Graduate Certificate in Communications Online

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Communication

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Advance Your Critical Thinking Skills With a Certificate in Communications

The Graduate Certificate in Communications at Grand Canyon University (GCU) supports career advancement for students who are passionate about the communication and education fields. This online graduate certificate program in communications prepares you to teach undergraduate courses on campus or online at two-year or four-year institutions. You will deepen your knowledge in communications and advance your educational training, while developing leadership and critical thinking skills.

For undergraduate students, developing communication skills is essential for all types of career paths as employers seek soft skills in their candidates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey, employers highly value the ability to verbally and non-verbally communicate and create and edit written documents.1 As a future college instructor, you will play a strong role in shaping future professionals who are equipped with these sought-after skills, along with the foundation for storytelling and writing compelling, persuasive copy.

By completing this graduate certificate in communications online, you will be able to fulfill graduate course requirements necessary for teaching at the postsecondary level. This program provides a pathway for students with a teaching background who are seeking the 18 credits required for teaching positions at a community college, university or other undergraduate institution.

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GCU offers this 20-credit program 100% online to meet the needs of the adult learner. The convenience and flexibility of distance learning enables working professionals to self-pace their learning at times and locations that work best for them. Through an innovative digital learning platform, you will collaborate with peers, interact with instructors and access a wide range of student support resources.

Graduate Certificate in Communications Course Topics

This certificate’s curriculum balances communication content, such as intercultural and relational content, with modern pedagogy subject matter to support the professional development of current educators. Teachers who pursue continuing education will not only have the opportunity for career growth, but they’ll experience personal growth as a lifelong learner.

This online graduate certificate program in communications mirrors GCU’s Master of Arts in Communication with an Emphasis in Education, which is structured around the focus areas of pedagogy, theory and practice. You will explore the following:

  • Relationships in the Workplace: Focus on theories of interpersonal communication and relational communication theories to address workplace relationship issues.
  • Organizations, Culture and Society: Investigate theoretical approaches to organizational culture, how it’s communicated to audiences and an organization’s relationship to society.
  • Strategic Communication: Prepare to craft contextually sensitive, effective and ethical organizational messages for diverse audiences based on concepts and theories of strategic communication.
  • Training, Learning and Pedagogy: Learn principles of pedagogy and student learning within the context of communication studies by applying education frameworks and praxis-based training.
  • Media Literacy: Evaluate theories, methodologies and effects of media consumption, such as the role and influence of television, radio, social media, blogs and websites, etc., while also participating in applied projects and group projects.

Through an emphasis on real-world application and practice, you will be prepared to teach a diverse and eclectic range of communication courses.

Career Opportunities With a Graduate Certificate in Communications

By completing this online graduate certificate program in communications, you can seek career opportunities as a college instructor, professor or adjunct faculty member. Potential workplace settings include public and private colleges and universities, along with technical/vocational schools.

Other related careers that you may pursue with a graduate certificate in communications include:

  • Public relations manager
  • Fundraising manager
  • Reporter/journalist
  • Editor
  • Writer

Certificate in Communications Program FAQs

If you are interested in learning more about online graduate certificate programs in communications, please review our answers to frequently asked questions below.

In the certificate in communications online program at GCU, you will learn interpersonal communication theories and how they apply in a variety of professional settings. You will develop skills in constructing effective and ethical communications for diverse audiences. Your studies will also include theoretical approaches to organizational culture as well as the effects of media consumption.

Earning an online certificate in communications from an accredited institution can provide you with the knowledge and acumen needed to pursue careers in a variety of industries. In a graduate certificate program, you may also gain some of the advanced skills learned in a related master’s degree program.

Well-developed skills in verbal and non-verbal communications, decision-making, problem-solving and cultural awareness are needed to succeed in both a graduate communications certificate program as well as in most careers.

While many certificate programs offer similar courses as master’s or doctoral degree programs, a graduate certificate is not considered a graduate degree. However, online graduate certificate programs in communications can provide a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that may meet entry requirements for certain graduate degree programs.

1 Retrieved from National Communication Association, Why Study Communication? in January 2023.

Total Credits: 20
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

20 credits
Degree Requirements:
20 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course focuses on theories of interpersonal communication and their application in a variety of professional contexts. The course builds upon a foundation of relational communication theories to address problems that arise in workplace relationships, including leadership communication, managing emotions at work, working in groups, and becoming social influencers. The course builds skills in direct and indirect messaging, listening, managing perceptions and workplace identity, negotiating conflict, and more.

Course Description

This course covers theoretical approaches to organizational culture; the processes by which organizations, create, manage, and modify organizational culture; and the ways in which organizational culture is communicated to both internal and external audiences. The course also investigates organizations’ larger relationships with society through examining corporate social responsibility, public policy, and ethics and by considering how organizations manage these spheres of influence and weigh business decisions in the larger context of the collective community in which organizations operate.

Course Description

This course focuses on the concepts and theories of strategic communication and their relevance for constructing effective and ethical organizational messages for diverse audiences. The course prepares communicators to make organizational messages meaningful to stakeholders within organizations as well as stakeholders outside organizations. Through an emphasis on real-world applications, students learn how to ethically and effectively persuade through carefully crafted, contextually sensitive messages. The course does so by examining principles and theories of argumentation, persuasion, and behavior change. Students practice skills associated with these concepts as they apply to future career contexts.

Course Description

This course emphasizes principles of pedagogy and student learning in the context of communication studies. Students are encouraged to apply education frameworks and praxis-based training to a communication classroom. Through an emphasis on real-world organizational development, traditional theories of student comprehension, and modern pedagogy, this course prepares students to teach a diverse and eclectic range of communication courses.

Course Description

Students in this course learn the underlying theories, methodologies, and effects of media consumption. This course emphasizes the role and influence of television, radio, social media, internet blogs and websites, and other media outlets on a globalized, interconnected world. The course builds on these concepts by encouraging students to critically evaluate ever-present media messages through applied projects and group work.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.