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Online Strategic Communication Master's Degree

With a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from UD, you’ll enhance your ability to develop persuasive messages using theories of communication, digital content creation skills and industry-specific techniques utilized in today’s emerging media.

 

Graduate ready to enter and advance in several leading-edge communication careers. We offer two specialization options in Public Relations or Social Media, or the ability to customize your electives to match your career goals.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

Program Outcomes

 

In the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from UD, you’ll study the principles, theories, research practices and ethics of strategic communication. Then, you can specialize your skill set for the communication career you’re aiming for.

You will:

- Develop a deeper understanding of strategic communication and acquire the skill set necessary to apply what they learn in the professional world.

- Design and implement research for their organizations.

- Design, implement and evaluate communication campaigns.

- Deliver recommendations for the future of projects and issues they may face in their careers.

- Write for multimedia with a professional audience in mind.

- Analyze and evaluate competitors’ strategic communication efforts.

For an insider’s look into the field of strategic communication, view the recordings from our Inside the Industry speaker series.

An award-winning program

  • The Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program was featured on the esteemed PRNEWS 2023 Education A-List. This accolade celebrates the commitment of higher education institutions to fostering career advancement within the fields of public relations and communications.
  • Ranked among the Top 50 in College Factual’s 2023 Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies.
The 2023 Education A-List recipient badge from PR News

Choose from Two Specializations or Build Your Own

Digital and Social Media

 

Set yourself apart with skills in managing enterprise-level digital and social media, reaching your target audiences with precision and using data analytics to measure and improve your impact on goals for businesses, organizations and nonprofits.

Public Relations

 

Learn to plan, develop and execute a public relations campaign. Including persuasive messaging, the writing of press releases, features, profiles, public service announcements and more. Join this growing field on behalf of nearly any organization.

Customized Degree Option

 

If you’re interested in a particular selection of electives to match your career goals, the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication allows you to select any five elective courses. Build your own experience with a customized curriculum.

More information about the Strategic communication ma

Career Expectations

Whether you’re new to the field or seeking advancement in your current role, UD’s online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication gives you the knowledge base, research skills, industry techniques and career services you need to reach your goals.

 

Known for Excellence

UD was ranked among the Top 50 in College Factual’s 2023 Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies.

 

Potential Careers

With a master’s in strategic communication, you’ll also be able to pursue leadership positions with titles such as:

  • Communications Director
  • Strategic Communications Manager
  • Director of Internal Communications
  • Corporate Communications Consultant
  • Social Issues Advocate
  • Marketing Director
  • Political Strategist
  • Chief Branding Officer

 

Example Salaries

  • Public Relations Manager - $118,430 per year
  • Social Media Director - $75,466 per year
  • Communications Director - $71,597 per year
  • Communications Manager - $66,384 per year

 

Communication Career Outlook

  • About 7,600 openings for public relations and fundraising managers are projected each year, on average, between 2019 and 2029.
  • The average base salary for those with a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is $63,000 per year.
  • Social media directors with strategic communication, marketing and management skills can earn up to $16,000 more per year.

Digital and Social Media

Set yourself apart with skills in managing enterprise-level digital and social media, reaching your target audiences with precision and using data analytics to measure and improve your impact on goals for businesses, organizations and nonprofits.

 

Public Relations

Learn to develop a public relations campaign and persuasive messaging including the writing of press releases, features, profiles, public service announcements and more. Join this growing field on behalf of nearly any organization.

 

Customized Degree Option

If you’re interested in a particular selection of electives to match your career goals, the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication allows you to select any five elective courses.

The curriculum for UD’s online M.A. in Strategic Communication includes 30 credit hours of cutting-edge strategic communication courses, covering topics such as social media management, public relations campaign planning, digital media strategy, strategic communication theory and research. Choose a specialization or build your own with a customizable curriculum tailored to your career.

You can complete the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication in as little as 18 months, or you can study part-time at the pace that best fits your schedule.

 

Core Courses

COMM 702 Principles of Strategic Communication - 3 Credits

An introduction to the world of strategic communication practice in the 21st century. This course will strike a balance for students between an academic perspective—through academic research and questioning the overall role of strategic communication—and a practicing perspective—through increasing familiarity with the field.

