There are currently 10 schools in Michigan offering a total of 15 master’s in communication programs. Of these 15 programs, 12 are campus-based, and three are online. Students researching master’s in communication programs in Michigan can choose from a variety of specializations, including concentrations in integrated marketing communication, health communication, journalism, and media studies. All the schools featured 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 Michigan
Andrews University’s School of Graduate Studies’ Department Visual Art, Communication, and Design in Berrien Springs offers a Master of Arts in Communication. Students in this program can choose one of four areas of emphasis: Communication Management, Interdisciplinary Communication, International/Humanitarian Development Communication, and Media Studies. The Degree Core for this program includes classes in communication theory and research, as well as a course on Christian communication, worldview, and ethics. Students choose electives based on their concentration; for example, students of the Communication Management concentration may take classes covering concepts in leadership communication, operations management, and organizational behavior and leadership, while students of the International Communication Development concentration may take classes in international business management, education for sustainable development, and program planning and needs assessments. Students must also complete a Culminating Experience consisting of a comprehensive exam and either a production project of a master’s thesis.
Central Michigan University’s College of Graduate Studies in Mount Pleasant has a Master of Arts in Communication that is a generalist program with electives that students can use to tailor their program of study. Students can take classes in communication research design, contemporary communication theory, rhetorical criticism, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, and professional communication. Students have the option of taking a comprehensive examination or completing a master’s thesis as their final graduation requirement.
Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Department of English Language and Literature in Ypsilanti offers a Master of Arts in Written Communication with emphases in Professional Writing and the Teaching of Writing. Students of the Teaching of Writing concentration have core courses in rhetorical theory, computers and writing, literacy and literacy instruction, and essential concepts in the theory and practice of writing and writing instruction. They then delve deeper into topics in the teaching of writing and English education through their electives, and subsequently complete either a thesis, a master’s writing project, or a teaching internship in research and/or professional writing. The Professional Writing track has core classes in the rhetoric of science and technology, public relations writing, technical writing and research, and the theory and practice of writing, along with elective courses that cover more advanced topics in technical and professional communication. Students in this track have a choice between completing a thesis, a master’s writing project, or an internship.
EMU’s School of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts offers a Master of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Communication Studies and Interpretation/Performance Studies. Students of this program take core classes covering topics in communication theory, research, and inquiry, followed by electives in the theories of persuasion, negotiation, activism and change communication, organizational communication, health communication, community communication, and conflict mediation. Students must also choose between a comprehensive exam, a thesis, or a master’s project as their culminating experience for their program.
Grand Valley State University’s School of Communications offers a Master of Science in Communication Studies, which is a generalist program that includes core classes in systems theory and communication, communication law, communication management, leadership and organizational dynamics, telecommunication, and professional communication ethics and methods. Students then take electives in small group communication, network analysis, or special topics in communication, and also have the option of taking graduate-level classes in public administration, business, and other areas that are related to communication and communication leadership.
Michigan State University’s (MSU) College of Communication Arts and Sciences in East Lansing offers a Master of Arts in Communication with two tracks–a thesis track for students seeking to pursue a PhD post-graduation, and a comprehensive examination option for students who want to pursue a career in communication immediately after their master’s program. Within these two tracks, students can choose a focus area in Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Mediated Communication, Persuasion and Social Influence, Political Communication, or Intercultural Communication.
Students of the thesis track take core courses in communication theory, quantitative research methods, communication theory, and communication research, while students of the comprehensive exam track take core courses in communication theory and quantitative research. Students then take electives in areas such as communication in close relationships, mass communication theory and practice, organizational communication, mass communication and public health, health communication, cross-cultural communication, and persuasion. There is also an optional specialization in Non-Profit Fundraising that requires students to take courses in philanthropy, fundraising, and consumer behavior, and to complete a practicum in a non-profit or philanthropic setting.
MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the College of Human Medicine offers a Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication that gives students an interdisciplinary understanding of health communication and risk communication principles and methods, and how to promote public health in organizational settings such as hospitals, private companies, and government agencies. Students in this program take courses in mass communication and public health, epidemiology, health communication, media relations, science writing, and research methods. Students must also complete an internship and a written comprehensive examination.
Beginning in the Fall of 2018, MSU will also offer a campus-based version of its Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication (which is described in detail in the section below on online programs). This program prepares students to plan and implement strategic communication initiatives for a variety of organizations, including corporations and non-profits. Courses in this program cover topics in persuasive rhetoric in professional settings, digital media strategies and content creation, organizational communication and leadership, crisis communication, communication ethics, and branding. In addition to their courses, students also complete a capstone project that provides them with the opportunity to apply the concepts they learn in class to a practical project that incorporates new digital media technologies.
