, public relations and communications. The online COML program will help students to become better writers, stronger public speakers and communicators, better critical thinkers and listeners and more strategic contributors in their fields. Graduates from the online COML program at Gonzaga University have earned positions in a variety of organizations, including Disneyland, United Airlines, Target, NBC Universal, Google, IKEA, Starbucks, IKEA, Microsoft and more.