Programs in strategic communications result in a Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.) or a professional master's degree. The curricula are similar, but the professional degrees are designed for those currently working in professional communications careers.
Master's degree programs in strategic communication are designed to teach leadership, organizational development, and communication techniques to professionals. These programs are not extremely common but are available as both online and on-campus programs. Some schools offer it in an accelerated executive format. The online programs require students to participate in one or more on-campus residencies, and both formats often include a capstone or research project requirement.
Admission to strategic communications master's degree programs is very competitive. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. Programs also require applicants to have a significant amount of professional work experience in communications or a relevant field.
Master's Degree in Strategic Communications
Strategic communications master's degree programs train students to become executive-level communications professionals who help businesses and organizations make optimal decisions to achieve a variety of goals. Students learn to analyze the structure and networks of local businesses, global industries, government agencies, and non-profit groups. The programs also teach students to provide solutions to problems, reach out to targeted audiences, and design agendas.
Strategic communications students learn to effectively utilize contemporary forms of communication, such as social media, blogs and, podcasts. They study business topics like market research methods, advertising, promotions, key messages, and public relations. They learn how to communicate with target audiences by understanding the power of opinions, decision-making factors, and persuasive promotion tactics. Graduate students also develop practical skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, reasoning, writing, and public speaking.
The curriculum includes classes that cover communications, business, and social studies topics. Lectures feature guest speakers who are leaders of successful industries. Subjects included in core coursework include:
- Strategic communications theory
- Public relations and positioning
- Political and global communications
- Visual and creative communications
- Crisis management and strategic writing
- Corporate social responsibility
Popular Career Options
Individuals who earn master's degrees in strategic communications can advance in their career by taking on additional responsibilities and leadership positions or seeking a new job in management. They may be employed in medical, political, educational, legal or business sectors, and hold positions such as:
- Vice president
- Human resources director
- Public relations manager
Master's degree programs in strategic communications train students in analyzing businesses and organizations to be able to provide powerful solutions, opinions, and decisions in communicating with their target audiences. Graduates can opt to advance their career through high-ranking positions or seek employment in the executive management field.