There are currently 11 schools in Missouri that offer a total of 21 master’s in communication programs, 13 of which are campus-based, and eight of which are offered online. Students researching these programs will find a wide variety of specializations, including specializations in mass communication, strategic communication, interpersonal communication, health communication, and advertising and marketing. All the schools listed on this page are non-profit educational institutions that have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Missouri
There are universities throughout Missouri that offer master’s in communication programs, including schools in Springfield, St. Louis, Parkville, Columbia and Warrensburg. For students who live in or near St Louis and St. Charles, there are several schools offering master’s in communication programs. For students residing near Springfield, there are two schools in Springfield with programs in communication.
Drury University’s Communication Department in Springfield offers a Master of Arts in Communication with emphases in Integrated Marketing Communications and Organizational Leadership and Change. This program prepares students for roles in communication management, strategy, and leadership. Students take core classes that cover graduate studies in communication, communication ethics, organizational communication and change, leadership and management, communication consulting, entrepreneurial communication, and organizational research. They then select electives according to their concentration, such as classes in social advocacy, social media strategy, governance and executive leadership, and fundraising and philanthropy.
Lindenwood University’s School of Arts, Media, and Communications in St. Charles offers a hybrid Master of Arts in Mass Communications program that uses a combination of online and traditional campus-based courses. Students in this program complete a core curriculum that is primarily research focused, comprised of classes in communication research methods and scholastic writing, research seminars, and classes devoted to work on their master’s thesis or applied project. A variety of different specialized electives are available, allowing students to tailor their program of study to their particular interests within the field of Mass Communications. Examples of potential elective courses include Media and Politics, Broadcast Newswriting, Television News Production, Editing Film and Video, History of Word Cinema, Advanced Audio Production, Contemporary Digital Rights, and Writing for Electronic Media.
The School of Arts, Media, and Communications at Lindenwood also offers a Master of Arts in Advertising and Strategic Communications that utilizes a hybrid of on-campus and online instruction. The core curriculum is similar to Lindenwood’s Mass Communications program, and students have the choice between completing a thesis or applied project as their graduation requirement. However, the specialized coursework in this program focuses more on advertising, branding, copywriting, and campaign management, offering electives such as Fundamentals of Public Relations, Advertising Copywriting, Buying and Selling Media, Creative Advertising Concepts, Media Management, and Emerging Platforms and Analytics.
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Missouri State University’s Department of Communication in Springfield offers a Master of Arts in Communication with specialization options in Organizational Communication, Communication and Culture, Interpersonal and Conflict Communication, and Political Communication and Rhetoric. Students in this program take core classes in communication theory and research, rhetorical theory, the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, qualitative and quantitative research methods, rhetorical analysis, and applied communication research. After their core classes, students can select electives in collaboration with their advisor, and explore areas such as conflict and communication, public speaking, communication and diversity, ethical issues in communication, interpersonal communication, gender and communication, social movement communication, public affairs communication, health communication and culture, and public relations, in keeping with their desired area(s) of concentration. In addition to fulfilling their course requirements, students must choose from one of three final graduation requirements: a master’s thesis, a seminar paper, or a professional project. While this program is campus-based, students may be allowed to take some courses online for a hybrid program.
Located in Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a Master of Science in Technical Communication program through its Department of English and Technical Communication. The program is delivered in a hybrid format, with students taking a combination of campus-based and online courses. There is also a fully online option available (see online section below). A total of ten courses are required for either version of the program, covering topics such as Technical Editing, Usability Studies, Advanced Proposal Writing, Web-Based Communication, Research Methods in Technical Communication, Advanced Theories of Visual Technical Communication, and Advanced International Technical Communication. For their capstone requirement, students can choose to either take a comprehensive exam or complete a thesis and some additional credits.
Park University’s Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations offers a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership with an Organizational Emphasis. This program combines courses on communication theories and methods with principles of organizational change and leadership. The core curriculum of this program is comprised of classes in human communication, communication research, the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, cross-cultural communication, and communication epistemology. Students then take classes in organizational leadership and change, as well as electives in areas such as conflict mediation, conflict management, and case studies in communication and leadership. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination and complete either a graduate project or a master’s thesis.
