Arkansas State University (A-State) offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Strategic Communications program through its Department of Communication. The program is 100% online and does not require students to attend any campus-based sessions. In addition, all of the coursework for the program is delivered using asynchronous instruction, which means students are free to access pre-recorded lectures and other course materials at their convenience, 24-7. Students in the program also have access via A-State’s online learning management system, through which they can leverage the same academic resources as on-campus students, including library and technical support.
A-State’s MS in Strategic Communications program is a 30-credit, writing-intensive program that can be completed in as few as ten months. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a range of careers in professional communication, including work in marketing communication, public relations, media management, advertising, and social media. The program also has an optional Technology Law and Policy Emphasis that provides specialized instruction in data privacy, data protection, and intellectual property law.
Students who enroll in A-State’s online MS in Strategic Communications program are required to complete ten courses in order to reach the 30 credits needed to graduate. Five of these courses are core requirements that all students in the program must complete. These courses include: Quantitative Research Methods; Audience Market Analysis; Advertising Account Management; Strategic Communication Management; and a Strategic Communication seminar. Students are also required to take a course in Communication Regulation and Policy or a course in Media Entrepreneurship but are not required to take both.
The remaining credits required for graduation are earned through four electives in topics that include: Integrated Marketing Communication; Crisis Communication; Social Media in Strategic Communication; Social Media Measurement; and Interactive Advertising. Students who opt for the program’s Technology Law and Policy Emphasis take a cluster of four courses in lieu of electives. Technology Law and Policy Emphasis courses include: EU and US Data Protection Law; Privacy Law; International Intellectual Property Law; and an Information Technology Law seminar.
In addition to being a writing-intensive program, A-State’s MS in Strategic Communications program provides students with training in social science research methods and their application in media and communication fields, strategies for the use of multiple media platforms to reach target audiences, and an understanding of the roles that advertising, marketing, and public relations play in strategic organizational communication. Finally, students in the program learn how to use the Hootsuite social media management platform, a digital dashboard that integrates multiple social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Graduates from the program are issued a Hootsuite Certification indicating that they have demonstrated proficiency in its use.
Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Online Master of Science in Strategic Communications
Department: Department of Communication
Specializations/Concentrations: Optional Emphasis in Technology Law and Policy
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in as few as 10 months
Start Dates: Six starts per year (two in Fall, Spring and Summer terms)
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: No capstone requirement
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Regulation and Policy; Media Entrepreneurship; Quantitative Research Methods; Audience Market Analysis; Strategic Communication Management; Integrated Marketing Communication; Crisis Communication; Social Media in Strategic Communication; Privacy Law; EU and U.S. Data Protection Law
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE or GMAT not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; writing sample
Estimated Tuition*: ~$9,510 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $317 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Inquire with school to confirm the program accepts students from all 50 states
*Estimated tuition is calculated by multiplying the cost per credit hour by the number of credits required to graduate. It does not include fees or other expenses.