Advance your organization's strategic goals in a new communications environment where public relations, marketing, and advertising converge. Communicate your organization’s story by integrating organizational messages with operational initiatives to engage your audience effectively.

In the strategic communications certificate program, you'll gain proficiency in strategic communications planning. You'll learn how to conduct research, identify your audience, and develop messages that will stimulate engagement. You'll also practice writing and creating appealing products that deliver those messages. Further, you'll learn how different organizational functions interact with the strategic communications team to achieve organizational objectives.

These requirements are for students who enroll in the 2020–2021 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

About the Strategic Communications Graduate Certificate

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Refine your communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and leadership skills
  • Use data analytics and other research methods to create a truly strategic approach to communicating your organization's story
  • Achieve organizational objectives through the application of ethical best practices and principles of leadership and management

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Write a backgrounder about the value of strategic communications, defining the field, identifying key concepts, and explaining how communication theories are used by organizations to solve problems and accomplish organizational goals and objectives
  • Produce communications products such as multimedia news releases, social media posts, speeches, and scripts to transmit the same message to different audiences through text, audio, and visual media
  • Plan an event, including pre-event marketing communications, a speech, multimedia communications during the event, and post-event activities

Industry Certification

This program can help prepare you for the following certification exam(s):

Strategic Communications Graduate Certificate Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Required Courses

Total Credits Required: 18

  • DCL 600
  • MSC 610
  • MSC 620

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • All courses must be taken in the order listed. 
  • You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses. 
  • The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

Overall Certificate Requirements

Review the overall graduate certificate requirements on the certificates overview webpage.

Career Preparation

The strategic communications certificate is an interdisciplinary technical credential that provides a solid foundation in competencies and skills related to strategic communications, including public relations. This program requires students to demonstrate competencies in writing for strategic communications, public relations and communications theory, message development, communications research and planning, traditional media techniques and tactics, and social media techniques and tactics.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

You are expected to have some familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite.

Taking ASC 601 is recommended to help improve writing skills. If you have not recently written professionally in a public relations or related communications field, we also recommend that you familiarize yourself with AP style. You will have access to the AP Stylebook once you have been accepted into the program and classes begin.