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Master of Arts in Strategic Communications and Public Relations: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

36 total credit hours required

Examine ethical issues in both journalism and public relations, master industry-standard multimedia software like Adobe Creative Suite™, develop campaigns in a simulated agency setting, and much more.

With a strong focus on both theory and hands-on practice, this 12-course curriculum prepares you to lead with PR intelligence and create the stellar media content your organization needs.

Please note that the course abstracts on this page are meant to provide a high-level course overview and are subject to change.

Core Courses

This course introduces you to the theory and practice of strategic communication by exploring how to develop, maintain and strengthen internal and external relations. You will consider the social, ethical and historical implications of using traditional and new communication platforms—as well as interrogate a myriad of complementary and competing interests.

This course will examine ethical issues in both journalism and public relations through the use of guidelines established by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). You will become familiar with ethical foundations and perspectives and apply those principles using case studies.

This course is an introduction to multimedia technologies for communication, taking a hands-on approach to utilizing and exploring these technologies. You will participate in the creative process while developing the technical and writing skills needed to create compelling content. You will also learn how to create sophisticated and effective media materials using multimedia software, social media and other online platforms.

As a continuation of Multimedia Communications I, this course will give you the opportunity to continue to explore multimedia technologies for communication and develop a deeper understanding of current print and/or online channels. You will also have the chance to continue to hone your technical and writing skills by creating sophisticated and effective media materials using multimedia software, online platforms and web design platforms.

In this course, you will learn about and create a strategic communication campaign that regards various areas of diversity, such as race, gender, disability, culture and geographical location. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to think critically about campaign construction and the process of creating diverse and inclusive organizational messaging.

This course functions like an actual advertising, public relations and media production agency. You will apply theory and practical skills in order to develop campaigns—as well as provide products and services to clients

This course will provide you with a history of communication law and how legal verdicts, decisions and hearings impact, regulate and guide strategic communication—including traditional and digital media. You will gain skills and strategies to think critically about how to create and implement strategic communication campaigns that adhere to speech, copyright and technology laws.

Social media has altered how we communicate with each other on an individual and cultural level. This course explores the micro and macro impacts of social media on health, identity, consumerism and democracy. You will be required to create several social media pages.

We live in a world where we are surrounded by advertising and PR messages. With the goal of producing more ethical communication professionals, this course will encourage you to turn a critical eye to the persuasion industries in order to examine their impact on individuals and society and create content that reflects these ethical standards.

This course introduces you to the key concepts of crisis communication. You will develop an understanding of best practices through an analysis of crisis case studies.

Learn to effectively communicate with both internal and external audiences/markets in corporate settings. Explore research, writing and campaign development while gaining insight into the unique advantages and opportunities of working in corporate communication, as opposed to non-profit and firm/agency settings. You’ll examine organizational communication, business development, leadership/management, and corporate social responsibility in a strategic communication contex.

This is an advanced course that’s tailored to your areas of interest in the field of strategic communication and public relations.