Answer: Online master’s degree programs in communication can start at different points throughout the year depending on their structure, and may handle admission deadlines in a number of different ways. Some programs only offer one start date at the beginning of the academic year in the fall. Others have multiple start dates that align with the traditional academic calendar, such as every semester (fall, spring, and summer) or every quarter (fall, spring, winter, and summer). There are also programs that adhere to non-traditional academic calendars, which may have six to eight or more different start dates throughout the year. Other factors to consider when applying to an online master’s in communication program are rolling admissions policies, graduate assistantships, and whether the program uses a cohort model.

Start dates for an online master’s degree program in communication or one of its related specializations will vary by school. As mentioned earlier, some programs adhere to a traditional collegiate model and only admit students in the fall. There are others that follow a standard academic calendar but allow students to enroll at different points throughout the year. These start dates typically align with the start of each semester or quarter, depending on which the school uses. For a semester-based program, students may be able to enter during either the fall, spring, or summer, while a quarter-based program might offer start dates in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. The majority of online master’s in communication programs fall into one of the categories described above, offering one to four admission periods each year.

There are some programs, however, that use alternative academic calendars, with four-, five-, or even eight-week terms. In these cases, students may have more choices when it comes to starting their studies. There are a number of online master’s in communication programs that offer five or six different start dates throughout the year, and some that have as many as eight. National University’s online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program even has 12, one per month.

Application Deadlines for Online Master’s in Communication Programs

When it comes to admission deadlines, the specific dates will vary in accordance with each program’s schedule. Most programs have a deadline that students must submit their application by in order to be considered for a certain start time. For example, the online Master of Arts in Technical Communication program at Texas Tech University, which only admits students in the fall, requires all application materials to be submitted by January 15th. Other programs use what is called rolling admissions, meaning there are no set application deadlines, and students are free to apply at any point throughout the year. Admissions staff then review the applications as they come in and decide who to admit. If a student is accepted, they typically enter the program at the next available start date.

There are a couple other factors that may affect when students can be admitted to certain programs. Some online master’s in communication programs utilize a cohort model, in which students are placed in a group upon admission and stay with that group throughout their studies, taking courses together with the goal of graduating at the same time. These programs tend to follow a more set schedule to allow each cohort to progress through their prearranged curriculum, fulfill their degree requirements, and graduate within a certain time period. As such, programs that use a cohort model may have a limited number of start dates each year. Similarly, students interested in graduate assistantships, which are not as common for online programs as they are for campus-based ones, may have a separate deadline for applications and fewer start dates to choose from.

Start Dates for Online Master’s in Communication Programs

The table below contains a breakdown of every online master’s program currently listed on MastersinCommunications.com and when they accept students. For more information about an individual program, including its start dates and admission requirements, click on the program name.

