Spring Arbor University (SAU) offers an online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership that can be completed entirely online without making any required visits to campus. Courses in the online program utilize asynchronous instruction, which means students are not required to log on at specific times to view lectures. They can review course materials and complete assignments at any time of day. For its online programs, SAU Online uses the Blackboard learning management system. Through Blackboard, students can access their course materials and assignments, interact with peers, converse with instructors, and submit assignments all through the online portal.

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Leadership requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in 18 months. The program connects students to mentors in the communication field, who provide them with professional development support throughout the degree program. The 11-class curriculum blends communication theory and research methods with applied skill development in areas ranging from digital media to conflict management. Coursework is separated into two buckets: The Basics and The Building Blocks.

The Basics is comprised of a three-class series of core coursework (12 credits) which includes the following courses: Communication as Vocation and Calling, Communication Theory and Worldview, and Communication Research and Application. Through these classes, students connect with their professional mentor to establish an academic and professional growth plan, become familiar with the core principles and practices in strategic communication and leadership, and develop skills in qualitative and quantitative research practices.

The Building Blocks coursework exposes students to a broad array of best practices, strategies, and versatile skills in communication and leadership, digital media tactics and their applications, and interpersonal communication strategies in workplace settings. The courses students take include Interpersonal Communication, Group and Public Communication, Digital Media Strategies, Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Ethics and Moral Reasoning, Writing for Results, Conflict Management, and Communication Leadership. These classes help students shape their leadership practices, become effective communicators in different mediums, improve their writing and presentation skills, learn about traditional and non-traditional approaches to public relations and advertising, and leverage new media and web-based platforms to craft compelling messages. .

The program culminates with an ePortfolio. Throughout the program, students collect and review artifacts of their learning experiences and creative material assets. When they graduate, students can use their ePortfolio as a tool for job hunting or career advancement.

Spring Arbor University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership

Department: SAU Online
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
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 18 months

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Professional ePortfolio
Credits Required: 36 credits (11 courses)
Example Courses: Communication Theory and Worldview; Communication as Vocation and Calling; Digital Media Strategies; Interpersonal Communication; Mass Communication, Culture and Technology; Group and Public Communication; Advertising and Public Relations; Communication Leadership

Application Requirements
Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 in at least the last 2 years of undergraduate degree
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Start Dates: Six start dates per years (approximately one start every two months)

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$25,812 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $717 per credit hour

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.