Oakland University’s Department of Communication and Journalism in Rochester offers a Master of Arts in Communication with specializations in Culture and Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Media Studies. Core classes in this program cover topics in graduate studies in communication, philosophy of communication studies, and qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication. Students then take classes specific to their concentration. For example, students concentrating in Culture and Communication may take classes in communication and cultural citizenship, the rhetoric of popular culture, and feminist rhetorical theory, while students of the Interpersonal Communication concentration may take classes in family communication, classroom communication, advanced interpersonal communication, and non-verbal communication. As the culmination of their degree program, students must complete either a master’s thesis, a comprehensive exam, or a creative project.
Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences in University Center offers a Master of Arts in Communication & Media Administration that prepares students to understand and engage in contemporary professional communications and organizational dynamics within corporations, non-profit associations, government agencies, and other settings. Students can choose to focus in Communication Environments, Digital Media Practices, or Communication Administration. Core classes in this program cover media and meaning, organizational leadership, and communication research. After their core classes, students take courses according to their concentration, which can include classes in intercultural communication, multimedia software, collaborative design, conflict management in organizations, communication issues in emerging technologies, and cultural studies of new media. All students are required to complete a capstone course that culminates in a written comprehensive examination on concepts in human communication theory and practice.
Wayne State University’s Department of Communication in Detroit offers a Master of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Communication Studies, Journalism, Media Arts, Media Studies, and Public Relations and Organizational Communication. Students’ core and elective classes differ depending on their selected concentration. For example, students of the Communication Studies emphasis must take core classes in graduate studies in communication, communication theory and methods, rhetorical analysis, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. They can then take classes in the theory of argumentation, communication and culture, feminist rhetorical criticism, and new media theory. Students of the Journalism concentration take core classes in the history of American journalism, diversity issues in journalism and reporting, and the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, and can subsequently take courses covering media’s impact on society, mass media and political communication, media management, documentary films, investigative reporting, and more.
Western Michigan University’s School of Communication in Kalamazoo offers a Master of Arts in Communication, which is a generalist program with electives that students can choose from to customize their program of study. For their core classes, students take classes in mass communication, organizational communication, and interpersonal communication, along with courses that cover the fundamentals of communication research and theory. After these classes, students can select courses in mass communication, conflict management, group communication, and advanced topics in organizational communication. Students have a choice between completing a professional project or a master’s thesis as their program’s final graduation requirement.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of Michigan
Currently there are three in-state schools that offer online master’s in communication programs. Online programs may be ideal for students who live in Northern Michigan and Upper Michigan who are not in commuting distance to a campus-based program, and who do not want to relocate for graduate school. (Currently, Northern Michigan University in Marquette does not offer a master’s in communication program.) Online programs are also an option for students who live near a campus-based program but need the flexibility of an online program due to personal or professional reasons.
Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences offers an Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication that prepares communication professionals for creating effective messaging within organizations, and optimizing communications between organizations and the larger public. Classes in this program cover concept in digital media strategies, organizational communication for leaders, communication ethics, digital content creation and promotion, crisis communication, strategic messaging, and strategies for persuasion. In addition to required courses, students must also complete a capstone project.
Spring Arbor University’s SAU Online department offers an Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership program that prepares students for careers in a variety of communication fields, such as corporate communications and marketing and public relations. Students take courses in communication theory, communication research, interpersonal communication, mass communication and technology, communication and culture, ethics and legal considerations in communication, advertising and public relations, and communication leadership.
In addition to the online programs offered by in-state universities, residents of Michigan who are interested in online master’s in communication programs may wish to explore out-of-state online programs as well. Out-of-state online programs may be good options for students who wish to explore programs with specializations other than the ones offered by Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Spring Arbor University. For more information on online programs, potential geographical restrictions for online students, and fully online versus programs that require limited campus visits, please reference of Online Master’s in Communication Programs page.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Michigan
Andrews University(Berrien Springs)
Central Michigan University(Mount Pleasant)
Eastern Michigan University(Ypsilanti)
Grand Valley State University(Grand Rapids)
Michigan State University(East Lansing)
Masters of Arts in Communication (with Focus Areas in Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Mediated Communication, Persuasion and Social Influence, Political Communication, and Intercultural Communication; and an Optional Specialization in Nonprofit Fundraising)
Saginaw Valley State University(University Center)
Spring Arbor University(Spring Arbor)
Wayne State University(Detroit)
Western Michigan University(Kalamazoo)