There are currently 16 schools in Illinois that offer a total of 29 master’s in communication programs. Of these 29 programs, 24 are campus-based, four are online, and one is an online-hybrid program. Specializations offered through these programs include those in organizational communication, global communication, strategic communication, technical communication, and communication studies. All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit educational institutions that have been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Illinois

In the northern Illinois region, there are several schools in Chicago, DeKalb, Evanston, and University Park that offer master’s in communication programs. In Chicago, DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and Loyola University Chicago offer master’s in communication programs, many of which have a wide variety of specializations for students to choose from. For example, DePaul University’s College of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication and Media with concentration options in Media and Cinema Studies, Multicultural Communication, Organizational Communication, and Relational Communication.

Some schools in Chicago offer programs with one choice of concentration, but with a degree of flexibility in terms of the classes students can take to fulfill their degree. Illinois Institute of Technology’s Lewis College of Human Sciences – Department of Humanities offers a Master of Science in Technical Communication and Information Architecture and Roosevelt University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC); both programs allow students to take a number of electives according to their interests in these fields.

In DeKalb, Northern Illinois University’s Department of Communication has a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with focus areas in Media Studies, Rhetoric and Public Communication, Journalism, and Interpersonal, Organizational, and Persuasive Communication. At both its Evanston and Chicago campuses, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications offers a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, while its School of Communication has a Master of Science in Health Communication and a Master of Science in Communication (MSC). The MSC program is an applied communication program that is offered in two formats: an on-campus version called the Custom Leadership program, and a Hybrid Leadership program that holds classes online but requires 3-5 campus visits for students to interact with course faculty and peers. Governors State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, located in University Park, offers a Master of Arts in Communication, Media, and Performance program.

In central Illinois, schools in Springfield, Normal, Urbana, and Charleston offer a wide variety of master’s in communication programs. The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Department of Communication has a generalist Master of Arts in Communication that allows students to customize their program of study. Illinois State University’s School of Communication in Normal also offers a generalist Master’s Degree in Communication, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication.

Eastern Illinois University’s Department of Communication Studies in Charleston has a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with concentrations in Strategic Communication, Human Communication Processes, and Critical/Cultural Studies, along with a Communication Pedagogy track for students who are interested in teaching post-graduation. In Macomb, Western Illinois University’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication that allows students to select courses that match their academic interests and professional goals.

In southern Illinois there are two schools that offer master’s in communication programs. Southern Illinois University (SIU) – Edwardsville’s Department of Applied Communication Studies has a Master of Communication in Applied Communication Studies with specialization options in Interpersonal Communication, Corporate and Organizational Communication, Health Communication, and Public Relations. SIU – Edwardsville’s Department of Mass Communications also offers a Master of Science in Integrative Studies – Marketing Communications and a Master of Science in Mass Communications with concentrations in Professional Media Practice and Media Studies. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale’s Department of Communication Studies offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with areas of study in Gender, Sexuality, and Relational Communication, Intercultural Communication and Pedagogy, Performance Studies, and Rhetoric and Society.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Students in Illinois

There are currently three in-state schools that offer online master’s in communication programs. Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications offers an online Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications that is similar to their campus-based Integrated Marketing Communications master’s degree program. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers two online master’s in communication programs: an Online Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication, and an Online Master of Science in Health Communication.

In addition to these offerings within the state of Illinois, there are numerous out-of-state schools that offer online master’s in communication programs that enroll students residing in Illinois. This may be a good option for students who live in Northwest Illinois where commuting to a campus-based program may not be ideal. In general, online programs are a good option for any students who cannot commute to campus for weekly classes due to either personal or professional reasons.

Individuals interested in online programs should note that not all online programs accept students from all 50 states, due to state authorizations. Schools providing online programs must obtain approval from all states from which they would like to accept students. Students should check with admissions advisors at their schools of interest to get the most up-to-date information regarding whether or not these schools’ accept students from Illinois.

For students interested in online programs, there are programs that are entirely online and do not require any campus visits. However, some online programs require students to attend on-campus events, also known as campus intensives. The format, length, and frequency of these campus-based sessions vary by program. For example, some online programs only require students to meet on-campus at the beginning of their enrollment for an orientation, while other programs require students to attend one or two campus intensive annually (either on-campus or at a third-party location). Due to the variances, students should thoroughly research their programs of interest to determine if they have any in-person requirements. In addition, students are typically responsible for travel and lodging expenses involved in attending these intensives, and therefore should factor these expenses into their program cost estimates and budget.

Master’s in Communication Programs in Illinois

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.

Governors State University

(University Park)

Illinois Institute of Technology

(Chicago)
Department: Lewis College of Human Sciences - Department of Humanities
Programs:

Loyola University Chicago

(Chicago)

Northeastern Illinois University

(Chicago)

Roosevelt University

(Chicago)
Department: College of Arts & Sciences
Programs:

University of Illinois at Springfield

(Springfield)
Department: Department of Communication
Programs:

Western Illinois University

(Macomb)