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Communication Studies - Masters

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Professional Workplace Communication Certificate

The 4-course graduate credential for busy professionals:

The Opportunity

The KU Professional Workplace Communication Certificate takes you beyond the numbers to understand what really makes organizations tick – the everyday communication practices we too often take for granted.

What exactly is workplace communication?

Beyond emails, meetings and those informal hallway discussions, workplace communication is the hidden element within every organization that brings people and ideas together. It's the dimension of any workplace that explores the human side of organizations – and helps facilitate your career success.


How Will The KU Professional Workplace Communication Certificate help my career?

You’ll learn how to craft messages, share information and build relationships in ways that create greater understanding--both internally and externally. Skills taught apply to communicating with internal peers, teams, managers, and leaders – as well as external stakeholders such as customers, vendors, partners, regulators, and media. 

These workplace communication competencies are at the core of effective decision-making, team-building, problem-solving, and crisis-resolution practices. You'll learn how and when to ask the bigger-picture questions that improve communication within your organization – and help advance your career.

What are the benefits of the certificate over a master’s degree?

The four-course, 12 credit hour KU certificate takes less time and money to complete than a traditional master’s degree. It provides you with a valuable credential when you're seeking a promotion or planning a job change.

Available only on the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, this certificate program is one-of-a-kind in the region. Completing it gives you a valuable advantage as you continue building your career:

  • It's equally relevant across organization types and career paths including business, non-profit, health care, public administration and education.
  • It will connect you with like-minded professionals from many of Kansas City’s top employers
  • It signifies your commitment to pursuing high-quality graduate education. Upon completion, you'll hold a respected graduate credential from the University of Kansas.

Additionally, all four courses roll into the KU Master's in Communication Studies if you decide to pursue the full KU Master’s degree in Communication Studies at the Edwards campus in Overland Park.

A valuable add-on to other KU Edwards degree programs

The certificate is also a valuable add-on to other degree programs offered at the KU Edwards campus. Employers see advanced communication skills as a differentiator when seeking top technical talent in fields like engineering and information technology, so signaling your communication expertise with this resume credential can differentiate you when seeking promotion or a new job.

The KU Certificate in Professional Workplace Communication teaches communication principles that will differentiate you throughout your career, helping you to achieve results and get noticed. The KU Professional Workplace Communication certificate provides a framework for building the trusted personal networks needed to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving professional world.

What is the curriculum for the Professional Workplace Communication graduate certificate?

The Certificate in Professional Workplace Communication consists of two required core courses and two electives of your choice (a total of 12 credit hours).

The two required courses are COMS 811: Applied Organizational Communication and COMS 730: Writing & Speaking for Decision Makers.

COMS 811 provides an overview of topics within the field of workplace communication. This includes examining the ways organizational structures ranging from bureaucracy to the emerging gig economy influence communication flows and one’s sense of professional identity, to topics like organizational socialization processes, conflict prevention & management, diversity & inclusion in organizations, change management, stakeholder identification and communication, and workplace power dynamics.

COMS 730 is a graduate level business writing and presentation design & delivery course. This course helps you identify workplace stakeholders and craft verbal and written messages that resonate with these different groups – from peers to leaders, clients and regulators – and turn them into advocates for your ideas.

In addition to these two required courses, you can pick two electives designated with the COMS 930 course number, featuring topics like Communicating for Inclusion, Organizational Culture and Communication, Change Management Communication, and Organizational Socialization Practices. [blue indicates link to Master’s curriculum page]

One required course and one elective is offered each semester (with one elective offered each summer).

Ready to get started?

For all of the reasons listed above, the KU Professional Workplace Communication Certificate is a popular choice for working professionals with demanding schedules. 

Compared to a master's degree:

Next steps to get started:

Attend our Oct. 1 Communication Studies
info session.

Learn More — Request Info

Jennifer Keleher-Price
Academic Success Coach
Send an email

Cost per credit hour
Resident or MetroKC Nonresident
$532.75 $1,090.15

Learn more about scholarships and aid.

Different state? Same rate.