School Program Start Dates
American University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Arizona State University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Arizona State University Online Master of Science in Technical Communication Fall and Spring admission
Asbury University Online Master of Arts in Communication for Media Professionals Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Ashland University Online Master of Arts in Corporate and Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Austin Peay State University Online Master of Arts in Communication Arts Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Bay Path University Online Master of Science in Communications and Information Management February, June and October admission
Bay Path University Online Master of Science in Communications February, June and October admission
Bellevue University Online Master of Arts in Business and Professional Communication Four starts per year with rolling admission
Boston University Online Master of Science in Health Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission (six starts per year)
Bowling Green State University Online Master of Arts in Media & Communication Six starts per year (2 per Fall, Spring and Summer sessions)
Brenau University Online Master of Arts in Communication and Media Studies Six starts per year: January, March, May, July, August and October
California Baptist University Online Master of Arts in Communication Six starts per year
Central Connecticut State University Online Master of Science in Strategic Communication Fall and Spring admission
Clark University Online Master of Science in Professional Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission (rolling admission)
College of Charleston Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall admission only
Concordia University, Saint Paul Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Drake University Online Master of Arts in Communication Program uses a rolling start date with multiple starts per year
Drexel University Online Master of Science in Communication Four starts per year: Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter admission
Duquesne University Online Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Fall and Spring admission
Duquesne University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall and Spring admission
East Carolina University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall and Spring admission
Eastern Illinois University Online Master of Arts in Communication Studies Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Eastern Michigan University Online Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications Fall and Winter admission
Eastern New Mexico University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Online Master of Arts in Communication Studies Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer admission
Florida International University Online Master of Science in Mass Communication Fall and Spring admission
Fordham University Online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Communications Fall, Spring, and Summer admission
Franklin University Online Master of Science in Marketing & Communication Fall and Spring admission
Georgetown University Online Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations & Corporate Communications Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Georgetown University Online Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Georgetown University Online Master of Professional Studies in Design Management & Communications Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Gonzaga University Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies Five starts per year (January, March, May, September, October)
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Online Masters of Science in Technology - Technical Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Johns Hopkins University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Kent State University Online Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication Inquire with school for start dates
Lasell College Online Master of Science in Communication Six starts per year
Liberty University Online Master of Arts in Communication Program has 8 starts per year
Liberty University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Program has 8 starts per year
Lynn University Online Master of Science in Communication and Media Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Marist College Online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication Fall and Spring admission
Marquette University Online Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Maryville University Online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Mercer University Online Master of Science in Technical Communication Management Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Michigan State University Online Masters of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Minnesota State University, Mankato Online Master of Science in Communication Studies Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Minnesota State University, Mankato Online Master of Science in Communication & Composition Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Minnesota State University, Mankato Online Master of Arts in Technical Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Mississippi College Online Master of Science in Communication - Integrated Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Mississippi College Online Master of Science in Communication - Professional Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Missouri State University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall admission only
Missouri State University Online Master of Professional Studies in Applied Communication Fall and Spring admission (Summer admission may be possible)
Missouri University of Science and Technology Online Master of Science in Technical Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Morehead State University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer starts with rolling admission
Murray State University Online Master's in Organizational Communication (MS or MA) Fall, Spring and Summer admission
National University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communications 12 starts per year (one per month)
New Jersey Institute of Technology Online Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication Fall and Spring admission
Northeastern University Online Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter admission
Northeastern University Online Master of Science in Technical Communication Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter admission
Northern Arizona University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall and Spring admission
Northwestern University Online Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications Fall and Spring admission
Notre Dame of Maryland University Online Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer admission
Ohio University Online Master of Arts in Organizational Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Park University Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Five starts per year: January, March, June, August and October
Penn State World Campus Online Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications Fall and Spring admission
Point Park University Online Master of Arts in Communication Technology 6 start dates per year (Fall 1&2, Spring 1&2, Summer 1&2)
Purdue University Online Master of Science in Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Queens University of Charlotte Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall and Spring admission
Regent University Online Master of Arts in Communication Six starts per year: January, March, May, June, August, October
Rider University Online Master of Arts in Business Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Rutgers University Online Master of Communication and Media Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Sacred Heart University Online Master's in Strategic Communication and Public Relations (SCPR) Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Sam Houston State University Online Master of Arts in Communication Studies Fall and Spring admission
South Dakota State University Online Master of Mass Communication Fall and Spring admission
Southern New Hampshire University Online Master of Arts in Communication Five start dates per year
Southern Utah University Online Master of Arts in Professional Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Spring Arbor University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership Six start dates per years (approximately one start every two months)
St Bonaventure University Online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications Six starts per year (Two per Fall, Spring and Summer terms)
State University of New York at Oswego Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Stephen F Austin State University Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication Four starts per year - Fall, Spring and Summer (I and II) admission
Stevenson University Online Master of Science in Communication Studies Fall and Spring admission
Syracuse University Communications@Syracuse Online Master of Science in Communications Four start dates per year (January, April, July and October)
Temple University Online Master of Science in Communication Management Fall and Spring admission
Texas State University Online Master of Arts in Technical Communication Four starts per year - Fall, Spring and Summer (I and II) admission
Texas Tech University Online Master's in Strategic Communication & Innovation Four starts per year: Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II admission
Texas Tech University Online Master of Arts in Technical Communication Fall admission only
The College of New Rochelle Online Master of Science in Communication Management and Media Fall, Spring and Summer admission
The University of Alabama Online Master of Arts in Communication Studies Fall, Spring and Summer admission
The University of Iowa Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Online Master of Arts in Digital Communication Fall admission only
Troy University Online Master of Science in Strategic Communication Five starts per year
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Central Florida Online Master of Arts in English - Technical Communication Fall and Spring admission
University of Central Missouri Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall admission only
University of Delaware Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Denver Online Master of Arts in Communication Management Four start dates per year (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer)
University of Florida Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Online Master of Science in Health Communication Fall and Spring admission
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Online Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication Fall admission only
University of Kentucky Online Master of Science in Information Communication Technology Fall and Spring admission
University of Louisiana at Monroe Online Master of Arts in Communication Five start dates per year with rolling admission
University of Minnesota Twin Cities Online Master of Science in Scientific & Technical Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Online Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Southern California Online Master of Communication Management Fall, Spring and Summer admission
University of Wisconsin-Stout Online Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Utah State University Online Master of Technical Communication Fall/Summer and Spring admission
Washburn University Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Fall admission only
Washington State University Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Washington State University Online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Webster University Online Master of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications Five starts per year: Fall (1 & 2), Spring (1 & 2), and Summer
Webster University Online Master of Arts in Communications Management Five starts per year: Fall (1 & 2), Spring (1 & 2), and Summer
Webster University Online Master of Arts in Media Communications Five starts per year: Fall (1 & 2), Spring (1 & 2), and Summer
Webster University Online Master of Arts in Communications Arts (for Educators) Five starts per year: Fall (1 & 2), Spring (1 & 2), and Summer
West Virginia University Online Master of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication Fall and Spring admission
West Virginia University Online Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications Fall, Spring and Summer admission
West Virginia University Online Master of Science in Data Marketing Communications Fall and Spring admission
Western New England University Online Master of Arts in Communication Fall, Winter and Spring admission