Washington, D.C. has five schools offering a total of 17 master’s in communication programs, 11 of which are on-campus, and five of which are online. In addition, within the 17 programs, several offer multiple specializations within the field of communication. Individual programs vary in the type and number of specializations they offer students, but examples of specializations include corporate and organizational communication, political communication, global communication, public relations and media relations, and health communication. All schools listed on this page are non-profit institutions that have received regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. has numerous universities offering master’s in communication programs. American University’s (AU) School of Communication has a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication that includes four optional concentrations: Advocacy and Social Impact, Digital Strategies & Analytics, Corporate Communication & Reputation Management, and Public Diplomacy & Global Affairs. Students in this program take core classes in the principles of strategic communication, writing methods for strategic communication, and communication theory and research, then progress to a variety of electives that allow them to tailor their degree program to their interests in strategic communication, such as social media marketing, communication for social change, health communication strategies, web development, and multimedia skills.

AU’s School of Public Affairs and the School of Communication jointly offer a Master of Arts in Political Communication. This program includes classes in political communication principles and strategies, political writing, American public policy, communication theory, advocacy, and campaign management. Students then choose electives in areas such as speechwriting, digital advocacy, or foreign policy communications and journalism.

Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academics Programs offers a Master of Arts in Communication with optional concentrations in Applied Research in Communication, Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, and Corporate and Non-Profit Communication. Core classes give students a foundation in quantitative and qualitative communication research methods, research writing, persuasive rhetoric, and behavior change through communication. Electives for the program include courses in organizational communication, social media and digital media, political communication strategy, public affairs communication, advertising and brand development, media relations, crisis communication, and national and international media relations.

George Washington University (GW) offers several master’s programs in communication through different schools and departments. GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication Management, which prepares students to create and implement communication plans for organizations’ internal and external-facing communications. This program has core courses in persuasive rhetoric, communication theory, leadership in communication, and professional communication across different industries. Students also take courses in statistics, behavioral science, and social psychology. Electives for this program allow students to tailor their program according to their interests, and include courses in intercultural communication, health communication, organizational leadership, conflict mediation, and team leadership.

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Media & Public Affairs (SMPA) also offers a Master of Arts in Media & Strategic Communication, which aims to prepare communication professionals for work in political communication and media strategies. Core courses in the program cover topics in strategic political communication, communication data analytics, public relations in politics, crisis communication, and social media. For their electives, students can choose courses from both the SMPA and other departments at the school, with their advisor’s approval.

GW also offers a Master of Arts in Global Communication through the SMPA and the Elliot School of International Affairs. Students in this program take a combination of courses in global communication and its impact on international governments, security, and business, as well as classes in strategic communication, international politics and economics, intercultural communication, public speaking, and communication research methods. After completing the core curriculum, students can choose between 12 specializations that prepare them to manage communications concerning a global issue or a major region of the world, such as Communication and Informational Technology in International Affairs, Global Health, Public Diplomacy, Asian Studies, or Middle East Studies.

Georgetown University’s offers five campus-based Master of Arts programs in communication through different schools and departments. Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies offers a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations & Corporate Communications with focus areas in Cause Communications, Corporate Communications, Digital Communications, and Public Relations. This program prepares students to engage in clear, effective, and ethical communications for a variety of organizations. Students take courses in communications planning, public relations strategy, communication research, and communication ethics before progressing to electives in such areas as corporate communications, advocacy and public mobilization, digital measurement and analytics, and leadership in communication.

Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies also offers a Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), which includes intensive core coursework in consumer behavior research, brand development, marketing campaign planning and implementation. After students complete the core curriculum, they can select electives in areas that match their professional goals, such as career planning, digital marketing, personal branding, and integrating marketing campaign management. The Public Relations & Corporate Communications and the Integrated Marketing Communications programs are also both offered in a hybrid format where students can combine on-campus and online courses.

For communication executives and leaders in the space who want to enhance and update their skills in the field, Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies also offers an Executive Master’s in Global Strategic Communications. This hybrid program combines online courses in global communication leadership and international communication strategy with week-long residencies in Washington, D.C. as well as international locations in London, Singapore, and Sao Paolo.

Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Communication, Culture and Technology that allows students to design their curriculum according to their own interdisciplinary interests. The program offers clusters of courses that focus on particular areas within communication and technology, and students can choose to take courses across these different focus clusters to achieve the balance of skills and knowledge that matches their career goals. These clusters are Research Methods, Cultural Studies, Globalization Studies, Art, Media, and Representation, Media and Politics, Technology and Society, Technology, Business, and the Economy, and Technology, Information, and Innovation Policy.

Finally, Georgetown University’s Linguistics Department offers a Master of Arts in Language and Communication that allows students to explore and analyze sociolinguistics and discourse across cultures and narrative forms. Students take courses in general linguistics, phonetics, and phonology, before progressing to advanced courses in sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, language and politics, and discourse analysis.

Trinity Washington University’s School of Business and Graduate Studies offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Public Relations that prepares students to become effective managers of communications and public relations for organizations. This program includes courses in media history, multiculturalism in the media, communication law and ethics, social media marketing and public relations, digital media campaigns, and crisis management.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs in Washington, D.C.

At present, three universities in Washington, D.C. offer online options for their master’s in communication programs. American University’s School of Communication offers an Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication with an optional concentration in Advocacy and Social Impact. This program is equivalent to the University’s campus-based MA in Strategic Communication, in terms of structure, curriculum, and graduation requirements.

Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies offers online versions of two of the University’s master’s in communication programs. The Online Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations & Corporate Communication, and Online Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications have the same curriculum, thesis requirements, and other graduation requirements as their on-campus counterparts.

Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication with the same optional concentrations as its on-campus program (Applied Research in Communication, Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, and Corporate and Non-Profit Communication). The curriculum and graduation requirements between the campus and online programs are also equivalent.

Master’s in Communication Programs in Washington, DC

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.

The George Washington University

(Washington)
Department: Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication
Programs: Department: Elliott School of International Affairs
Programs: Department: School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA)
Programs:

Trinity Washington University

(Washington)
Department: School of Business and Graduate Studies
Programs: