Currently, Ohio has 11 schools that offer a total of 15 master’s in communication programs. Of these 15 programs, 10 are campus-based and five are online. Prospective students can choose from specializations such as intercultural communication, global communication, strategic communication, mass communication, rhetorical studies, and professional and technical communication. All of the schools listed on this page have received regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Ohio

Bowling Green State University’s (BGSU) School of Media and Communication offers a Master of Arts in Media & Communication with a Generalist Option, as well as specializations in Intercultural/International Communication, and Social & Interactive Media. This campus-based Master of Arts in Media & Communication is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. after graduation, while BGSU also offers an online Master of Arts in Media & Communication that has a more professional/media industry focus (see the online section below for more information). Students of the campus-based MA in Media & Communication who choose the Intercultural/International Communication track take classes in international media, intercultural communication concepts, race and communication, communication for social change, and gender, media, and culture. Students who choose the Social & Interactive Media track study media and audience dynamics in a wide variety of contemporary contexts, and may also take strategic communication classes as part of their curriculum. Students in the Generalist track can take electives across all three of the other specializations, according to their interests.

Cleveland State University’s School of Communication offers a Master of Applied Communication Theory & Methodology, with areas of study in Communication Technology, Interpersonal Communication, Mass Communication, and Organizational Communication. This program includes core courses in communication research methods, organizational communication theory, media theory, relational and persuasive communication, and content analysis. Electives in this program include courses in organizational team management, media analytics, strategic communication and messaging, international negotiation, health communication, communication campaigns, and conflict mediation and problem solving. For their final graduation requirement, students have the option of completing a collaborative research project, an independent research project, a comprehensive examination, or a master’s thesis.

Kent State University’s School of Communication Studies, which is housed in the College of Communication and Information, offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with areas of emphasis in Global Communication, Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Mediated and Mass Communication. Students in this program take foundational requirements in communication inquiry, communication theory, research methods, followed by core classes and electives specific to their emphasis. For example, students of the Health Communication concentration take classes in health communication and media effects, interpersonal communication and health, health communication literacy, and public campaigns. Students of the Global Communication emphasis take classes in communication for a global society, intercultural and international communication, and communication in an information-based society, and also complete a global experience through an agency internship or a study abroad course.

Kent State University’s School of Media and Journalism, which is also part of the College of Communication and Information, offers a Master of Arts in Media and Journalism with an optional concentration in Journalism Education. Students take core classes in research methods in communication and information, essential theories and social impacts of mass media, mass communication laws and ethics, writing and editing for media, and principles of digital media. After the core classes, students tailor their program of study through their choice of electives, which include can include courses from a variety of departments, including not only Media and Journalism, but also Emerging Media and Technology, Library and Information Science, User Experience Design, and Visual Communication Design. Students have the option to complete either a thesis or a professional project for their capstone.

Located in Athens, Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies and Center for International Studies offer a Master of Arts in Communication and Development Studies that prepares students to employ strategic communication to promote social change. Students can craft their own specialization according to their interests and course offering both within the School and from other graduate programs at the university. Examples of possible specializations include Women’s and Gender Studies, Human Rights and Conflict Negotiation, Media & Social Change, Media Studies, Video Production/Documentary, Management in Media Organizations, Economics/Economic Development, Political Communication and Public Policy, Strategy Communications/Public Relations, Health Policy/Health Communication, and Environmental Sustainability. The core curriculum of this program features courses in the theories and practical methods of communication and development, as well as research methods in communication and development.

The Ohio State University’s School of Communication, in Columbus, offers a Master of Arts in Communication with specializations in Communication Technology and Society, Health Communication and Social Influence, Mass Communication Uses & Effects, and Political Communication and Public Opinion. Students take core classes in the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, as well as courses in communication research methods, statistical applications in communication, contemporary theories in communication, and analyzing communication data. Elective classes in this program cover topics such as mass communication and the social system, interpersonal communication, health communication, narratives, social networks, communication and diversity, and design applications in human computer interactions. During the latter half of their program, students must complete a master’s thesis investigating a research question that is relevant to their course of study.

The University of Akron’s School of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with areas of study in Communication Studies, Media Studies, and Public Relations. This program focuses on giving students the necessary skills and knowledge to apply integrated communication strategies to social, industry, and academic problems. Students take core classes in qualitative and quantitative communication methods, communication criticism, communication theory, and mass communication theory. Students can choose electives in areas such as contemporary public relations, intercultural communication, journalism and media management, social media practices, social media marketing, and communication pedagogy. In addition to classes, students must either take a comprehensive examination or complete a master’s thesis as their final graduation requirement.

The University of Cincinnati’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication with focus areas in Organizational Communication and Public Relations, Media and Cultural Studies, Traditional and Digital Media Effects, Health and Environmental Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Leadership, Culture and Globalization, and Rhetorical, Interpretive, Critical, and Quantitative Methods. This program requires core classes in advanced rhetorical and communication theory, empirical communication research methods, and qualitative research methods. Students take electives according to their focus area, such as organizational culture and diversity, power and politics, public relations and issue management, risk communication, communication in science and technology, environmental communication, mediated communication in social systems, visual rhetoric, communication instruction, and advanced interpersonal communication theory.

