Answer: Yes – There are many online master’s in communication programs with no campus visit requirements. In fact, the majority of these programs do not require students to visit campus at any point during their studies. There are currently 121 online master’s degree programs in the communication field listed on MastersinCommunications.com. Of these, only 5 include mandatory campus visits. The remaining 116 programs are 100% online, meaning students are not required to travel to campus for courses, orientations, training exercises, or any other reason during their program. Of course, online students are often welcome to attend graduation on campus if they desire. Local students enrolled in an online program may also be able to visit campus to meet with professors or attend in-person classes, depending on the program.
Master’s in communication programs can be divided into three categories based on how they deliver instruction. There are traditional campus programs, in which students attend classes at a physical campus location, interacting with faculty and peers in person, in a live classroom environment. Some schools also offer hybrid programs, which blend on-campus elements with online coursework. This may mean students complete some of their courses online and others in person, or that students receive the majority of their instruction online but must visit campus throughout the school year for training sessions. Finally, there are online programs, in which students access all of their course materials online, and rarely, if ever, travel to campus for instruction. In order to help distinguish between hybrid and online programs, MastersinCommunications.com only defines a program as online it if entails two or fewer campus visits per year.
In most cases, students in an online master’s in communication program will complete their coursework entirely over the web. This includes viewing lectures, participating in class discussions, communicating with faculty (online students typically interact with professors through email and may be able to call or video chat during live office hours), taking exams, and completing group projects, when necessary. However, there are some online programs that require students to visit campus one or more times during their studies in order to participate in on-campus activities such as orientations, training sessions, in-person lectures, or networking events. In certain cases, these in-person sessions may take place at an off-campus location as well.
MastersinCommunications.com has identified 121 different online master’s in communications programs available from schools in the United States. Currently, only the following 5 programs require students to visit campus during their studies:
- Fordham University – Online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Communications
- Gonzaga University – Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies
- Northern Arizona University – Online Master of Arts in Communication
- Syracuse University – Online Master of Science in Communications
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Online Master of Arts in Digital Communication
The total number of on-campus sessions varies by program, with each spanning anywhere in length from one weekend to an entire week. Sometimes referred to as intensives or residencies, these campus visits allow students to meet their program faculty and classmates face to face, while typically engaging in some type of interactive learning experience or hands-on training that is not possible to accomplish over the web. This could include an orientation for new online students or even a peer networking event. Some programs might also require students to travel to campus to defend their thesis in front of a committee or complete their comprehensive graduation exam.
While the vast majority of online master’s in communication programs do not require students to visit campus for these tasks, it is important to understand any and all potential travel requirements before enrolling in a distance education program, as students are typically responsible for any associated travel and lodging costs.
To learn more about pursuing a master’s in communication online, check out our Online Master’s in Communication Degree Programs page.