Top 10 Universities for Master's in Communication and Media Studies in the USA

Media technologies are increasingly transforming businesses. The way companies advertise themselves, conduct businesses, maintain brand image, etc., are all determined by the media. It will be safe to say that communication is one of the most sought-after fields in the present labour market. Companies are in dire need of skilled communicators to relay their message and image to the people.

Studying communication and media gives a better understanding of the world and its way of functioning, civic engagement and how consumers behave. So, skilled communicators can be future leaders and critical thinkers who can readily take on problems and solve them.

Studying media and communications in the US will allow students to engage with industry leaders and seek diverse opportunities. The country has top schools with curated curricula that will introduce students to the value of media, communication, messages, interaction and culture. Moreover, getting a master’s in media and communications in the US will empower students to work amongst business executives, digital-age creative and bureaucrats.

Top 10 Universities for Master’s in Media and Communications in the USA

1. University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles

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Image source: USC Annenberg – University of Southern California

A branch of the University of Southern California, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, enjoys a top ranking in the world for its graduate program in Communications. Established in 1971 by the US ambassador, Walter H. Annenberg, the school became part of the University of Southern California in 1994. The communication and journalism school has produced notable people in their respective fields and is the most loved institute even among international students. The school is quite selective with the applications, and the acceptability rate is usually close to 12%.

The school offers a dual degree in global communication. Students will learn to interpret, understand and navigate through the world of politics, communication, culture, technology and economics. The first year will be conducted at The London School of Economics and the second year by USC Annenberg. The course will empower students to build a research portfolio and a global network that will present them with global technology, media, advertising and business opportunities.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Global Communication/ Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Global Media

Course Details :

  • Program duration: 2 years, full-time

  • Admission semester: Fall (September)

2. Moody College of Communication – The University of Texas, Austin

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Image source: The University of Texas at Austin
Ranking a close second in students’ preferences, the Moody College of Communication – the University of Texas at Austin excels in media and communication studies. The college aims to bring together a diverse group of talented people to change the world of communication through their collective prowess. The college offers several undergraduate and graduate courses to help students strengthen their knowledge of advertising, communication studies, journalism and media, communication and leadership, radio-television-film, public relations, speech, language and hearing sciences.

The master’s in communication and media offered by Moody College of Communication is built around the ever-dynamic nature of media, culture and technologies. The course draws on a diverse variety of topics that focus on the transient nature of media. Students can expect to get trained in the intersection of media with politics, culture and socio-economic structures and media as the sites of delineation of fights over inclusion and struggle. The program will help the students learn a diverse range of new media forms and the old ones in the contexts of history, aestheticism, society, culture and industry.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.), with a concentration in Media Studies.

Course Details :

  • Program duration: 2 years, full-time

  • Admission semester: Fall

3. University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Image source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the most sought-after public universities in the USA. Established in 1848, the university is the official university of the state of Wisconsin that has constantly aimed to achieve excellence through its academics and research. The university is now the 13th best public college in the country. The university has an acceptance rate of 54%. Because it is a public university, the tuition fees are lesser than the other universities, and so, getting admission is quite a feat.

The program in communication and media emphasises and examines the global cultural shifts and forms created and maintained by media giants. Students will be able to detect and interpret the role of media in everyday lives at the individual, national and global levels. The program is based on screen and sound media but transcends boundaries to encourage an interdisciplinary curriculum. Along with media studies, students can expect to learn about a diversity of cultural theories influencing global media and communication.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Media and Cultural Studies

Course Details :

  • Program duration: 2 years, full-time.

  • Admission semester: Fall

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

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Image source: MIT News

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, popularly known as MIT, has been crucial to modern science and technology development. The university builds students who later go on to become pioneers in their respective fields. Consequently, MIT is one of the most prestigious universities globally, as students from all over the world send applications. The university has produced 97 Nobel Laureates to date.

The master’s degree in communication and media offered by MIT takes a deep look into the complex world of media technologies. The course will introduce students to the myriad media forms from books to social media, from virtual reality to video games. Further, students will also gain knowledge of the new media practices of everyday people, fans, social movements, institutions and states and critique the role of these media forms in empowering communities.

Program List :

  • Master of Science (S.M.) in Comparative Media Studies

Course Details :

  • Program duration: —–

  • Admission semester: Fall (September)

5. Columbia University – School of Professional Studies, New York City

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Image source: Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the Ivy League universities in the USA. Established as King’s College in 1754, on the campus of Trinity Church, Manhattan, it is the oldest higher education institution in New York and the fifth-oldest in the country. The university enjoys an immaculate reputation among students worldwide, and its acceptance rate is 5%. The alumni of the university include the founders of the country, foreign heads of state, justices of the US Supreme Court, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award recipients, Olympic medallists, etc.

