The State University of New York – Oswego (SUNY Oswego) offers an online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication through its Department of Communication Studies. The graduate program is offered entirely online and does not have residency requirements. While the on-campus MA in Strategic Communication has three specialization options, the online program has an Organizational Communication specialization only. Students in the program access their online courses through the Blackboard Learn learning management system. SUNY Oswego uses the platform for its online, hybrid, and even to enhance it on-campus courses. In addition, the university is part of the State University of New York’s Open SUNY initiative, which provides support and student services for institutions offering online programs in the SUNY system.
The online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication with a specialization in Organizational Communication requires 34 credits and can typically be completed in two years. It is designed to advance students’ knowledge of effective messaging, audience analysis and professional communication practice in media, organizational and health settings. The specialization in Organizational Communication focuses on the elements of communication design, structure and delivery, and how each of those elements contribute to the effectiveness of communication within organizations. The skills developed within this concentration are applicable across organizational functions, such as human resources, employee training, and professional development and management.
The curriculum is split between core classes (19 credits), specialization courses (15 credits) and either a thesis or non-thesis directed project. The total number of classes varies by the academic track. Students who choose the 3-credit applied project must complete up to an additional 3 elective hours, while students who choose the thesis track complete 6 course credits for their thesis work. Students begin the program by taking the following courses: Introduction to Strategic Communication, Applied Communication, Applied Research Methods, and Global Media Literacy. These courses provide students with a strong foundation in the theories, research methods, and tactical skills for crafting written, oral, and multimedia messages and designing effective communication strategies in a global business environment.
The Organizational Communication specialization includes nine credits of required courses and six credits of student-selected electives. The three required courses include Interpersonal Communication in Organizations, Organizational Communication Graduate Seminar, and Ethics and Conflict in Organizations. These courses provide students with a foundational understanding of how interpersonal communication principles can be leveraged to develop meaningful relationships within organizational settings, how to maintain ethical communication practices within organizations, and why language can be a powerful tool to resolve conflict between individuals and teams.
The final two specialization courses can be selected from a menu of six courses, according to students’ interests and goals, and pending their faculty advisor’s approval. These classes include Organizational Leadership and Team Building, Intercultural Communication, and a Strategic Communication Seminar. Students also have the option of selecting other courses under their faculty advisor’s guidance and approval, including a Graduate Global Experience that entails studying communication practices and strategies in another culture outside of the United States.
The program culminates in either a traditional research thesis project or an applied project. While the thesis is a structured research paper that seeks to answer a question of scholarly significance, the applied project can take a number of forms and can have more direct industry applications. The final Strategic Communication Thesis/Applied Project course that students take requires them to synthesize their strategic communication knowledge to produce and present a work that is relevant to their desired professional and/or academic trajectory post-graduation. Regardless of whether they choose a thesis or an applied project, students receive guidance and feedback from a faculty committee.
SUNY Oswego is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
Department: Department of Communication Studies
Specializations/Concentrations: Specialization in Organizational Communication
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 approximately 18 to 24 months
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Applied project or thesis
Credits Required: 34 credits (10 - 11 courses)
Example Courses: Introduction to Strategic Communication; Applied Communication Theory; Applied Research Methods; Global Media Literacy; Interpersonal Communication in Organizations; Organizational Leadership and Team Building; Intercultural Communication
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required unless GPA is lower than 3.0
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; statement of purpose; resume; two letters of recommendation
Estimated Tuition*: ~$15,708 + fees (in-state); $18,870 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $462 per credit hour (in-state); $555 per credit hour (out-of-state online)
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states