Notre Dame of Maryland University offers an online Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication through its School of Arts, Sciences & Business. Managed by the Communication Arts Department, the degree is offered 100 percent online and does not require in-person, on-campus visits (although local students can take courses on campus if they choose). The university uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver its online courses and students have 24/7 access to help desk services if they need technical assistance using the platform. Moodle allows students to access their course materials, participate in peer-to-peer conversations through discussion boards, communicate with instructors via email and internal messaging, and more.

The Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication requires 36 credit hours of study and can be completed in one to two years, depending on whether the student attends full- or part-time. The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature, blending the study of communication theory and history with applied skills in areas ranging from business communication to media criticism, film, visual media, public relations, consumer studies, and diversity and multiculturalism. Considered a generalist degree, this degree helps students build industry skills in critical analysis and problem solving, preparing them to develop new approaches to communication in media, government, digital and social media, marketing, and public relations, among other fields.

The 12-class curriculum explores topics across communication, including public relations, social media, communication management and organizational communication. Students take two required courses, Approaches to Contemporary Communication and Technology in Contemporary Communication. These initial six credits of contemporary communication coursework serve as an introduction to foundational and advanced communication strategies, as well as the use of technology in refining and disseminating important messages.

After completing their two core classes, students take ten elective courses (30 credits). Students are able to craft their own course of study from a selection of interdisciplinary classes, including not only courses in the Communication Arts but also those in Computer Studies, English, Philosophy, Art, and Interdisciplinary Studies, with the only requirement being that at least 18 course credits must come from Communication Arts and/or Computer Studies classes. The remaining 12 course credits can come from any combination of other departmental courses. Allowing students to take classes across different departments (in consultation with an academic advisor) enables students to develop a curriculum that best suits their academic and professional development needs.

The program also offers an optional six-credit colloquium in contemporary communication which provides the opportunity to complete a master’s project, such as a master’s thesis or creative project such as a website, novel, or screenplay.

Notre Dame of Maryland University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Online Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication

Department: Communication Arts Department
Specializations/Concentrations: General Program with Electives
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 1-2 years depending on FT vs PT enrollment

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Colloquium in contemporary communication project or additional coursework
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)
Example Courses: Approaches to Contemporary Communication; Technology in Contemporary Communication; Business Communication; Cross-Cultural Communication; Communication and Gender; Public Relations Management; Media Criticism and Theory

Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer admission

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$19,800 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $550 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.