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    Jul 15, 2024  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Strategic Communication (MA)

Offered by the School of Communication .

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Applicants whose first and primary language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Duolingo English Test, unless they hold a degree from a U.S.-accredited institution before enrollment at SOC. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. The minimum Duolingo score is 120.

Previous academic or professional work in strategic communication is not required, but all applicants must demonstrate a serious commitment to a career in this field. The ability to speak and write English well is essential. Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word essay on the applicant’s commitment to pursuing graduate study in the program are submitted with the application. Interviews are not required.

Admission is open to both full-time and part-time students for the fall semester. Full-time students are generally expected to complete the program in ten months. Part-time students are expected to take a minimum of two courses each semester and complete their program in two years.

Qualified undergraduate students may apply to a combined bachelor’s/master’s program and utilize up to 6 credit hours of 500-level coursework to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Electives (15 credit hours)

Complete 15 credit hours from the following:

Note: Students may also apply an internship as one of the elective courses during the summer term only. With prior approval and permission from the Public Communication division director, other courses relating to a student’s area of interest and professional goals may be taken in academic units outside the School of Communication .

Online Strategic Communication (MA)

In this fully online program, students learn to tell compelling stories, craft messages that lead to action, and harness the power of new media and technology. Students learn through simulations and are able to apply best practices to new technology and media channels. Admission requirements are the same as for the full-time program. Degree and course requirements are also the same as the full-time program, but the 12 credit hours of elective courses are determined by departmental offerings. Courses are offered in an eight-week accelerated format. Students are expected to take two courses each semester and complete the program within a 20 month period. Students must be accepted into the Online MA in Strategic Communication Program to enroll in online courses.

Combined Bachelor’s and Strategic Communication (MA)

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. See Admission to a Combined Bachelor’s / Master’s Program  and Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees  for more information.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor’s/master’s programs:

  • Admission to the combined program requires a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, a formal application, two written faculty recommendations, a statement of purpose, and a positive review by the faculty admissions committee. Students with a cumulative 3.50 GPA or higher receive automatic admission.