The James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte offers an entirely online Master of Arts in Communication degree that can be finished in as few as 24 months. Courses use asynchronous instruction, allowing students to access syllabi, course assignments, class discussions, and required readings on their own schedule. However, assignments and other class requirements must be submitted according to each instructor’s deadlines. The program uses MyCourses, an online learning management system where students interact with their classmates and instructors via shared blogging, Skype web conferencing, social media tools, and instant messaging.

Students in this program learn how to analyze different forms of communication, and to improve communication dynamics within a variety of applied frameworks. They also gain an understanding of the foundational principles of communication theory, and learn how to apply that theory to practical communication strategies. Coursework also introduces students to traditional and digital media tools that are used to create communication plans and messages in print, digital, and other communication mediums.

The program offers an optional concentration in Integrated Digital Strategy. This four-class specialization examines how the emergence of technology and digital media has altered the communication landscape. Students explore the idea of “digital communities,” considering how they form and how group dynamics work within social media and other types of online environments. Specialization classes include Digital Experience Design, Strategic Communication for Global Audiences, Creativity and Networks, and Organizational Identity and Brand. Through these courses, students develop skills necessary to create effective digital communications strategies, such as how to conduct an audience analysis, cultivate relationships between organizations and their target audience, and launch a range of creative messages through digital media platforms to enhance a brand’s reach and public awareness.

Curriculum includes 36 credit hours of study (12 courses), but students who select the Integrated Digital Strategy take an additional class to bring the total program credits to 39 credit hours (13 courses). Required courses include Constructing Messages and Audiences, Communication and Culture in a Networked Society, Communicating Mindfully, and more. No thesis is required. Instead, students must successfully complete a capstone project in order to earn their degree. This capstone includes applied learning opportunities, where students research a communication challenge or issue, develop a proposal, and implement a communication strategy that addresses that issue or challenge. Examples of potential capstone subjects include storytelling and emotional branding and using online environments for rebranding efforts.

Queens University of Charlotte is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Online Master of Arts in Communication

Department: James L. Knight School of Communication
Specializations/Concentrations: Optional Concentration in Integrated Digital Strategy

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 24 months

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Digital portfolio and final capstone project
Credits Required: 36-39 credits (12-13 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Fluency; Constructing Messages and Audiences; Leadership, Empowerment, and the Management of Meaning; Organizational Identity and Brand; Digital Experience Design

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Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree from regionally accredited college or university
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required with a cumulative GPA greater than 3.0, GPA below 3.0 must provide GRE scores (minimum score per section: Verbal 153, Quantitative 140, Analytical 4.0) (applicants with 5+ years of post-baccalaureate work experience may be able to appeal GRE requirement)
Additional Requirements: Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references; Resume/CV describing academic credentials and professional background
Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$29,700 to ~$32,175 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $825 per credit hour

State Authorizations: Program does not currently accept online students from California and Massachusetts

*Estimated tuition is calculated by multiplying the cost per credit hour by the number of credits required to graduate. It do not include fees or other expenses.