There are currently three schools in Mississippi that offer a total of eight master’s in communication programs. Of these eight programs, six are campus-based, while two are online. Students researching master’s in communication programs in Mississippi can find programs with a wide variety of specialization options, including mass communication, public relations, journalism, health communication, and communication studies. All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit institutions of higher education that have been regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Mississippi
Jackson State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, offers a Master of Science in Mass Communication that prepares students for both theoretical analysis and practical application of mass communication theory and strategies. Core classes in the program cover essential concepts in mass communication, news journalism, and research methods in mass communication. After completing the core curriculum, students can choose electives in a wide variety of areas such as mass media research, television production, mass communication ethics, political communication and journalism, public relations, corporate communications, film criticism, politics and journalism, and advertising campaigns. In addition to fulfilling the required courses for graduation, students must also take and pass a comprehensive examination and complete either a master’s thesis or a capstone project.
Mississippi College’s (MC) Department of Communication in Clinton offers three different campus-based master’s in communication programs. Its Master of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and Corporate Communication prepares students to work as public relations professionals and specialists in corporate communications. Core classes cover public relations theory and practice, the process and impact of communication, theories and principles of persuasion, communication research, negotiation strategies, and media sales. Students also take classes from Mississippi College’s School of Business, including courses in business law and ethics, global corporate management, consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications and strategy, and e-commerce.
MC’s Department of Communication also offers a Master of Science in Communication – Integrated Communication with a General Program concentration and a Journalism Concentration. The Generalist track is the most flexible of Mississippi College’s master’s in communication degree programs, and allows students to choose electives according to their interests. Students of the Generalist program take core classes in public relations, communication research, the processes and impact of communication, and theories of persuasion, followed by electives in areas such as group communication dynamics, negotiation, advanced practices in public relations, intercultural communication, mass communication, interpersonal communication, journalism principles, media programming and management, and media sales. The Journalism track for this program has the same core classes as the Generalist program, but the electives have a journalism and public relations focus, and cover topics such as interviewing and reporting, public relations and periodicals writing, and journalism ethics.
Finally, MC offers a Master of Science in Communication – Professional Communication with concentration options in Health Services Administration and Sports. Both concentration options have the same communication core curriculum, which includes classes in public relations, communication research, persuasion theory and methods, and journalism ethics. After the core curriculum, students of the Health Services Administration track take classes that cover such areas as science communication, contemporary issues in healthcare, principles and methods of healthcare administration, organizational behavior in healthcare administration, and legal concepts in healthcare administration. Students who select the Sports concentration take classes on public relations principles and practices, social and ethical trends in athletics, NCAA regulations and rules, athletic administration, and leadership principles. Regardless of what specific program and concentration they select, students of MC’s master’s in communication programs must either complete a master’s thesis or additional graduate-level coursework as their final graduation requirement.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Department of Communication Studies in Hattiesburg offers a Master’s in Communication Studies. Students of this program can elect to earn either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. Both tracks have the same core course requirements, and are distinct only in that the Master of Arts track requires the completion of a 6-credit thesis, while the Master of Science requires students to take 6 credit-hours of elective courses in lieu of a thesis. The core curriculum for this program includes classes in speech communication theory and research and rhetorical theory, as well as an introductory course in graduate studies and communication research. Students can then choose electives in areas such as public speaking, conflict negotiation, intercultural communication, content analysis, organizational communication, rhetorical criticism, risk and crisis communication, small group communication, and interpersonal communication.
USM’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism offers a Master’s in Mass Communication. As with USM’s Master’s in Communication Studies program, students of the Master’s in Mass Communication program can choose between either a Master of Arts, which requires the completion of a master’s thesis, or a Master of Science, which replaces the thesis requirement with additional elective coursework. Students in both tracks take the same core classes in mass communication theory, critical and cultural theory, graduate research concepts and principles, content analysis, communication research methodology, and research in telecommunication media. Students then take electives in advanced public relations principles, crisis management, telecommunication policy and regulation, advertising theory, advertising and consumer behavior, global communication systems, mass communication law, media and culture, minorities and the media, literary journalism, telecommunication media management, and the history of journalism.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of Mississippi
For students who do not want to relocate for graduate school and who do not live near Clinton, Jackson or Hattiesburg, online programs provide access to master’s in communication programs. Online programs may be ideal for students who live in cities like Gulfport, Meridian, Southaven (although the University of Memphis in Tennessee offers a program), and Tupelo. The same goes for students who live near Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley State University, and Delta State University as none of these universities currently offers a master’s in communication program. Note: The University of Mississippi does offer a related program, a Master of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Integrated Marketing Communications, which is classified as a master’s in journalism, not a master’s in communication on MastersinCommunications.com.
At present, only one school in Mississippi offers online options for master’s in communication programs. Mississippi College’s Department of Communication offers online versions of its Generalist Master of Science in Communication – Integrated Communication program, and its Master of Science in Communication – Professional Communication (available in an online format for both the concentrations in Health Services Administration and in Sports) program. The coursework and graduation requirements for the online versions of these programs are equivalent to those of their on-campus counterparts.
In addition to the programs offered by Mississippi College, there are a number of out-of-state schools that offer online master’s in communication programs that accept students from Mississippi. However, students should note that not all schools outside of Mississippi are authorized to accept students from the state. In addition, some online programs may have one or more mandatory events that students must attend, either at the school’s primary campus or at satellite locations. These events, also known as campus visits, give students the opportunity to interact with program faculty and classmates through lectures, discussions, networking events, and workshops. To learn more about online programs, their geographical restrictions, and any campus-based or in-person requirements, please read our Online Master’s in Communication Programs page.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Mississippi
Jackson State University(Jackson)