Missouri State University offers an online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Communication through its Department of Communication, Media, Journalism and Film. The program is offered entirely online and does not require in-person visits to campus to complete degree requirements. To access course materials, participate in discussion boards, and submit assignments, students use the Blackboard learning management system. Missouri State also offers a Master of Arts in Communication program which offers some, but not all of its courses online (i.e., it is a hybrid program).

The Master of Professional Studies in Applied Communication is a 33-credit degree program that can typically be completed in two years of study. The degree program is unique in that it is highly interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together the fields of communications, business, leadership and technology. Before commencing their applied communication coursework, students take classes that cover business leadership and management, finance, and research and project design. Through the diverse yet cohesive selection of courses, students develop team leadership skills, learn about negotiating and mediating conflict, become familiar with the latest in media technology and build their written, oral and presentation skills.

The curriculum is divided between core coursework, applied communication courses and a research or capstone experience. The core curriculum includes 21 credit hours and is split into the following eight foundational learning outcomes:

  • Finance, budgeting or economics
  • Law, ethics or regulatory functions
  • Personnel, management or leadership
  • Research design, project development or data analysis
  • Corporate relations or communication
  • Technology and data security
  • Organizational structure, development and diversity
  • Professional and technical writing

Students take one course from seven out of eight of the above learning outcome areas. The program provides suggested courses for fulfilling these seven areas, but students can also choose from a list of approved alternative courses if they wish (students must work with an advisor and receive approval for their core course selections). Example courses that are available to students include Accounting Concepts for Managers; Administrative Law; Personnel Selection, Placement and Classification; Applied Communication Research Methods; Concepts and Analysis of Communication in Organizations; Fundamentals of Computer Networking, Cloud Based Technology, and Internet Safety; Seminar in Administrative Management and Organizational Theory; and Professional Writing.

After their core classes, students select from a set list of applied communication classes to complete 12 credits (4 classes). Classes include Conflict and Communication, Communication and Diversity in the Workplace, Ethical Issues in Communication, Theories and Concepts of Small Group Communication, and Public Relations Campaigns. These courses build off of the business and managerial foundation students learned in their core curriculum. Students investigate and discuss the dynamics of interpersonal conflict, learn about theory behind communication in the workplace, develop skills in mediation and negotiation, become skilled in creating and managing public relations campaigns and become familiar with the interplay in small group communication settings.

During the final semester of the MPS program, students must complete a research project, internship or capstone experience that demonstrates their mastery of problem solving, research and writing in the field of applied communication.

Missouri State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Online Master of Professional Studies in Applied Communication

Department: Department of Communication, Media, Journalism and Film
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 - students may be able to complete the program in more or less time depending on how many courses they take per semester
Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission (Summer admission may be possible)

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 33 credits (11 courses)
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone experience, research project, or internship
Example Courses: Conflict and Communication; Communication and Diversity in the Workplace; Ethical Issues in Communication; Theories and Concepts of Small Group Communication; Public Relations Campaigns; Applied Communication Research Methods; Concepts and Analysis of Communication in Organizations

Admission Requirements
Application Requirements: Bachelor's degree; resume; statement of goals
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 in last 60 undergraduate credit hours (GPA 2.75 - 2.99 must take GRE or GMAT to be eligible for admission)
Testing Requirements: GRE not required if GPA 3.0 or greater, if GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 - GRE (minimum score 290) or GMAT (minimum score 450) required

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$12,507 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $379.00 per credit hour

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.