Idaho has two schools, Boise State University and Idaho State University, that offer a total of three master’s in communication programs, all of which are offered on-campus. Between the three programs, students have a choice between a variety of specializations, including organizational communication, communication and media studies, and technical communication. Both Boise State University and Idaho State University are non-profit institutions that are regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Idaho

Boise State University’s Department of Communication and Media offers a Master of Arts in Communication program with focus areas in Relational and Organizational Studies, Critical/Cultural Studies, and Media Studies. Students in this program complete core classes in communication research methods and essential theories of communication before progressing to their concentration coursework. Depending on their selected focus area, students may take electives covering topics such as organizational communication, rhetoric in civic life, interpersonal communication, media and politics, and media theory and criticism. After completing their core and concentration classes, students must complete a Graduate Culminating Activity, which can be in the form of a master’s thesis, an applied project, or a comprehensive examination. Throughout their enrollment, students of the program receive support from a Supervisory Committee which includes their major advisor and other faculty members who advise students on their study plan and Graduate Culminating Activity.

Boise State University’s English Department also offers a Master of Arts in Technical Communication, which educates students in the different forms of technical communication and the professional contexts in which they are used, which not only include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, but also cognitive psychology, sociology, linguistics, and cultural studies. Students in this program also learn how to manage multimedia forms of communication, including written communication, digital design, and web development. Core courses cover topics such as rhetorical theory for professional writing, technical rhetoric and editing, visual technical communication, and optimizing user experience. Students then choose electives in areas such as software documentation writing, proposal development and writing, writing for online communities, technical publications management, and developments in print documentation.

Idaho State University’s Department of Communication, Media, & Persuasion offers a Master of Arts in Communication program that gives students significant flexibility in their course selections, so that they can tailor the program according to their academic interests and professional goals. Students in this program collaborate with an advisor to develop a course of study that meets the program’s graduation requirements while also fulfilling students’ learning objectives. At the beginning of the program, students must take a course on graduate research methods in communication, as well as a seminar in communication, after which they can select among elective courses in areas such as group communication, public relations writing, advertising strategy, media planning, mass communication, rhetorical criticism, and management communication. Students are also required to complete either a graduate degree paper or a master’s thesis.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Students in Idaho

For students who do not live near Boise or Pocatello, for example, students who live in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, or Coeur d’Alene, or for students who cannot commute to campus, online programs provide access to a graduate education. At present, there are no in-state schools in Idaho that offer online master’s in communication programs. However, many out-of-state colleges and universities offer online graduate programs in communication that accept students from Idaho.

(Note: For students who live in Coeur d’Alene, Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA offers an on-campus and an online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies program.)

Prospective students interested in online master’s in communication programs should note that schools outside of Idaho that wish to offer programs to Idaho residents must typically apply and receive authorization from the state’s board of education. For students interested in online programs, it is recommended to confirm with each school of interest that they accept students from Idaho before applying.

In addition, some online master’s in communication programs include mandatory on-campus intensives, also known as campus residencies. Campus intensives are typically held at the school’s main campus, and span multiple days ranging from a weekend to a week or longer. During these events, students may attend in-person lectures and discussions and/or engage in networking events, written or practical examinations, and hands-on learning activities. Campus intensives and residencies vary from program to program. Students are responsible for the lodging and travel costs, and should take these additional expenses into consideration when researching and selecting programs, as these costs are not typically included in tuition estimates.

Master’s in Communication Programs in Idaho

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.

Boise State University


Idaho State University

Department: Department of Communication, Media, & Persuasion