Clark University offers an online Master of Science in Professional Communication through its School of Professional Studies. The program is entirely online, without any required visits to campus, and utilizes the Moodle learning management system to facilitate online course delivery. Through Moodle, students can access their class materials and syllabi, submit assignments, communicate with instructors, and participate in class discussions with other students.
The Master of Science in Professional Communication is a 10-course program designed to be completed in one and a half to two years. The curriculum emphasizes digital marketing and media relations, introducing students to fundamental concepts and practices in marketing strategy, communication, strategic planning, and public relations. Once enrolled, students may select from one of three academic concentrations: Strategic Communication, Digital Media, or Communication Leadership.
The Strategic Communication concentration explores content development across media platforms, teaching students how to use audience data to create effective media and communication campaigns. Digital Media provides students with an introduction to communication practices in digital mediums, across networks and online applications. Students in the Communication Leadership concentration build their management and leadership skills while focusing on verbal and written communication.
The 10-class curriculum offers all students practical instruction in social media content creation, the use of communication platforms, how to create influential media and public communication campaigns, and how to devise strategic marketing strategies. Coursework is divided between five core classes, four academic concentration electives, one open elective, and a capstone project.
Core courses in the program focus on central concepts, theories, and research practices within professional communication. Classes include Organizational Communication, Communication Theory, a Professional Communication Seminar, Research Methods and Strategies, and a culminating Capstone Practicum.
After completing their core coursework, students transition into academic concentration classes. Sample courses in the Digital Media concentration include Social Media and Marketing Communication; Global Communication Strategy; Business Intelligence; and Freelance Writing and Strategy. In the Communication Leadership concentration, courses include Change Management; Intervention, Mediation and Negotiation; Fundamentals of Business Analysis; and Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Communication. The final concentration, Strategic Communication, offers courses such as Advertising Theory and Practice; Public Relations; Theory and Practice of Persuasion; and Social Media and Marketing Communication.
All three concentration tracks end with a Capstone Practicum. The practicum brings together concepts and topics from throughout the master’s program into a comprehensive project. Students work in groups with a supervising faculty instructor to tackle a real-world organizational problem or challenge, conducting research, reviewing industry patterns and trends, and finally, creating a written and oral presentation of their recommendations to solve the problem.
Clark University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Online Master of Science in Communication
Department: School of Professional Studies
Specializations/Concentrations: Focus on Leadership, Marketing, and Public Relations
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 1.5 to 2 years
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission (rolling admission)
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone practicum project
Credits Required: 10 courses
Example Courses: Leading Responsibly; Marketing and Communication Strategies; Strategic Marketing Tools and Applications; Multi Channel Communications; Social Media and Marketing Communication; Public Relations; Marketing Communication
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; personal statement; letters of recommendation
Estimated Tuition: ~$28,350 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $2,835 per course
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states