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University of Florida - College of Journalism and Communications Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication - Public Interest Communication
University of Florida - College of Journalism and Communications

Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication - Public Interest Communication

Gainesville, USA

16 Months


Full time, Part time

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USD 17,441

Distance Learning


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The University of Florida online Master of Arts in Mass Communication concentration in Public Interest Communication is a first-of-its-kind program designed to produce graduates who want to be able to make people care and use strategic communications to drive social change.

What is Public Interest Communication?

Once viewed solely as non-profit public relations, public interest communication has exploded as an interdisciplinary, systems-level discipline with strategic benefits that reach beyond the communications function of an organization. Public interest communication embraces the vision of creating science-based, strategic communications designed to advance the human condition. It is critical to achieving significant behavioral or social change on an issue that transcends the particular interests of any single organization. The University of Florida’s program offers you the opportunity to develop the skills, strategies, theory, and techniques required to build movements and drive positive social change using strategic communication. This interdisciplinary program includes both academic and practical work and draws from practice and scholarship in public relations, journalism, advertising, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, and neuroscience. The course work places emphasis on working across organizations and sectors, systems-level thinking, strategic planning, and the core skills critical to any effective social change effort.

Courses are designed to teach students how to:

  • Identify and target issues that can be addressed with public interest communications
  • Develop strategic communications campaigns that can drive positive social change
  • Use systems thinking to identify a specific approach to driving change.
  • Advocate and advise in the use of visual collateral that can best reach the target community
  • Conduct research to underpin strategic communications aimed to drive social change
  • Create detailed project management and budget plans
  • Measure and assess strategic campaigns

University of Florida Online Master’s Concentration in Public Interest Communication

The online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Interest Communication includes 36 credit hours— 33 hours of coursework plus three final credits in a capstone course. The program curriculum is guided by an Advisory Board of top industry experts, with courses taught by industry professionals and University of Florida faculty. Courses are 16 weeks in length and are offered three semesters per year in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Full-time students are able to complete the master’s concentration in as few as 16 months.

Unique Learning Experience

UF CJC Online programs are designed for students who crave:

  • Courses that challenge them to grow as communicators through hands-on assignments where they receive detailed constructive feedback from peers and instructors
  • The flexibility of online courses where pre-recorded lectures and live online meetings allow students to engage with their courses from anywhere in the world
  • Networking opportunities with peers, alumni, instructors, and guest lecturers
  • Professional growth and advancement opportunities
  • Creative storytelling skills
  • A transformative student-centered learning experience
  • Personalized attention from highly engaged faculty
  • An affordable and respected graduate degree from a top-10 public university


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