The College of Communication and Information at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) offers a fully online Master of Science (MS) in Strategic and Digital Communication program. The 30-credit interdisciplinary master’s program is designed to prepare students for careers in advertising, corporate communication, digital marketing, public relations, and/or image and brand management. It is structured to accommodate working professionals, with a flexible, part-time enrollment format that allows students to take two courses per semester (including a summer term) and graduate in two years.

Rather than having a set sequence of required courses or core curriculum that all students must complete, UTK’s online MS in Strategic and Digital Communication allows students to choose courses that align with their personal interests and professional goals. This includes a range of graduate courses offered by each of the four academic divisions housed within UTK’s College of Communication and Information: Advertising & Public Relations; Communication Studies; Information Sciences; and Journalism & Electronic Media. Most courses confer three credits, so students in the program can typically earn their degree after successfully completing ten courses.

Among the online courses offered as part of UTK’s MS in Strategic and Digital Communication program are courses that cover topics in website and social media management, organizational communication, and writing and content creation for targeted audiences across a variety of media platforms. Examples of these courses include: Audience Analytics; Digital Content Creation Basics; Global Communications; Information Architecture; Interpersonal Conflict; Organizational Communication, Strategic Leadership, and Culture; Social Influence, Persuasion, and Compliance-Gaining; Social Informatics; Social Media Strategy and Tactics; Strategic Communication Management; Strategic Communication Tactics; and Web Design.

Students in the program are given the option of either pursuing a self-directed, faculty-supervised project in which skills and concepts learned in program coursework are used to address issues and situations in communication management, or receiving credit for an approved practicum supervised by a member of the College of Communication and Information faculty.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Online Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication

Department: College of Communication & Information
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction for all classes
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 20 months (5 semesters) or extended longer by taking one course per semester (10 semesters)
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Project or Practicum
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Strategic Communication Management; Digital Content Creation Basics; Strategic Communication Tactics; Social Media Strategy and Tactics; Organizational Communication; Strategic Leadership, and Culture

Application Requirements
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 2.7
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; CV or resume; written statement; three letters of recommendation

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition*: ~$21,000 + fees (in-state); ~$23,250 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $700 per credit hour (in-state); $775 per credit hour (out-of-state)

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 do not include fees or other expenses.