Butler University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Strategic Communication through its College of Communication. The program is fully online and makes use of Canvas — a digital learning management platform that allows for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The program is designed for working professionals seeking to build on their existing careers or pursue a new career path in strategic communication.

The M.S. program is a 30 credit-hour, 10-course program that can be completed in as few as 20 months. Students can start the program in fall, spring and summer semesters. Butler views strategic communication as an applied discipline that responds to the intertwined role that advertising and public relations play in today’s organizations. Students are introduced to networks of scholars and working professionals as they learn foundational research methods and best practices of multimedia strategic communication targeting diverse audiences, through real world case-studies and simulations.

Students are required to take four core courses, Foundations of Strategic Communication; Research Methods: Design & Analysis; Law and Ethics in Strategic Communication; and Strategic Visual Communication. In addition, the program requires students to complete a strategic communication capstone course. The remaining five courses are selected from electives, which include Health and Risk Communication, Social Media Strategy, Crisis Communication, Global Strategic Communication, and more.

The M.S. in Strategic Communication culminates with a required capstone project, in which students design a strategic communication plan. In creating their strategic communication plans, students step into a simulated role as a senior communication strategist in a corporation or a nonprofit organization. The student conducts intensive research in developing a strategy for their organization, and their final product is meant to provide a showcase for their professional expertise, knowledge, and skills.

For those who do not wish to pursue the full M.S. program, Butler University also offers a 12 credit-hour online Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication.

Butler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Master of Science in Strategic Communication

Department: College of Communication

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses the Canvas learning management system that supports synchronous and asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in as few as 20 months
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 30 credit hours (10 courses)
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Strategic communication capstone
Example Courses: Foundations of Strategic Communication; Law and Ethics in Strategic Communication; Strategic Visual Communication; Crisis Communication; Media Relations; Brand Strategy

Application Requirements
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; personal statement; two letters of recommendation; current resume
Transcripts: Official transcripts or copies of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions (colleges and universities) where candidates:

  • Earned a degree
  • Earned more than 15 undergraduate and/or graduate credits
  • Completed courses for which they wish to apply for transfer credit

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$25,500 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $850 per credit hour

Application Fee: Applicants must submit a $35 application fee. (Note: Early decision applicants are eligible to waive their application fee.)

State Authorizations: 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.