The University of Southern California (USC) offers a Master of Communication Management program through its Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This graduate program can be completed entirely online and requires 32 credit hours of study. Students use an online learning management system (LMS) that supports asynchronous instruction, although some courses may have live webinars. The online LMS also contains tools to connect with peers and instructors, submit assignments, and review course materials.

The Master in Communication Management degree can be completed in 16 to 24 months of study, with a curriculum consisting of approximately eight classes. The program curriculum is grounded in evidence-based thinking and research, teaching students how to approach complex communication issues and construct data-driven solutions to address and solve those issues. The required coursework explores modern communication concepts and practices, introducing students to organizational communication theory, audience analysis, research methodologies, and communication strategies for digital media.

Overall, the coursework is geared towards helping students develop a real-world toolbox of applicable skills in communication management. The eight-class curriculum includes courses spread across a spectrum of communication topics. Example subjects include integrated communication strategies, global marketing communication, public relations, communication research, communication in work settings, corporate communication, and managing communication. Through this coursework, students develop skills in communication and organizational management, learn how to design communication models, and work toward becoming leaders in today’s digitally oriented communication industry.

Students also examine current trends in communication and emerging media, studying how data and analytics are reshaping the communication industry. Coursework in communication development and analysis helps inform students about today’s shifting attitudes towards media consumption, and how new media technologies and social media have altered consumers’ behaviors (both online and off). By combining textbook learning with applied research assignments, students have the opportunity to develop skills in designing, creating, implementing, and measuring integrated marketing communications plans across both traditional and digital media platforms.

In addition to this coursework, the program also requires students to complete a communication research practicum. This research-oriented capstone project allows students to select a communication issue or problem in their professional industry and work under the guidance of a faculty advisor to devise strategic solutions to address that issue or problem. The final product or deliverable for the capstone course is determined by each student’s specific project.

The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Online Master of Communication Management

Department: Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program mainly uses asynchronous instruction with some live webinars in each course
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 16 to 24 months

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Practicum and project
Credits Required: 32 credits (~8 courses)
Example Courses: Managing Communication; Strategic Corporate Communication; Integrated Marketing Communication Strategies; Communication in Work Settings; Communicating Strategy and Change

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Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE or GMAT required, waiver may be available for qualified applicants with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and 5 to 9 years of experience, or with 10+ years of experience
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states