The University of Denver’s University College offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Communication Management that can be completed entirely online or through a combination (or hybrid) of online and on-campus classes. University College is the University of Denver’s college that focuses on continuing education and professional studies. Therefore, programs are career-focused and designed for working adults. They also use asynchronous instruction to provide students with greater flexibility to view course materials and complete assignments at times that work best for them, as opposed to programs that require students to be online for live lectures or discussions (also known as synchronous instruction).
The MA in Communication Management requires 48 credit hours, which can be completed in as few as 18 months. The program is broad in nature, covering major areas of professional communication and organizational leadership, including organizational communication, digital communication, interpersonal negotiation, storytelling, and more. Students learn how to develop and implement communication plans, shape innovative and inclusive communication strategies, and leverage data for problem solving in the workplace.
Students may select from six academic concentrations: Organizational Communication, Organizational Development, Marketing Communication, Public Relations, User Experience Strategy, and Learning and Development. All concentrations share a similar curriculum structure, dividing classes between core coursework, concentration courses, electives, and a capstone or portfolio project. However, specific program requirements vary from by concentration.
Core coursework is the same for each concentration, introducing students to communication theory, research practices, and history of the communication profession. These classes include Applied Critical Thinking in Communication, Experiential Learning in Communication Management, and Storytelling Through Research and Measurement. From there, students progress to their concentration courses, and their electives, which they may choose from the Communication Management program or from another program offered by University College (with the academic director’s approval). Finally, students’ last core course requirement is their Capstone Project or Portfolio Capstone course.
Students use the foundational training in core classes to prepare for advanced concentration coursework. Details on each concentration option are included below:
- Learning and Development: Curriculum is split between core classes (4), concentration classes (5) and electives (3). Designed to provide students with skills in employee training, organizational leadership, and integrating technology into effective learning and team-building, this concentration features courses in Effective Facilitation and Presentation, Managing Learning in Organizations, Instructional Design, Adult Learning Strategies and Theories, and Integrating Learning and Development Technologies. Students study strategies used in adult learning, developing skillsets to improve employee performance through evaluation practices, learning program design, learning measurement, and individualized learning initiatives.
- Marketing Communication: Curriculum is divided between core classes (4), concentration classes (5) and electives (3). Students learn how to create, implement, and measure integrated marketing campaigns, using targeted audience analysis to fashion sophisticated messaging across media platforms (e.g. social, mobile, email, etc.). Concentration classes include Marketing Strategy and Process, Brand Management Strategies, Business Fundamentals for Communicators, Marketing Analytics, and Digital Marketing Communication.
- Organizational Communication: Curriculum is divided between core classes (4), concentration classes (6), and elective courses (2). Students take courses in Effective Facilitation and Presentation, Business Fundamentals for Communicators, Persuasion and Influence, Managing Organizational Change, Conflict Resolution Strategies and Process, and Building High-Performing Teams. These courses teach students how to oversee and optimize employee and team dynamics within complex organizations through effective communication and mediation tactics, training, personnel selection, and influential rhetoric.
- Organizational Development: Curriculum is divided between core classes (4), concentration classes (5) and electives (3). Students study organizational and individual performance in the context of organizational development, learning how to use technology to facilitate improved workplace communications. Concentration classes include Business Fundamentals for Communicators, Organizational Culture and Organizational Development Impacts, Fundamentals of Organizational Development, Team Interventions, and Evaluate and Sustain Change. These classes give students knowledge and skills in structuring teams, departments, and organizations for optimal productivity, performance, and morale.
- Public Relations: Curriculum is split between core classes (4), concentration classes (6) and electives (2). Students explore contemporary practices in public relations, learning how to use mass and social media platforms, assess public relations campaigns, create persuasive content, and manage an organization’s reputation and identity. Concentration classes include Persuasion and Influence, Public Relations Writing and Tactics, Public Relations Strategies and Process, Ethics in Public Relations, Dimensions of Reputation Management, and Media Channels and Technology. These courses give students the interdisciplinary training to design and deploy effective public relations campaigns for diverse organizations.
- User Experience Strategy: Curriculum is split between core classes (4), concentration classes (5), and elective courses (3). Students gain key skills in user experience strategies, methods, and technologies, while also learning how to oversee teams working on user experience projects. Concentration classes include UX Strategies and Methods, UX Team Management, Service Design, Marketing Analytics, and Developing Content for UX. Through these classes, students learn how to balance communication form and content to create interactive, accessible, and actionable user experiences for diverse products, services, and organizations.
The program culminates with either a capstone project or portfolio. The capstone project allows a student to research an area of professional interest, apply their knowledge of core concepts from the master’s degree and develop a critical research project. The portfolio capstone requires students to review and reflect upon projects they completed during their master’s degree coursework and to assemble those projects into a portfolio. Students must think critically about their learning experiences in the program and how their accomplishments and coursework translate to their professional goals.
The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Online Master of Arts in Communication Management
Department: University College (College of Professional and Continuing Studies)
Specializations/Concentrations: Concentrations in Learning and Development; Marketing Communication; Organizational Communication; Organizational Development; Public Relations, User Experience Strategy
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction through the Canvas learning management system
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 18 to 24 months, students have up to 5 years to finish program
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone portfolio or capstone project
Credits Required: 48 credits (12 courses)
Example Courses: Applied Critical Thinking in Communication; Business Fundamentals for Communicators; Research, Measurement, and Storytelling; Digital Marketing Communication; Fundamentals of Organizational Development
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.5 (or 2.5 in last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits)
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Four start dates per year (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer)
Estimated Tuition*: ~$32,928 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $686 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states