Park University offers an online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership through its Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations in the School of Humanities. The degree can be completed entirely online without any required on-campus visits. Students who live near the campus in Parkville, MO can also take a hybrid of online and on-campus courses if they wish. Park University uses the Canvas platform from Instructure to deliver online courses. Through Canvas, students access their course materials and syllabi, submit assignments, participate in conversations with other students on discussion boards, communicate with instructors, and access other university resources.

The Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership requires 36 credit hours of study to complete and can typically be completed in 2 to 2.5 years. The program is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their skills, as well as individuals who wish to continue their study of communication at the doctoral level. The curriculum emphasizes theoretical knowledge of organizational and leadership communication, as well as practical and applied skill development in strategic decision-making, organizational leadership and change, and cross-cultural communication.

The program blends coursework in the fundamentals of communication along with specialized courses in organizational and leadership communication. The curriculum is divided between core classes (15 credits), organizational communication courses (15 credits) and either a graduate project or thesis (6 credits). Core classes function as an introduction to research methodologies in communication, the epistemology of communication, the principles of cross-cultural communication, and a broad survey of perspectives on human communication. Organizational emphasis coursework includes advanced classes such as Organizational Leadership, Leading Organizational Change, and Measuring Leadership. Through discipline-based coursework, students gain familiarity with communication tactics within contemporary organizations, and learn how leaders identify challenges, craft solutions in collaboration with multiple teams, convey a unified front to internal and external stakeholders, and measure the efficacy of communication and leadership campaigns.

The program culminates in either a graduate project or thesis. The graduate project allows students to work with a graduate advisor to either apply their classroom-based knowledge to address a real-world communication problem or develop a detailed, in-depth reflection of their experience in the program. Students who select the graduate project option must complete an additional three-credit elective to satisfy graduation requirements. The thesis option requires students to develop a structured and rigorous research project on a topic of scholarly significance both to themselves and to the broader academic community. Students who choose the thesis option earn six credits for their work, and receive guidance and mentorship from a faculty advisor and committee. With both options, students must complete an oral defense of their thesis or graduate project and successfully pass comprehensive written examinations.

Park University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership

Department: Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations
Specializations/Concentrations: Organizational Emphasis
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 to 2.5 years (1 course per 8-week term)

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Comprehensive exam and thesis or graduate project (with additional elective course)
Credits Required: 36 credits (12-13 courses)
Example Courses: Human Communication Perspectives; Cross-Cultural Communication; The Epistemology of Communication; Organizational Leadership; Leading Organizational Change; Measuring Leadership

Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Five starts per year: January, March, June, August and October

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$20,160 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $560 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.