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Online Master of Science in Communication

Purdue University West Lafayette (Main Campus)

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Master of Science in Communication?
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Get the Skills You Need Now

Excel in strategic communication and advance your career. Purdue University’s online Master of Science in Communication program is designed for working professionals. It offers four concentrations or the ability to customize your own degree with industry specific knowledge.

100% Online

12–20 Months

No GRE or residency required

Over 90% alumni satisfaction

Gain Essential Skills Through an Innovative Curriculum

The online master's in communication program embodies the values that the Brian Lamb School of Communication was founded on, which include a commitment to openness in communication and public affairs. Inspired by this commitment, the curriculum for the graduate degree in communication was designed to teach students more than the textbook definitions of theory and strategy.

See How Coursework Translates to Success

The selected coursework ensures you achieve a heightened understanding of communication and the tools needed to leverage effective messaging across any medium.

86.9% of alumni rated themselves very or extremely effective at the following skills:

  • Developing strategic communication plans
  • Tailoring messages to different audiences / stakeholders
  • Thinking critically about communication
  • Using communication, information, and social technology
  • Communicating complex ideas effectively

Amplify Your Communication

Be empowered to amplify your branding and messaging strategies across international, national, and local platforms with deeper critical-thinking and strategic-communication skills, and learn how, exactly, to pivot quickly in an ever-changing marketplace.

With an online master’s in communication, you will gain vital knowledge in communication courses covering business, marketing, politics, organizational communications and public relations. A Master of Science in Communication from Purdue University equips you to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and gives you a firm understanding of tools and platforms available for today’s media.

Graduate Ready To:

  • Apply strategies based on concepts and theories to solve organizational problems
  • Develop brands and images for organizations
  • Communicate with investors and influence decision-making
  • Evaluate and leverage communication to international, national and local audiences
  • Analyze, build and manage relationships through social media
  • Demonstrate mastery of written communication as it relates to media, public relations and advertising
  • Apply ethical principles and decision-making when considering audiences and strategies

View Coursework

Student Profile

Strong strategic communication skills are needed in every industry across roles — our students have diverse educational and professional backgrounds, which enhance your perspectives in learning.

Who They Are

86% Work Full Time

49% Have Management Roles

74% Are in Communication

Where They Work

41% in the Private Sector

33% in Not-for-Profit

27% in the Public Sector

Take Your Career Further: Specialize

Given the growth and specialization of the communications industry, Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication speaks directly to the topics critical for advancement in the communication industry and provides a deeper focus with concentrations in four areas. 

By selecting a concentration or customizing your degree, you'll graduate with the expertise to take your career to new heights. You'll complete the degree in just 12-20 months using what you learn to establish yourself—or cement your status—as a communication expert. 

Strategic Communication/Public Relations Concentration

Learn to identify and overcome key issues to successfully manage organizational relationships with stakeholders, develop communication strategies tailored to the unique needs of specific audiences, and facilitate effective responses to organizational crises while understanding global challenges associated with strategic communication initiatives.

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Integrated Communication and Advertising Concentration

Understand the need—and methods—to engage all stakeholders within an organization to create effective messaging strategies, using persuasion theory to develop strategies and branding initiatives that reflect the integration of marketing, advertising and public relations.

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Communication and Leadership Concentration

Identify communication strategies when the stakes are high and learn how you can increase team productivity through communication. You'll develop data-fueled communication strategies and manage the challenges that occur naturally throughout conflicts, negotiations and change.

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Health Communication Concentration

Learn how to communicate within the increasingly complex healthcare industry. You'll improve the communications of internal and external teams, including industry stakeholders, patients, providers, payers and government agencies while learning how to address advocacy issues.

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Discover New Career Opportunities

Clear, powerful and concise communication is vital in today’s technology-driven world. As new avenues for communication emerge, it is paramount that practitioners thoroughly understand both quantitative and qualitative communication methodologies.

An MS in Communication is the first step toward a high-paying career in the field of communications and public relations. Graduates of Purdue's MS COMM program will be prepared for leadership positions in PR firms, ad agencies, nonprofits, government organizations and any other sector that values effective communication skills.

Sample Job Titles and Average Salaries You Can Earn With a Master’s in Communication:

  • Marketing Communications Strategist, $60,391
  • Corporate Communications Manager, $79,114
  • Organizational Development Director, $117,679

Explore Careers With an MS in Communication

Grow Your Professional Network

Purdue University strives to help you foster valuable connections and is committed to your career growth. Purdue's online MS in Communication program provides you with the opportunity to build strong professional relationships with your fellow classmates, who come from a wide array of professional backgrounds.

Our students bring years of professional communications experience and are employed by such leading companies and organizations as:

  • United Way
  • NCAA
  • Boeing
  • Coca-Cola
  • Time Warner Cable News
  • John Deere

The professional networking opportunities available to you as student in Purdue’s online MS in Communication program can help you establish valuable connections with current, former, and future communications leaders.

