Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter (excl F1 visa applicants)
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes


Across all industries and professions, strong written and oral communication skills are essential to success. Whether you are seeking to advance in a communications-related field or get ahead in your current organization, this program provides the practical knowledge and valuable perspectives you need to communicate across a variety of contexts and situations.

From negotiation and writing to crisis management and public speaking, the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication examines topics that are critical to effective organizational communication. Incorporating best practices, case studies, and classroom learning, courses within this innovative master’s degree in communication address complex communication challenges—providing you with a distinct advantage in today’s competitive marketplace.

Program Objectives

  • Enhance your personal communication skills
  • Examine negotiation, facilitation, and mediation best practices
  • Develop intercultural communication skills and techniques
  • Analyze communication ethics and the issues they present
  • Cultivate a supportive communication climate

Career Outlook

Employers continue to rank communication skills first among job candidates’ skills and qualities, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Expert communicators also have greater earning potential. An International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) survey found that communicators with graduate degrees have average incomes that are 15% higher than those with undergraduate degrees.

Interested in learning more? Watch one of our webinars:

- MS in Corporate and Organizational Communications Overview

- Industry Trends and Career Outlook in Communications and Digital Media

- Communications with a Cutting Edge: Virtual Meetings


Required Courses (21 q.h.)

CMN 6010 Foundations of Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6020 Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6080 Intercultural Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6100 Communication Networks and Managing Information 3 q.h.
CMN 6050 Crisis Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6090 Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6910 Organizational Communication Assessment (recommended as last course) 3 q.h.

Elective Courses (9 q.h.)

Choose three of the following courses:

CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media  3 q.h. 
CMN 6025 Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques  3 q.h. 
CMN 6120 Communicating to and with the Media 3 q.h.
CMN 6061 Personal Branding 3 q.h.
CMN 6070 Interviewing 3 q.h.
CMN 6110 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management 3 q.h.
CMN 6060 Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation 3 q.h.
COP 6940 Personal and Career Development: Leadership in Practice (enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program) 3 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.

Concentrations (15 - 17 q.h.)

Choose one of the following concentrations.

Human Resources Management Concentration

HRM 6005 Creating a High-Performance Organization: Strategic Organizational and HRM Choices 3 q.h.
HRM 6010  Total Compensation  3 q.h.
HRM 6020 Strategic Recruitment, Training, and Performance Management 3 q.h.
HRM 6030 Employee Rights and Employer Obligations 3 q.h. 
HRM 6040  High-Performance Human Resources Systems and Development 3 q.h.

Human Services Concentration

HSV 6100 Theory and Practice of Human Services 3 q.h.
HSV 6110  Human Service Management and Development 3 q.h. 
HSV 6630 Research and Evaluation in Human Services 3 q.h. 
HSV 6160 Introduction to Employee Assistance Programs 3 q.h. 
HSV 6120 Social Inequality, Social Change, and Community Building 3 q.h.

Leadership Concentration

LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h. 
LDR 6110 Leading Teams 3 q.h. 
LDR 6120 Creating Leadership Capacity: Developing Bench Strength 3 q.h. 
LDR 6140 Developing the Strategic Leader 3 q.h. 

Choose one of the following courses:

LDR 6135 The Ethical Leader 3 q.h. 
LDR 6125 Managing Organizational Culture 3 q.h.


Leading & Managing Technical Projects Concentration

PJM 6000 Project Management Practices 3 q.h.
PJM 6205 Leading and Managing Technical Projects 3 q.h.
PJM 6210 Communication Skills for Project Managers 3 q.h.
PJM 6215 Leading Remote Project Teams 3 q.h.
PJM 6220 Planning and Scheduling Technical Projects 3 q.h.

Project Management Concentration

PJM 5900 Foundations of Project Management* 4 q.h. 
PJM 6000 Project Management Practices 3 q.h.  
PJM 6025 Project Scheduling and Cost Planning 3 q.h. 
PJM 6015 Project Risk Management 3 q.h. 

Choose two** of the following courses:

PJM 6125 Project Evaluation and Assessment 3 q.h. 
PJM 6135 Project Quality Management 3 q.h. 
PJM 6140 Managing Troubled Projects 3 q.h.
PJM 6705 Portfolio Management 3 q.h. 

*This course is required for students who do not have at least two years of professional experience working on projects. This course is only intended for those who are not familiar with professional project work. Students with two years or more of professional project experience should not take this course.

**Students who take PJM 5900 are only required to take one course within this section.

Social Media and Online Communities Concentration

Choose five of the following courses:

CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media 3 q.h.
CMN 6025 Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques 3 q.h.
CMN 6035 Legal, Policy, and Ethical Issues in the Digital Era 3 q.h. 
CMN 6045 Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance 3 q.h.
CMN 6055 Planning and Design of Social Media Channels and Online Communities 3 q.h.
CMN 6065 Implementation and Management of Social Media Channels and Online Communities 3 q.h.
DGM 6285 Interactive Marketing Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6290 Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation 4 q.h.
TCC 6710 Content Strategy  4 q.h. 