The university offers a three-way master’s degree in Strategic Communication. Students can opt for an ‘Executive Part-Time Hybrid’ course, a full-time on-campus course and a part-time on-campus course. The first one is for experienced communication leaders, who are on the lookout to increase their skill-set. The full-time program is for students who wish to change their careers early, and lastly, the part-time course is for professionals who want to have a more flexible approach to the course.

Program List :

  • Master of Science in Strategic Communication.

Course Details :

  • Program duration: Executive part-time, hybrid – 16 months full-time, on-campus – 12 or 16 months
    part-time, on-campus – Up to 3 years

  • Admission semester: Fall

6. New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York City

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Image source: NYU Steinhardt

The New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development is the secondary school of New York University (NYU). Located in the campus of New York University, it is one of its kind in the world. Established in 1890, it is the first pedagogy school to be built inside a university. The school offers undergraduate, postgraduate, certificate and doctoral programs in liberal arts and education.

This master’s in communication and media teaches students to dive deeper into the diverse perspectives of ever-changing media technologies, industries and cultures. The curriculum involves a detailed insight into media history, media theory, digital media, new media technologies, global culture and media, visual culture, politics and race.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Media, Culture, and Communication

Course Details :

  • Program duration: 3 to 4 semesters full-time, 4 to 8 semesters part-time

  • Admission semester: Fall

7. Michigan State University – College of Communication Arts and Sciences, East Lansing

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Image source: Wikipedia

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University was established to teach scientific methods of agriculture as ‘Agricultural College of the State of Michigan’. At present, the university is the country’s one of the largest universities with around 634,300 alumni members living around the world. The master’s in communication and media is offered by the College of Communication Arts and Science of Michigan State University which ranks number 13 in QS World Rankings in Communication and Media Studies.

The master’s course empowers the students to be well-versed in the diverse fields of communication. The curriculum includes interpersonal communication, mediated communication, organisational communication, persuasion and social influence, intercultural communication or political communication. Students can end the program in two ways – by taking the final examination (career-oriented track) or opting for a thesis (pre-Ph.D. track).

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication

Course Details :

  • Program duration: —–

  • Admission Semester: Fall

8. Northwestern University, Illinois

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Image source: USNews.com

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University is one of the most esteemed universities in the world. Founded in 1851, the university is the oldest in the state of Illinois and is composed of eleven schools. To date, the university has produced 22 Nobel laureates, 40 Pulitzer Prize recipients, 2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 16 Olympic medal winners, etc. The master’s in media and communication is conducted by the School of Communication of the university.

This master’s program in communication at Northwestern University is designed to build a personal brand, communicate more effectively, and inculcate leadership skills. The course will thus teach students to tell stories convincingly and ace at their job roles at any place in the world. To sum it all up, the course will help you develop all the skills to relay brand messages better. The university has kept a part-time program and an online program for all levels and experienced communicators. However, international students can opt for a full-time academic session.

Program List :

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Communication.

Course Details :

  • Program Duration: 1 year, full-time

  • Admission Semester: Fall

9. The Ohio State University, Columbus

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Image source: PR Newswire

Popularly referred to as OSU, Ohio State University ranks among the top public US universities. The university continuously strives for academic excellence and received the largest endowment in the world in 2020. In addition, the university is classified as an ‘R1: Doctoral University’, which is given to a university that engages in high research activity. OSU has the third-largest campus in the country, with 50,000 undergraduate students and around 15,000 graduate students.

The master’s in communication and media offered by OSU emphasises the necessary skills and research methods in the communication field. As is evident, the master’s program is designed for students who wish to continue with their studies on to doctoral courses or opt for research discourses in the field of communication. The master’s program ends in a thesis in which a student is expected to create new knowledge about the communication discourse.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication.

Course Details :

  • Program duration: 2 years, full-time

  • Admission semester: Autumn

10. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Illinois

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Image source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is a public research university in Illinois. The university houses the fastest supercomputer at any university compound and has the second-biggest library after Harvard University. In addition, the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign has been given the ‘R1: Doctoral Universities’ classification, which speaks volumes of its on-campus research activities. It has 16 colleges and schools that offer around 150 bachelor’s and 100 master’s degree courses.

The master’s in communication and media course is designed to cater to various student interests - for continuing with the preparation for the business or law schools, career-centric training, and future research/ doctoral studies. So, each student will master the necessary knowledge and skills inherent in the field of communication. Furthermore, through the degree, students will have exposure to the social-scientific and humanistic aspects of communication and develop familiarity with different kinds of research methods.

Program List :

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication.

Course Details :

  • Program duration: —-

  • Admission semester: Fall

Conclusion

The demand for efficient and skilled communicators soared in the last fifteen years. Every organisation of varied size and kind depends on a communications expert to help build their brand and establish familiarity with people. In this competitive world of product marketing, a communications and media expert is the key to an organisation’s popularity and success. Make your chances to shine in this vibrant industry by pursuing a master’s in communication and media in one of the notable universities in the USA.

To know about the Top 10 Universities for Master's/Ph.D. programs in Economics in the USA, you can visit the following link:

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