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Mass Communication Master’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Maia Estrera - November 02, 2021


We have witnessed massive growth in the communication fields with the emergence of new media technologies and an increase in media channels. It has created a broad range of new possibilities and career opportunities. If you want to join the communication industry and find the power to impact society, then you might want to consider a mass communication master’s degree.

Master’s degree programs in the field of mass communication are available in various forms and specializations. We created this guide to give you an idea of what you can expect if you seek a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication. Plus, to help guide you in your career path, we’ll walk you through the best programs you can take and the jobs and salaries you can have.

What Is Mass Communication?

Mass communication is the process of producing and sending information through a channel of communication to large audiences. They use communication channels such as news media, digital media, social media, broadcast television, radio, newspapers, and other print sources.

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What Is a Mass Communication Master’s Degree?

A Master’s Degree in Mass Communication is a graduate-level degree that prepares students for a career in media management, digital media, social media, marketing and public relations, and communication media studies. If you wish to expand your knowledge, acquire new skills, and advance your career in the communications field, then consider pursuing this two-year degree.

A graduate program in mass communication contains core courses that cover topics such as mass communication theory, media ethics, communication law, public affairs and opinions, persuasive writing, and research methods. It also includes specializations in topics like digital storytelling and content, journalism, advertising, broadcasting, and public relations.

Mass Communication Master’s Degree Requirements

You must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications or a related field of study. The admissions process includes sending in official transcripts, an application or essay, and letters of recommendation from your previous college or university. Most schools have strict admission criteria and will require you to have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or more.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements for GPA, they may ask you to take an entrance exam like the GRE. While many schools allow you to apply immediately after completing your undergraduate degree, some admission guidelines require a couple of years of professional experience.

How Much Does a Mass Communication Master’s Degree Cost?

The cost of financing your education will depend on whether you go to a public or private institution and study part-time or full-time. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average graduate tuition for public institutions was $12,171 a year. Meanwhile, studying at a private, non-profit school will cost an average of $27,776 per annum.

Mass Communication Master’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Mass Communication Degree

Since pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication can come with a high cost, many students look for alternative ways to finance their education. You may be able to reduce your expenses by seeking and applying for financial aid and scholarships from government offices and organizations. Some schools also have funding opportunities and can even offer a tuition waiver.

Best Mass Communication Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Master of Mass Communication Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
Arkansas State University Master of Science in Mass Communications Higher Learning Commission
California State University, Fullerton Master of Arts in Communications Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
Georgia State University Master of Arts in Mass Communication Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Oklahoma State University Master of Science in Mass Communication Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Southern Illinois University Master of Fine Arts in Mass Communication and Media Arts National Association of Schools of Art and Design
St Cloud State University Master of Science in Strategic Media Communications Higher Learning Commission
University of Florida Master of Arts in Mass Communication, Public Relations Specialization Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Minnesota Master of Arts in Mass Communication Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
University of South Carolina Master of Arts in Mass Communication Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Colleges for Mass Communication: Top Mass Communication Master’s Degree Programs

Earning a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication can help open new opportunities and advance your career in communications. To help you in your search, below is a list of the top colleges and universities offering graduate-level communications degrees .

Master of Mass Communication | Arizona State University

Arizona State University is home to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, one of the country’s premier institutions. Their 12-month MMC degree program includes a multimedia bootcamp. The program’s advanced courses include topics like strategic communication processes, documentary production, and advanced broadcast production.

Master of Science in Mass Communications | Arkansas State University

This Master of Science in Mass Communications allows you to choose to major in journalism or radio/TV. The university offers a flexible curriculum that focuses on research and scholarly study. This program aims to help you pursue advancement in mass communication and prepare for a doctoral program.

Master of Arts in Communications | California State University, Fullerton

This Master of Arts in Communication offers three concentrations. These concentrations are mass communications research and theory, professional communications, and communications in tourism and entertainment. These programs equip graduate students with the foundation to teach at the college community level.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication | Georgia State University

Georgia State University is within walking distance of some of the biggest media companies and networks. The school offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communication that supports advanced research study of media culture and public communication. It also covers international communication, strategic communication practices, social media, audience analysis, journalism, and public relations.

Master of Science in Mass Communication | Oklahoma State University

The School of Media and Strategic Communications offers a Master of Science in Mass Communication. It includes specializations in global communication, brand communication, and sports communication. The department also launched the O’Colly Media group to help their graduate students gain practical experience in media production, distribution, and advertising.

Master of Fine Arts in Mass Communication and Media Arts | Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University is a public research-intensive university that offers a three-year master’s degree. This program is a unique blend of contemporary artistic practice and studies in media production, history, and theory. For this degree, you must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, including common core classes, elective courses, and a thesis.

