There are currently 11 schools in Missouri that offer a total of 23 master’s in communication programs, 15 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 featured 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 Master of Arts in Communications with emphases in Broadcast and Mass Communications. This program is offered in a hybrid format, with students taking 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. Students use their electives to tailor their program of study to their interests. For example, the Broadcast emphasis includes classes in mass communication law, media and politics, writing for electronic media, television production and news reporting, and the history of world cinema, while the Mass Communications emphasis has courses covering subjects such as critical analysis of media, the foundation of the internet, interactive and web design, multiplatform reporting, and contemporary digital rights.
The School of Arts, Media, and Communications also offers an accelerated Master of Arts in Communications with emphases in Digital and Multimedia Studies, Media Management, Promotions, and Training and Development. This program offers classes in eight locations, including St. Charles, Missouri and Belleville, Illinois. The curriculum for this program is structured in five clusters, which vary depending on a student’s chosen emphasis. For example, the Digital and Multimedia Studies emphasis requires completion of a Documentary Storytelling and Research Cluster, a Television Production Cluster, an Imaging and Design Cluster, a Web Page Design Cluster, and an Elective Cluster. The Training and Development emphasis, on the other hand, has clusters in Corporate Communications, Organizational Communications, Organizational Assessment, Managerial Issues, and Graduate Management, along with a required Communications Capstone.
Maryville University’s College of Arts and Sciences in St. Louis offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership that prepares students for leadership roles in strategic communication. 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.
Missouri State University’s Department of Communication in Springfield offers a Master of Arts in Communication with specializations in Conflict, Organizational Communication, and Public Relations. 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 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.
Missouri Western State University’s Department of English and Modern Languages offers a Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication with specialization options in Technical Communication and Writing Studies. The Technical Communication specialization is for students seeking to work in government, in corporations, and at organizations that require professional writing skills, publications management, and/or the development of user-centric instructional materials. Students in this concentration take core classes in graduate research in communication, the history and theory of rhetoric, proposal and grant writing, organizational theory, and professional and organizational communication, followed by electives in areas such as interactive design, writing for digital environments, professional writing for media, and technical editing.
The Writing Studies specialization is for students who wish to become educators at the post-secondary level, and gives students skills in writing theory and pedagogy, as well as leveraging technology in the teaching of writing. Students in this concentration take the same core classes as students in the Technical Communication concentration, then progress to electives in pedagogy-focused classes in topics such as the history of the English language, professional writing for teachers, topics in teaching writing, grammar and grammar instruction, and writing for supervision and management. As their final graduation requirement, students either complete a master’s thesis or an applied project and an additional graduate elective course.
Park University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies 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 Department of Communication in Warrensburg offers a Master of Arts in Communication with Emphases in Mass Communication and Speech Communication that combines campus instruction with online technologies. Students who select the Mass Communication concentration take core classes in communication theory and the foundations of graduate study in communication, and can choose between taking a course in quantitative or qualitative research methods in communication. Students of the Speech Communication concentration take the same core curriculum, but have to take classes in both quantitative and qualitative research. Students can then choose electives in areas such as digital media law, speech communication, gender communication, international communication, special topics in speech communication, organizational communication, crisis communication, and mass communication effects.
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.
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.
Webster University’s School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Communications Arts specifically for educators, with emphases in Aesthetic Education, Educational Technology, General Communication Arts, Inclusive Education, International Languages and Cultures, Language Arts, Media Literacy, Reading, and Writing for Educators. Regardless of their chosen emphasis, students of this program must take core classes that cover topics in oral and interpersonal communication, visual communication, written communication and writing instruction, curriculum design, and applied research. Students then take classes specific to their emphasis, which can include classes in digital video skills for educators, advanced listening and discussion skills, media and culture, classroom media, integrated language arts, and media literacy.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of Missouri
There are currently four 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.
Missouri State University’s Department of Communication offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication with specializations in Conflict, Organizational Communication, and Public Relations that is equivalent in course content, structure, and graduation requirements to the school’s on-campus version of the program. Missouri State University also 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.
Park University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies 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 Department of Communication has an Online Master of Arts in Communication that allows students to pursue a generalist course of study covering core concepts in research, communication theories, as well as concepts in organizational communication, crisis communication, international communication and global marketing, and group communication.
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. Webster University’s School of Education offers an Online Master of Arts in Communications Arts specifically for educators, with emphases in General Communication Arts, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Teaching English as a Second Language. The General Communication Arts emphasis allows students to work with a faculty advisor to design their course of study after taking the same core classes that all master’s students of the School of Education must take in areas such as oral communication, visual communication, written communication, curriculum design, and applied research. The Teaching English as a Foreign Language emphasis requires classes in language history, planning, and policy, as well as classes in language and culture, language acquisition, and English for multilingual speakers. The Teaching English as a Second Language requires classes in curriculum development in second language classrooms, second language acquisition, language and culture, and the history of language.
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.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Missouri
Lindenwood University(St. Charles)
Maryville University(St. Louis)
Missouri State University(Springfield)
Missouri Western State University(St. Joseph)
Saint Louis University(St. Louis)
University of Central Missouri(Warrensburg)
University of Missouri(Columbia)
University of Missouri-St. Louis(St. Louis)
Webster University(St. Louis)
Master of Arts in Communications Arts (for Educators) (with Emphases in Aesthetic Education, Educational Technology, General Communication Arts, Inclusive Education, International Languages and Cultures, Language Arts, Media Literacy, Reading, and Writing for Educators)