Stevenson University (SU) offers an online Master of Science in Communication Studies through its online learning arm, Stevenson University Online (SUO). The program can be completed fully online and does not require students to attend any on campus sessions. Students can access everything they need through the SU Now Portal, which contains links to SU’s WebXpress system for registration and enrollment information, to the Blackboard learning management system for online courses, and to other university services.
The Master of Science in Communication Studies requires 36 credit hours of study, which can be completed in 18 to 24 months, depending on whether students take additional classes during the summer. The program is designed for working professionals both within and outside of the communication industry, and features eight-week course sessions. The curriculum for this program explores the relationship between technology and communication, providing students with skills to translate communication theories, research methods, and analytical skills to designing and deploying communication strategies across interpersonal, organizational, and multicultural contexts. From developing team-building initiatives to streamlining external messaging to clients, graduates of this program are able to communicate effectively, manage conflict, develop effective crisis communication approaches, and utilize contemporary principles and tools in the communication space to achieve organizational goals.
The curriculum is divided between 30 credit hours of a set list of ten classes and 6 credit hours of Capstone, which can be either a Communication Project or a Thesis. The ten classes that students take in sequence are Communication Theory and Applications, Research Writing and Methods, Cultures and Communication, Communication Ethics in the Public Sphere, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Conflict Communication and Leadership, Contemporary Communication, Contemporary Organizations and Communication, and Crisis Communication. These classes introduce students to the major theories and concepts behind public, mass, group, cultural and public communication, teaching them how to use these theories as frameworks for examining and solving contemporary communication issues.
By studying and discussing the ethical standards in relation to interpersonal, organizational and cultural communication, students learn how to manage communications for organizations in ways that are not only compelling and effective, but also socially responsible and conducive to building further trust between individuals as well as between organizations and the public. Through the course content in managing and negotiating conflict resolutions and utilizing modern tools for strategic crisis communication responses, students also gain valuable skills in ensuring that organizations meet the communication needs of their employees, stakeholders, and the general public.
The program culminates in either a thesis or communication project. Both are based on the student’s professional and academic areas of interest, and students benefit from the guidance and feedback of a committee of faculty members regardless of which option they choose. While the thesis is an original piece of research scholarship that seeks to answer a targeted research question in the field of communication, the communication project can take different forms and have more creative elements. For both options, students must conduct intensive research on a communication topic of personal and professional significance, and present their final project or thesis to the members of their department.
Stevenson University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities.
Online Master of Science in Communication Studies
Department: Stevenson University Online
Specializations/Concentrations: General Program
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction and the Blackboard learning management system
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 18-24 months depending on whether students take courses during the summer
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis or communication project
Credits Required: 36 credits (11 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Theory and Applications; Research Writing and Methods; Cultures and Communication; Interpersonal Communication; Nonverbal Communication; Contemporary Organizations and Communication; Crisis Communication
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission
Estimated Tuition: ~$24,120 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $670 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states