The School of Journalism and Mass Communication enrolled its ninth cohort in the Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication in September 2013. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through the summer until the program is filled.
Program director Steve Wehrenberg will be on-hand to provide information about the program and answer questions. RSVP to attend. All sessions are open to the public.
For communicators who help shape business results.
Some communicators create output. Newsletters, websites, blogs, annual reports, brochures.
Other communicators know all about output, but they know their value lies in their ability to influence outcomes. They are strategists. They are executives. Other executives count on them to bring strategic insight as well as communication skills to help achieve desired business outcomes.
If you are, or aspire to be, this kind of communicator, then the Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication is for you.
Be the communication expert who gets the right things done
The University of Minnesota’s Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication is designed for working communication professionals. Students learn to lead organizations, and move them ahead, by knowing and being able to implement the most effective communication strategies and programs.
Every effective organization depends on strategic communication to achieve its goals. Businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies all depend on effective and innovative communication. Learn how organizations use strategic communication to achieve their goals. And how you can be the communication expert your organization depends on.
Courses are designed and taught by a team of academic and professional experts focused on strategically smart communication, and advanced integrated communication concepts and methods.
We’re not just another degree program
The Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication accepts top students, and works with them aggressively to help them get their master’s degree, and get it with dispatch. Since the first class was admitted in 2005, the program has had a 94% graduation rate – among the highest at the University of Minnesota or anywhere. Not only do motivated students finish, but they finish in two years. They don’t linger; they earn their degree and get to work.
Contributing to high graduation rates is the program’s unique cohort model. About 20 students are admitted each year, and they stay together through all the required courses. They learn from each other’s experience, they support one another, and they form career-long professional relationships.
Students are taught by a stable faculty that is a blend of career communication scholars and communication industry leaders. Course quality is assured; most faculty members have taught in the program since its beginning.
Professionals in strategic communication currently employed in an advertising, public relations or marketing firm, or in a communication function within a corporation, nonprofit, or government entity, may apply. Other applicants will be considered also, whose experience or qualifications indicates the likelihood of their success.
Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or its foreign equivalent and at least two years of professional experience in any of the following areas:
Located in the heart of the nation’s sixth largest communication market, this program is designed to develop communication leaders. To be successful, organizations need people who understand the many nuances of communication theory, who can use strong analytical ability to understand consumers, and who can think strategically about communication.
Master’s students at SJMC have the opportunity to learn and benefit from faculty and business professionals who have successfully led professional communication in various disciplines. The Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication is a path to leadership.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication has a long history of leadership and accomplishment. Nationally recognized faculty offer a complete curriculum in advertising and public relations. Alumni can be found in leading ad agencies, public relations and marketing firms, and in corporate and nonprofit management.
Graduates of the master’s program in strategic communication will develop knowledge, skills and training to be next-generation communications leaders. The foundation of successful organizational communications is strategy – and that’s the core educational focus in this master’s program. You should develop your leadership ability, marketability and productivity. It will help you be a leader. We believe the curriculum will enhance your ability to identify and develop the best communications strategy, develop creative and original approaches to solving communications problems, and make you better informed about theories that are the basis for effective organizational communications.
Graduates of the program now work in communications positions at a wide variety of organizations – advertising and public relations agencies, trend tracking consulting firms, Fortune 100 corporations, small manufacturing companies, state agencies, school districts, area colleges and universities and many non-profit organizations. The degree itself is not the key to success – but the knowledge gained helps advance the careers of many students. Routinely, students in the program say that they can apply what they learn in class the next day at work.
Below is a sampling of places of employment from graduates of the program.
To apply, follow the steps below. All materials must be uploaded to the online application, Apply Yourself. There is a rolling admission process, meaning that candidates are admitted as their applications are received until the 20-member cohort is full.
Applications must be received before June 15 for September admission. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Please do not submit paper applications to the School of Journalism, as they are unnecessary and not recommended. However, if you have professional writing samples that cannot be uploaded to Apply Yourself, please contact the Graduate Student Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org for alternative options.
All students are required to complete the following courses in sequence:
An exploration of the analytical skills, techniques and methodologies used to identify information and social trends that affect communication strategy. The course will examine, evaluate and apply the techniques communication professionals can use to stay ahead of the marketplace when making decisions concerning communication strategy. Particular attention will be devoted to identifying trends in popular culture that lead to leverageable insights for message development.
Communication Strategy Research in Rapidly Changing and Complex Media Environments
Concepts, analytical techniques and methods to analyze audiences, target markets and social trends affecting communication strategy in context of complex and rapidly changing media environments.
Factors Impacting Communication Strategy
Identification and analysis of issues that affect the development of communication strategy, couple with background on how corporations develop strategic plans. Factors will be examined with a view to understanding their implications for the development of effective strategic planning. Attention will be given to both the analytic and predictive skills required in this area.
Generation and Selection of Communication Strategies
Concepts and methods for the development and selection of effective communication strategies to create and sustain information relationships between consumers and brands and/or organizations. A wide range of brand related concepts will be examined with a view to understanding their implications for the generation and selection of effective communication strategies.
Integration of Communication Strategy Across Media
An exploration of how communication strategies are integrated across media. The course will include the identification of all relevant stakeholders, points of media contact, audience segmentation, and the roles that each communication discipline can play in campaign development. It will also explore the relationships among media that underlie a successful communications campaign.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Communication Campaigns
An examination of the concepts and methods available to evaluate the effectiveness of strategic communication campaigns and their components. The course will review best practices in both qualitative and quantitative techniques in popular use. The course will examine laboratory, web site, and market approaches and the legal and ethical issues attendant to advertising and public relations evaluation research.
Cases in Strategic Communication An in-depth analysis of case studies focusing on the development and implementation of communication strategies. Cases will cover a broad range of situations including cases on products, corporate communication and non-profit organizations. Cases will focus on such issues as brand introduction, brand reinforcement, revitalizations, crisis communication, issues management, and legal and ethical considerations. The cases will examine campaign impact on all relevant stakeholders.
Research and Development of an Integrated Strategic Communication Campaign
This is a capstone independent study project demonstrating mastery of the entire curriculum in the MA in Strategic Communication. This project is completed by registering for JOUR 8206 in the Summer Session. Faculty provide ongoing instructional support for effective completion of the individual capstone case study projects.
Supporting Courses (Electives)
Students take nine credits of graduate-level credits, generally courses designated as 5-level courses and above. At least six of the nine credits must be from departments outside the SJMC. Examples of these courses are COMM 5441, Communication in Human Organizations and COMM 5451, Intercultural Communication Processes. Other courses may be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies if the student can demonstrate how the course is applicable to them and the program.
Please keep in mind that the cost of tuition is set by the University of Minnesota and fluxuates. These numbers are approximate.
Books and cost of living not included in total cost.
Every semester, scholarships are offered exclusively to students enrolled in the Strategic Communication M.A. program. Scholarship applications are due during the first semester of enrollment.
Every year, approximately $30,000 is given to students in support from the following fellowships and scholarships:
The Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication requires 33 graduate credits to be completed within 24 calendar months. All students take the same 18 course credits in communication and complete a six-credit individual project. In addition, nine credits of supporting study at the graduate level, at least six outside of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, must be completed.
Students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, and achieve a grade of B or higher on their six-credit project. Student progress is evaluated by the program director, director of graduate studies, and program faculty. Students must progress each semester to continue in the program.
There is no final thesis or final M.A. oral examination required.
International students are welcome to apply for this program. But please note that no assistantships are given. Relocation to and employment in the Twin Cities is necessary while enrolled. Please email email@example.com with questions.