Lasell College offers a Master of Science in Communication through its School of Communication & the Arts as part of it Graduate and Professional Studies programs. The program can be completed entirely online without any visits to campus. Students also have the option to complete the program in a blended format if they live near the campus in Newton, MA. Lasell College uses the Canvas learning management platform for its online education offerings. Through Canvas, students can access their course materials and lectures, submit assignments and projects, communicate with instructors, participate in class discussions, access tutoring services, search library and online databases including journals, and more.
The Master of Science in Communication requires 36 credit hours of study, which can be completed in 12 to 24 months. Each class is capped at 23 students to ensure that each student has sufficient support from his or her instructors. Students can choose from one of six academic concentrations: Digital Media, Health Communication, Integrated Marketing Communication, Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, Public Relations, and Public Speaking. The program’s curriculum is divided between core program classes that all students take (six courses for 18 credits), concentration coursework (three courses for 9 credits), electives (two courses for 6 credits), and a capstone project (3 credits).
The six core courses in this program cover key theories, concepts, and principles of effective communication, including communication research methods, organizational communication, conflict resolution, rhetoric and persuasion, media relations and public opinion, and communication ethics. After completing their core curriculum, students can progress to one of the following concentration options:
- Health Communication Concentration: This concentration is an interdisciplinary program of study, blending key concepts and training in public health, organizational communication, public policy, and marketing within the healthcare field. Courses explore topics such as health communication ethics, developing strategic communication campaigns, budgeting and communication planning, and understanding international health policies.
- Integrated Marketing Communication Concentration: This concentration explores the latest trends in strategic marketing communication practices in areas such as branding, public relations, advertising, and understanding consumer behavior from multiple media-centric perspectives. Students become familiar with the foundational principles of planning, launching and evaluating marketing and communication campaigns, including audience targeting, consumer behavior and organizational strategy.
- Public Relations Concentration: This concentration introduces students to the essential theories of public relations, teaching them how to translate theoretical concepts into professional applications within the public relations field. Through targeted courses in public relations writing, media management, crisis communication, and other key elements of external-facing communications for organizations, students are empowered to serve as liaisons between organizations (e.g. businesses, non-profits, government agencies, etc.), stakeholders, and the greater public.
- Negotiations and Conflict Resolution Concentration: This concentration focuses specifically on small group and organizational mediation and conflict resolution. In their concentration courses, students learn how to both intervene in cases of contention, as well as influence individuals, groups, and organizations such that communal goals are met. Students also learn important negotiation tactics to employ in different situations.
- Digital Media Concentration: This concentration focuses on the key aspects of digital media creation, dissemination, and evaluation. Students take courses in digital storytelling across various media, as well as a social media course and a course on digital media analytics, which delves into how data can inform future communication strategies.
- Public Speaking Concentration: This concentration gives students advanced training in public speaking, including how to design and deliver professional presentations, leverage persuasive storytelling tactics, and present arguments with clarity and mastery.
To satisfy graduation requirements, students must also complete a final culminating experience, for which they can choose between four different options: the Comprehensive Examination, the Thesis, the Special Study Project, and the Professional Internship. While the Thesis is a traditional academic research project, the Special Study Project can take different forms, such as a video or a multimedia presentation. The Comprehensive Examination option tests students on key case studies within their chosen area of concentration, while the Professional Internship is a 150-hour minimum practicum placement in a real setting that is relevant to students’ chosen course of study. Regardless of which option they choose, students receive guidance from a faculty advisor.
Lasell College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online Master of Science in Communication
Department: Graduate and Professional Studies
Specializations/Concentrations: Specialized Concentrations in Health Communication; Corporate Communication; Public Relations; Digital Media; Negotiations and Conflict Resolution; Public Speaking
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 12-24 month
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis, comprehensive exam, special study project, or professional internship
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)
Example Courses: Communication, Ethics & Society; Organizational Communication; Communication Research; Media Relations; Health Communication; Persuasion & Public Opinion; Integrated Marketing Communications; Crisis Communication; Principles of Public Relations
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: GPA of 3.0 or greater recommended for applicants with less than 3 years of work experience
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Six starts per year
Estimated Tuition: ~$21,600 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $600 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states