Communication Master of science degree

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A focus on the humanities and social sciences combined with marketing, information technology, digital publishing, or a discipline of your choosing, provides a solid framework to help you understand the evolving communication landscape.

Communication is at the center of our lives and careers, whether it is interpersonal or mediated communication. Professional communicators need to know how to develop creative and impactful messaging and to engage audiences successfully. A communication masters degree from RIT provides you with an innovative communication curriculum grounded in strong social sciences and humanities concepts, preparing you to stand out in a competitive profession.

The master’s program in communication (formerly communications and media technologies) prepares students to be content, brand, or marketing managers, social media strategists, and communication officers in a variety of business sectors, industries, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. You will also become competent as a media analyst skilled in researching media content or prepared to pursue a doctoral degree.

You will learn from a diverse and dynamic faculty, comprised of accomplished communication researchers and practitioners, who will teach you how to research a communication challenge, create compelling messages, and analyze media content and audience engagement. Our core course offerings include classes in advertising, social media, research, and strategic communication.

Scholarships and Research Assistantships

Scholarships of up to 30 percent of tuition are awarded to qualified applicants. The program also offers several research assistantships each year as well.


  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Higher Education

  • Internet and Software

  • Journalism, Media, and Publishing

  • Non-Profit

  • Other Education

Typical Job Titles

Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Communications Coordinator Digital Marketing Specialist
Account Coordinator Customer Sales Director
Communication Assistant Marketing Analyst
Digital Marketing and Communications Analyst Technical Writer

Featured Profiles


Communication, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Communication Theories
This course focuses on theories of communication as they relate to mass media and other forms of human interaction. Theories based in both the humanities and in the social sciences that explain or predict the effects of interaction and communication technology on audiences will be examined.
Research Methods in Communication
An introduction to and overview of the methods and ethics of scientific, scholarly communication research including quantitative and qualitative approaches. The course focuses on methods of locating, critically analyzing, and conducting communication research, and leads to the development of a research proposal suitable for a thesis or project.
Strategic Communication
Strategic Communication will consist of a topical look at strategic communication, focusing upon marketing, photography, and internet. We will examine the growing interdisciplinary interest in strategic communication via a series of readings and exercises from visual studies, branding, and photography. We will look at how visual communication 'works' strategically, and assignments call for analysis and insight into a theme of strategic communication. Thus, we will do some writing about classic and contemporary communication. This is not meant to be a basic course in advertising or marketing communication; rather we look at strategic communication from several different perspectives to gain understanding of its role in both organizations and society.
Thesis Preparation Seminar
An introduction to graduate study and research in communication including the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological parameters of communication and its sub-disciplines. Participants will interact with the faculty teaching required and elective communication courses. Attention will be drawn to scholarly writing and research design. When possible, the course is organized in conjunction with the department’s colloquium series.
Communication Electives
Professional Core
Choose one of the following:
   Communication Thesis/Project
A guided research project that focuses on designing, conducting, and completing a research project. The project culminates in a public presentation and defense.
   Comprehensive Exam, plus two additional courses*
Total Semester Credit Hours

* Courses may be professional core courses, communication electives, or a combination of both.


Communication electives

Social Media Analytics and Research
Digital Storytelling
Digital Advertising
A review of the theory and practice of interactive advertising. Topics include digital interactive media used for advertising purposes, interactive advertising theories and models, and the strategies and tactics for developing effective ad campaigns using interactive media, including the internet, virtual communities, video games, and mobile phones.
Visual Communication
This course explores visual communication, the process through which individuals -- in relationships, organizations, and societies -- create and interpret visual messages. A variety of theories from the disciplines of art history, psychology, communication theory, and graphic design will be discussed to develop methods for analyzing mediated messages. Students analyze visual messages from the following media: print photography, video, film, and the internet.
Communication Design Principles
Communication and Identity
Artificial Intelligence and Communication

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in communication, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their professional interests.
  • Submit at least two letters of reference from academic advisers, major professors, and/or supervisors or managers.
  • Submit a writing portfolio consisting of at least three writing samples, such as academic papers written for class, work-related brochures and pamphlets, or newspaper or magazine articles.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88-89 (Internet-based) are required on the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required on the IELTS. This requirement may be waived for students who submit undergraduate transcripts from American colleges and universities.
  • Students are encouraged to submit scores from the GRE.

Scholarships of up to 30 percent of tuition are awarded to qualified applicants. The program also offers several research assistantships each year as well.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid