There are currently eight schools in North Carolina that offer a total of 12 master’s in communication programs. Of these 12 programs, nine are campus-based, while three are online. Students researching master’s in communication programs in North Carolina have a variety of specializations to choose from, including interpersonal communication, health communication, political communication, and mass communication. All of the schools listed on this page are non-profit institutions of higher education that are regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in North Carolina
In Greenville, East Carolina University’s School of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Health Communication with special emphases in interpersonal communication and media relations. This program prepares students for jobs in health marketing, media, and journalism, as well as organizational communication roles within health organizations. Core classes in this program cover the fundamentals of health communication, communication theory, and research methods, as well as interpersonal communication, media and health communication, communication and health organizations, and health advocacy communication. Students must take a comprehensive examination, and can also choose between completing a master’s thesis or completing additional electives for their final graduation requirement.
High Point University’s Nido R. Qubein School of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication with concentration areas in Public Relations, Health Communication, and Political Communication. Students take core courses in strategic communication, persuasive rhetoric, the impact of media, research methods and analysis, video and audio messaging, and communication technology trends. Students then take classes according to their chosen concentration, such as health communication research, health communication campaigns, crisis communication, international and intercultural public relations, politics and the media, or contemporary political campaigns. Students must complete a strategic communication practicum and write a master’s thesis, and are also required to work with a team of students on a community-based communication campaign.
In Raleigh, North Carolina State University’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Science in Communication with specializations in Public Relations, Organizational Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Cultural Studies, Mediated Communication, and Digital Media. Students take core classes in critical inquiry in communication, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and communication theory. They can then take electives in areas such as the history of rhetoric, communication campaigns, risk communication, environmental communication, international public relations, visual content analysis, and non-profit marketing and public relations.
North Carolina State University’s Department of English offers a Master of Science in Technical Communication with elective clusters in Web Design and Development, Environmental Communication, Medical/Health Communication, Training and Development, Organizational Information Systems, and Agricultural Communication. This program prepares students for a variety of technical communication roles, and includes core courses in the theory and research of professional writing, the rhetoric of science and technology, publication management for technical communicators, and advanced technical writing and editing. Elective courses include verbal data analysis, usability studies, science media writing, information design, and design of instructional material.
Queens University of Charlotte’s James L. Knight School of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with an optional concentration in Integrated Digital Strategy that prepares students to engage in strategic communications and to develop multimedia communication campaigns for organizations in the public and private sectors. This program features core classes in social organizing, message construction, and mindful communication, along with elective courses in communication and culture, organizations and technology, visual rhetoric, creativity and networks, organizational identity and brand, integrated digital strategy, and strategic communication for global audiences. Students’ final graduation requirement is a year-long personal project involving the investigation of an original question about a communication topic or challenge that interests them.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism offers a Master of Arts in Media and Communication with programs of study in Journalism, Strategic Communication, Visual Communication, Theory and Research, and Interdisciplinary Health Communication. Students of the Journalism, Strategic Communication, or Visual Communication programs take core classes in mass communication research methods, media law, reporting and writing news, and multimedia storytelling, as well as electives in areas such as medical and science journalism, market intelligence, public relations foundations, and graphic communication. The Theory and Research program of study includes core classes in mass communication research methods, theories of mass communication, and media law, followed by classes in media processes, health communication, political and social communication, and/or media effects. The Interdisciplinary Health Communication program of study features classes in social marketing campaigns, interdisciplinary health communication, epidemiology, human information interactions, and attitude and behavior change.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Communication Studies offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies that allows students to craft their own area of focus through their selection of electives. For example, students may choose to focus in Health Communication, Risk Communication, Global and International Communication, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric, Media Studies, and Popular Culture, and Public Relations/International Public Relations. Students take core courses in communication studies for professionals, communication research methods, and contemporary perspectives in communication theory, followed by their choice of electives in areas such as communication and leadership, gender and communication, health communication, global media, and organizational communication.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Communication Studies offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, which is a generalist program with electives. Students take core classes in communication theory and research methodology, followed by electives covering topics such as communication for social change, communication ethics, risk communication, communication pedagogy, and relational communication. Students must also complete a final research project that investigates a communication practice or phenomenon.
Wake Forest University Department of Communication, located in Winston-Salem, offers a Master of Arts in Communication that is a flexible generalist program that students can shape according to their interests. Students take core classes in rhetorical theory and criticism and quantitative research methods in communication studies, followed by electives in areas such as health communication, democratic theory, argumentation, public address, international communication, social movements, and the rhetoric of science. At the end of their first year, students collaborate with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies to develop a research question for their master’s thesis.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of North Carolina
Online master’s in communication programs may be a good option for students who do not live in close proximity to a university that offers a master’s in communication program. For example, residents of Asheville, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, or Wilmington who do not want to or cannot relocate for graduate school. (Note: Currently, Fayetteville State University, UNC Wilmington and UNC Asheville do not offer master’s programs in the field of communication). Online programs may also be a good option for students who do not want to commute to Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Charlotte or another city that houses a campus-based program.
There are currently three schools in North Carolina that offer online master’s in communication programs. East Carolina University’s School of Communication offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication with an Emphasis in Health Communication. This program is equivalent in graduation requirements and curriculum to the campus-based version of the school’s program. Queens University of Charlotte’s James L. Knight School of Communication offers an Online Master of Arts in Communication with an optional concentration in Integrated Digital Strategy. This program is equivalent in curriculum content and structure to the campus-based version of the program. Students engage with course concepts through Skype conferences, instant messaging, online community tools, and shared blogs.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism offers an Online Master of Arts in Digital Communication with an emphasis in Digital Media that prepares students to understand how digital media intersects with culture, society, and economics. After attending an on-campus orientation at the start of their enrollment, students take online classes covering areas such as writing for digital media, research methods and applications, digital data analytics, information visualization, new media and society, strategic communication, media law in the digital age, and digital media leadership. During the spring of their first year, students also attend a five-day residency during which they collaborate with classmates and faculty to develop an audio-visual narrative project. Students must complete a final comprehensive examination, as well as a non-traditional thesis that involves investigating an issue or a digital media challenge facing an organization, developing a proposal to solve it, and building and presenting the completed solution to faculty and peers.
In addition to the schools in North Carolina mentioned above, numerous out-of-state schools offer online master’s in communication programs that enroll students from North Carolina. Students should note that due to state authorizations, not all out-of-state schools offering online programs are allowed to admit students from North Carolina. Furthermore, depending on the program, students may be required to attend one or more campus intensives during their enrollment. These intensives are typically held at a school’s main campus (though some schools offer satellite locations for students who live very far away), and involve activities aimed at enhancing students’ learning experience, such as in-person lectures and seminars, career workshops, and networking events. Students are typically responsible for travel logistics and costs for these campus visits. Therefore, prospective students who are interested in out-of-state online master’s in communication programs should contact their programs of interest for up-to-date information on state restrictions and if the programs require any campus visits.
Master’s in Communication Programs in North Carolina
East Carolina University(Greenville)
High Point University(High Point)
North Carolina State University(Raleigh)
Master of Science in Technical Communication (with Elective Clusters in Web Design and Development, Environmental Communication, Medical/Health Communication, Training and Development, Organizational Information Systems, and Agricultural Communication)
Interview with Huiling Ding, Ph.D. - North Carolina State University
Queens University of Charlotte(Charlotte)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(Chapel Hill)
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte(Charlotte)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro(Greensboro)
Wake Forest University(Winston-Salem)