St. Louis University’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with areas of study in Health Communication, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Media Studies, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric and Public Dialogue, and Strategic Communication. All students, regardless of concentration, must complete courses in the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, research methods in communication, and foundational communication theory. Electives for this program cover essential topics in interpersonal communication, health communication, contemporary issues in media, strategic communication, organizational communication, language and cultural diversity, and intercultural communication. Students are also encouraged to take courses outside of the Communication department with their advisor’s approval, in order to obtain an interdisciplinary understanding of how the field of communication interacts with other fields of study. Students must also complete an applied project with a professional focus, a comprehensive exam, or a master’s thesis as their final graduation requirement.
The University of Central Missouri’s School of Communication, History, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Warrensburg offers a Master of Arts in Communication with Options in Applied Communication and Communication Studies. The Applied Communication is offered entirely online, with some courses that students can take on the Warrensburg campus if they wish (for more information on this option, see the online section below). The Communication Studies option is designed to be taken on the Warrensburg campus, though students may have an option to take some of their courses online. The Master of Arts in Communication, Communication Studies option features core courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication, theories of communication, and an introduction to graduate studies course. After the core classes, students can design their curriculum based on their interests in the field, and select classes in consultation with their advisor. Examples of electives include courses in digital media law, speech communication, gender communication, international communication, special topics in speech communication, organizational communication, crisis communication, and mass communication effects. Students can choose between a thesis and a research project for their culminating experience.
Located in Columbia, the University of Missouri’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with areas of concentration in Interpersonal and Family Communication, Mediated Communication, Organizational Communication, Political Communication, Identity/Diversity Communication, and Health and Crisis Communication. Regardless of their concentration, students take core classes in the fundamentals of graduate study in communication, quantitative methods in communication, and communication theory. They then take classes according to their chosen specialization, which range from seminars in disaster, crisis, and risk communication to classes in mediation, media processing and effects, organizational communication, and relational communication. Students can also take more advanced classes in journalism, educational research, interviewing techniques, and social psychology analysis. As their final graduation requirement, students can choose to complete a master’s thesis or a creative project along with a comprehensive examination.
Note: The University of Missouri’s School of Journalism also offers an online Master of Arts in Journalism program with emphasis areas in Health Communication, Interactive Media, Media Management, and Strategic Communication. While formally a graduate program in journalism, this master’s degree has coursework and emphasis areas that are similar to those of master’s degrees in communication.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Department of Communication and Media offers a Master of Arts in Communication with optional specialization areas in Strategic Communication in Organizations, Mass Communication, and Health Communication. Students take core courses that cover concepts in communication theory, advanced communication research methods, strategic communication in organizations, mass communication, and health communication. They then select electives in areas such as the media and health communication, public relations communication, language and behavior, applied strategic communication, persuasion and influence, and elements of debate. After completing the majority of their coursework, students can choose between three exit options in consultation with the Graduate Program Director: a graduate internship, a master’s thesis, or additional coursework. Each of these options has its own requirements and approval processes, so students should carefully consider which is best for them in collaboration with the Graduate Program Director and program advisors.
Webster University’s Communications and Journalism Department has a Master of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications, a Master of Arts in Communications Management, and a Master of Arts in Media Communications. The MA in Advertising and Marketing Communications includes core classes in media communications, media and culture, strategic principles of advertising and marketing, media structures and management, and media research, followed by electives in media planning, sales promotion, business-to-business communication, branding, consumer behavior, and creative strategy. The MA in Communications Management requires core classes in media communications, organizational communication, media production management, and media and culture, followed by electives in areas such as project management, human resources management, international business management, media communications technology, communication strategies for financial stakeholders, and crisis management. The MA in Media Communications requires core classes in media communications and culture, media organization and regulations, international communications, and media production management, followed by a flexible course of study comprised of electives they choose from the department.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs in Missouri
There are currently six schools in Missouri that offer a total of eight online master’s in communication programs. Online programs are a good option for students who do not live in commuting distance to a campus-based program and who do not want to relocate for graduate school. They also provide students access to different concentrations within the field of communication, which may be important for students who want to specialize in a particular area not offered by a local university.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Maryville University offers an online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership program, which prepares students to step into roles such as communications and creative director, project manager, technical publications manager, or account manager. Core courses in the program cover topics in leadership, global communication, and professional and organizational ethics, as well as communication foundations and best practices. Electives cover topics such as crisis management, strategic communication campaigns, project management, human resource management, and communication research and strategy. In addition to their coursework, students must complete a strategic communication capstone course during which they identify a research topic for a master’s thesis or an applied project that determines a plan to address a communication problem in a particular setting. This program features an optional concentration in Emerging and Digital Media, and is delivered through asynchronous instruction. Alongside their online coursework, students complete practical assignments and immersive projects to gain hands-on experience in the field. This program also gives students the option to earn professional certifications such as Google Ads certification, HubSpot Content Marketing Certification, and Salesforce Certification.
