The University of Tennessee at Martin offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Strategic Communication through its Department of Communications. This mostly online program is designed for professionals seeking to expand their skills and expertise in strategic communication. The program combines online instruction with three required on campus sessions that are spaced throughout the program. These sessions take place at the beginning (one Saturday for an orientation), the middle (one Saturday to introduce students to the capstone requirements), and near the end of the program (one weekend for students’ written comprehensive exams). These sessions also allow students and faculty members the chance to professionally network and develop personal and mentorship relationships face-to-face.
This 33 credit-hour program is typically completed in five to seven semesters, which equates to 20 to 28 months. Coursework in the M.A. in Strategic Communication program focuses on cultivating five main knowledge areas: theories of communication research, strategic planning and messaging, management and leadership, global influences, and ethics. All students must take six hours of foundations courses (which consist of seminars on professional development, a media theory course, and a capstone project), a three-credit class in both ethics and research methods, and 21 hours of “Communication Strategies and Tactics” elective courses.
To graduate with their M.A. in Strategic Communication, students must receive a B or higher in each of these courses. Final capstone courses include a written comprehensive exam component, as well as a project where students work independently with faculty to develop specialized knowledge of a particular aspect of strategic communication. Additionally, students must prepare a portfolio with final class projects and assignments that showcase their mastery of the strategic communication skills they have acquired during their time in the program. This portfolio is also meant to act as a valuable resource for students seeking to advance their careers after graduation.
The University of Tennessee at Martin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
Department: Department of Communications
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with limited campus visits
Instruction Methods: Inquire with school about online instruction methods
Campus Visits Required: Yes (3 throughout the program)
Program Length: Program can be completed in 20 to 28 months (5 to 7 semesters)
Start Dates: Inquire with school for start dates
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Credits Required: 33 credits
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone professional project
Example Courses: International Public Relations; Social Media Management; Strategic Communication Campaigns; Digital Media Production for Corporate Environments; Media and Communication Theory for Professionals; Organizational Communication; Leadership Theory and Practice; Crisis Communication
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.5
Testing Requirements: GRE or GMAT required (GRE may be waived for students with a GPA greater than 2.5 with 7 years of professional communication in a related field or for students with a GPA greater than 3.0 with 5 years of professional experience in a related field)
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; resume; three letters of recommendation; statement of professional goals
Estimated Tuition*: ~$20,823 + fees (in-state); ~$22,704 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $631 per credit hour (in-state); $688 per credit hour (out-of-state)
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states