Answer: Yes – There are online master’s degree programs in communication and its related specializations that students can complete in approximately one year of full-time study. Currently, MastersinCommunications.com lists a total of 31 such programs available from universities in the U.S. While most of these programs can be finished in as little as one year, the majority are designed to span anywhere from 12 to 24 months or more. The actual length will depend on several factors, primarily students’ enrollment schedule (full-time vs. part-time) and the number of courses they choose to take each term. Typically, students will need to enroll full time and take a full course load every semester in order to graduate in a year.

Students looking to complete a master’s degree in communication online in one year have a number of options to choose from. At this time, there are 31 programs that allow students to earn their degree in approximately 12 months of full-time study. For students to finish in this timeframe, they must typically take a full-time course load and enroll in classes throughout the entire year. In addition, the ability to finish a program in one year may be dependent on when a student starts the program, especially if it requires students to complete courses in a specific order. For example, in some programs, it may be possible for students who start in the Fall semester to graduate in one year, however, students who start in Summer or Spring may need longer based on course availability.

Students should note that the ability to graduate in 12 to 16 months may not be guaranteed and may also not be recommended by some programs, even if it is technically possible. The majority of master’s in communication programs require 30 to 45 credit hours, which equates to somewhere between 10 to 13 courses. Students who wish to graduate in one year have to dedicate a significant amount of time to their graduate studies, and will typically be required to take three to four courses per semester for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

At the bottom of this page, there is a table of online master’s in communication programs that can be completed in approximately one year. While all of these programs offer students the opportunity to earn their degree in approximately 12 months, the actual time it takes to complete each program may vary. For example, the online Master of Arts in Communication program at Johns Hopkins University, which offers optional concentrations in fields such as Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, and more, is designed to span 12 to 16 months if students enroll full time, taking three to four courses per semester. However, part-time students, who only take one or two courses each semester, will typically need two to three years to finish the program, and all students have up to five years to complete their degree, if necessary. Similarly, Texas Tech University’s online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Innovation program may require anywhere from one to three years, depending on if students take one, two, or three courses a semester.

Additional Factors Impacting Time to Completion

Along with enrollment schedule, there are several other factors that can influence how long it takes students to complete an online master’s in communication program. To start with, some online programs offer students the choice between two or more different capstone options, which may require different time commitments. A capstone is a final, culminating project students must complete in order to graduate and earn their degree. In the case of online master’s in communication programs, capstone options most typically include a project, portfolio, comprehensive exam, or internship; however, some programs give students the option to write a thesis, and others might have no capstone requirement at all.

When it comes to programs with multiple options, students’ choice of capstone may impact the time it takes for them to graduate. For example, an exam or applied project generally requires less time than a thesis, which involves extensive research and writing. As such, students who choose the thesis option may need additional terms to complete their capstone and finish their program.

For more information about the different factors that can influence how long it takes to earn a master’s degree in communication, check out our FAQ entitled: How Long is a Master’s in Communication Program?

Online Master’s in Communication Programs That Can Be Completed in 12 to 16 Months

The table below contains a comprehensive list of online master’s in communication programs that mention they can be completed in approximately one year. Students should contact prospective schools directly to confirm that graduating in as few as 12 to 16 months is possible and to determine the course load that is required to graduate in that timeframe.