 

COMM 703 Communication Research - 3 Credits

An introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods in communication, including survey research and focus groups, to be used in professional and applied settings.

 

COMM 706 Communication Theory - 3 Credits

An exploration of major theories and perspectives on how to understand public communication and its influence on organizations, individuals, and our society.

 

COMM 707 Communication and Ethics - 3 Credits

Students apply classic ethical theory to current communication ethical dilemmas, including both interpersonal and media communication. Topics will include truth and deception, privacy, and persuasion. This course features an emphasis on digital communication.

 

COMM 769 Strategic Communication Capstone - 3 Credits

Students identify a communication-related project, conduct research or design a relevant project or campaign, and deliver recommendations. This course offers the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained through coursework.

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIZATION

COMM 721 Public Relations Campaigns - 3 Credits

Course emphasizes public relations research, objectives, strategies, and campaign evaluation. Utilizes a service-learning approach wherein students adopt an organization to produce and present a comprehensive public relations campaign plan.

 

COMM 727 PR Management - 3 Credits

Students use case studies and focus on strategies that public relations practitioners need to know to successfully manage issues and communicate effectively with external audiences, including news media.

 

COMM 728 Strategic Communication and Persuasion - 3 Credits

An examination of how influence is created and resisted through communication in settings such as public relations, advertising, and political campaigns. There is an emphasis on contemporary theories of persuasion and attitude change.

 

COMM 719 Reputation Management - 3 Credits

An examination of the role of personal reputation in an overall organization, including how corporate culture can influence a company’s reputation and how internal communications can serve as a tool. Will also examine the factors of reputational risk and the strategies behind building a reputation.

 

COMM 722 Crisis Communication - 3 Credits

This course uses case studies and focuses on the six phases of crisis communication needed to successfully manage a crisis, protect an individual or organization confronted with an unexpected challenge to its reputation and communicate effectively with key stakeholders including news media.

 

COMM 724 Public Relations Writing - 3 Credits

Students will develop professional writing skills expected of PR practitioners for a client. Writing will be based on AP style best practices, and will include calendar news release, media advisory, fact sheets, post-event news release, bios, and media pitches. Students will also develop a key messaging document for the client.

 

COMM 725 Branding - 3 Credits

Students learn how to develop brands, create concepts, and develop advertising campaigns. Learn how to determine appropriate media for particular campaigns, how to organize a creative department, how to create budgets and timelines, and how to research and purchase visual imagery.

 

COMM 729 Topics in Public Relations - 3 Credits

Further examination of areas of interest within the fields of strategic communication and public relations. Topic areas explored could include organizational communication, health communication, political communication, sports communication or advertising.

 

COMM 756 Advanced Strategic Communication Writing - 3 Credits

Strong focus on honing students’ abilities to create effective strategic messages across many forms of mass media. Students create short and long strategic messages targeting specific demographic and psychographic audiences. Other topics include audience analysis, metrics, engagement, digital influence, and new media relations. PREREQUISITE: Public Relations Writing or Writing for Digital Media

 

COMM 723 Strategic Communication Campaigns - 3 Credits

An exploration of public communication campaigns, examining how the media can influence attitudes and behaviors related to issues of politics, health, or society.

 

DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIZATION

COMM 732 Social Media Campaigns - 3 Credits

An examination of social media theories and management practices. Explore how to manage a brand on social media and how to create a social media strategy for any organization or individual. Students conduct social media research, execute a social media content analysis, and develop a strategic social media plan.

 

COMM 719 Reputation Management - 3 Credits

This course provides a comprehensive overview of reputation management both offline and online. Through cases, instructional readings, and leading models, students will gain an understanding of the components and drivers of corporate reputation and potential risks.

 

COMM 731 Integrated Marketing - 3 Credits

Explores how various elements of marketing can work together in fully integrated campaign plans. Students will learn how to define their audience, establish key performance indicators, measure results, and optimize the experience for the user.

 

COMM 733 Writing for Digital Media - 3 Credits

Focuses on crafting and structuring written work so that it may be easily translated to various platforms and can reach the widest possible audience. Different writing processes will be used to demonstrate new ways of thinking about information.

 

COMM 734 Digital Media Content Strategy - 3 Credits

Examine how compelling digital media content is essential in engaging site visitors and driving their behavior. Topics include the intersection of search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing strategies and the future of content strategy.

