There are currently two universities in Rhode Island that offer master’s in communication programs, both of which are campus-based. Bryant University in Smithfield and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston both offer Master of Arts programs in Communication. Students interested in these programs can select from specializations ranging from health communication to organizational communication and media studies. Both Bryant University and the University of Rhode Island are regionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. At present, no schools in Rhode Island offer online master’s in communication programs.

Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Rhode Island

Bryant University’s College of Arts and Sciences in Smithfield has a Master of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Organizational Communication and Health Communication that prepares students to tackle complex communication projects and problems in organizational settings and in global environments. All students take required coursework in communication theory and research methods, followed by a class in organizational communication or health communication, depending on their chosen concentration. Electives in this program cover concepts in conflict management and negotiation, media effects, small group communication, culture and diversity in communication, intergenerational communication, and community campaigns and public health. Students have a choice between fulfilling a practicum experience at a health, business, education, political/governmental, or social services organization, or completing a master’s thesis project.

In Kingston, the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with specializations in Interpersonal Communication, Media Studies, Organizational Communication, and Public Discourse. Students must take two core classes in communication theory and research methods, followed by topic seminars in the four specialization areas. Students then complete their course requirements through electives or additional seminar classes. Students have the option of either completing a master’s thesis which they must defend before a committee, or a non-thesis option comprised of a research paper, additional coursework, and a comprehensive written examination followed by an oral defense.

Online Master’s in Communication Programs for Residents of Rhode Island

At present, there are no schools in Rhode Island that offer online master’s in communication programs. However, there are a number of out-of-state schools that accept students from Rhode Island that have online options for students interested in earning their graduate degree in communication online. Students who do not live near Smithfield or Kingston, or who cannot commute to campus on a regular basis for classes, may find out-of-state online programs to be a viable option. In addition, online programs may provide additional concentration options that are not offered by Bryant University or the University of Rhode Island, like strategic communication, public relations and marketing communication, or technical communication.

Students in Rhode Island who are interested in an online master’s in communication program should note that not all online master’s in communication programs are authorized to accept students from all 50 states. For the most up-to-date information regarding geographical restrictions, students should check with an admissions advisor at their schools of interest before applying to an out-of-state program.

Additionally, some online programs require students to attend campus intensives, which are events that are held on-campus or at satellite locations that give students the opportunity to meet faculty and peers and participate in interactive learning and career-oriented activities. These intensives can span two to three days to two weeks in duration, depending on the program, and some programs may offer multiple intensives throughout the year to give students the option of when to attend. For students who wish to meet their instructors and classmates in person, these sessions can be a valuable addition to an online program. However, they also require travel (which may not be covered in the program’s tuition costs and fees) and time where students will be away from home and other personal or professional responsibilities.

For more information about online master’s in communication programs and their requirements, please refer to our Online Masters in Communication Programs page. This page includes a detailed description of typical graduation requirements and curriculum structure, and also features a comprehensive directory of all the online master’s in communication programs available nationwide.

Master’s in Communication Programs in Rhode Island

Campus programs are defined as programs that have all of their instruction on campus, while Campus/Hybrid programs are defined as programs that blend on-campus and online/distance instruction, but whose courses are mostly campus-based. Online programs are defined as programs that are either 100% online with no campus visits, or those that require 1 to 2 campus visits per year. Online/Hybrid programs are defined as programs that require 3 to ~5 campus visits per year, with the rest of instruction taking place online.

Bryant University

(Smithfield)