School Program Credits Program Length
Asbury University Online Master of Arts in Communication for Media Professionals (with an Emphasis in Digital Storytelling) 30 credits (10 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 12 to 18 months; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years or longer
Bay Path University Online Master of Science in Communications and Information Management 36 credits (12 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 2 years
Bay Path University Online Master of Science in Communications (with an Emphasis in Emerging and Social Media) 36 credits (12 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 2 years
California Baptist University Online Master of Arts in Communication (Generalist Program) 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 12 months
College of Charleston Online Master of Arts in Communication (General Program with Electives) 33 credits (10-11 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 1 year taking classes in the Fall, Spring and Summer; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years taking courses year-round
Concordia University, Saint Paul Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management 36 credits (12 courses) Program can be completed in 1-2 years depending on full-time versus part-time enrollment
Drake University Online Master of Arts in Communication (with Specializations in Communication Leadership, Brand Communication, and Public Affairs and Advocacy) 33 credits (11 courses) Program can be completed in 1 year
Duquesne University Online Master of Arts in Corporate Communication (with Specializations in Crisis and Risk Communication, Management Communication, Nonprofit Communication, and Integrated Marketing Communication) 30 credits (9 courses plus project) Program can be completed in 1 to 2 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester
Duquesne University Online Master of Arts in Communication (with Emphasis Areas in Communication Studies, and Rhetoric and Philosophy of Technology) 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 2 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester
East Carolina University Online Master of Arts in Communication (with an Emphasis in Health Communication) 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester
Florida International University Online Master of Science in Mass Communication (with a Focus on Global Strategic Communications) 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 12 months
Johns Hopkins University Online Master of Arts in Communication (with Optional Concentrations in Applied Research in Communication, Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, and Corporate and Non-Profit Communication) 10 courses Full-time: 3-4 courses per semester = 12 to 16 months; Part-time: 1-2 courses per semester = 2-3 years; Students have up to 5 years to complete the program
Lasell College Online Master of Science in Communication (with Specialized Concentrations in Health Communication, Integrated Marketing Communication, and Public Relations) 36 credits (12 courses) Program can be completed in 12-24 month
Lynn University Online Master of Science in Communication and Media (with Specializations in Media Studies and Practice, and Digital Media) 37 credits (13 courses) Program can be completed in 12 months
Marist College Online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication 30 credits (10 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 12 to 16 months (3-4 semesters); Part-time: program can be completed in 2 to 3 years (6 semesters)
Michigan State University Online Masters of Arts in Strategic Communication 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester (maximum time to complete the program is 5 years)
Mississippi College Online Master of Science in Communication - Integrated Communication (Generalist Program) 31 credits (11 courses) Program can be completed in 1 year (students have up to 6 years to finish the program)
Mississippi College Online Master of Science in Communication - Professional Communication (Program in Health Services Administration) 31 credits (11 courses) Program can be completed in 1 year (students have up to 6 years to finish the program)
Morehead State University Online Master of Arts in Communication (General Program with Electives) 30 credits (10 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 12 months; Part-time: program can be completed in 2-3 years
National University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communications 45 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 10-12 months
New Jersey Institute of Technology Online Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication (MSPTC) 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in ~1 year to 2 years depending on number of courses take per semester (FT = 4 courses per semester; PT = 2 courses per semester)
Northeastern University Online Master of Science in Technical Communication (with Concentrations in Computer Industry Writing, Social Media and Online Communities Concentration, and Usability/User Experience) 46 quarter credits (11-12 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 1 year; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years
Notre Dame of Maryland University Online Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication (General Program with Electives) 36 credits (12 courses) Program can be completed in 1-2 years depending on FT vs PT enrollment
St Bonaventure University Online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications 33 credits (12 courses) Full-time: program can be completed in 12 months; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years
Temple University Online Master of Science in Communication Management (with Focus Areas in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution, and Strategic Communication and Cross-Cultural Leadership) 31 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 year (full-time) - students have up to 4 years to complete the program (part-time)
Texas State University Online Master of Arts in Technical Communication 30 credits (8 to 9 courses plus thesis or internship) Full-time: program can be completed in 1 year; Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years
Texas Tech University Online Master's in Strategic Communication & Innovation 30 credits (9 courses + project) Program can be completed in ~1 to 3 years (depending on whether students take 1, 2 or 3 classes per semester)
Troy University Online Master of Science in Strategic Communication 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 year
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication (with a Mass Media Research Option, and a Professional Mass Media Option with Tracks in Multi-Platform Journalism, or Strategic Communication/Public Relations) 33 credits (11 courses including project or thesis) Program can be completed in 12 months, but 16 to 24 months is recommended (at least 4 semesters)
Washington State University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester (it is recommended that students take at least 5 semesters to finish the program)
Washington State University Online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion 30 credits (10 courses) Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester (it is recommended that students take at least 5 semesters to finish the program)