2024 Best Online Masters in New Media Programs

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A new media masters focuses on emerging media, a field that studies new technologies and their applications in media.

Best Online Masters in New Media Programs

A masters degree in new media can help you further your expertise in this field and learn to apply the most advanced and cutting-edge media technologies across a range of industries and careers.

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Attending one of the many new media graduate programs online could help you either transition into this growing field or advance your current career.

Online New Media Masters Programs

Man pursuing Online New Media Masters

A masters degree in new media teaches students a variety of digital media skills and strategies. New media is technology-driven communication work. It can alternatively be called multimedia, digital media, or emerging media.

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In a new media master’s degree program, you can take classes on the intersection of technology and media and learn how to use new technologies to create media content. You can also explore how to create media strategies on different communications platforms to meet the aims of your future clients or employers.

Other classes will focus on varied subjects, such as:

  • Ethical issues
  • Strategic communication
  • Society and politics in new media
  • Law and new media
  • Data analytics and visualization
  • Social media

After earning a new media masters degree, you may be ready to pursue a variety of careers using your skills and advanced qualifications.

Some professionals work as journalists, using new technologies to deliver the most timely and impacting news to audiences. There are also opportunities for new media professionals in advertising and public relations. These sectors often utilize social media as well.

If you have a background in digital design, you might try your hand at web design or even create digital art and content as a graphic designer or art director.

New and Emerging Media Careers & Salaries

New and Emerging Media Careers & Salaries

There are many industries and careers that involve aspects of emerging media and communications. Earning a masters degree can help you transition into this field or advance your current career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some potential career paths associated with new and emerging media.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Public Relations Managers $125,780
Art Directors $100,890
Web and Digital Interface Designers $79,890
Writers and Authors $69,510
Editors $63,350
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Graphic Designers $50,710
News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists $48,370
Desktop Publishers $46,910

A new media master’s degree can be applied to a range of industries, including advertising and marketing, public relations, journalism, social media, and communications in general.

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Some new media programs have an emphasis on digital design. Professionals with a background in digital design may pursue roles in graphic design, video editing, audio engineering, web design, and more. In fact, a growing number of universities offer digital media degrees online or on campus.

New Media Master’s Curriculum & Courses

students taking Master's in New Media doing group work

Each college will set its own curriculum, but as a new media master’s student, you may have the opportunity to take some of the following courses:

  • New Media Introduction: This class introduces you to the foundational concepts and theories behind new media studies and looks at the basic applications of new media.
  • Digital Culture: This course looks at the impact of new media on society, such as the economic and social impact of social media.
  • New Media Ethics: This course explores ethical issues that emerge in new media settings and with new technologies.
  • New Media Strategic Communication: This course looks at how practitioners of strategic communications can integrate new media into their practices to be more effective.
  • Society and Politics and New Media: This course looks at how race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender have interacted with new media.
  • New Media Law: This course looks at the legal issues you may encounter as a result of new media practice and how you can navigate the laws.
  • New Media Data: This course looks at how you can employ data analytics and visualization methods in the new media field.
  • Social Media Planning: This course teaches you the intricacies of social media planning across different platforms.
  • Network Analysis: This class presents theories and methods of network analysis and how they can be applied to new media and social media.
  • User Experience Design: This course reviews the current development methods of user experiences and how to design them on new media platforms.

If your program includes a thesis component, then you may take thesis writing classes as well.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing her requirements for Masters in New Media

Colleges and universities set their own admissions requirements, but graduate programs may ask prospective students to meet similar requirements. Common admissions criteria include:

  • Undergraduate transcripts that show your prior classwork and GPA
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or supervisors who know you
  • Statement of purpose explaining your interest in the program and your career goals
  • Resume or CV that shows any relevant work experience

Ensuring all your admissions materials are submitted according to your school’s deadline is a crucial step for the process to go smoothly.

Accreditation

University offering Master's in New Media Degree

Universities can pursue accreditation to demonstrate that their educational offerings are academically rigorous and adhere to the best standards and practices.

Earning a degree from an accredited institution may help you qualify for potential job opportunities as well as further educational opportunities. The regional accreditation process is conducted by an outside regional accrediting agency.

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To see if the colleges and universities you are applying to are accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Master's in New Media Financial Aid

There are many sources of aid available to graduate students who qualify. Federal aid is one of the most common forms of financial assistance.

