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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's in Communications

By the OnlineU team | Updated 12/2/2022
2023 Most Affordable Online Degrees Badge

Communicating effectively in various environments with diverse individuals is the cornerstone of building enduring relationships in our personal and professional lives. Students with bachelor's degrees may pursue an online master's degree in communications to develop the advanced, in-demand skills employers often seek. Our list of affordable options can help ease the burden of student debt while providing a convenient way to pursue an advanced degree. 

For students still unclear about their graduate degree path, an online master's degree in public relations or an online master's degree in marketing may be appealing. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg (MA) $4,934
# 2 #2 Union College - KY Barbourville (KY) $5,100
# 3 #3 Missouri State University Springfield (MO) $5,415
# 4 #4 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg (MO) $5,910
# 5 #5 Arkansas State University Jonesboro (AR) $5,958
# 6 #6 Eastern Illinois University Charleston (IL) $6,753
# 7 #7 Drury University Springfield (MO) $6,930
# 8 #8 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus Portales (NM) $7,227
# 9 #9 New Mexico State University Las Cruces (NM) $7,407
# 10 #10 Asbury University Wilmore (KY) $7,537
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,934
Annual Tuition: $4,934
Annual Tuition: $4,934

Fitchburg State University (FSU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Science in Applied Communication - Social Media. This 36-credit program is accelerated with seven-week terms and may be completed in as few as five months if attending full time. FSU accepts 88% of applicants, and 59% graduate with a degree.

FSU uses Blackboard to deliver instruction and coursework to online students. For example, students in the social media track enroll in classes such as New and Emerging Media, Social Mobilities, Social Media Theory, and Integrate Social Media. They must also complete a capstone project to graduate, and then, alums can enter careers in social media management, public relations, communications management, and brand management.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 385
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,402
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#2
#2

Union College - KY

Barbourville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100

Union College is a private, nonprofit institution rooted in the Methodist faith offering an online Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Communications Management. Students complete 30 credit hours of coursework to graduate, which may take two years if attending full time. Union has a 57% acceptance rate and a 35% graduation rate.

Union delivers online instruction via uLearn. Distance learners in this digital marketing and communications management program can choose from a range of classes: Internet Consumer Behavior, Brand Management, E-commerce, and Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Skills developed in the course curriculum can help prepare students for career movement and job growth within the marketing and communications field.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 133
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#3
#3

Missouri State University

Springfield (MO)
Annual Tuition: $5,415
Annual Tuition: $5,415
Annual Tuition: $5,415

Missouri State University (MSU) is a public, four-year institution offering an online Master of Professional Studies - Applied Communication. This program requires students to complete 33 credit hours, which may take those attending full time at least two years to finish. MSU accepts 87% of applicants, and 57% of enrolled students graduate.

MSU's remote students access Blackboard to receive course content and instruction. Online applied communication students enroll in classes such as Conflict and Communication, Professional Communication Skills, Organizational Communication, and Public Relations Campaigns. Coursework helps students develop practical communication skills, which they can apply in various organizational structures and environments. Graduates may pursue careers in training and development, communication leadership, mediation, and human resources management.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,048
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,332
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $5,910
Annual Tuition: $5,910
Annual Tuition: $5,910

University of Central Missouri (UCM) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Communication. This 31-credit program may take full-time students two years to complete. UCM accepts 64% of applicants, of which 53% graduate.

UCM delivers online course instruction via the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). Distance learners in the master's of communication program may choose to enroll in courses such as Family Communication, Social Influence, Gender Communication, and Contemporary Communication. Students eager to pursue a PhD can complete a thesis to graduate, while others are required to finish a research project. The curriculum builds on students' prior experience to deepen communication knowledge for potential job advancement.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 449
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 728
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro (AR)
Annual Tuition: $5,958
Annual Tuition: $5,958
Annual Tuition: $5,958

Arkansas State University (ASU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Science in Strategic Communication with an emphasis on Communication Regulation and Policy or Media Entrepreneurship. It may take full-time students two years to complete the required 30 credit hours for graduation. ASU also offers an online Master of Arts in Communication Studies as a similar course of study. Overall, the school has a 67% acceptance rate and a 51% graduation rate.

