Master of Arts in Communication

The ability to solve conflicts, negotiate outcomes, and share ideas through effective communication is a critical skill in our global, digital world. The East Carolina University School of Communication offers a Master of Arts in Communication that will provide you a comprehensive education in theory and practice.

Easily balance work, life, and education with our MA in Communication. We offer flexible courses on campus, or you can choose to pursue a fully online master’s in communication—a convenient option for busy working professionals. Set your own pace and earn a competitive edge in the job market with our online master’s in communication program.

Tailor your curriculum, follow your passion

If you would like to customize your graduate studies, our MA in communication is a great choice. We have a concentration in strategic communication which allows you to gain knowledge and open doors to a wide range of exciting careers.

Strategic communication: designed for the current landscape of communication professionals where students can focus on the following topics:

  • Public relations principles and practices
  • Social media and digital communication
  • Organizational communication and leadership
  • Health communication
  • Organizational communication
  • Interpersonal communication

Don’t have an undergraduate degree in communication? No worries—anyone who has completed a bachelor’s degree can apply to our MA in communication program.

Admission Criteria

Along with the ECU Graduate School application form, a resume or curriculum vitae, one letter of professional and/or academic recommendation, a statement of purpose and official transcripts are required. TOEFL is an additional requirement for the applicants whose native language is not English. Your statement of purpose should include your goals, experiences and reasons for applying to the master of arts program in the School of Communication and should be no longer than 750 words. For more guidance on writing your statement of purpose, visit ECU Career Services’ resource page for graduate school preparation. Submit all materials to the ECU Graduate School by the deadline set by the School of Communication. Admission to the program will be competitive. The following materials will be used in making decisions regarding each candidate’s appropriateness for the program:

Application Deadline Information

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; however, semester guidelines for priority deadlines are as follows: June 15 for Fall, February 15 for Summer, and October 15 for Spring. Applications may be reviewed after the deadline.
  • A limited number of assistantships are available within the School of Communication and they are awarded on a competitive basis. Therefore, early submission by the priority deadlines of your application packet is highly recommended if you wish to receive full consideration for an assistantship.
  • The applicants seeking admission should send all required materials to the ECU Graduate School by the deadlines mentioned above. The ECU Graduate School will then forward the required documents to the School of Communication.

No GRE required

Award-winning faculty

30-hour communication master’s

Optional 100% online MA in communication

Why earn a master’s in communication at ECU?

The range of jobs for communication master’s graduates is virtually unlimited. As an ECU student, you will learn to incorporate multiple areas of communication and develop a variety of skills, giving you the expertise to find success in any field.

Versatile skill set

Gain wide-ranging knowledge of the theory and practice of communication that will give you the adaptability you need to start or advance in an exciting and interesting career.

Custom, flexible format

Personalize your curriculum with an area of concentration in health communication or strategic communication. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to go virtual: ECU offers a 100% online master’s in communication. Your courses will fit your schedule and life demands.

World-class instruction

Learn from faculty who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to the communication field. Professors have won awards at every level—departmental, university, UNC System, and more.

Courses you will take in the East Carolina University communication master’s program

Become an expert in the evolving and dynamic field of contemporary communication. Study in the vibrant College of Fine Arts and Communication, where we are committed to your success.

Our in-person or online master’s in communication program includes a broad range of knowledge and creative thinking skills from coursework that includes:

  • Communication Pedagogy: prepares students to teach a stand-alone course. This is especially relevant if you would like to pursue teaching at the university or community college level.
  • Applied Communication Capstone: a newly created course that allows students to craft an applied project to demonstrate the skills they have acquired in the MA in communication program.

Hear from our master’s in communication students

How do you see yourself using this degree in your future career?

“Through school and work, I have gained experience in health advocacy, media-based campaigns and marketing, cultural and technological communication approaches, as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods. My goal is to use these and other skills at a public, governmental, or private organization and work on projects that positively impact people’s lives.”

—Kent Strano, MA in Communication ’22

Why did you choose ECU?

“The MA in communication program at ECU checked all the boxes for me—I can receive an affordable education from a distance while I continue to work full-time. The faculty and staff are supportive and truly care about the success of their students, which means a lot. I am only in my second semester, and I have enjoyed being back in an academic setting and being able to learn from talented professors and fellow classmates. I made the right choice!”

—Zac Giffin, MA in Communication ’23

What did you learn in the program?

“I have learned how to develop a strategic communication plan, how to advocate for others, and how not to fall in the face of a crisis thanks to my strategic communication courses.”

—Ainsley McNeill, MA in Communication ’22

What can you do with your MA in communication degree?

Your ECU Master of Arts in Communication degree opens the door to many rewarding and high-demand careers. The demand for communication jobs is on the rise due to an increased need to create and share information through a variety of different channels.

Where do you want to make an impact?

Graduates with a communication master’s degree can choose to work for an array of employers—internal or external communication for traditional organizations or new media platforms paving the way of the future.

Where are communication master’s alumni working?

Our Master of Arts in Communication graduates pursue roles such as:

  • University instructor
  • Community college instructor
  • University advisor
  • Public relations director
  • Health communication specialist
  • Insurance sales representative
  • Medical device sales representative
  • Public communications specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Project specialist
  • Marketing and public relations manager
  • Marketing manager

Employment in media and communication occupations is projected to jump 14% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More than 151,000 new media and communication jobs are expected to be available through 2030.

Get started on your Master of Arts in Communication degree

Take the next step toward earning your ECU master’s in communication degree. We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started.


Accreditation for East Carolina University

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.