Sport and Social Change Concentration

LDR 6410 Leadership and Organization in Sport 3 q.h. 
GST 6102 Global Corporate and Social Responsibility 4 q.h.
HSV 6120 Social Inequality, Social Change and Community Building 3 q.h.
LDR 6360 Dynamics of Change at the Community and Social Level 3 q.h. 
LDR 6427 Gender and Diversity in Sport 3 q.h.


Total Quarter Hours: 45 - 47

If you enrolled before Fall 2012, contact your student success specialist for your curriculum.

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $26,730.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

Degree Type


Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2014-15 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

While students hail from a variety of industries, typical job titles include: communications specialist, marketing communication specialist, client account representative, and project manager.

This program is designed for individuals with at least three years of relevant experience. An undergraduate degree is required.

Amelia R.

Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication, Class of 2011

Amelia R

About her classmates: "I learned more from my Northeastern classmates than I did during my entire undergraduate experience. At Northeastern, diversity is among one of the most wonderful attributes of the classroom. I learned from adult professionals in the field who arrived to class fresh from a long day at work and from students who had arrived to live temporarily in Boston to study from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, South Africa etc. I learned patience, intercultural communication techniques, and the power of dialog inside and outside the classroom."

About her favorite class: "Organizational Communication and Assessment was the most amazing course of my entire experience at Northeastern. The application of real world theories and skills and one-on-one attention from my professor made the class even more enjoyable."

Why she chose to study at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies: "I chose the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication because the curriculum was broad enough where I could choose classes based on my specific needs in public relations and human resources. In addition, Northeastern's flexible classes allowed me to work during the day and learn at night."

Denzil M.

Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication, Class of 2011


About his classmates: "From places as close as Brookline and as far as Burma, my classmates were my competition, challenging me to do better every semester, and my partners in crime, sneaking in cookies in class. They also taught me unparalleled lessons in cultural competence. Given our increasingly connected world, these were lessons in life from friends for life."

About his classes: "Argh! The 'c-word.' If it's one thing I learned from CPS is that teaching and learning can come in a plethora of forms: creative, team-based, presentations, online media, skits. We even sang once. And it was worth it! Multi-tasking, opening up our minds and thinking outside the box were some of the things not listed on the syllabus but which we learned anyway."

Why he chose to study at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies: "The College of Professional Studies gave me flexibility. I could, and did, finish my degree faster if I wanted to. I could, and did, create an innovative "global communications" program for myself. I could, and did, take classes at the main campus, online or even downtown. I could, and did, intern during my studies. All of this gave rise to a creative, holistic educational experience that I could not have acquired elsewhere."




Faculty Spotlight

Image of Carl Zangerl, Communications Faculty Dr. Carl Zangerl, PhD, MA
Academic Specialist

Dr. Carl Zangerl is an academic specialist for programs in Corporate and Organizational Communication at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois and MPA from New York University.

Dr. Zangerl, a certified e-learning instructor, teaches a number of courses for the College of Professional Studies and holds an Excellence in Teaching Award from the College. He is actively involved in the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication alumni group, the Communications Alumni Network, and the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Prior to coming to Northeastern, Dr. Zangerl was the director of executive and field communication for New England Financial, a subsidiary of MetLife. During a 23-year career at New England Financial, he was responsible for a wide range of communication activities, from webmaster to executive speechwriter to brand manager in support of a nationwide sales force of financial advisors. In 2003, he received the inaugural ‘Field Partner of the Year’ award from the company’s managing partners.

Related: Dr. Carl Zangerl and the Social Media Revolution

Jeffrey Brooke, MS

Faculty Image of Jeffrey Brooke, Communications Faculty

Jeffrey Brooke, a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies since 2009, teaches courses in organizational culture and communication and organizational communication assessment.

Mr. Brooke has a 22-year career in organizational communication and is currently a principal with MITRE Corps., a strategic communication and organizational change management consulting practice in McLean, VA. Previously, he led internal communication programs in a number of federal agencies, most recently as director of internal communication for the United States Government Printing Office, an agency of Congress. He has also consulted independently to many corporations, offering communication assessments and strategic counsel.

He is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators, serving many years on the board of the DC Metro chapter where he is currently director of the senior communicators council. He helped found and recently chaired the Federal Communicators Network, and is a member of the Communication Leadership Exchange.

Mr. Brooke holds an MS in Organization Development from Johns Hopkins University, a BS in Finance from Virginia Tech, a graduate certificate in Senior Executive Leadership from Georgetown, and he is accredited in business communication by IABC.

Kristen Lee Costa, EdD, LICSWImage of Kristen Lee Costa, Communications Faculty

Kristen Lee Costa, is a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies, teaching courses in group dynamics, transforming human systems, personal branding, professional speaking, and grant and report writing.