To apply for this type of aid, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). States may have their own student aid programs. In addition, employers may offer their employees tuition benefits or professional development programs that can help pay for their education.

Other organizations and even schools may offer scholarships for a variety of situations and areas of study. Each scholarship program will have its own application and eligibility requirements.

What Is a New Media Masters Degree?

People with New Media Masters Degrees, working in Advertising

A new media masters degree is focused on teaching students the skills necessary to work in new media journalism and related fields.

New media employs the most cutting-edge technology in order to develop creative digital media content. As a student in a new media master’s program, your days will likely be spent learning how to use new technologies and apply them to create media strategies and solve media problems.

Many of the classes you take will involve learning about how these new media technologies interact with various facets of society. Some masters programs ask their students to complete a capstone experience or a written thesis.

What Can You Do with a Masters in New Media Studies?

Marketing Manager and his team in a meeting

There is a range of career paths and industries that entail digital media and communications. Some new media studies graduates pursue a career in journalism or reporting.

Content writers and editors are also essential positions in this field. These professionals may be self-employed or pursue work with a specific company or organization. Other common roles include social media, public relations, and advertising specialists. Holding a graduate degree in this sector may help you qualify for senior or management positions as well.

Those who specialize in digital design may find work as graphic designers, web designers, video editors, audio engineers, and other roles related to visual elements.

How Long Does It Take to Get a New Media Masters Degree Online?

student pursuing a Master's Degree in New Media Online

There are many factors that influence the amount of time it takes to complete a new media masters degree. If your program consists of 36 credit hours and does not require the completion of a thesis, then you may be able to complete it in 1 year with full-time, year-round study, including during the summer.

Most masters programs can be completed in 1 to 2 years with full-time enrollment. If your degree requires a thesis, or if you cannot study full-time, then it may take longer to complete your program.

Is a Masters in New Media Studies Worth It?

Public Relations Manager and Specialists discussing in their office

Yes, a masters in new media studies is worth it for many students. If you want to learn how to create content using media and new technology, then a new media master’s degree may be for you.

A masters could also help you grow your qualifications and expand your career opportunities. Advanced skill sets in emerging media and communications are applicable in a range of industries, such as digital design, advertising and marketing, public relations, journalism, and writing. This field is also growing.

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Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6% job growth for media and communications occupations over the next ten years.

Universities Offering Online Masters in New Media Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a Master of Advanced Study in Film and Media Studies. Graduates often pursue careers as media scholars, critics, filmmakers, and art directors. On average, the program’s 30 required credit hours can be completed in 2 years of full-time study. All classes can be completed online.

ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University offers a Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Potential courses include Journalism Ethics, Multi-media Publishing, and Video Production for New Media. This program is housed entirely online. The completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours is required to graduate.

Arkansas Tech University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Ball State University

Ball State University

Ball State University offers a Master of Arts in Emerging Media Design and Development. This program’s unique low residency model combines conveniently online learning options with occasional immersive experiences on campus. The curriculum consists of 33 to 36 credit hours total. Students can culminate their studies with a traditional thesis or a non-thesis project.

Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Clark University

Clark University

Clark University offers a Master of Science in Communication. The program seeks to equip students with the tools to communicate exceptionally, manage diverse marketing campaigns, and tell compelling stories. The degree can be completed online, in-person, or through a blend of on-campus and virtual learning models. Concentrations are available in Digital Literacy and Public Relations.

Clark University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

DePaul University

DePaul University

DePaul University offers a Master of Arts in Communication and Media. The program offers two concentration options: Applied Communication or Media and Popular Culture. This program admits incoming students three times a year in fall, winter, and spring quarters. Classes are offered in a combination of convenient online and traditional on-campus learning formats.

DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Drexel University

Drexel University

Drexel University offers a Master of Science in Digital Media. The curriculum may be tailored to personal interests with diverse electives in game design, animation, interactivity, and UX design. The program utilizes a synchronous online learning model, and 45 credit hours must be completed to graduate.

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University offers a Master of Arts in Communication. Many graduates pursue careers in public relations, journalism, publishing, new media, and education. The program offers two options for graduation. The non-thesis option requires 30 semester hours of coursework. The thesis option requires the completion of 24 semester hours of coursework and a thesis worth 6 semester hours.