Test Drive a Course and Save Up To $2,000 on Your Degree

Earn three credits toward your MS in Communication degree at a discounted price thanks to a new partnership with FutureLearn — an online learning platform that offers online courses to millions of students worldwide.

The next course begins January 27, 2020.

Here's how it works:

  • Take a free introductory course in Digital Media Analytics in partnership with FutureLearn, a learning platform serving more than 8 million learners
  • Upgrade to finish the 5-course, 15-week FutureLearn series at $55 per course to earn 3 Purdue graduate credits — a cost savings of up to $2,000 on out-of-state-tuition*
  • Pass an assessment,** complete an application and requirements for the MS in Communication program, get accepted, start the program, then transfer the 3 credits into your program

FutureLearn's 15-week course series:

  • Digital Media Analytics: Introduction (free course)
  • Digital Media Analytics: Social Media Research Plans
  • Digital Media Analytics: Using Data from Owned Media
  • Digital Media Analytics: Earned Media
  • Digital Media Analytics: Paid Media
  • Digital Media Analytics: Using 'Listening Data'
  • Digital Media Analytics: Putting It All Together (Assessment)

Register for your free course today.

*FutureLearn is based in the United Kingdom, cost per course may change per U.S. conversion rates.
**Cost to take the assessment is $125 and may change per U.S. conversion rates.

Online Graduate Certificate Available

Quickly broaden your skillset to meet current communication needs with the online Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management. Earn the certificate in as few as 24 weeks, and immediately apply your new skills to a range of fields.

Admissions decisions are based on individual experience and the applicant’s fit with the program.

To be considered for admission, students must complete a phone interview with an admissions advisor and submit a completed application as well as the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • An updated resume
  • A 500-word (minimum) personal statement
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended, including transfer credits
  • (3) professional letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your abilities
  • An application fee of $60 ($75 for international students)

In addition to the admission requirements noted on the first tab, international students must also provide the following information.

  • Official transcripts from all universities attended in the original language as well as English translation for transcripts and diplomas not in English.
  • Non-native English speakers must also submit the following.
    • TOEFL test scores that are less than two years old and meet the following requirements:
      • Paper-Based (PBT) Minimum: 600
      • Internet-Based (IBT) Overall Score: 77
      • Writing: 18
      • Speaking: 27
      • Listening: 14
      • Reading: 19
    • IELTS test scores that are less than two years old and have a minimum score of 8 in the Academic Module

Prior to starting your online application, you must first complete a phone interview with an admissions advisor. To schedule your phone interview, call 877-497-5851.

Once you have completed your phone interview, you are ready to complete the online application.

If you have any questions about filling out the application, request more information or call us at 877-497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor.

What’s It Like to Learn Online?

  • Will my diploma look different from the on-campus programs?

    No. Both on-campus and online programs earn the same diploma. Online students are also invited to participate in the graduation ceremony on campus upon program completion.

  • How do online classes work?

    Coursework is asynchronous, meaning that there are not specific times that you need to be online. When you start the program, you will be given access to a virtual classroom interface. Your instructor will post coursework, syllabi, assignments, and messages every week. You will also use discussion boards, e-mail, and chat to communicate with your classmates and your instructor. You can log on and do your coursework at any time that is convenient for you, but you must turn in your assignments by the deadlines your instructor sets.

  • How much time should I allow for doing homework and completing assignments?

    As in an on-campus program, you should plan on devoting about 15 to 20 hours a week to coursework, depending on your study habits.

  • What if I have a question about homework or need help with a technical issue?

    The faculty and staff at Purdue are dedicated to your success at the University and in the future. Your instructor will set weekly times for one-on-one electronic consultations and will answer emails in a timely fashion. Technical support is available to help you handle hardware and software issues, and we have dedicated staff available to talk to you about financial aid, scheduling, or any other administrative issues.

Current Tuition Rates and Fees* In-State Out-of-State
Tuition Rate $451.20 $751.20

Technology Fee

$7.55 $7.55

Repair and Rehabilitation Fee

$11.25 $11.25
Digital Education Fee $50.00 $50.00
Total Cost Per Credit Hour $520.00 $820.00
Total Credit Hours 30 30
Total Program Cost $15,600.00 $24,600.00

*Tuition and fees are charged on a per credit hour basis and are subject to annual increases. Annual increases may change the total program cost. The rate and fees above are effective for the 2019–2020 school year. Purdue Faculty and staff fee remissions may not be applied to the online MS in Communication program.

Get Started

Learn how earning your MS in Communication degree from Purdue University can prepare you to change the future with a highly specialized skillset.

To learn more about the program, request more information or call 877-497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor.