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 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. Regardless of specialization, students take the same core classes in media and communication, social scientific research methodology, and humanistic research methods. After completing the core curriculum, students of 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 in the Generalist track can take electives across all three of the other specializations, according to their interests.
Bowling Green State University also offers a Professional Master of Arts in Media & Communication with a specialization in Strategic Communication that prepares students for advanced roles in organizational communication, social media communication, and advertising and public relations. The curriculum for this program 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.
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 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 Journalism and Mass Communication offers a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with an optional concentration in Journalism Education. Students take core classes in research methods in mass communication, mass media theory, mass communication laws and ethics, writing and editing for media, and principles of digital media. The rest of the curriculum is split between elective courses and a capstone. 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, Political Communication and Public Opinion, and Interpersonal Communication. 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 with focus areas in Organizational Communication, Health Communication, Communication Theory, Mass Communication, Rhetorical Studies, and Communication and New Technologies. This program emphasizes an interdisciplinary course of study and 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.
Youngstown State University’s College of Creative Arts and Communication 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
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.
There are currently five schools in Ohio that offer online master’s in communication programs. Ashland University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers an Online Master of Arts in Corporate and Strategic Communication with concentrations 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 concentration take core classes in communication theory and research methods, informatics in communication, and strategic, interpersonal, and organizational communication. Students of the Health and Risk track then take classes in health communication, risk and crisis communication, and public relations, while students in the Public Relations track take courses in public relations, social media, public relations campaigns, and health and risk.
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.
In addition to Ashland University’s and Ohio University’s offerings, numerous out-of-state schools also offer online master’s in communication programs that accept applications from residents of Ohio. Most, but not all out-of-state online programs are authorized to enroll residents of Ohio; students should always check with their programs of interest to confirm that they have received the necessary state authorizations to admit Ohio residents.
Online master’s in communication programs may be 100% online, or they may require students to attend one or more campus visits during their enrollment. Campus visits are meant to enhance students’ learning experiences through in-person activities such as lectures and discussions, career workshops, and interactive learning activities. However, as these visits require students to travel to campus or to a satellite location, students should research these programs carefully and account for any potential travel costs and logistical concerns prior to applying. For more information about online master’s in communication programs and their requirements, please reference our Online Master’s in Communication Programs resource page.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Ohio
Bowling Green State University(Bowling Green)
Cleveland State University(Cleveland)
Kent State University(Kent)
Master of Arts in Communication and Development Studies (with Possible Specializations including Women's & Gender Studies, Human Rights/Conflict Negotiation, Media & Social Change, Media Studies, Video Production/Documentary, Management in Media Organizations, Economics/Economic Development, Political Communication and Public Policy, Strategic Communications/Public Relations, Health Policy/Health Communication, and Environmental Sustainability)
The Ohio State University(Columbus)
University of Akron(Akron)
University of Cincinnati(Cincinnati)
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)
Interview with John Lynch, Ph.D. - University of Cincinnati
University of Dayton(Dayton)
Youngstown State University(Youngstown)