The University of Wisconsin-Parkside (UW-Parkside) offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Professional Communication through its Department of Communication. The program is fully online and does not require students to attend any campus-based classes. Students in the program can log on to UW-Parkside’s distance learning platform at their convenience to view pre-recorded lectures, complete assignments, and access a range of instructional materials and assets. Course instructors are also accessible via the learning management system.

The online MA in Professional Communication is a 30-credit graduate program that can be completed in as few as 12 months by students who enroll full-time. Courses are offered six times per year in seven-week terms. Full-time students take one or two courses per term, while those who opt for part-time enrollment can take one course at a time and still graduate in less than two years. The program’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for a broad range of communication roles, including work in advertising, marketing, public relations, social media, strategic communication, and technical writing. Among the topics and skills covered in the program are communication theory, grant and technical writing, formal presentation strategies, and the application of professional communication tools and techniques in organizational, community, and globally diverse contexts.

UW-Parkside’s online MA in Professional Communication program consists of seven required core courses (21 credits), including two courses in which students develop, complete, and present a master’s thesis or research project, and three electives (nine credits). Among the program’s core requirements are the following: Professional Communication; Critical Media Studies; Philosophy of Communication; Conflict Resolution for Personal and Social Development; and Enacting Leadership. These courses are designed to furnish students with the tools of media and communication scholarship and a theoretical framework for the application of communication principles and rhetorical skills in the professional workplace.

The elective courses that are offered as part of the program give students the opportunity to tailor their degree in alignment with their personal and professional goals. Among the electives offered by the program are courses in media technologies, specialized communication skills, and practical issues in organizational communication. Examples of these electives include: The Glass Ceiling: Gender in the Workplace; Grant Writing; Self-Reflective Communication in Civic Change; Human Machine Interface; Digital Media Production; Making Your Case: Strategies for Argumentation; and Dialogue: Productive Strategies.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Master of Arts in Professional Communication

Department: Department of Communication
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction - students can access coursework at any time
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in as few as 12 months
Start Dates: Six starts per year (two in Fall, Spring and Summer terms)

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 31 credit hours (11 courses including capstone)
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis or capstone project
Example Courses: Professional Communication; Critical Media Studies; Philosophy of Communication; Enacting Leadership; Digital Media Production; Self-Reflective Communication in Civic Change; Human Machine Interface

Admission Requirements
Application Requirements: Bachelor's degree; statement of purpose
GPA Requirements: Confirm with school to determine if there is a minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$19,461.80 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $627.80 Per Credit Hour

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states

*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.