There are currently eight schools in Kentucky that offer a total of 12 master’s in communication programs, eight of which are campus-based, and four of which are online. Among these 12 programs, students can choose specializations ranging from organizational communication to health communication and mass communication. All schools listed on this page are non-profit educational institutions that have been regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Kentucky
Schools throughout Kentucky offer master’s in communication programs with a wide variety of specialization options. Asbury University’s School of Communication Arts, located in Wilmore, offers a Master of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Digital Storytelling. This program defines itself as a hybrid program, in that it blends online courses with an in-person apprenticeship and options for campus-based classes during the year. The number of courses students can take online in this program is dependent on their undergraduate background in communication/media, and their professional media experience (students with no media experience or undergraduate education in this field must take on-campus classes). Courses in this program have a storytelling emphasis, and cover topics in storytelling, deconstructing documentaries, marketing strategies, screenwriting, media ethics, business media, multimedia storytelling, film making, and communication research.
Bellarmine University’s School of Communication in Louisville offers a Master of Arts in Communication with an optional concentration in Health Care. Required core courses for this program include classes in communication theory and academic literature, intercultural communication, digital media studies, communication ethics, research methods in communication, and media studies. Students then take elective classes according to their interests, in areas such as strategic communication, political communication, leadership communication, global communication, social change campaigns, and intercultural communication. Students who elect to pursue the optional Health Care Concentration take electives in communication and health technology, designing health promotion programs, statistics and program evaluation, and health behavior change theory.
Murray State University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications offers a Master’s in Mass Communications with an optional Concentration in Public Relations. Students in this program can elect to earn either a Master of Science or a Master of Arts in Communication. This program requires courses that cover topics in mass communication theory, philosophical concepts and ethical issues in mass media, American journalism, global mass communications, and mass media as an industry. Students can then choose from courses in areas such as new media, advertising and public relations, media and its interactions with culture and gender dynamics, strategic communications, and internship and study abroad opportunities. Students who select the Public Relations concentration can choose from specialization courses in crisis communication, marketing planning, and social entrepreneurship.
Murray State University’s Department of Organizational Communication offers a Master’s in Organizational Communication that prepares students to engage in daily professional communications, human resources tasks, employee training and education, and public relations responsibilities for corporate, non-profit, and other organizational settings. As with the Master’s in Mass Communications, students can choose whether to earn a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. Students in this program take classes that explore communication technology in organizational settings, conflict mediation strategies, interpersonal communication, organizational communication principles, research in organizational communication, and communication in training and educational contexts.
Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Communication, located in Highland Heights, offers a Master of Arts in Communication with focus areas in Applied Communication, Professional Communication, Organizational Communication, and Corporate Communication. This degree program prepares students to assess the impact of communication technologies on society, research issues and developments in the field of communication, design and implement compelling communication campaigns, and teach communication-related concepts at the higher education level. Students in this program complete core courses in communication theory, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and organizational and interpersonal communication. They then progress to electives in areas such as intercultural communication, digital media, rhetorical and media criticism, health communication, documentary analysis and production, gender and communication, communication ethics, organizational communication and culture, social informatics, and communication pedagogy.
The University of Kentucky’s Department of Communication, located in Lexington, offers a Master of Arts in Communication with areas of specialization in Health Communication, Instructional Communication, Media and Mass Communication, Risk and Crisis Communication, Strategic and Organizational Communication. This program prepares students for work for corporations, non-profits, journalism and mass media organizations, and other settings that require a strong understanding of communication’s role in society and how to optimize communication strategies for different scenarios. Students take classes in communication theory, quantitative research methods in communication, mass communication theory, and mass communications and society. They then have the option to complete either a master’s thesis or additional elective coursework to finish their degree.
The University of Louisville’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Interactional Communication, Integrated Communication, and Social Advocacy. Students take core classes in communication ethics, qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication, and communication theory and methods. After these core classes, students must choose one Interactional Communication course (course selections include interpersonal communication, health communication, risk communication, organizational communication, and corporate communication), one Integrated Communication course (for example, computer-mediated communication, mass communication, public relations and crisis management), and one course in social advocacy (which includes selections in public discourse, multicultural communication, conflict management, and public communication campaigns). After completing the core program requirements, students progress to electives and also must complete either a master’s thesis for credit or a graduate-level practicum in an area that is relevant to their course of study.
Western Kentucky University’s Department of Communication in Bowling Green offers a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. In addition to having a variety of advanced coursework in organizational communication topics, this program also has electives that focus on human communication. Students of this program take core courses in organizational communication theory and qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication before progressing to electives in organizational communication and/or human communication, which include courses in areas such as employee communication, crisis communication, organizational communication and culture, group communication, multinational and intercultural communication, power dynamics in organizations, conflict mediation, family communication, and interpersonal communication. Students have a choice of completing either a master’s thesis culminating in an oral defense, or a comprehensive examination along with additional coursework.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of Kentucky
Currently, four schools in Kentucky offer online master’s in communication programs. Online programs maybe ideal for students who do not live near a campus-based program and do not want to relocate for graduate school. This includes students who live in Owensboro and Henderson, or students who live in Southeast Kentucky.
Morehead State University’s Department of Communication, Media, and Languages offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication, which is a generalist program with electives that students can take according to their interests and professional objectives. Courses that are a part of this program cover topics in news media and public opinion, organizational communication and behavior, public speaking, intercultural communication, media criticism, and bibliographic research and writing. Students can choose between completing a master’s thesis on a communication-related issue that interests them, or complete additional electives to fulfill this graduation requirement.
Asbury University’s School of Communication Arts offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication for Media Professionals, which, like its campus-based program, also has an emphasis in Digital Storytelling. This program is equivalent in course content and structure to its campus/hybrid program. Murray State University’s Department of Organizational Communication also offers an Online Master’s in Organizational Communication that is equivalent to its campus-based program in terms of course content and sequencing, as well as graduation requirements.
Finally, the University of Kentucky’s School of Information Science offers an Online Master of Science in Information Communication Technology with tracks in Health, Technology and Analytics, and Policy and Regulation. Students in this program learn about how computer technology, software, telecommunications, and other information systems technologies impact communications between organizations and the public, between organizations, and within individuals in the community. They also receive training in how to leverage these technologies for different kinds of communication initiatives. Classes in this program cover topics such as information communication technology in society, leadership in informatics, data science, knowledge management, information architecture, security informatics, public health, medical informatics, technology and digital citizenship, cybercrime and digital law, and human and computer interaction.
In addition to online programs offered by schools in Kentucky, there are a number of out-of-state schools that offer online master’s in communication programs that accept students residing in Kentucky. An out-of-state program may be a good option for students who wish to explore more specializations than the ones offered by Ashbury University, Morehead State University and Murray State University provide in their online offerings. Prospective students should keep in mind that not all schools providing online master’s programs are authorized to accept students from Kentucky, therefore, students should check with admissions offices before applying to an out-of-state program to ensure that they accept students from Kentucky.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Kentucky
Morehead State University(Morehead)
Murray State University(Murray)
Northern Kentucky University(Highland Heights)
University of Kentucky(Lexington)
University of Louisville(Louisville)
Western Kentucky University(Bowling Green)