Masters of Arts in Communication and Leadership: Become a collaborative, innovative leader

Leadership photo

Take the next step in your career and earn a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership. Designed with the working professional in mind, this online program is designed to help you develop your skills as a collaborative, innovative leader.

In addition to the convenience of taking your courses online, courses are taught in eight-week segments by experienced, dedicated faculty. You also can start the 30-credit hour program during the fall or spring semesters, as applications are processed on a continuous basis.

Why you should enroll in the program

  • All majors welcome: Our students hold a variety of undergraduate degrees, including communications, journalism, business and more. We help a wide range of professional become strong leaders.
  • Convenience: In addition to choosing your starting date, this program is entirely online using highly interactive and intuitive learning management and video conference systems.
  • Your development: You will build marketing leadership and effective communication and leadership skills that help you get to the next level in your career.
  • Affordability: Washburn has a legacy of affordable, quality education for all students. At $493 per credit hour for an online program (the tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students), our tuition is competitive.


You do not have to take the GRE to enroll in the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership program. The only requirement is that you maintained a 3.0 or higher GPA in the last 60 credits taken as an undergraduate students.

Success story: xxxxxxxx

As a high school student in Cheney, Kansas, Brian Oxendine knew he wanted to pursue a career in actuarial science. Once he heard about the program from a Washburn alumna, his choice for college was an easy one.

"My calculus teacher's twin sister went to Washburn and came to our high school to visit her class and told me about the school," said Oxendine, who received a Bachelor's in Actuarial Science in 2014. "It seemed like a wonderful opportunity to pursue a career in the field."

Oxendine enrolled at Washburn partly because the University has the only actuarial science program in the state recognized by the Society of Actuaries as an advanced undergraduate degree.

"The education I received here  helped to prepare me to get through the exams you need to take in this field," he said. "The program really helped to solidify my understanding of some of the material for the exams, especially the first two you have to take. The classes even helped on the third and fourth exams, which I was able to take here at Washburn because of my education."

Oxendine, now a senior actuarial associate at Security Benefit, credited the small classroom sizes and professors at Washburn for jump-starting his career.

"The math education you receive at Washburn is so important," he said. "The professors are great, and you get all the one-on-one experience you need with them. It's a great place to go to college."

Oxendine also valued the time he spent living on campus, as well as the scholarship he received through the Mathematics and Statistics department.

"Living on campus was a great experience. I met a lot of new people, some of whom are my friends to this day. You can really grow living on campus," he said. "The scholarship I received really helped. I did not have as much a financial burden while going to college because of the scholarship.

Courses you can enroll in

  • CN 601 Introduction to Graduate Study in Communications Studies: Introduction to key concepts in communication, such as group dynamics, persuasion, conflict, interpersonal perception, listening, and nonverbal communication.
  • CN 680 Seminar in Strategic Management Communications: Gain an understanding of the link between business, organizational communication and corporate communication.
  • CN 642 Team Communication in Organizations – An in-depth examination of group dynamics and communication, focusing on communication, decision making, relationships, conflict, leadership, and group development.
  • CN 630 Communication in Conflict and Negotiation: Combines theory and application to prepare you to understand, negotiate and resolve disputes among parties with differing objectives and desires within relationships, groups, organizations and communities. 
  • CN 650 Persuasion: Theoretical and practical elements of persuasion theory will be featured in order to highlight techniques of gaining compliance in multiple contexts.
  • CN 695 Special Topics: Special topics in communication.
  • CN 698 Capstone: The capstone experience is the culminating experience of the master’s degree program and is taken in the final semester.
  • LE 601 Self and Systems Leadership: Explore the ways people interact with systems to provide effective leadership, and the various elements that affect these interactions. 
  • LE 620 Leadership and Resource Stewardship: An overview of the essential skills that effective leaders need to develop and manage organizational resources including finances, personnel, and informatics that are critical for effective planning, policies, programs, products or services. 
  • LE 630 Organizational Improvement and Innovation: This course will focus on the role of leaders in the realization of organizational mission and vision through assessment, utilizing a continuous improvement framework, and innovation.
  • LE 640 Public Policy and Global Leadership: Diversity in the organization is the new norm, and leaders must develop a high level of cultural intelligence in order to balance local and global priorities. 
  • LE 695 Special Topics: Special topics in leadership.
  • LE 698 Capstone: The capstone experience is the culminating experience of the master’s degree program and is taken in the final semester.