Communication Graduate Schools in the U.S.
Communications is the study of how people relate, share information and learn from one another through various situations and the media. Graduate-level programs in communications may result in a master's degree or doctorate.
How to Select a Communications Graduate School
Those seeking to enroll in communications graduate schools often consider degree levels and specializations when choosing a program. Prospective students can decide whether they'd like to achieve a master's degree or a doctorate. The former often involves putting together a thesis and lasts approximately two years. The latter requires the completion and defense of a dissertation, and the deadline varies by school but is typically anywhere from 4-9 years. Some schools offer dual degree programs with an M.A. or M.S. in Communications as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Juris Doctorate (J.D.).
There are also several potential areas of specialization within communications, including journalism, public relations, international communications and political communications. Someone interested in pursuing journalism may wish to attend a school with a lauded newspaper, while a broadcast communications student might seek a campus with advanced technological facilities. Internship opportunities and business partnerships between the school and the local community may also help sway a person's enrollment decision.
Communications Graduate Degree Program Overviews
Master's Degree in Communications
The Master of Arts in Communications program requires 16-24 months of study. Students can choose an area of emphasis in areas such as corporate or non-profit communications, public relations, broadcast media, health communications or journalism. Many Master of Science programs feature similar course loads but emphasize analytics and research methodologies. Dual degree programs may incorporate an examination of law, public affairs or public relations.
Doctoral Degree in Communications
Doctoral students can specialize in designing information systems or they can pursue expertise in cultural studies, new media, media literacy, globalization and other subsets of the communications field. Dual or joint degree programs are available at some graduate schools; students learn communications while focusing on a complementary field like law, business or journalism. This program commonly results in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) but may result in a Doctor of Science (D.S.).
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