The University of Dayton’s Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary course of study. This program prepares students to engage in message development and communication research, theory, and analysis across health, organizational, and mass media environments. Students take core classes in communication research and methods, theories of communication, rhetorical criticism, communication research, mass communication processes, and organizational communication. Students can then choose from electives such as health campaigns, conflict management, online public relations, corporate public relations, election campaign communication, international communication, and propaganda analysis. In addition to thesis and non-thesis tracks, students can choose a Communication/Interdisciplinary Study track that enables them to take courses outside of the Department of Communication, such as those in business administration, political science, psychology, and English.

Additionally, the University of Dayton offers optional graduate certificates in Strategic Public Relations and Health Communication that M.A. students can earn as part of their master’s degree elective requirements. Students who wish to earn the Health Communication Certificate take courses in health campaigns, communication for health professionals, and a seminar in health communications, before choosing two electives in areas such as persuasion, organizational communication, training and development, and interpersonal health communication. The Certificate in Strategic Public Relations requires two courses in corporate public relations and theories and research in public relations, after which students can choose from a variety of courses in areas like global public relations, digital and online public relations, organizational communications, consumer behavior, persuasion, and health campaigns. All courses for the certificate programs are offered online.

Youngstown State University’s Department of Communication in the Williamson College of Business Administration has a Master of Arts in Professional Communication that prepares students for careers in technical communication and documentation, marketing strategy, business communication, and organizational communication. Students take required courses in organizational communication research, technical communication, document design and production, consumer and product management, applied marketing strategy, and business ethics and social responsibility. After the core curriculum, students can choose two electives from offerings such as conflict management and negotiation, new media, group dynamics, or classroom communication. Students are also required to fulfill an internship in a relevant professional setting, and either complete a master’s thesis or a capstone project.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs in Ohio

There are currently five schools in Ohio that offer online master’s in communication programs. Online programs can be helpful for students who do not live in close proximity to a university offering a master’s in communication program. For example, students in Lima, Mansfield or Springfield, may wish to consider online programs as an option if they do not want to commute to campus or relocate for graduate school.

Ashland University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers an Online Master of Arts in Corporate and Strategic Communication with areas of focus in Health and Risk Communication and Public Relations. This program prepares students to engage in internal and public-facing communications for health-related and other organizations in the private and non-profit sectors. Students of either area of focus take core classes in communication theory and research methods, informatics in communication, and strategic, interpersonal, and organizational communication. Students of the Health and Risk focus area then take classes in health communication, risk and crisis communication, and public relations, while students in the Public Relations focus area take courses in public relations, social media, public relations campaigns, and health and risk.

Bowling Green State University offers an online Master of Arts in Media and Communication program with a specialization in Strategic Communication and Social Media through its School of Media and Communication. The program helps prepare students for advanced roles in organizational communication, social media communication, and advertising and public relations. The curriculum includes required classes in media and communication, organizational communication, public relations research and practices, social media and advertising practices, humanistic research methods, and social scientific research methods, followed by electives in areas such as media programming, audience research, international communication, health communication, business ethics and law, and professional and technical writing. Students must complete a comprehensive examination as well as a research project that concerns a professional issue in communication.

Kent State University’s School of Media and Journalism also offers its Master of Arts in Media and Journalism with a concentration in Journalism Education entirely online. This program is equivalent to their campus-based offering, except that the online program only offers the Journalism Education concentration. Students who attend the campus program have the option of completing this concentration or pursuing their own course of study through core and elective courses; moreover, campus students have the option of completing some of their Journalism Education-specific classes online, if they elect to pursue this concentration.

Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication and the School of Communication Studies offers an Online Master of Arts in Organizational Communication that allows students to examine the role of communication in social organization and decision-making across different contexts. This program is comprised of courses in organizational communication practices, information diffusion, cross-cultural communication, gender and communication, communication in social conflict, and instructional training. As their final graduation requirement, students complete a comprehensive exam, an applied project, or a master’s thesis.

The University of Findlay offers an online Master of Arts in Professional Communication (MAPC) that features interdisciplinary sequences in Applied Linguistics; Educational Technology; Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Management Communication; Human Resource Management; Interpersonal Communication; Leadership; Marketing; Persuasive Communication; and Technical Communication. Courses in this program cover foundational and advanced topics in organizational communication and culture, professional presentations, digital media, communication campaign development, organizational and digital leadership and training, persuasion and public opinion, communication research, brand and identity management, and strategic communication. For their final graduation requirement, students complete one of three options: a professional project, a service project, or a scholarly thesis.

Directory of Master’s in Communication Programs in Ohio

All Master’s in Communication Programs in Ohio

Campus programs, Campus/Hybrid programs, Online programs (fully online to 2 campus visits per year), Hybrid-Online programs (3 to ~5 campus visits per year)

Youngstown State University

Williamson College of Business Administration - Department of Communication