Answer: Yes, there are numerous online master’s in communication management programs that can prepare students for a variety of advanced roles in communication leadership. While the curricula for master’s in communication management programs vary depending on the school and the specific program’s concentration options, they typically include courses in organizational communication, advanced communication research, emerging media technologies, integrated marketing communications, audience analysis, team management, and crisis communication. In general, these programs gives students a diverse and versatile set of skills in effective communication strategies that can be used to lead groups, organizations, and external-facing campaigns.
Master’s in communication management programs are defined as programs that teach students how to develop and implement communication strategies that further their organization’s mission. This broad definition encompasses organizational communication management within corporations, marketing campaigns, public relations management, employee training and development, organizational leadership, marketing and audience analytics, conflict mediation, and crisis communication. In general, master’s in communication management programs have more of an applied focus, rather than a research or academia focus. As such, these programs tend to feature research courses and projects that teach students how to conduct research that is relevant to their industry objectives, and how to apply the insights they gain to improving communication strategies at a corporation, non-profit, government agency, or other organization.
Currently, MastersinCommunications.com categorizes master’s in communication management programs under Master’s in Strategic Communication and/or Master’s in Organizational Communication, depending on the specific content of their curriculum. Master’s in Strategic Communication programs focus on training students to develop internal and external-facing (i.e. marketing and public relations) communication strategies that support the mission of an organization. Applied Master’s in Organizational Communication programs typically focus on preparing students to research and optimize the communications within an organization and on organizational leadership.
Online Master’s in Communication Management Programs
Online master’s in communication management programs tend to have core courses that provide students with a foundation in communication leadership principles, advanced qualitative and quantitative research methods, and how to apply research insights to the design, management, and improvement of communication strategies. The foundational curriculum might also include classes in communication ethics, digital communication and emerging media technologies, and audience analysis.
While some online master’s in communication management programs have a set curriculum that all students in the program complete, others offer concentration options or electives that allow students to tailor their course of study to the specific area of communication management that interests them the most. Examples of potential concentrations for online master’s in communication management programs include, but are not limited to, integrated marketing communications, public relations, organizational communication, employee training and development, and media strategy. Elective courses for these programs might cover topics in public relations writing, social media marketing, team building and management, multimedia campaign design and implementation, and the use of data analytics to inform communication strategy.
Examples of Online Master’s in Communication Management Programs
The following schools offer online master’s in communication management programs. For a more complete list of programs that provide training in communication management, visit our Online Master’s in Organizational Communication and/or Online Master’s in Strategic Communication pages.
- Temple University’s Online Master of Science in Communication Management, which is offered through the Klein College of Media and Communication, combines coursework in digital communication strategies, organizational communication management, audience analysis, emerging media, crisis and conflict management, and diverse team leadership. These courses prepare students for advanced managerial roles in corporate, non-profit, and government settings. In addition, the curriculum for this program qualifies students to earn two additional certificates in Strategic Communication and Cross-Cultural Leadership, and Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution.
- The University of Southern California’s (USC) Online Master of Communication Management, which is offered by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, features an interdisciplinary course of study and a research practicum that prepare students to identify and address communication challenges within organizations, design communication strategies that target key audience segments, and build and implement integrated marketing communication plans. Students also learn theories that are key to understanding how communication functions in networks, institutions, and various systems. Classes cover areas such as audience analysis, strategic corporate communication, online marketing analytics, public relations, and workplace communication.
- The University of Denver’s Online Master’s Degree in Communication Management, which is offered through the University College, provides students with six concentration options so that they can hone their skills in the specific area that interests them: Marketing Communication, Organizational Development, Public Relations, Learning and Development, Leadership Communication, and Dispute Resolution. After taking core classes in areas such as business for communication professionals and storytelling through research, students might take classes in brand management, digital marketing, team building and management, persuasion, and conflict resolution, depending on their chosen concentration.
- Concordia University’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management prepares students for a wide variety of strategic communication roles wherein they identify, research, and find effective and efficient solutions to communication challenges. Students take courses in project management, leadership communication, crisis communication, media strategy, customer experience, and communication inquiry, research, and measurement.
In addition to online master’s programs in communication management, there are also options for students who want a mix of distance education and face-to-face instruction. For example, Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Communication Management, which is offered through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, is a program that delivers the majority of its coursework in a distance-based online format, but which requires students to attend five-day residencies at the start of the fall, spring, and summer terms of each year they are enrolled. This program includes interdisciplinary courses in public opinion research, communications management, communications ethics and law, organizational behavior, finance, digital marketing, and social media.
As the program descriptions above illustrate, there can be considerable variance among online master’s in communication management programs, in terms of their specific course content and sequencing, concentration options, and final graduation requirements. Due to this variance, students who are interested in earning their master’s degree in communication management online should thoroughly research the options available to them and speak with admissions counselors at their programs of interest to receive the most up-to-date information about these programs’ curricula, faculty expertise, and other relevant details.
Example Curriculum and Courses for Online Master’s in Communication Management Programs
Below is a sample curriculum for an online master’s in communication management program. Please note that the following example is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent the exact curriculum of an existing master’s in communication management program.
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Students who would like to explore additional online programs for communication management, should visit our online Master’s in Organizational Communication and/or online Master’s in Strategic Communication pages and look for programs that offer courses in organizational leadership. Additionally, students can find a comprehensive list of all campus-based, online, and hybrid master’s in communication management programs (as well as master’s programs in related areas) on our Master’s in Strategic Communication and/or Master’s in Organizational Communication pages. In addition to comprehensive program listings, these pages also feature information on program curricula, including sample course descriptions and curriculum plans.