Online Master of Science in Communication
Purdue University West Lafayette (Main Campus)
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.
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
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.
86% Work Full Time
49% Have Management Roles
74% Are in Communication
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
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 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)
- All applicants must upload to the online application transcript(s) and/or academic document(s) for every institution of higher education attended. If a transcript and diploma/degree certificate is not in English, an English translation (certified by the college or university that issued it) must be uploaded.
- The uploaded transcript and/or academic document must be from the official version of the document. An official transcript bears the original signature of the registrar and/or the original seal of the issuing institution.
- If personal identifying information such as a student identification number or social security number appear on the document, REMOVE THIS INFORMATION from your electronic version of your document or mark out the information in black ink before scanning your document.
All transcripts and/or academic documents uploaded to the online application system are considered unofficial. The Purdue University Graduate School reserves the right to require official transcripts and/or academic documents at any time during the admissions process.
- Three online recommendations are required for your application to be received.
- Recommendations will only be accepted through the online application (no paper recommendations will be accepted).
- We prefer that recommenders be employers who are able to render an opinion on the basis of close, current and sustained observation. We strongly urge (but do not require) that one recommendation be from your direct supervisor. Recommendations from friends, family members, acquaintances and other sources unable to evaluate professional or academic qualifications are not acceptable. No more than three recommendations are needed. We require that recommenders submit the recommendations online (instructions to do so are provided within the online application). Please note that we will not receive your application until at least three registered recommenders have submitted recommendations through the online application.
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
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|
Repair and Rehabilitation Fee
|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.