Graduate Certificate Programs in Communication
The field of communication has a number of distinct areas of focus that are typically associated with specific careers, such as public relations, technical and scientific communication, mass media, social media, journalism, business or strategic communication, health communication, and political communication. As an academic discipline, communication falls under the larger umbrella of social and behavioral science, drawing on psychology, sociology, political science, linguistics, and semiotics to form the basis of research into how concepts and ideas are translated into symbols and messages that convey meaning between individuals and groups.
At colleges and universities, communication and communication studies is generally broken down into academic research in communication theory and practical applications of communication tools and technologies in media, business, public policy, scientific research, healthcare, and other fields. Communication professionals generally focus on the applied facets of communication with a foundation in communication theory, and training in areas that may include: written and oral presentation skills; organizational science and group dynamics; mass and digital media technologies; consumer and group psychology; media messaging and public relations; and persuasion and conflict resolution.
For bachelor’s program graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in communication and communication professionals who want to cultivate new skills, graduate certificate programs offer a less time intensive and more affordable alternative to completing a full master’s in communication program, which can take up to two years or more. Communication graduate certificate programs are generally offered by the same departments and academic divisions at colleges and universities that have undergraduate and master’s degree programs in communication and communication studies. In fact, the cluster of courses that comprise a graduate certificate in communication– typically three, four, or five courses – are also offered as part of a master’s program curriculum. This can be advantageous for students who decide to pursue a master’s degree in communication at a later date, as some or potentially all of the credits earned in a certificate program may be eligible to transfer towards a master’s in communication program.
While many master’s in communication degree programs require students to take courses in communication theory as well as applied communication, graduate certificate programs typically narrow their focus to the practical applications of specific communication skills, principles, and technologies. Thus, there are certificate programs that focus on business and organizational communication, technical communication, science writing, public relations and media strategy, health communication, and social and digital media. Most of these programs are designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree, although some require a master’s degree and may be classified as post-master’s or post-graduate certificate programs. Finally, many graduate certificate programs in communication are structured to accommodate working professionals, with classes scheduled in evenings and/or on weekends, and/or all or most of the coursework offered online.
Graduate Certificates in Communication
Learn more about graduate certificate programs in applied communication by exploring the programs listed below.
Graduate certificate programs with an applied communication curriculum provide training and instruction in practical applications of communication theory in a broad range of fields and contexts, including strategic business and corporate communication, global and intercultural communication, digital and multimedia communication, and communication management.
Graduate certificate programs in health communication are career-oriented academic training programs that provide professionals with the knowledge and proficiencies required to work in communications, for public health organizations and agencies, hospitals and medical groups, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies. There are also graduate certificate programs designed for healthcare professionals who want to gain advanced knowledge about how to optimize interpersonal communication in healthcare settings.
Science writing graduate certificate programs provide career-based practical training in the knowledge and skills required to work in science journalism, academic science writing, and other areas which involve writing and communicating effectively about scientific and medical issues and topics. These programs are designed for college graduates who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Graduate certificate programs in strategic communication provide recent college graduates and mid-career professionals with advanced training in enterprise-wide applied communication strategies for businesses, corporations, and other large organizations.
Technical writing and communication graduate certificate programs provide professional, career-oriented training in the processes and principles of technical writing, editing, and multi-media content creation. These programs consist of a small cluster of graduate courses that prepare students for the challenges of writing and creating multi-media content in technical fields, such a medicine, biotechnology, engineering, and environmental science.
Transparency and accuracy form the foundation of all the resources we create. For more details on our sources of data, program classifications, and other important information, please review our Sources and Disclaimers page.