Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

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.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Required (15 credit hours)

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.

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.