There are 20 non-profit colleges and universities in the state of California that offer a total of 26 campus and online master’s in communication programs. Of the 26 programs, 22 are offered on-campus, while three are offered online. Students can choose from several different specializations, including strategic communication, communication studies, media studies, mass communication, organizational communication, health communication, and more.

All schools listed on this page are non-profit colleges and universities that are regionally accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in California

Colleges and Universities throughout California from California State University (CSU), Chico in Northern California to San Diego State University in Southern California offer master’s in communication programs. Nine CSU campuses offer programs in this field: Chico, East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Sacramento and San Bernardino. While some University of California campuses offer programs in communication, the programs they offered are for students interested in earning a doctorate in communication.

Students who live in the San Francisco Bay area have several options for campus-based programs. Cal State East Bay in Hayward, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, University of San Francisco, and the University of the Pacific in Stockton all offer programs. For example, Cal State East Bay offers a Master of Arts in Communication with optional clusters in Communication Studies, Media Studies, and Organizational and Interpersonal Communication. San Jose State University offers two programs: a Master of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master’s of Science in Mass Communications. The University of San Francisco offers a hybrid program that combines online and on-campus instruction.

In Southern California, there are also several options for students who live in or near the Greater Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Master’s in communication programs are offered by Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge and San Bernardino, Chapman University in Orange, and the University of Southern California (USC). CSU’s Fullerton campus offers two distinct programs: a Master of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master of Arts in Communication. The former prepares students for advanced (doctorate-level) research in communication theories and practices, while the latter focuses more on practical application of communication skills, strategies, and technologies in professional settings.

The remaining colleges in California that offer campus-based master’s in communication programs are Cal State Chico, Cal State Fresno, Cal State Sacramento, and San Diego State University.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs in California

There are three universities in California that offer online programs: California Baptist University whose campus is located in Riverside, National University whose head office is in La Jolla, and USC. Both California Baptist and National University only offer an online program, while USC offers both on-campus and online programs.

The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism offers four master’s in communication programs: an Online Master of Communication Management, a campus-based Master of Communication Management, a Master of Science in Communication Data Science, and a Master of Global Communication. While the campus-based Master of Communication Management program has several areas of focus, the online program has a more set curriculum that is categorized as a strategic communication program by

For students who live in parts of California that are not in close proximity to one of the 18 colleges and universities that offer master’s in communication programs in the state or who cannot commute to campus for personal or professional reasons, an online program may be ideal. In addition to the ones offered by California Baptist University, National University, and USC, there are several out-of-state programs that accept students from California. Check out our Online Master’s in Communication Programs page for more information about online programs. has created a comprehensive directory of master’s in communication programs offered by colleges in California. Each listing below includes department information including a link to the school’s website, programs and specializations offered by each school, and whether the school offers campus, online and/or hybrid programs.

Master’s in Communication Programs in California

Campus programs are defined as programs that have all of their instruction on campus, while Campus/Hybrid programs are defined as programs that blend on-campus and online/distance instruction, but whose courses are mostly campus-based. Online programs are defined as programs that are either 100% online with no campus visits, or those that require 1 to 2 campus visits per year. Online/Hybrid programs are defined as programs that require 3 to ~5 campus visits per year, with the rest of instruction taking place online.

California Baptist University

Department: Department of Communication Arts / Online and Professional Studies

California State University - Chico


California State University - East Bay


California State University - Fresno


California State University - Long Beach

(Long Beach)
Department: Department of Communication Studies

California State University - San Bernardino

(San Bernardino)

Chapman University

Department: School of Communication

Columbia University in San Francisco

(San Francisco)
Department: School of Professional Studies

National University

(La Jolla)
Department: College of Letters and Sciences

San Jose State University

(San Jose)
Department: Department of Communication Studies
Programs: Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications