Strategic Communication (MA)
Offered by the School of Communication.
Admission to the Program
Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. International students whose first language is not English should take the TOEFL examination to demonstrate proficiency in written as well as spoken English.
Previous academic or professional work in public communication is not required, but all applicants must demonstrate a serious commitment to a career in this field. The ability to speak and write English well is essential. Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word essay on the applicant's commitment to pursuing graduate study in the program are submitted with the application. Interviews are not required, but may be recommended by the school.
Admission is open to both full-time and part-time students for the fall semester. Full-time students are generally expected to complete the program in ten months. Part-time students are expected to take a minimum of two courses each semester and complete their program in two years.
Qualified undergraduate students may apply to a combined bachelor's/MA program and use up to 6 credit hours of 500-level courses to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.
- 30 credit hours of approved graduate work
- A grade of B or better in two of the following courses to fulfill the university's research requirement: COMM-640 Principles of Strategic Communication (3) COMM-735 Communication Theory (3) COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (3)
- A grade point average of 3.00 maintained during all work toward the degree
Required (15 credit hours)
- COMM-640 Principles of Strategic Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-644 Writing for Strategic Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-735 Communication Theory (3) (3)
- COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-744 Strategic Communication Capstone (3) (3)
Electives (15 credit hours)
Complete 15 credit hours from the following courses:
Note: Students may also take an internship as one of the elective courses during the summer term only. With prior approval and permission from the Public Communication division director, other elective courses relating to a student's area of interest and professional goals may be taken in academic units outside the School of Communication.
- COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-537 Sports Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-540 Social Marketing (3) (3)
- COMM-542 Media Relations (3) (3)
- COMM-543 Speechwriting (3) (3)
- COMM-551 Grassroots Digital Advocacy (3) (3)
- COMM-567 Communication and Social Change (3) (3)
- COMM-569 Executive Suite (3) (3)
- COMM-573 Visual Strategies in Public Relations (3) (3)
- COMM-579 Political Advertising (3) (3)
- COMM-580 Strategic Health Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-602 Digital Media Literacy and Skills (3) (3)
- COMM-603 Web Development (3) (3)
- COMM-604 Dynamic Content (3) (3)
- COMM-605 Video for Social Media (3) (3)
- COMM-608 Social Media Strategies and Tactics (3) (3)
- COMM-639 Political Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-641 Crisis Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-642 Strategic Communication Management (3) (3)
- COMM-646 Strategic Communication Practicum (3) (3)
- COMM-647 Multicultural Strategic Communication Campaigns (3) (3)
- COMM-649 International Strategic Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-657 Strategic Communication in Advertising (3) (3)
- COMM-658 Strategic Communication Campaigns: Advertising Lab (3) (3)
- COMM-681 Entertainment Communication (3) (3)
- COMM-689 Communication, Culture, and the Environment (3) (3)
Online Strategic Communication (MA)
In this fully online program, students learn to tell compelling stories, craft messages that lead to action, and harness the power of new media and technology. Students learn through simulations and are able to apply best practices to new technology and media channels. Admission requirements are the same as for the full-time program. Degree and course requirements are also the same as the full-time program, but the 12 credit hours of elective courses are determined by departmental offerings. Courses are offered in an eight week accelerated format. Students are expected to take two courses each semester and complete the program within a twenty-month period. Students must be accepted into the Online MA in Strategic Communication Program to enroll in online courses.
Combined Bachelor's and Strategic Communication (MA)
American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.
In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor's/master's programs:
- Admission to the combined program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5, a formal application, two written faculty recommendations, a statement of purpose, and a positive review by the faculty admissions committee. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required unless applying for School of Communication Merit Awards.