Johns Hopkins University offers a Master of Arts in Communication through its Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ Advanced Academic Programs (AAP). The degree can be completed entirely online and there is no residency requirement for students who choose to take all of their classes via online learning. The program uses Blackboard, an online learning management system, which allows students to access all of their classes, course schedules, instructional materials, and syllabi on the web at any time. Students also use the learning platform to submit assignments, as well as communicate with their peers and instructors.
The online Master of Arts in Communication degree requires students to complete at least ten courses. On average, students can expect to finish the program in around two years. However, individuals who take a full load of three to four courses per semester can fulfill the degree requirements in 12 to 16 months. Students have up to five years to complete the program, if necessary.
There are two academic tracks available: Strategic Planning and Research. The Strategic Planning track does not require a thesis, while the research track does. In the Strategic Planning track, students complete a Research and Writing Methods course, a selection of three core courses from a category titled Informing Practice through Research, and six electives. Students in this track also have the option of completing a practicum course during their final semester. This class gives students the opportunity to integrate what they have learned throughout the program and apply it to a real-world experience. Students develop an evidence-based project that is related to their professional interests, defining a proposal, timelines, and methods for completion.
The Research track requires students to complete a Research and Writing Methods course, at least two core courses from the Informing Practice through Research group, one core course from an Applied Research for Communication Professionals group, five electives, and a thesis. Students in the Research track must complete all core courses before they can start working on their thesis. The thesis typically takes two semesters to complete, and must be completed and approved in the last semester of study in order to graduate.
Program curriculum is divided between required core courses and electives, which students may complete in an optional academic concentration. Coursework blends study of digital technology and strategic communication, introducing students to broad concepts in communication theory while helping them develop applied skills in areas ranging from health communication to public relations. Depending on their career interests, students may align their courses with one (or two) of six optional degree concentrations: Applied Research in Communication, Corporate/Non-profit Communication, Digital Communication, Health Communication, Political Communication, and Public and Media Relations.
The required Research and Writing methods course introduces students to the central principles of conducting research, including using library resources, case studies, and surveys. Students can expect to study the latest research from across communication disciplines, and develop skills in interpreting and leveraging both qualitative and quantitative research data and methods. The program’s core curriculum teaches students about the fundamentals of conducting research in the field of communication, and how to craft effective messages in a variety of communication campaigns. Coursework covers subjects such as mass communication theory, changing behavior through communication, communication in the digital age, and more.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Online Master of Arts in Communication
Department: Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academic Programs
Specializations/Concentrations: Optional Concentrations in Applied Research in Communication; Public and Media Relations; Political Communication; Health Communication; Digital Communication; Corporate and Non-Profit Communication
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses the Blackboard learning management systems and students can access their course materials 24-7
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Full-time: 3-4 courses per semester = 12 to 16 months; Part-time: 1-2 courses per semester = 2-3 years; Students have up to 5 years to complete the program
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Research Track: thesis; Strategic Planning Track: practicum or additional elective
Credits Required: 10 courses
Example Courses: Research and Writing Methods; Introduction to the Digital Age; Persuasion; Applied Quantitative Research; Applied Qualitative Research
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required if GPA greater than 3.0 or if applicant has 5+ years of post-baccalaureate work experience
Work Experience: History of relevant work experience or coursework required
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states