Washington State University (WSU) offers an online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion through their Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. Both programs are offered entirely online and do not require any in-person visits to campus. WSU uses Blackboard, an online learning management system, to facilitate online course delivery. Via Blackboard, students can participate in discussion forums, access course materials, watch and listen to lectures, and communicate with classmates and instructors. Online instruction in the program is asynchronous, which means students are not required to be online at specific times during the week for lectures or other class activities.

Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

WSU’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 30-credit graduate program that offers one-, two- and three-year academic tracks. Regardless of track, the program does recommend students take at least five semesters to complete their degree in order to maintain a work-life balance. Curriculum is designed to help students develop a broad skillset that is applicable in roles throughout communication and media, including communication management, advertising, public relations, and corporate management.

The 10-class curriculum introduces students to the latest in media technology and tools, teaching them how to design, plan, and implement communication plans, as well as operate and evaluate campaigns across digital, traditional, and owned media channels. Curriculum is divided between Professional Core courses (12 credits), Strategic Communication Core courses (15 credits), and a Capstone course (3 credits). Each course is grounded in foundational communication theory and research methods, and emphasizes modern communication principles, strategies and initiatives.

In the four-course Professional Core, students study traditional and new media concepts, ethical communication practices, and how to collect and analyze data and information to use in communication campaigns. Specific courses include Professional Multimedia Content Creation, Research Methods for Professionals, Ethics for Professionals, and Crisis Communication in Global Contexts.

The five-course Strategic Communication core examines specific subjects related to strategic communication practice, ranging from creative media to audience behavior. Students become skilled in digital content creation and promotion, learn about campaign management and measurement, and build working knowledge of audience targeting and effective message creation.

The Capstone is the culminating course for the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program. Students must demonstrate their mastery of program concepts by successfully passing a comprehensive examination and completing a professional online portfolio. The comprehensive exam is open book, and includes five questions that test students on concepts in areas ranging from research methods to storytelling in different media channels.

Online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion

The Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion is also a 30-credit program that can be completed in one to three years. As with the Strategic Communication program, the Murrow College of Communication recommends students take at least five semesters to complete their degree to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The MA in Health Communication and Promotion is considered a terminal professional master’s degree, organized around skill development and career preparedness, and not research or future scholarly work at the doctoral level.

Curriculum is structured around a series of 10 courses that emphasize practical media, communication, and public relations skills used within the health sciences and communication fields. The program is multidisciplinary in nature, combining study of new and traditional media, digital analytics and reporting, strategic communication and campaign planning, and community outreach. The ten courses are divided between three areas of study: Professional Core courses (12 credits), Health Communication and Promotion Core courses (15 credits), and a final Capstone course (3 credits).

The Professional Core courses are the same as those in the Strategic Communication program, covering topics in communication ethics, research methods, crisis communication, and professional multimedia content creation. Through this coursework, students develop a fundamental understanding of strategic messaging creation, information gathering, and communication monitoring and reporting.

The Health Communication and Promotion Core courses offer an in-depth examination of industry trends and practices within specific markets and populations. Students take courses in Health Message Design and Effectiveness, Communication Health in Practice, Communicating Health in a Digital Landscape, and more. This coursework emphasizes advanced health communication skills and program development, responsible health communication reporting, communication campaign creation, and techniques for creating messages around complex health topics for non-professional audiences.

WSU’s online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion program culminates in a Capstone course that includes a final project and/or a comprehensive examination.

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication

Overview
Department: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction - students can interact with instructors through weekly virtual office hours
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester (it is recommended that students take at least 5 semesters to finish the program)
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone course: comprehensive exam and professional online portfolio
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Professional Multimedia Content Creation; Crisis Communication in Global Contexts; Ethics for Professionals; Research Methods for Professionals; Persuasion for Professional Communicators; Professional Digital Content Promotion; Creative Media Strategies & Techniques

Application Requirements
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Work Experience: At least 3 years of post-baccalaureate professional experience preferred
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; current resume with professional references; statement of purpose

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition: ~$17,610 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $587 per credit hour

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states



Online Master of Arts in Health Communication and Promotion

Overview
Department: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Websites: Department and Program

Program Format
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses a cohort model and asynchronous instruction - students can interact with instructors through weekly virtual office hours
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 1 to 3 years depending on how many courses are taken per semester (it is recommended that students take at least 5 semesters to finish the program)
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission

Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Capstone course: comprehensive exam and professional online portfolio
Credits Required: 30 credits (10 courses)
Example Courses: Professional Multimedia Content Creation; Crisis Communication in Global Contexts; Ethics for Professionals; Research Methods for Professionals; Health Communication and Behavior Change; Communicating Health in Practice; Communicating Health to Specialized Populations; Health Message Design and Effectiveness

Application Requirements
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required
Work Experience: At least 3 years of post-baccalaureate professional experience preferred
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; current resume with professional references; statement of purpose

Tuition Costs
Estimated Tuition: ~$17,610 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $587 per credit hour

State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states