Media and Strategic Communication Curriculum

Students need to take a total of 36 credits. Most students take two years to complete the master's degree.

1. Core courses, 15 credits

  • SMPA 6202 Media Effects, Public Opinion and Persuasion (Note: This course requirement is waived for combined degree candidates)

  • SMPA 6204 Strategic Political Communication

  • SMPA 6208 Politics and Public Relations Fundamentals

  • SMPA 6241 Research Design

  • SMPA 6242 Analytics and Data Analysis for Strategic Communication

2. Strategic Communication Skills Courses, 3 credits

Students will need to take two, 1.5 credit skills courses from the following illustrative list. Each course will last seven weeks.

  • Crisis Communication

  • Social Media

  • Web Essentials

  • Speechwriting

  • Public Speaking

3. Elective courses, 12 credits

Students complete an additional 12 credits of elective courses tailored to their individual interests. Courses may be taken in both SMPA and in other departments. In all cases, the burden will be on students and advisors to choose elective courses that form a coherent set. Students doing the strategic communication capstone option may not count SMPA 6220 toward electives.

4. Capstone, 6 credits

Students are required to complete a capstone project as part of the M.A. Program. Students can choose one of the following options:

  1. Research Thesis (SMPA 6998 and 6999)
  2. Strategic Communication Project (SMPA 6220 and 6298)
  3. Media Project (SMPA 6297 and 6298)

General Capstone Guideline