Austin Peay State University (APSU) offers a Master of Arts in Communication Arts program through its Department of Communication. The master’s degree can be completed entirely online and does not require students to visit campus at any point during their studies. APSU uses D2L, a learning management system that allows students to access their course materials and readings, submit assignments, participate in class conversations on discussion boards, and communicate with instructors and classmates via email and online messaging.

The Master of Arts in Communication Arts requires 34 credit hours of study, with courses taking place over 8-week terms. The curriculum introduces students to foundational concepts in communication theory and research methodologies, preparing them for advanced studies in one of four degree tracks.

Students can choose from two degree concentrations and two academic specializations. Available concentrations include Marketing Communication and Media Management. Both offer a professionally-oriented curriculum, in addition to core requirements, and are named on students’ diploma and transcripts. The two academic specializations offered are Corporate Communication and General Communication. These specializations are specific areas of graduate study that lead to the Master of Arts in Communication Arts, but are not named on a student’s diploma or transcript. Each specialization and concentration has its own curricular requirements.

The Marketing Communication concentration is designed to help integrated marketing professionals (e.g. public relations, advertising) enhance their communication and leadership skills for management opportunities in the communication industry. Core coursework (19 credits) covers topics such as applied communication theory, marketing communication strategies, and communication and leadership. Electives (12 credits) are available in a wide range of subjects, including social media theory, e-communication strategies, communication and public opinion, and more. The Marketing Communication concentration also requires a 3-credit research paper.

The Media Management concentration is designed for professionals who work in the broadcast (e.g. television and radio) and cable TV fields, and want to move into executive management roles. While students can complete the program entirely online, some elective courses are only available on-campus (e.g. video production criticism). The curriculum includes required classes (16 credits) in areas such as media management and applied communication theory, a research paper (3 credits), and electives (15 credits) in subjects such as communication ethics and persuasion and social change.

The Corporate Communication specialization has curriculum divided between core classes (13 credits), a research paper (3 credits), and electives (18 credits). This specialization is designed to help students advance their professional communication and management skills, and includes courses that cover topics such as public relations, social media, advertising, e-commerce, and leadership and communication. The General Communication specialization is a broad program of study that allows students to customize a curriculum plan to meet their specific academic and professional needs. Curriculum is split between core classes (10 credits), a research paper (3) or thesis (6 credits), and electives (either 15 or 18 credits, depending on whether the student completes a thesis or research paper).

Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online Master of Arts in Communication Arts

Department: Department of Communication
Specializations/Concentrations: Concentrations in General Communication; Corporate Communication; Marketing Communication; Media Management
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in ~2 years (4 semesters) or longer by taking fewer courses per semester

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Research paper or thesis (available for corporate communication specialization)
Credits Required: 34 credits (~12 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Research Methods; Pro-seminar in Communication; Applied Communication Theory; Communication Law; Organizational Communication; Marketing Communication Strategies; Leadership and Communication; Public Relations; Media Management; Race, Gender and Mass Media

Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.5
Testing Requirements: GRE required - GRE can be waived with a GPA greater than 3.5 or if applicant has completed a master's degree (minimum GRE scores if required - verbal section: 140, quantitative section: 140)
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$14,960 + fees (in-state); ~$22,440 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $440 per credit hour (in-state); $660 per credit hour (out-of-state)

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states

*Estimated tuition is calculated by multiplying the cost per credit hour by the number of credits required to graduate. It does not include fees or other expenses.