There is currently only one school in North Dakota that offers a master’s degree program in communication. North Dakota State University (NDSU), located in Fargo, has a Master of Arts in Communication program designed for students looking to enter a career in the field, or continue their studies at the doctoral level. The University of North Dakota offers a doctorate program in communication with a master’s component, but students can only earn the degree through the PhD program. Both universities are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). For those interested in pursuing their degree online, there are a number of out-of-state schools with online master’s programs in communication that accept students in North Dakota.
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in North Dakota
The Master of Arts in Communication at North Dakota State University is offered through NDSU’s Department of Communication, and has two focus areas to choose from: Organizational Communication or Media, Technology and Society. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or above (those who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may be eligible for provisional admission). Students in NDSU’s MA in Communication program must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours to graduate, which includes six credits of Core courses, six credits of Research Methods courses, 12 to 15 credits of Elective Specialization courses, and either a research-based thesis (six credits) or comprehensive examination (three credits).
The MA in Communication program at NDSU requires all students to take the following two Core courses: Research Methods in Communication and Communication Theory. Students then select at least two Research Methods courses from six available options, including Qualitative Research Methods in Communication, Quantitative Research Methods in Communication, Rhetorical Criticism, Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods (both offered through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology), and Applied Statistics (offered through the Department of Statistics). Depending on whether they choose the master’s thesis or examination graduation requirement, students must complete an additional 12 to 15 credits of Elective Specialization coursework, chosen from a variety of courses offered by the Department of Communication or, pending graduate committee approval, another department related to their area of interest.
The final component of the Master of Arts in Communication program at NDSU is either a thesis or exam. NDSU advises students intending to pursue their doctorate after graduation to pursue the thesis option, as it gives them the chance to conduct the type of original research and analysis they will be doing at the Ph.D. level. On the other hand, the examination path is a good fit for those looking to jump right into the professional world after earning their degree, and frees students up to take three additional credits of coursework during their final semester. Both the thesis and examination require a preliminary meeting with the student’s graduate committee, as well as a final defense.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Students in North Dakota
There are currently no schools in North Dakota that offer master’s in communication programs online. However, many out-of-state schools with distance learning programs accept students located in North Dakota. For residents who live far from NDSU’s Fargo campus, or prefer the flexibility of online learning, these programs may be a good option. It is important to note, though, that some online master’s in communication programs may not enroll students from all 50 states due to state specific authorizations. Students should contact an admission advisor to make sure they are eligible for admission before applying to any online program.
Another factor to consider when deciding on an online master’s in communication program is in-person or campus-based requirements. Some schools require online graduate students to travel to campus or another designated location one or more times throughout their program to participate in immersion or intensive sessions. These may include orientations, in-person lectures, hands-on learning activities, networking opportunities, or other events, and can vary in length from a weekend to an entire week. It is typically students’ responsibility to cover any travel and lodges expenses associated with these campus-based sessions. As such, it is important to fully understand any travel requirements before deciding on an out-of-state online program. On MastersinCommunications.com, we define a program as “online” only if it requires a maximum of two campus visits per year. This includes those that are entirely online (with no campus visit requirements), those in which students travel to campus only once during their studies (for orientation, for example), and those that require one to two campus visits annually.
Visit our Online Master’s in Communication Programs page for more information about campus visits, online instruction methods, state authorizations, and a comprehensive list of online programs offered by colleges throughout the United States.