 

COMM 735 Social Media Management - 3 Credits

Gain knowledge of social media ecosystems and social business models. Analyze data to extract audience insights, develop and implement strategies, and ultimately become a skilled social media practitioner.

 

COMM 736 User Data Analytics - 3 Credits

This course emphasizes understanding which data collection method is best for a particular context. It features a focus on the use and interpretation of digital analytics, as well as data collection methods and basic statistics for digital sites and apps.

 

COMM 739 Topics in Digital Media - 3 Credits

Further examination of areas of interest within the areas of digital media. Topic areas explored could include social media, online consumer behaviors, digital political strategies, and digital health promotion.

 

COMM 756 Advanced Strategic Communication Writing - 3 Credits

Strong focus on honing students’ abilities to create effective strategic messages across many forms of mass media. Students create short and long strategic messages targeting specific demographic and psychographic audiences. Other topics include audience analysis, metrics, engagement, digital influence, and new media relations. PREREQUISITE: Public Relations Writing or Writing for Digital Media

 

ADDITIONAL ELECTIVES

COMM 740 Effective Health Communication - 3 Credits

Examine how communication professionals can improve communication among patients, providers, governmental agencies, and other stakeholders. A focus will be on the design, transmission, and evaluation of effective health promotional messages.

 

COMM 751 Digital Political Strategy - 3 Credits

Students will explore digital political strategies and learn how to use digital platforms to win and advance causes- whether working for a nonprofit, a business, a government agency, or political leader.

 

COMM 752 Sports Communication & Branding - 3 Credits

Examine how communication professionals can use sports culture to leverage brand awareness for sports organizations as well as gain a positive brand association for those companies whose identities are linked to sports. Look at what communication strategies can be used to advance the brand.

 

COMM 753 Media Analytics - 3 Credits

An introduction to the basic concepts and uses of media analytics. Included are an exploration of data acquisition about audiences, sources of commercial data, and an overview of some of the popular analytics platforms and tools.

 

COMM 754 Communication & Leadership - 3 Credits

An examination of the various leadership roles present in dynamic environments. Focus on organizational culture, conflict in organizational environments, socialization, power in professional relationships, and group and team communication.

 

COMM 723 Strategic Communication Campaigns - 3 Credits

An exploration of public communication campaigns, examining how the media can influence attitudes and behaviors related to issues of politics, health, or society.

We’re Committed to Affordability

$850 Per Credit Hour

You could fund your program by receiving a grant, qualifying for federal or private loans, utilizing military benefits or pursuing employer tuition reimbursement. Our dedicated admissions and financial personnel will help you through the process, including enrolling in a payment plan if applicable.

Watch Virtual Open House for UD's Online Master's Degree in Strategic Communication.: https://capture.udel.edu/media/1_zu73sdfl/

How fast can I complete the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication?

You can complete our program in as few as 18 months with full-time study. Most students choose to study part-time and take an average of two to three years to complete the program.

 

Does the online Strategic Communications program accept transfer credits? If so, how many?

You can transfer up to nine credits from any accredited college or university. Graduate credits earned at another institution (but not used in the completion of another graduate degree) will be evaluated at your written request for any course except for the capstone. Contact an admissions counselor for more information about transferring your prior credits.

 

What are the start dates for the online Strategic Communication program throughout the year?

You may start this program in the fall, summer or spring semesters. Applications are accepted at any time up until a week before classes begin. Applicants are considered for admission on a rolling basis, which makes now the perfect time to apply.

Check our events page regularly for Virtual Open Houses and Live Webinars with industry professionals.

Register Here for Upcoming Events >>

Admission Requirements

Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Application Process

Our graduate application system is designed to put you in control of the application and all documents associated with it.  

You’ll need:

- A completed online application

- A bachelor’s degree in any academic background from a regionally accredited institution

- A current résumé

- A GPA of at least 3.0. (If your GPA is below 3.0, you should still apply, as we take your strengths and skills in other areas into account.)

- Unofficial copies of your transcripts (we'll need official versions once you're admitted)

- Letters of recommendation

- A personal statement

Ready to Learn More?

 

Experience what it’s like to earn your Master of Arts in Strategic Communication in as little as 18 Months, all from the comfort of your own home.