Arkansas has three schools that offer a total of nine master’s in communication programs. Of these six programs, six are campus-based, and three are online. Specializations available to students vary between programs, but examples of possible specializations include strategic communication, mass communication, public relations, and health communication. All the schools listed on this page are non-profit institutions that have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Arkansas
Arkansas State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master of Science in Mass Communications. Their MA in Communication program includes courses covering topics such as organizational communication, interpersonal communication, small group dynamics, health communication, public relations, and crisis communication. The MS in Mass Communications prepares students for scholarly research in the field of communication research and the study of how mass media reaches and impacts large populations. Within the MS program, students can select a degree emphasis in Journalism or Radio/TV.
The University of Arkansas’ J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Communication with a focus in Civic Engagement that prepares students to improve communications within organizations, between organizations and the public, and within communities. Students can select courses covering a wide range of topics, including legal and political communication, global and intercultural communication, health communication, representing diversity in media, content analysis and criticism, and issues of race and gender.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s (UALR) Department of Applied Communication offers a Master of Arts in Applied Communication Studies, while its School of Mass Communication offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communication. The MA in Applied Communication Studies trains students in six areas of communication: organizational communication, interpersonal communication, conflict mediation, crisis communication, and experiential learning. After completing the core courses, students have the option of either focusing in Health Communication or choosing electives that match their career interests and goals. The MA in Mass Communication trains students to understand and evaluate mass media and its effect on large populations, conduct research in mass communication, and create effective mass communication strategies. The program offers a Mass Media Research track for students who wish to study and analyze scholarly research on mass communication, and a Professional Mass Media track that allows students to specialize in either Multi-platform Journalism or Strategic Communication/Public Relations. Courses that students can take within the MA in Mass Communication program cover topics such as mass communication processes, media criticism, quantitative research for journalism, public relations case studies, non-profit communication, journalism history, international mass communication, and internet policy and regulation.
In addition, UALR offers a Master of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing through its Department of Rhetoric and Writing. This program has both campus-based and fully online options, and also allows students to take a combination of online and campus-based classes in order to create their own hybrid format program. This degree has three concentration options in Editing, Nonfiction Writing, and Technical Writing. Regardless of their concentration, all students take the same core courses that cover essential rhetorical theory and research methods, as well as their choice of composition theory, language theory, and the theory of technical communication. From there, students have a the flexibility to craft a set of 15 hours of electives in consultation with their advisor, mix and matching courses from across the three concentration options in order to develop a program of study that meets their professional goals. Students also take six credit hours of cognate courses, which enable them to explore classes outside of the Rhetoric and Writing Department and develop complementary skill sets and insight into areas such as graphic design, computer science, linguistics, management, and political science. For their culminating experience, students have the option to complete a thesis, an applied project and accompanying analytical essay, or an extensive portfolio.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs in Arkansas
At present, Arkansas State University and University of Arkansas at Little Rock are the only schools in the state that offer online master’s in communication programs. Arkansas State University offers an Online Master of Science in Strategic Communications with an optional Emphasis in Technology Law and Policy. This program prepares students to apply strategic communication principles and methods to drive solutions to organizational and business challenges. Students of this program take courses in communication policy and regulation, media entrepreneurship, audience market analysis, advertising account management, strategic communication, and quantitative research methods before progressing to their electives. Elective courses cover topics such as social media, crisis communication, and integrated marketing communication. The Emphasis in Technology Law and Policy requires students to take specific courses in U.S. and E.U. data protections and regulations, privacy law, intellectual property law, and information technology law.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers an online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a Mass Media Research Option and a Professional Mass Media Option with Tracks in Multi-Platform Journalism, or Strategic Communication/Public Relations. The curriculum, specialization options, and graduation requirements for the online version of the program are equivalent to those of the campus-based degree program. In addition, UALR offers an online version of its Master of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing, which is equivalent in course content, final graduation requirements, and faculty mentorship opportunities to the campus-based program.
In addition to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s and Arkansas State University’s online programs, there are several out-of-state online master’s in communication programs that accept residents of Arkansas. This may be especially important for students in Arkansas who reside far from either campus, or for students who want to specialize in a field not offered through these schools’ online programs. Prospective students should keep in mind that some online programs may require them to attend one or more on-campus intensives during the program. These campus intensives vary in length, and aim to give students the opportunity to interact with course faculty and peers, and engage in hands-on learning experiences and networking events. Please visit our Online Master’s in Communication Programs page for more information.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Arkansas
Arkansas State University(Jonesboro)
University of Arkansas(Fayetteville)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock(Little Rock)
Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication (with a Mass Media Research Option, and a Professional Mass Media Option with Tracks in Multi-Platform Journalism, or Strategic Communication/Public Relations)