At present, there are five schools in Utah that offer a total of six master’s in communication programs, four of which are campus-based, one of which is online, and one that is classified as a hybrid-online program. Students who wish to complete their master’s in communication at a school in Utah can choose from concentrations in areas such as international communication, health communication, and strategic communication. All of the schools listed on this page have received regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Campus-Based Master’s in Communication Programs in Utah
Brigham Young University’s School of Communications in Provo offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communications that provides students with a strong understanding of the relationship between media and society, as well as skills that are applicable to academic and industry roles in communication. This program offers optional specialized topical areas in Media, Religion, and Family; International Media and Communications; Communications Law and Legal Research Methods; Persuasion and Public Opinion; Critical Approaches to Media, Mass Communications and Gender; and Media and Current Societal Issues. Required core courses cover the fundamentals of graduate studies in communication, communication theory, communication research methods, communication and social science, and media effects on the individual, family, and society. After the core curriculum, students can choose from electives such as the history of communication, international media and communications, communication research methods, media literacy and culture, media and religion, media and contemporary social issues, the literature of journalism, and public relations concepts and strategies. After completing their core classes, students can elect to complete either a master’s thesis or an applied project as their final graduation requirement. The thesis or project takes six credit hours’ worth of work, which students complete under the guidance of their advisor. Students are also required to orally defend their thesis or project before a committee.
Southern Utah University’s Department of Communication in Cedar City offers a Master of Arts in Professional Communication, which is a generalist program with electives that allows students to tailor their program of study to their interests and professional goals. Required core courses cover topics in communication and professional development, communication theory, quantitative and qualitative communication research, and professional writing and presentations. After the core curriculum, students can choose electives in areas such as interpersonal communication, organizational communication, pop culture and media messaging, strategic communication, health communication, audience analysis, and social media. As their final graduation requirement, students complete either a capstone thesis, an internship and accompanying paper, or an applied project that seeks to solve an issue in communication. Students in the campus-based program at Southern Utah University have the option of completing some of their classes online.
The University of Utah’s Department of Communication in Salt Lake City offers a Master’s in Communication with areas of emphasis in Critical/Cultural Studies; Digital Media; Rhetoric; and Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (CommSHER). All students, regardless of their concentration, must complete a class on the foundations of communication, after which they can take electives covering topics such as the principles of public speaking, argument analysis, news writing, interpersonal communication, media and pop culture, communication and social responsibility, communication and gender, family communication, and communication for science, health and environment. Students can choose to earn either a Master of Science or a Master of Arts degree, with the only difference between these two options being a language proficiency requirement for the Master of Arts option. For their final graduation requirement, students can elect to complete a master’s thesis or a comprehensive examination.
Weber State University’s Department of Communication in Ogden offers a Master of Professional Communication (MPC) program with an emphasis in New and Emerging Media that combines campus-based and online courses to allow students some flexibility in their scheduling. Required foundational courses for all students include an introductory course on graduate studies in communication, communication theory, writing for communication professionals, public speaking and presenting in the workplace, and research methods for communication professionals. After these foundational classes, students take core courses in team building, new media in professional communication, visual communication, leadership in communication, advanced organizational communication, and strategic communication. Electives in this program cover interviewing skills, conflict resolution and mediation, and special topics in professional communication. As their final graduation requirement, students can choose between completing a master’s thesis, an applied project, or additional coursework, and consult with their advisor and the MPC program director in deciding which requirement to choose.
Westminster College’s Master of Strategic Communication Department offers a Master of Strategic Communication that MastersinCommunications.com classifies as a hybrid-online program in that students complete the majority of their coursework online in conjunction with mandatory one-day campus residencies once per semester. Hence, the five semester program requires five campus visits. This program emphasizes five project sequences that consist of working in groups to build marketing communication plans, organizational communication strategies, branding strategy, and training modules for professional clients. These project sequences are Strategic Communication in Action, Visual Branding & Communication Design, Organizational Strategy Assessment, Strategic Marketing Communications, and Corporate Training & Capstone Project. Along with these project sequences, students take classes in persuasive communication, communication problems, visual literacy, data collection and analysis, market analysis, marketing communication plan development and assessment, integrated marketing communications, and effective presentations. Students’ final graduation requirement is a capstone project that builds off of the concepts covered in the previous project sequences. At the end of their program, students take an international trip with their cohort to apply their knowledge and skills to a project for an international client, such as a non-profit social service organization.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs in Utah
At present, only one school in Utah offers an online master’s in communication program. Southern Utah University offers an online version of its Master of Arts in Professional Communication, which is equivalent in course selections and graduation requirements to the campus-based program. While this program is the only fully online program currently available in the state, Weber State University and Westminster College (described above) offer programs that incorporate online coursework to give students greater flexibility in completing their program while balancing professional and personal obligations.
In addition to the online and hybrid master’s in communication programs offered by schools in Utah, there are numerous out-of-state online programs that accept students from Utah. Online programs may be good options for students who do not live within a commuting distance to a campus-based program, or for students who would like to explore more specialization options that may not be covered by Southern Utah University’s online program. Students interested in out-of-state online programs should note that due to state authorizations, not all online master’s in communication programs are allowed to accept online students from all 50 states.
Additionally, as with hybrid programs such as Westminster College’s hybrid-online program, some online programs require students to attend one or more campus intensives during their enrollment. Campus intensives are events that are held on-campus or at satellite locations, and which typically include in-person lectures, career development workshops, group projects, seminar discussions, written and/or oral examinations, and other hands-on learning activities. MastersinCommunications.com categorizes online programs as those that only require two or fewer campus intensives annually. As students are generally responsible for the travel costs associated with attending these events, students should thoroughly research their programs of interest to determine any travel requirements before they apply.
For students who wish to research all online master’s in communication programs available in the nation, MastersinCommunications.com has created an Online Masters in Communication Programs page that includes a comprehensive directory of all such programs. That page is continually updated as new programs become available, and also provide useful information about online programs, geographical restrictions, campus intensives, and asynchronous versus synchronous instruction.
Master’s in Communication Programs in Utah
Brigham Young University(Provo)
Southern Utah University(Cedar City)
The University of Utah(Salt Lake City)
Weber State University(Ogden)
Westminster College(Salt Lake City)