ASU's online students participate in classes via Blackboard. Those in a communications master's program may choose from courses such as Audience Market Analysis, Strategic Communication Management, and Integrated Marketing Communication. The curriculum also helps prepare students to graduate with Hootsuite certification. Alums may seek advanced leadership roles in communication, marketing, or public relations, to name a few options.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1013 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,064
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,414
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#6
#6

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston (IL)
Annual Tuition: $6,753
Annual Tuition: $6,753
Annual Tuition: $6,753

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Communication Studies - Communication and Leadership. Students in this program complete 33 credit hours to graduate, which generally takes two years if students complete two courses each term, including summers. EUI accepts 56% of applicants, while 61% graduate with degrees.

EUI uses Brightspace for online students to access instruction and assignments. Distance learners in the communication and leadership program may participate in courses such as Intercultural Communication, Communication Ethics, Small Group and Team Communication, and Social Interaction. The communications curriculum can help students prepare for careers teaching at community colleges, directing an organization's public relations efforts, or other executive-level positions in communication.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 562
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 524
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7

Drury University

Springfield (MO)
Annual Tuition: $6,930
Annual Tuition: $6,930
Annual Tuition: $6,930

Drury University is a private, nonprofit institution adopting Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) values and offering an online Master of Arts in Communication with an Integrated Marketing Communication or an Organizational Leadership and Change emphasis. Students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework, which may take as few as 18 months for those enrolled full time to graduate. Drury offers a mix of 8 and 16-week sessions. Drury's acceptance rate is 71%, and its graduation rate is 63%.

Drury's online students use the LMS Canvas to access asynchronous instruction and coursework. Communication graduate students can enroll in classes such as Public Relations and Corporate Writing, Strategic Issues Management, Communication Consulting, and Organizational Change — depending on the emphasis chosen. Course curricula can help students develop advanced professional skills for organizational leadership roles.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1045 -1225
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 188
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $7,227
Annual Tuition: $7,227
Annual Tuition: $7,227

Eastern New Mexico University's main campus (ENMU) is a Hispanic-serving public institution that offers an online Master of Arts in Communication. Students can choose from a 30-credit option that requires the completion of a capstone project or a 27-credit thesis option that eliminates the capstone requirement. Currently, ENMU accepts 51% of those who apply, and it has a 44% graduation rate.

ENMU utilizes Canvas so distance learners can participate in classes and engage with peers. Online students in the graduate communication program may choose courses such as Critical Analysis of Mass Media, Public Relations Cases and Concepts, Multimedia Journalism, and Rhetoric and Popular Culture. Professions that may benefit from the curriculum explored in this degree include broadcast journalism, political consulting, human resources, and publishing.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#9
#9

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces (NM)
Annual Tuition: $7,407
Annual Tuition: $7,407
Annual Tuition: $7,407

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a public, Hispanic-serving institution offering an online Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Students can choose from an Organizational Leadership Communication or an Organizational Analysis and Decision Making emphasis as well as whether they want to write a thesis or take a comprehensive exam. This 36-credit online degree may take full-time students two years to complete. NMSU accepts 63% of applicants, of which 52% graduate.

NMSU's remote students use Canvas to engage in class virtually. Distance learners in the master's in communication studies program enroll in courses based on the emphasis chosen, such as International Communication, Leadership Communication, Seminar in Persuasion, and/or Seminar in Nonverbal Communication. Coursework can help prepare students for advanced careers in strategic communications, marketing and sales, human resources, and engineering.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 966
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 809
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10

Asbury University

Wilmore (KY)
Annual Tuition: $7,537
Annual Tuition: $7,537
Annual Tuition: $7,537

Asbury University is a private, nonprofit institution that offers an online Master of Arts in Communication. It can take full-time students as few as 18 months to graduate from this 30-credit program, where they can choose to complete a thesis or capstone project. Asbury has a 75% acceptance rate, and 62% of students graduate with degrees.

Asbury University students access online curricula via the Discovery LMS. Courses delivered through Discovery in Asbury's graduate communication program include Cross-Platform Storytelling, Viral Marketing Methods, Global Communication, and Media Ethics and Criticism. Graduates may choose to enter careers in nonprofit communications, advertising, and public relations.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 473
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 206
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

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