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Strategic Communication

  • Accelerated
  • Master of Arts
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
View Curriculum

  • Program Overview

    The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication prepares students for careers in various areas of communication including public relations, corporate communication, and health communication. Students may choose to emphasize their studies on either communication management or health communication. The curriculum combines a theoretical foundation with a focus on the essential skills for communication professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in media and communication is expected to grow as fast as average with about 151,500 new jobs by 2030. These jobs arise from the need to create, edit, translate, and disseminate information across a variety of platforms.*

     *Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Media and Communication Occupations.

    What You Will Learn

    At the completion of this 30-credit program students will be able to:

    1. Understand the cultural and political issues impacting the study of communication.
    2. Understand the dynamic nature of interpersonal communication in a variety of contexts.
    3. Apply theoretical principles of human communication theory and communication ethics in interpersonal, small group, team, and organizational contexts.
    4. Analyze the role that ethical persuasion plays within the marketplace.
    5. Evaluate existing research in order to examine a contemporary issue within the field of human communication.
    6. Critique existing professional practices and academic research to improve interaction between persons of varying religious, professional, and socio-economic backgrounds.

    What Makes Us Different

    • Strategic Communication combines the study of communication with the strong humanities perspective anchored in the School of Communication & the Arts.
    • Courses are taught by faculty who have experience in various areas of communication.
    • The curriculum is designed to allow students to specialize in communication management or health communication.
    • Students gain hands-on experiences in their coursework through service and networking opportunities with community partners.


    Students can begin the program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Flexible scheduling options are available with courses being offered during the evenings, summers, face-to-face, and online.

    Graduate Program Core Courses (15 credits)

    • GCOMM 505: Strategic Communication Research Methods
    • GCOMM 525: Organizational Communication and Analysis
    • GCOMM 590: Strategic Communication Ethics and Law
    • GCOMM 610: Message Design and Media Production
    • GCOMM 620: Social Media Management

    Choose One Emphasis:

    Health Communication Emphasis (9 credits -- choose three courses)

    • GCOMM 515: Health Communication
    • GCOMM 545: Patient-Provider Communication
    • GCOMM 550: Crisis and Risk Communication
    • GCOMM 605: Family Communication
    • GCOMM 615: Intercultural Communication

    Communication Management Emphasis (9 credits -- choose three courses)

    • GCOMM 520: Public Relations Management
    • GCOMM 535: Persuasion in the Marketplace
    • GCOMM 550: Crisis and Risk Communication
    • GCOMM 615: Intercultural Communication

    Capstone Courses (6 credits -- select two courses)

    • GCOMM 625: Communication Campaigns
    • GCOMM 635: Communication Seminar or
    • GCOMM 640: Communication Internship

    STEM Designated Degree Program

    The MA in Strategic Communication is a STEM Designated Degree Program, focusing on the increasing need for technological skills in the field of communication. Students will learn skills to work in or manage digital and social media. Students will also learn how to analyze social media and communication data to make decisions. These skills are applied in a range of communication fields.


Michelle Armendariz Hall

Michelle Armendariz Hall Master in Strategic Communication

"I chose this program because I was looking to not only learn new methods of communication, but to build on my current skill set. I think that that is something that I've definitely accomplished. I was a little worried about going back to school after such a long period of time, but the community here has been really great and made me feel so comfortable and confident in asking questions. I really think that diversity enriches all aspects of our lives. I'm so grateful that so many brilliant minds are able to come together in this space to learn and share so many world experiences. As a working professional, it's so valuable to me to be able to practice what I'm learning in the classroom and apply it almost immediately into my daily work in life."

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