St. Bonaventure University (SBU) offers an online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications through its Jandoli School of Communication. The degree can be completed 100 percent online without any required campus visits. In order to maximize student engagement, SBU focuses on keeping class sizes small with a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. Online courses are delivered through Moodle, a learning management system which acts as an online virtual campus. Through Moodle, students can review lectures, access course materials, participate in class discussions, submit assignments, access SBU’s Friedsam Memorial Library, and more.
The Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications requires 33 credit hours that can be completed in two years if students take one seven-week course per term (there are two seven-week terms per semester). Students that take two courses during each term (e.g., four courses each semester) can complete the degree in as little as one year. The program is professionally oriented and designed to teach students how to design, coordinate and implement marketing communication tactics within their industry and organization using the latest digital media tools and technologies. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students learn how to not only execute integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaigns across different types of media (e.g., digital marketing, social media, direct marketing, public relations), but also how to evaluate the efficacy of those campaigns.
The 12-class curriculum blends the study of IMC principles and practices with hands-on skill development in areas ranging from creative messaging to campaign management. Required courses cover ten IMC-focused areas of practice, including an IMC campaign project. Students take a sequence of core courses that build upon each other, and which include Finding Your Voice: Introduction to IMC, Finding The Path: Marketing Communications Research, Finding Connections: Digital Communication, Embracing Strategic Thinking: Marketing Strategy & Planning for IMC, Embracing Analysis: Tools of Analysis and Communication, Embracing Your Talent: Creative, Strategy & Design, Integrated Communication Practices and Procedures, Integrating PR: Public Relations Best Practice, and Mastering the Field: Cases & Campaigns. These courses introduce students to the principles of communication strategy and planning, global marketing practices, the use of marketing research in IMC, and how to integrate public relations tactics and creative design into a cohesive IMC plan. Curriculum also explores digital communications, strategic marketing practices, and more.
Students also complete two electives in areas that align with their professional development needs. Electives cover major interdisciplinary areas of study, including advanced digital and online media tools and tactics, health care communication, public relations, and advertising. Sample courses include Organizational Structure/Behavior-IMC, The US Health Care System, Advertising Copywriting & Design Direction, Social Media & Consumer Insights, Mobile Marketing Communication, Health Care Communication, Embracing Your PR Skills: Developing a Voice for Your Client, and Analytics, Data Visualization, and Interpretation. Students may also take approved electives from SBU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and/or the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership program to fulfill their two-elective requirement.
The program culminates with an Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign Project. Armed with a broad understanding of IMC, students select an organization, develop a robust IMC plan, and present it to a panel of professionals and faculty. The plan includes an executive summary and requires students to conduct primary and secondary market research and a SWOT analysis to develop a marketing strategy and campaign brief. The project must also detail a campaign timeline, objectives and budget, return on investment figures, as well as media campaign creatives, public relations initiatives, and an overall campaign evaluation. After completing their IMC campaign project, students must present their final deliverable to a faculty committee as well as their chosen client. Students graduate from the program with an ePortfolio that shows their capabilities and credentials, and which highlights their Campaign Project.
St. Bonaventure University is accredited by Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Online Master of Arts in Communication
Department: Jandoli School of Communication
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction using the Moodle Learning Management System
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 22 months
Start Dates: Six starts per year (Two per Fall, Spring and Summer terms)
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone campaign or thesis and final defense
Credits Required: 35 credits (13 courses + final defense)
Example Courses: Embracing Research: Marketing Communications Research; Finding Your Voice: Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications; Embracing Strategic Thinking: Marketing Strategy & Planning; Integrating Creative Strategy and Design; Integrating PR in a Global Market; Integrating Digital Media, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies; Integrating Crisis Management; Integrating Media Relations
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA to apply
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; answer to essay question
Estimated Tuition*: ~$27,475 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $785 per credit hour
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states