Kansas State University’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, in collaboration with K-State Global Campus, offers an online Master of Science in Mass Communications. This program is delivered entirely online and does not require any campus visits. The program mainly uses asynchronous instruction, thereby enabling students to complete their degree program from anywhere, according to their own schedule (as long as they abide by assignment deadlines). While the on-campus program has two tracks: a research track and a professional track, the online program only offers the professional track.
The online Master of Science in Mass Communications focuses on giving students the skills and knowledge to develop and analyze mass communication initiatives ranging from news media projects to public relations and corporate communications, marketing, entertainment, branding and advertising, and social media management. Students can generally complete the program within two years of full-time study (though students can also enroll part-time in the program and complete their courses more gradually).
The Master of Science in Mass Communications is composed of 30 credit hours, divided between 15 credit hours of required courses, as well as 15 credit hours of electives (six of which must be taken outside of the department). The core courses for this program include foundational classes on communication theories as they relate to mass communication, research methods for mass communication, digital media analytics, and key issues in mass media management. These required courses are designed to give students a strong foundation in applying mass communication theories, research methods, and data analysis strategies to designing, implementing, and iterating upon mass communication campaigns and initiatives.
For their electives, students can choose from a wide variety of classes that cover the many different industries wherein mass communication plays a crucial role. For example, in the elective course Strategic Health Communication, students learn about the role of mass media and other widespread communication strategies in motivating healthy behavior changes and disseminating important public health messages. In the Environmental Communications elective course, students discuss how mass communications about environmental and sustainability issues contribute to environmental health and also further the field of natural and applied science. Students work with their advisors to determine which electives best fit their personal interests and professional goals. The two courses (six credits) that students must take from an outside department are intended to give students a broader perspective of the relevance of mass communications across different disciplines.
All students must complete a capstone practicum course as their culminating experience, which requires them to complete a supervised practical internship (a minimum of 120 hours) in a journalism or mass communication setting. As part of the capstone practicum course, students must write a 10-page paper discussing their experiences and learning outcomes from the practicum.
Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Online Master of Science in Mass Communications
Department: A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Specializations/Concentrations: Focus Areas in Strategic Communications; Health and Science Communication; Mass Communication
Websites: Department and Program
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 approximately 2 years when enrolled full-time (9 credits per semester), but students can take fewer credits per term if they enroll part-time
Start Dates: Spring semester, but students can also start in the Fall and Summer semesters
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone practicum
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Theory; Digital Media Audiences and Analytics; Issues in Media Management; Strategic Health Communication; Issues, Risk and Reputation; Mass Communication Law; Ethics in Mass Communications; Strategic Health Communication
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 in last 60 credits of undergraduate degree
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree with some undergraduate coursework in mass communication or journalism; statement of objectives; resume/CV; three letters of reference
Estimated Tuition*: ~$17,226 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $574.20 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states