There are currently four schools in Mississippi that offer a total of 11 master’s in communication programs. Of these 11 programs, seven are campus-based, while four 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 that also have hybrid course options: a Master of Science in Healthcare Communication, a Master of Science in Integrated Communication, and a Master of Science in Strategic Communication. Students of each MS program take the same Graduate Communication Core that features courses in public relations, intercultural communication, communication effects and processes, graduate writing and research, and communication ethics and persuasion. All students are also required to complete a convocation paper (or thesis) and graduate portfolio for their final graduation requirements.

The Master of Science in Healthcare Communication program features coursework in team-based communication, healthcare management and marketing, legal aspects of healthcare administration, and organizational behavior in healthcare settings and administration. The Master of Science in Integrated Communication includes courses in negotiation, team-based communication, public relations practices, communication law, and crisis communication strategy. Students of the Master of Science in Strategic Communication take some of the same courses as students in the Integrated Communication programs, such as communication law, public relations practices, and strategic crisis communication, but they also take courses in organizational communication and analytics, and market administration.

Upon finishing their required coursework, students complete their culminating experience either in the form of a convocation paper or a traditional master’s thesis. The convocation paper consists of a 9,000-12,000 word research paper that investigates an original research question in their field of study. Students receive the support of a graduate advisor and committee, and also complete a presentation to their graduate committee. Types of research that students might employ in their convocation paper include historical critical research, experimental research, and descriptive research methodologies. Students also have the option of completing a traditional master’s thesis, consisting of a structured research paper of 15,000 to 24,000 words. The thesis track is typically ideal for students who want to teach in higher education. Finally, all students complete a graduate portfolio for their faculty advisors to review and approve.

The University of Mississippi offers a campus-based Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) through its School of Journalism and New Media that also offers students the option of taking some of their courses online. This program features a core set of courses that focus on integrated marketing communication principles, design and visual thinking, consumer behavior, consumer research and insights, and brand strategy and relationship building. From there, students can tailor their own course of study to their interests in integrated marketing communication and strategic digital communication, using electives in areas such as strategic communication planning, creative development and direction, international and intercultural IMC, crisis communication and reputation management, health communication, narrative journalism, mass media ethics, mass communication research, sports promotion, public opinion and mass media, and multimedia storytelling.

Students’ final course in the MS in IMC program is their capstone course, wherein they design an integrated marketing communication campaign using the research methodologies, communication theories and skills, and media technologies that they learned about in their courses. With faculty support and advice, students identify and work with a client in need of marketing assistance or innovation, and through this capstone project students gain hands-on experience in IMC while also building their portfolio with an advanced marketing artifact.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) School of Communication in Hattiesburg offers two different master’s in communication programs: a Master’s in Communication Studies and a Master’s in Mass Communication. The core curriculum for the Communication Studies 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.

Students in USM’s Master’s in Mass Communication program can choose to pursue their degree as 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. Both tracks require 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. The program offers electives courses in a wide range of topics, including 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 in 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

At present, two schools in Mississippi offer online options for master’s in communication programs. Mississippi College’s Department of Communication offers online versions of its Master of Science in Healthcare Communication, Master of Science in Integrated Communication, and Master of Science in Strategic Communication programs. The coursework and graduation requirements for the online versions of these programs are equivalent to those of their on-campus counterparts. In addition, The University of Mississippi offers an online version of its Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication program that is equivalent in its course and capstone requirements.

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.