Master of Science in Strategic Media Communications | St Cloud State University

St Cloud State University is a public university located in the state of Minnesota. They offer an on-campus mass communication master’s program with a focus on strategic media communications. If you enroll in this program, you can expect to learn about multimedia technology, advertising, media convergence, public relations, and more.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication, Public Relations Specialization | University of Florida

This public relations degree is a research-based program with a thesis requirement. Its core mass communication courses focus on the conceptual foundations of public relations, including mass communication and society, professional and managerial skills, and research.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication | University of Minnesota

This degree is a research-based, academic program that prepares you for conducting scholarly research and developing a professional project. Graduate students can center their study in the history of mass communication, international mass communication, communication law, health communication, political communication, journalism, advertising, or public relations.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication | University of South Carolina

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers three mass communication master’s programs for those with a career goal in teaching, management, and industry performance. The core curriculum covers communication theory, media law, literature of mass communication, history of mass media, research methods, and thesis preparation.

Best Online Mass Communication Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Florida International University Master of Science in Mass Communication, Global Strategic Communications Track Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
Kansas State University Master of Mass Communication Higher Learning Commission
South Dakota State University Master of Mass Communication Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Stephen F Austin State University Master of Arts in Mass Communication Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Syracuse University Master of Science in Communications Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Texas State University Master of Arts in Mass Communication Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Georgia Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Emerging Media Concentration Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Missouri Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Higher Learning Commission
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Integrated Media Communications Specialization Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
University of South Carolina Master of Mass Communication Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Colleges for Mass Communication: Top Online Mass Communication Master’s Degree Programs

With a reliable computer and internet connection, you can study an online Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from anywhere in the world. You no longer have to travel miles to go to your dream university. Below are some of the best online mass communication master’s degree programs you should consider attending.

Master of Science in Mass Communication, Global Strategic Communications Focus | Florida International University

Florida International University is one of the best accredited online universities in the nation. They offer a one-year online program in mass communication. You’ll learn about applied research methods, ethics and social responsibility, global strategic communication management, and theories of mass communication. You’ll also complete a professional project.

Master of Mass Communication | Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers an online Masters of Mass Communications where graduate students can tailor the coursework to suit their career goals. When you apply for this program, you can learn about digital news, audiences, health and science communication, and strategic communication.

Master of Mass Communication | South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is another institution that offers ACEJMC-accredited online master’s program in mass communication. Their two-year online Master of Mass Communication program is designed for working journalists and professional communicators seeking to improve their skills. It covers new media skills required in today’s industries.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication | Stephen F Austin State University

Stephen F Austin State University provides graduate students with hands-on learning opportunities in the field of mass communication. The school offers three different specializations for the program, including advertising and public relations, broadcasting, and journalism.

Master of Science in Communications | Syracuse University

Although this Master of Science in Communications isn’t labeled as a mass communication degree, its curriculum covers the fundamentals of the field. It also offers specializations in public relations, advertising, journalism innovation, and media management.

Master of Arts in Mass Communication | Texas State University

The Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers face-to-face evening classes, online classes, and a hybrid of both to their graduate students. Those who are interested in earning their Master of Arts in Mass Communication online can expect to learn valuable skills in media writing, digital storytelling, law and ethics, and digital media issues.

Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Emerging Media Concentration | University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is home to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is recognized as one of the top two journalism schools in the country. In this online program, you’ll learn about digital communication, product ideation, design, development, project management, digital storytelling, and emerging technologies.

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication | University of Missouri

Similar to the program offered by Syracuse University, Missouri Online’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication isn’t designated as a mass communication program. However, the coursework of this program includes mass communication, public relations, interactive advertising, and other disciplines common in the field of mass communication.

Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Integrated Media Communications Specialization | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers both an in-person and online program for their Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with Specialization in Integrated Media Communications. It includes core coursework on advertising issues and strategies, advertising and PR research, brands and branding, and integrated media communications capstone.

Master of Mass Communication | University of South Carolina

This online Master of Mass Communication is a two-year program that focuses on strategic and integrated communication. Graduate students in this online program will take courses in research methods, media law, strategic communication, management, and new technologies.

What’s the Average Mass Communication Master’s Degree Salary?

Two women smiling and sitting behind a desk with microphones. Mass Communication Master's Degrees
A mass communication graduate degree can prepare you for higher-level positions in various industries, including advertising, journalism, and academics.

According to Payscale, mass communications master’s degree holders have an average yearly base salary of $68,000. Those with a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree , earn an average annual salary of $62,000. Professionals with a Master of Science in Mass Communication degree make an average of $76,000 a year.

Top Mass Communication Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Mass Communication Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager $133,460
Public Relations Manager $118,430
Executive Director $106,180
Senior Communications Manager $102,755
Director of Strategic Initiatives $102,215
Creative Director $89,566
Senior Copywriter $75,899
Communications Professor $71,030
Market Research Analyst $65,810
News Director $54,705

Best Mass Communication Master’s Degree Jobs Explained

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers plan marketing and strategic communication campaigns to generate interest in a brand or product. They often work with a team to discuss target customers, which media channel to use, and how to get the message to a large audience.

