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  • Master of Arts
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Strategic Communication

  • 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 27,600 new jobs by 2028. 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: Communication Theory & Research Methods
    • GCOMM 525: Organizational Communication
    • GCOMM 535: Persuasion in the Marketplace
    • GCOMM 600: Philosophy & Ethics of Communication
    • GCOMM 615: Intercultural Communication

    Choose One Emphasis:

    Health Communication Emphasis (9 credits)

    • GCOMM 515: Health Communication
    • GCOMM 545: Interpersonal Communication: Provider-Patient Relationships
    • GCOMM 605: Family Communication: Health & Aging

    Communication Management Emphasis (9 credits)

    • GCOMM 520 Public Relations Management
    • GCOMM 550 Crisis and Risk Communication
    • GCOMM 610 Message Design and Media Production

    Capstone Courses (6 credits)

    • GCOMM 625: Communication Campaigns
    • GCOMM 635: Communication Seminar