Missouri State University’s Department of Communication offers an Online Master of Professional Studies in Applied Communication, which is an interdisciplinary degree that combines classes in communication with courses in administration and leadership. In their core curriculum, students learn about communication, law and regulatory functions, and budgeting and finance, after which they take advanced courses in management and leadership, communication and corporate relations, professional writing, organizational structure, conflict mediation, small group communication, communication and workplace diversity, and communication ethics.
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an online Master of Science in Technical Communication program with an identical curriculum as the campus-based option detailed above. The online program utilizes a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. For classes with synchronous instruction, students must be online at specified times to attend live meetings though Adobe Connect or a similar virtual environment. Conversely, courses that use asynchronous instruction are comprised of prerecorded lectures and other course materials that students can access using the Blackboard Learning Management System. In rare cases, students may need to travel to campus for degree-related business; however, the school can usually find a way around these campus visits, if necessary.
Park University’s Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership with an Organizational Emphasis, which is equivalent to its campus-based MA in Communication and Leadership. The University of Central Missouri’s School of Communication, History, and Interdisciplinary Studies has an online Master of Arts in Communication with an Applied Communication emphasis that allows students to pursue a generalist course of study covering core concepts in qualitative and quantitative communication research, communication theories, and effective communication principles and their applications to industry settings. After their core classes, students can choose from a wide variety of electives to design their own curriculum in consultation with their advisor. Examples of electives that students can take include courses that cover organizational communication, crisis communication, international communication and global marketing, and group communication. Students of the Applied Communication option must complete a research project as their culminating experience.
The University of Central Missouri offers a fully online Master of Arts in Applied Communication that prepares students to apply communication research and theory to developing effective media and strategic communication plans for organizations across different industries and contexts. Students of this program take core courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods and communication theory before progressing to electives that enable them to tailor their program of study to their specific goals in applied communication. In addition to selecting electives in areas such as media promotions, mass media, communication law, digital media, international communication, and radio production, students are also allowed to take up to six credits of courses in a field related to communication. For their final graduation requirement, students must complete a research project.
Webster University’s Communications and Journalism Department offers online versions of its Master of Arts programs in Advertising and Marketing Communications, Communications Management, and Media Communications that are equivalent to their campus-based counterparts. The curriculum for the Master of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications covers key concepts in media culture, strategic thinking in marketing, media management and organization, and communication research. The Master of Arts in Communications Management curriculum features classes in strategic communications, media and culture, media production management, media organization and regulation, and organizational communication. The Master of Arts in Media Communications has courses inn media and culture, international organizations and global communication, and media production management.
In addition to the online master’s in communication programs offered at schools within Missouri, a number of out-of-state online master’s in communication programs accept applications from residents of Missouri. Some of these programs require students to attend campus visits or to otherwise complete program requirements in-person at the school’s main campus or at a satellite location. Furthermore, students should note that not all out-of-state schools are authorized to accept students who are residents of Missouri. For more information about online programs, their geographical restrictions, and any campus requirements, please refer to our Online Master’s in Communication resource page.
Directory of Master’s in Communication Programs in Missouri
|Featured Online Master's in Communication Programs that Accept Students from Missouri|
|Johns Hopkins University||Online Master of Arts in Communication with Concentrations in Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, and Corporate and Non-Profit Communication||Program Website|
|Maryville University||Online Master's in Strategic Communication and Leadership with an Optional Concentration in Emerging & Digital Media||Program Website|
|Butler University||Online Master of Science in Strategic Communication||Program Website|
|American University||Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication with Optional Concentrations in Advocacy and Social Impact, and Digital Communication Strategies & Analytics||Program Website|
|University of Delaware||Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication with Optional Concentrations in Public Relations or Digital and Social Media||Program Website|
All Master’s in Communication Programs in Missouri
Lindenwood University(St. Charles)
Maryville University(St. Louis)
Interview with Leilani Carver-Madalon, Ph.D. - Maryville University
Learn more about the online Master's in Strategic Communication and Leadership program - visit online.maryville.edu
Missouri State University(Springfield)
- Interview with Carrisa Hoelscher, Ph.D. - Missouri State University
- Interview with Carrisa Hoelscher, Ph.D. - Missouri State University