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers are responsible for planning and directing ways to enhance the public image of clients. They also designate the best spokesperson or information sources for media inquiries and help their customers communicate effectively with the public.

Executive Director

Executive directors are responsible for planning and directing activities within an organization. They create business plans, supervise department heads, and improve company performance.

Senior Communications Manager

  • Average Salary: $102,755
  • Job Outlook: 8%*
  • Number of Jobs: 2,704,400*
  • Highest-Paying States: South Dakota, New Jersey, District of Columbia*

Senior communications managers are responsible for handling and managing external and internal communications within the organization. Their tasks include developing and implementing strategies to improve online and offline outreach and ensure the message is consistent with the brand identity.

Director of Strategic Initiatives

  • Average Salary: $102,215
  • Job Outlook: 8%*
  • Number of Jobs: 2,704,400*
  • Highest-Paying States: South Dakota, New Jersey, District of Columbia*

Directors of strategic initiatives are high-ranking management professionals within an organization or business. These professionals are responsible for putting the company’s vision, objective, and path into action. They develop strategies and programs to help the company achieve its goals.

Creative Director

Creative directors lead a team in producing and implementing creative work. One of their main responsibilities is to determine the best way to represent a concept and articulate their vision to the artist. They often work on projects like advertising campaigns, television, music, and other artistic and creative fields. Visual communication skills are essential for these professionals.

Senior Copywriter

Senior copywriters generate original and compelling content that will influence consumers. They deliver written copy across a variety of media and fields for different clients.

Communications Professor

You can work as a postsecondary teacher or professor at community colleges if you have a master’s degree. Communications professors plan lessons and teach courses in the subject area of mass communication and its related field. You will also oversee and assess the progress of your students.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts gather data to analyze consumers and the market. They help companies understand what people want and which strategies work best. Aside from that, these professionals also monitor and forecast consumer trends.

News Director

News directors manage an entire news staff of news presenters, television producers, journalists, copywriters, photographers, and technical workers. They are responsible for understanding the target audiences, managing content delivery, and keeping track of how a show is going.

*These statistics are grouped under Top Executives by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Benefits of a Mass Communication Master’s Degree

  • Earn valuable knowledge and skills. Mass communication master’s programs will teach you valuable strategic thinking and analytical skills and help you gain in-depth, specialist knowledge.
  • Increase your career opportunities. Pursuing graduate studies in mass communication can give you access to career resources and introduce you to many networking opportunities. It can open new doors and increase your job opportunities.
  • Qualify a higher earning potential. Enrolling in a graduate school is not cheap. But once you complete your mass communication graduate degree, you may be able to get a good return on your investment. According to BLS, master’s degree holders have a weekly median pay of $240 more than those with bachelor’s degrees.
  • Improve reputation and credibility. Prospective employers are more likely to give your resume more attention if you have a master’s degree. You’ll be equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to handle higher positions and help produce positive results for the company.
  • More competitive in the job market. Many employers prefer and even require candidates to hold a master’s degree for high-level positions. By pursuing a mass communication master’s degree, you can become a desirable candidate and stay competitive in the job market.

Should You Get a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication?

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication can be expensive and time-consuming, so you’ll need to consider several things before making a decision. First, you must clearly define your career goals and analyze the job market. If the field is highly competitive and your dream company or position requires an advanced level of education and specialization, you should get a master’s degree.

Mass communication master’s degrees help make you more marketable to employers and open new career opportunities. Furthermore, they help you get promoted and accelerate in your chosen field and lead to a salary increase. Although it’s a big investment, the benefits make it a valuable venture.

Mass Communication Master’s Degree FAQ

What can you do with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication?

Those who hold a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication can work in various industries, including print and broadcast journalism, public relations, advertising, politics, and even academics. Some of your potential career options include marketing manager, public relations manager, creative director, community college professor, and even news director.

Is a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication worth it?

Pursuing a mass communication master’s degree is worth giving a try if you’re planning to advance your career or considering getting into the communication, journalism, marketing, or advertising fields.

How long does it take to get a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication?

If you’re planning on pursuing a full-time, on-campus master’s degree program in mass communication, then it will roughly take you two years to complete. However, some graduate students may take longer to finish their master’s if their chosen program includes a thesis credit.

How much can you make with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication?

According to Payscale, those who earned a Master of Arts in Mass Communication can expect an average salary of $62,000 annually, while those with a Master of Science in Mass Communication receive an average of $76,000.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Maia Estrera

About the author: Maia is a content writer who has experience in graphic design and web design with WordPress and Adobe Suite. She holds an Associate Degree in Computer System Design and Programming from the AMA Computer Learning Center in Nueva Ecija. She has also completed multiple content writing certificate courses on Udemy.

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