Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a Master of Arts in Communication degree that can be completed entirely online. The university uses a cloud-based digital learning management platform that allows students to review class schedules, converse with peers and instructors, submit assignments, access instructional materials and advisor messages, and more. The online Master of Arts in Communication program can be finished in as few as 15 months by taking two courses in each 10-week term. The 36 credit-hour curriculum is split between major course requirements (24 credits), and either electives (12 credits) or academic concentration classes (12 credits) in a choice of Public Relations or New Media & Marketing.

The program curriculum focuses on applied learning and professional skill development in a range of areas, such as marketing campaign planning and design, reputation management and branding, social media strategies, public relations writing, and more. Required major coursework covers a variety of communication subjects, including communication for leadership; law and ethics; knowledge and new media; communication, media and society; communication by design; and strategic communication in a new age. The culminating major requirement for the degree is a communication capstone course that allows students to develop and execute a communication campaign in an area of interest, synthesizing the knowledge and skills they gained during their time in the program.

Students may also choose to complete an optional academic concentration or take general electives that introduce them to more focused areas of study within communication. Sample elective courses include eHealth and technology, public policy and strategy, and reputation management. The two available concentrations, New Media & Marketing and Public Relations, give students the opportunity to explore specific subjects related to their professional industries or future career paths.

The New Media & Marketing concentration consists of 12 credit hours (four classes), and is designed to introduce marketing professionals to emerging media technologies, tools, and platforms. Curriculum in the concentration centers on teaching students how to create effective new media marketing campaigns by crafting targeted messaging to specific audiences. Classes cover areas such as media design and marketing, communicating with media technology, writing processes for different media platforms, and digital tools.

The Public Relations concentration is designed for prospective public relations professionals, as well as those with a background in public relations. Curriculum focuses on best practices in the field, including branding, external communications, crisis communications management, social media messaging and technology, and communication campaign strategies. Students complete 12 credit hours of study (four classes) in topics such as brand building and management, social media strategies and practices, crisis communication in a 24/7 world, and integrated public relations campaigns.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Online Master of Arts in Communication

Department: College of Online and Continuing Education
Specializations/Concentrations: Optional Concentrations in New Media & Marketing; Public Relations

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 as few as 15 months
Start Dates: Five start dates per year

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Communication capstone course
Example Courses: Communication, Media & Society; Communication for Leadership; Strategic Communication in a New Age; Communication with Media Technology; Reputation Management: Building a Brand

Admission Requirements
Application Requirements: Bachelor's degree; personal statement
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.75 for full acceptance (students with a minimum GPA of 2.0 may be eligible for provisional acceptance)
Testing Requirements: GRE not required

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$22,932 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $637 per credit hour

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states

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*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.