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Strategic Communication Courses

Curriculum Details

30 TOTAL CREDITS

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 two years, or you can study part-time at the pace that best fits your schedule.

Core Courses

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.
An introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods in communication, including survey research and focus groups, to be used in professional and applied settings.
An exploration of major theories and perspectives on how to understand public communication and its influence on organizations, individuals, and our society.
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.
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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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

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.

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.
Explore the growing promise of mobility, the possible pitfalls of marketing in social media, and web analytics, including search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Students will learn how to define their audience, establish key performance indicators, measure results, and optimize the experience for the user.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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.
Students explore new political strategies in an increasingly networked world and learn what it takes to be a digital political strategist.
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.
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.
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.
An exploration of public communication campaigns, examining how the media can influence attitudes and behaviors related to issues of politics, health, or society.

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