Eastern New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Loyola University of Maryland

Loyola University of Maryland

Loyola University of Maryland offers a Master of Arts in Emerging Media. Potential courses include Ethical Issues in New and Emerging Media, the User Experience, and Social Network Analysis. On average, the program’s 33 required credits can be completed in 12 to 15 months when classes are attended full-time. All classes meet online.

The Loyola University of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers a Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication. Graduates often pursue careers as web communication managers, digital marketing coordinators, public relations specialists, or social media managers. The curriculum consists of 36 credits. The program offers rolling admission cycles, online coursework, and part-time and full-time attendance options.

Notre Dame of Maryland University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Point Park University

Point Park University

Point Park University offers a Master of Arts in Multimedia. Potential classes include Web Publishing and Editing, Communication Law and Regulation, and Multimedia Design. Classes can be attended either on-campus, online, or through a blend of the two. The program requires the completion of 36 credits to graduate.

Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University offers a Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communications. Courses cover key concepts like content writing, marketing strategy, data analysis, visual design, and production technology. The curriculum consists of 30 credit hours of major core and elective coursework. The program can potentially be completed in 16 months of full-time attendance.

Quinnipiac University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for a Master of Arts in Communication. Students pursuing careers in marketing, journalism, or public relations may find an excellent fit in this program. Up to 12 qualifying credits may be transferred in toward the program’s 36 required credits. The program may be completed at one’s own pace, but it can potentially be completed in just 15 months.

SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Syracuse University offers a Master of Science in Communications with specializations in Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism Innovation, and Media Management. Potential courses include Media Law, Digital Communication Issues, Social Media for Public Communicators. and Multimedia Storytelling. Classes are housed primarily online, though two in-person immersion experiences are required.

Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The New School

The New School

The New School offers a Master of Science in Media Management. Courses cover concepts such as market research, data analysis, new technology, visual design, and sales. The program requires the completion of 36 credits and can typically be completed in 2 years of full-time study. The classes can be attended in a convenient online learning format.

The New School is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. Students interested in social media, graphic design, or web development careers may find an excellent fit in the program’s Emerging Media concentration. All classes can be completed 100% online. Students can culminate their studies with a thesis or a non-thesis project.

The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The University of Massachusetts—Amherst offers a Master of Arts in Film and Media Studies. The program’s convenient online learning format is designed to provide busy working adults with ultimate flexibility as they further their studies. Students can further customize their studies with electives in filmmaking, screenwriting, social media, news reporting, or media ethics.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi offers a Master of Arts in Journalism. The curriculum consists of 30 credits of coursework and covers topics like history of mass media, copywriting, media and society, research methods, and journalistic ethics. Classes may be attended online or on campus.

The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater offers a Master of Science in Communication. The degree may be tailored toward personal goals through the completion of optional certificates in subjects like social media, health advocacy, or organizational communication. The program utilizes an online learning model. It’s 30 required credits can potentially be completed in 18 months of full-time attendance.

UW-Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Washington State University

Washington State University

Washington State University offers a Master of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communications. This program may be an ideal next step for students planning to pursue careers in advertising, public relations, or journalism. The program offers three start dates a year, and classes may be attended conveniently online.

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University offers a Master of Arts in Media Studies. Three different specialty tracks are available in Theory and Criticism, Digital Media, and Public Health Communications. Some concentrations may be completed 100% online. The completion of 36 credit hours is required to graduate.

West Virginia State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your New Media Masters Degree Online

student taking New Media Master's Degree Online

There are a variety of opportunities available in the growing field of new media. Earning a masters in new media could help you advance your expertise and grow your professional qualifications in media and communications.

Different masters programs leading to an on-campus or online multimedia degree may emphasize different components of this broad field. For instance, some may focus on journalism, while others may highlight public relations or advertising. There are also a number of new media studies online or on-campus programs that are tailored toward digital design.

The sooner you start exploring online new media masters programs from accredited schools, the sooner you may find the program that best matches your professional interests and goals.

Ready to start your journey?
Leon Aristeguieta
WRITTEN BY
Leon is currently pursuing an M.A. in History from Florida Atlantic University. He holds both a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Leon's research interests include the Cold War in Latin America and US-Latin American relations.