Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Communications

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: April 11, 2024, Reading time: 7 minutes

Find your perfect college degree

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Organizations – including government agencies, corporations, and media companies – need communication professionals.

The high cost of tuition and fees can be a major hurdle for students looking to pursue a career in communication. This is where an online degree can be handy. Let’s discover the top four schools to get an affordable online master’s degree in communications.  

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Communications

With so many options to choose from, finding the right online university and degree program can be challenging. Here are the four affordable universities students should consider when pursuing a master’s in communications.

Students of various ethnicities standing together in a corridor

Liberty University

The Master of Arts in Communication program at Liberty University is made for professionals and students who want to improve their ability to solve problems using advanced communication ideas.

Whether you work in any profession, this program can help you. Students learn storytelling and persuasive communication and hone their conflict-resolution skills. 

Students or professionals can take this program online. This means you don’t have to go to campus or attend in-person classes. Plus, each class lasts only eight weeks, so you can fit your studies around your job or other commitments.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Innovation is for working professionals who intend to climb the ladder in their careers. 

This master’s program is fully online, so students can learn whenever works best for them. They can select to start courses in any term and decide how many classes to take each term, from one to three. 

When students finish their coursework, they will have to wrap up with a final project where they’ll apply what they’ve learned to tackle a real-world organizational challenge.

Young woman in headphones using a laptop

South Dakota State University

When it comes to online learning, Brookings-based South Dakota State University is one of the best and most affordable schools in America. The “Master of Mass Communication” program provides accredited and rigorous curricula taught by professionals. 

Master’s students engage with video lectures, class discussions, and assignments. The enrollees may expect to get their online master’s degree in two years. The university may provide part-time options for students or professionals seeking more flexible class schedules.

93% of students at South Dakota State University receive financial aid, and about 52% take loans to fund online degrees. In addition to a master’s in mass communication, the school also offers 15 other online master’s degree programs. 

Arizona State University

The Master of Arts in Communication program at Arizona State University is designed to be flexible, affordable, and convenient for students. The program encompasses ten courses – each spanning seven-and-a-half weeks – allowing students to manage their studies alongside work and personal commitments. 

The program offers a mix of core classes and elective courses. This provides students with a choice to tailor their degree and include coursework in areas like gender and global communication topics. 

At the end of the degree, there’s a capstone class where students tackle a real-world issue related to their personal and professional interests. Every student pays a similar tuition rate regardless of where they live.

What Factors to Look for When Choosing an Online Master’s Degree in Communications?

Listed below are some important factors that every student who plans to pursue an online master’s degree in communications should go through before deciding: 

Choose Area of Study

When choosing a field of study for a communications graduate degree, students should consider their career goals and interests. Following your passion can often lead to more satisfying academic experiences and career paths. 

However, choosing a field, such as advertising, human resources, or healthcare, is also important. Jobs in correspondents and broadcast reporting are becoming less common. So, a student should keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry before making a decision.

A diverse group of people sitting at tables in a library, engrossed in books and studying together

Research Programs and Schools

Once you decide on a specialization, make sure to conduct thorough research on different programs and schools. Students should check if the program they choose is accredited. This is important because it shows that the program meets certain educational standards and will be respected by employers.

Here are a few questions that can help students with their research.

Most schools provide this information on their website, students can also join their virtual events or talk to an admissions counselor for more details.

Prepare for Applications and Tests

You should start preparing for tests and applications when you have a list of your favorite colleges and universities. One of the first things students should do is request transcripts and secure strong recommendation letters from mentors who know their aptitude and strengths. 

Then, focus on test prep. Students can join a prep program to improve their scores. At the same time, they should work on their personal statement. 

Make sure to highlight both your professional and academic goals. Prospective master’s students may also need to update their resume to show relevant experience and achievements.

Choose Your Program

When a student gets acceptance letters, it’s the perfect time to review key factors, such as faculty credentials, curriculum relevance, and online support.

Check if the program fits your career and academic goals. Don’t forget to compare tuition costs with financial assistance options to make sure it’s a good financial investment.

How to Make Online Master’s in Communications Affordable?

Financial assistance is increasingly important to make your online master’s in communication degree programs more affordable. 

Here’s what students need to do:

By comparing costs and exploring different financial options, students can find a way to afford their communications degree.

A man sitting at a table with a laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Communication Degree an MA or MS?

Students can select between getting a communications degree as a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS). Although a subtle difference exists between the two, the major difference is that an MSc. is more research-oriented.  

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master’s in Communications?

Usually, it takes about two years of full-time study to finish an online master’s degree in communications. However, some schools offer accelerated programs, taking only 12 to 18 months to complete.

How Much Can You Earn With a Master’s in Communications?

Careers in communication offer attractive salary packages. For example, public relations managers can earn a median salary of $129,430, while marketing managers earn about $140,040. Some other high-paying communication jobs you can pursue include brand strategists, media supervisors, or communications directors. 


Students who want to develop in-demand, advanced skills should pursue an online master’s in communications. Online degrees in communication are more affordable than on-campus degrees and help qualify you for better, high-paying leadership job roles. Provided you learn from an accredited school.