Answer: Yes, there are currently five online master’s in international and global communication programs available within the United States.

International communication is defined as all forms of communication that reach a global audience, including political communications between countries, global marketing initiatives, and news and social media content that gains an international following. In a world that is becoming increasingly globalized, effective and diplomatic international communication is crucial for the growth of national and international economies, the development of fair global policies, and the success of non-profit initiatives supporting underprivileged communities. Experts in international communication have the power to impact important legislation, manage the relationships between and within organizations, expand companies’ reach to consumers overseas, and advance the missions of human rights organizations that help people worldwide.

Online master’s in international communication programs, sometimes known as master’s in global communication programs, prepare students to write effective content for a variety of global audiences, including public relations announcements, marketing and advertising campaigns, news articles on international issues, and social media posts. These programs also teach students about important global and intercultural issues, including social and racial discrimination in the workplace, and how to promote diversity awareness through rhetoric. Graduates of online master’s in international communication programs can enter a variety of professions, including but not limited to global communication consultants, marketing and PR directors, public affairs specialists, journalists, and advocacy writers.

Examples of Online Master’s in International and Global Communication Programs

Currently, there are five online master’s in international communication programs in the United States. Below are descriptions for some of these programs, including the classes they offer and their graduation requirements:

  • Florida International University’s Department of Communication offers an Online Master of Science in Mass Communication with a focus on Global Strategic Communications that provides students with the skills to engage in corporate, non-profit, and governmental communications for international audiences. This program features courses in mass media research and theories, global strategic communication management, global reputation management, media planning, social media content and analysis, and conflict mediation and resolution.
  • Gonzaga University’s Graduate School of Professional Studies offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies with a concentration in Global Leadership. This program features classes in communication leadership and ethics, international and intercultural communication, and applied communication research, as well as courses in global systems, development communication, communication strategies for contemporary global issues, organizational transformation, global citizenship, and conflict resolution. This program requires students to study abroad in Colombia, Belgium, or the Czech Republic for a term.
  • Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies offers an Online Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication with a concentration in Cross-Cultural Communication. This program allows students to specialize further through a Social Justice or International track, and features classes in organizational communication and culture, intercultural communication, communication networks and information management, strategic communication management, organizational communication assessment, cross-cultural negotiation, social inequality, global literacy and culture, global politics and economies, and human resources systems. Students must complete a capstone project as their final graduation requirement.
  • The University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications offers an Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Global Strategic Communication that prepares students to create communication campaigns and other content for businesses, human rights organizations and non-profits, and government organizations that need to reach global audiences. Classes in this program cover concepts in global activism and change, public affairs communication, creative storytelling, digital communication strategies, managerial decision-making, and intercultural communication. Students also complete a project that addresses an organization’s strategic communication needs as their final graduation requirement.

Online master’s in international communication programs often use a combination of asynchronous and synchronous instruction to allow students flexibility in their schedule while also giving them the opportunity to interact with faculty and classmates. Some programs, such as Gonzaga University’s program in Leadership Studies, have travel requirements in the form of study abroad or a campus intensive or immersion experience. As illustrated above, online master’s in international communication programs typically require students to complete a master’s thesis, applied project, or internship to demonstrate their understanding of and ability to apply important course concepts. Through their thesis, project, or practicum, students examine and engage with international and intercultural communication issues and how to resolve them at the interpersonal, organizational, national, and/or global levels. Online programs in international communication may also require students to take a comprehensive exam as part of their final graduation requirement.

Example Curriculum and Courses in Online Master’s in International Communication Programs

Below is a sample curriculum for an online master’s in international communication program. Programs in international and global communication can vary in the content, titling, and sequencing of their courses. Furthermore, some programs allow students to specialize further within the field of international and global communication, which means that while some students’ may focus on global marketing and public relations campaigns, other students may focus more on international advocacy and communication for global change The curriculum sample provided below should therefore only be used as an example.

Curriculum ComponentCourse Titles and Graduation Requirement Descriptions
Core Courses
  • Strategic Communication Principles
  • Leadership in Communication
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Theories of Communication
  • Communication Ethics
Elective Courses
  • International and Intercultural Communication
  • Conflict Mediation and Negotiation
  • Communication for Global Activism and Change
  • International Politics
  • Public Affairs Communication
  • Social Inequalities and the Principles of Social Change
  • Public Relations for Global Audiences
Graduation Requirements
(Potential Capstone Options)
  • Master’s Thesis or Applied Project in Global or Intercultural Communication
  • Comprehensive Examination
  • Practicum/Internship

For a comprehensive list of campus-based, online, and hybrid master’s in international communication programs, as well as detailed descriptions of the typical core courses and electives that these programs include, please refer to our Master’s in International and Global Communication Programs page.

Note: classifies programs based on their core and elective courses, as well as their learning objectives for students. For a program to be classified as an international communication program in our database, it must have a clear specialization in global, international, and/or intercultural communication, or include at least three to four courses that are relevant to these fields. Such courses typically cover concepts such as political communication and international politics, global marketing campaigns, public relations for international organizations, social advocacy and change, communication leadership in the global arena, international public affairs communication, conflict mediation, and social media for a global readership. Some intercultural communication programs may be classified under communication studies and interpersonal communication and not global and international communication, depending on their curriculum and whether or not they contain coursework for targeting international and global audiences.