Northeastern University offers an online Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication through its College of Professional Studies. This program can be completed entirely online without any in-person visits to campus. Students access course materials through the Blackboard learning management system, which can include recorded lectures, presentations, and other multimedia educational resources. Blackboard is also used to communicate with instructors, participate in discussion posts, and collaborate with classmates. Instructors may also host live office hours through the platform.
Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication
The Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication is a 45-quarter credit graduate program that can typically be completed in two- to three-years of study. Overall, students take 15 to 16 classes in a curriculum that examines challenging communication issues, the latest communication trends, and considers how social technologies and platforms are shifting the way businesses, consumers, investors, employees and other target audiences communicate.
Students may select one of six academic concentrations to focus their studies: Public and Media Relations, Cross-Cultural Communication, Social Media, Project Management, Leadership, and Human Resources Management. Each of these concentrations requires the completion of specialized coursework as well as a number of concentration-specific electives.
The curriculum is divided between core classes, concentration classes and electives. The core classes that students take include Introduction to Organizational Communication, Strategic Communication Management, Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication, Organizational Communication Assessment, and a Writing Lab. The number of core classes depends on the student’s professional background. Individuals with professional experience in communication may bypass Introduction to Organizational Communication. These classes cover fundamental communication skills, theories, and best practices, providing students with an introduction to different media platforms, types of strategic organizational communication practices, and principles of effective organizational and corporate communication across different contexts. In addition to the aforementioned core courses, students also take two of the following three classes: Communication Networks and Managing Information, Intercultural Communication, and Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication.
From there, students complete either two or three electives, depending on whether they were required to take Introduction to Organizational Communication. The program offers broad electives options, allowing students to take classes that best align with the professional interests. Sample electives include Communication and Visualization for Data Analytics, Crisis Communication, Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management, Foundations of Developing Cultural Awareness, Strategies for Cross-Cultural Facilitation and Negotiation, Web Creation for Content Management Systems, and Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation.
In addition to their core classwork and electives, students also take courses according to their academic concentration. Requirements vary by concentration.
- Human Resource Management (HRM): This concentration requires students to take Introduction to Human Resources and Workforce Analytics before choosing three HRM electives in areas such as talent acquisition, workforce planning, organizational design, and employee engagement.
- Public and Media Relations: This concentration requires students to take Introduction to Public Relations, Public Relations Strategy and Planning, and Public Relations Research: Understanding External Audiences, before taking two electives in areas such as digital platforms and tools, digital technologies for strategy and assessment, social media and brand strategy, and advanced public relations.
- Leadership: This concentration requires students to take Strategic Communications Advisor: Roles and Responsibilities, and Developing Your Leadership Capability, before choosing three elective classes in areas such as management, team leadership, communication resource management, and organizational transformation.
- Project Management: This concentration requires students to take Foundations of Project Management, Project Management Practices, Project Scope Management, Project Scheduling and Cost Planning, and Project Risk Management. Students who waive the course Foundations of Project Management due to project management experience also must take one relevant elective.
- Social Media: Students in this concentration take one required course, Interactive Marketing Fundamentals, before choosing 12-16 quarter hours of electives in areas such as social media and brand strategy, research methods for user experience, and consumer behavior in the online environment.
- Cross-Cultural Communication: This concentration requires students to take Strategies for Cross-Cultural Facilitation and Negotiation and Foundations of Developing Cultural Awareness, before they select 9 quarter hours in areas such as social justice or international communication and leadership.
The program culminates with a capstone course that requires students to apply their classroom-based knowledge in a real-world organizational communication project. Students are matched with a consulting project in their professional discipline. The project requires them to conduct relevant research for their sponsoring organization and to design a project plan that includes recommendations to the client. It is important to note that students who do not have at least two years of professional experience in a communication role must also complete an experiential learning project (no credit) course prior to registering for their capstone class.
Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Online Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication
Department: College of Professional Studies
Specializations/Concentrations: Concentrations in Social Media; Public and Media Relations; Human Resource Management; Project Management; Leadership; Cross-Cultural Communication (Social Justice or International Tracks)
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Full-time: program can be completed in 2 years; Part-time: program can be completed in 3 years
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone integrative experiential learning project or professional project
Credits Required: 45 quarter credits (15-16 courses)
Example Courses: Curriculum depends on specialization, sample courses include: Strategic Communication Management; Introduction to Organizational Communication; Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication; Intercultural Communication; Communication Networks and Managing Information; Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter admission
Estimated Tuition*: ~$31,410 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $698 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states