Prior to joining the College, Costa was an instructor at the University of Massachusetts where she taught courses in fundamentals of teaching and learning and managing inclusive classrooms. As a dual practitioner in social work and education, she is interested in building bridges across disciplines, focusing upon the inherent strengths of individuals, communities and systems to promote needed change.

Dr. Costa maintains a private psychotherapy practice where she specializes in preventing and treating professional burnout. She also provides community education, consulting, and web-based resources. Dr. Costa is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and serves as a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration.

Dr. Costa holds an EdD from Northeastern University, a MS in Social Work from Boston University, and a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Worcester State University.

E. Edward Klotzbier, JD Image of E. Edward Klotzbier, Communications Faculty


E. Edward Klotzbier is a faculty member with the College of Arts, Media and Design and the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in crisis communications, image management, organizational culture, and dealing with the media.

For ten years, he was a senior administrator at Northeastern serving as the University's director of communications and as vice president for student affairs. Prior to joining Northeastern, Edward was vice president and deputy director of corporate affairs at Mellon Financial Corporation and a lawyer and public affairs professional with the Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge.

Edward has worked on several federal, state and local political campaigns and was an aide to former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Active in civic and community affairs, he has served on the boards of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and as a member of the government relations committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, he was the recipient of the Boston Business Journal's "40 under 40" award, a listing of 40 of Boston's "best and brightest young business leaders" under the age of forty.

Edward earned a JD from New England School of Law and a BS degree from Northeastern University.

Ed Powers, MBA

FacultyImage of Ed Powers, Communications Faculty

Ed Powers, a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies since 2008, teaches course in crisis communication, organizational culture, and intercultural communication. Prior to joining the College, Ed taught Public Relations at Emerson College.

Ed brings 25 years of industry experience in corporate and organizational communication to his teaching role. He has served as the vice president of corporate communications for billion dollar-plus companies in three different industries: Raytheon Engineers & Constructors, Sappi Fine Paper North America, and National Grid USA. In these positions, Powers was responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of the companies' communications programs.

Currently, Ed serves as department head for Company News and Information at The MITRE Corporation, where he oversees the team responsible for developing content and managing channels for the company's major internal and external communications products.

During his career, Ed has led groups that have received professional awards from such organizations as the Publicity Club of Boston and the League of American Communications Professionals. He is a longstanding member of the International Association of Business Communicators and has published work on effective employee engagement strategies.

Ed holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a BA in English from Brown University. Presently, he is a student in the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern.

Maureen Tschirhart, MA

FacultyImage of Maureen Tschirhart, Communications Faculty

Maureen Tschirhart is a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies, teaching courses in organizational culture, climate, and communication as well as intercultural communication. In 2011, she received an International Association of Business Communicators/Atlanta award for her online lectures and excellence in bridging communication theory and practice.

In addition to teaching, she provides consulting services through Tschirhart Communications, a metropolitan Atlanta-based business launched in 2008. Maureen has over 25 years of diverse experience servicing information solutions, financial services, healthcare, automotive, education, and retail industries as well as global audiences. Major clients have included Equifax, Nestlé Waters, Bankers Capital Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ford Motor, Michigan National Bank, Little Caesar's, American College Testing, and Sinai Hospital, among others.

Prior to consulting, she served as assistant vice president of Internal Communications for Equifax in Atlanta from 2000-2008. Maureen also worked as a senior communications specialist for R.L. Polk in metropolitan Detroit from 1998-2000. She began her communications career in Michigan as a newspaper reporter and editorial assistant. Maureen also taught English courses at Wayne State University and College for Creative Studies in Detroit from 1986-1998.

She is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators, serves on the editorial board of empart magazine for the Atlanta chapter, and has published articles and case studies on communication best practices.

Maureen earned a MA in English from Wayne State University and a BA in Industrial Design from Michigan State University.




Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Conduct audience assessments of both internal and external stakeholders that reflect communication preferences.

  2. Demonstrate an acceptable level of writing proficiency in order to craft compelling strategic and tactical messages and strengthen personal communication skills.

  3. Demonstrate the value of effective communication and establish credibility with organizational leaders by designing and implementing communication programs that have a positive impact on organizational performance and are based on the highest ethical standards.

  4. Analyze and diagnose communication strengths and weaknesses in a wide range of organizational contexts using the case method.

  5. Measure the linkages between effective communication practices and the achievement of organizational objectives, including employee engagement and customer loyalty.

  6. Develop, implement, and evaluate communication plans to support organizational initiatives in a variety of situations (e.g., crisis communication, organizational change process, intercultural communication, etc.).

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


Call Toll Free:
Contact Us
Next Term Starts
  • Spring Term
    Apr 6, 2015 (12- and 6-week classes)
    May 18, 2015 (6-week classes)

Academic Calendar