Online Master's Programs in Strategic Communications

Apr 03, 2019

Master's degree programs in strategic communications are available online and blend fields like advertising, public relations, and mass communication. Read on for specifics on coursework and admission requirements for these programs.

Online graduate programs in strategic communication give students an opportunity to earn an advanced credential applicable to careers in communication fields. Blending perspectives from advertising, public relations, and media, these programs usually result in a Master of Arts or Master of Professional Studies degree.

Strategic Communication Online Master's Course Information

Online master's degree programs in this field usually require that students complete at least 30 credit hours in areas emphasizing writing and message communication, digital media, and persuasion. The programs can be entirely online, but may require students to be online at specific times. In addition to online courses like the following, programs may require a capstone project or thesis.

Communication Theory

Master's degree students in strategic communication usually take a theory course to understand foundational perspectives on the field. Students learn the concepts guiding persuasive communication and theories that have shaped the mass communication discipline. In addition, theory classes often examine how theory impacts the practice of strategic communication within the industry.

Research Methods

Research methods courses can help students understand how the field is advanced through particular approaches to research. These classes usually focus on social science research and may cover data collection, methods of data analysis, and evaluation of sources. To prepare students for careers as strategic communication practitioners, these classes also emphasize practical applications of communications research.

Strategic Communication Campaigns

With their focus on equipping communication professionals for careers in the industry, online graduate programs in strategic communication usually include coursework in the construction of effective communication campaigns. Classes in this area cover audience analysis and message development and design with the goal of creating campaigns that are engaging for an organization's audience. Campaign classes may examine real-world campaigns from corporations and non-profit organizations.

Digital Media

Students in strategic communication master's programs receive instruction in strategies for reaching audiences through digital platforms. Digital media classes cover how to create content for digital distribution through email, web sites, and social media. In addition to issues of design and composition, these classes may cover audience psychology. They could also focus on analytics and examine how relevant audience data can be collected and interpreted.

Communication Ethics

Since strategic communication practices involve elements of audience analysis and persuasion, graduate-level programs in the discipline often include courses in ethics. Such courses are designed to help students navigate ethical challenges that arise in creating and disseminating strategic communication messages. These classes may include an overview of ethical philosophies relevant to mass communication, and specific topics may include transparency and diversity.

Strategic Communication Online Master's Program Admissions

Applicants to online master's programs in strategic communication typically need to submit transcripts showing an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A specific major usually isn't needed, but some programs may require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Prospective students usually need to provide three references, and these programs also often require a resume and writing sample. Additionally, applicants may need to compose a personal statement outlining their academic preparation, professional experience, and goals in the field of strategic communication.

Online master's degree programs in strategic communication allow students to earn an advanced credential relevant to communication fields like advertising and public relations. Students in these programs can expect to complete coursework in communication theory and methods along with applied skills areas such as digital media and campaign creation.

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