The MASC combines the flexibility of engaging online coursework with a small amount of required attendance on campus (four total days). This approach allows working professionals the flexibility needed to accommodate busy work schedules and provides an opportunity to develop relationships with faculty mentors and peers through on-campus weekends.

Degree Requirements

Degree Program Overview


Credit hours required to complete the degree

5 to 7

Number of semesters required to complete the program depending on the amount of hours taken each semester


Amount of coursework that can be completed online

The majority of students complete the 33-hour Porfolio option. Under this plan, students take 33 hours of coursework and create portfolio containing project and assignments completed in MASC courses to demonstrate mastery of the program learning outcomes.

All students are required to complete the following courses with a final letter grade of at least a “B”.

Foundations (6 total credit hours)

All students are required to complete the following courses with a final letter grade of at least a “B”.

  • COMM 701—Professional Seminar I (1 credit hour; requires one in-person meeting on a Saturday for program orientation.)
  • COMM 702—Professional Seminar II (1 credit hour; requires one in-person meeting on a Saturday)
  • COMM 703—Professional Seminar III (1 credit hour; requires one in-person weekend for comprehensive exams)
  • COMM 720—Media and Communication Theory for Professionals (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 790—Capstone Professional Project (1–3 credit hours)

Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (3 total credit hours)

  • COMM 710—Applied Research Methods for Professionals (3 credit hours)

Leadership (3 total credit hours)

  • COMM 740—Leadership Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)

Communication Strategies and Tactics (21 total credit hours)

  • COMM 534 International Public Relations (has an opportunity for travel study)
  • COMM 605 Social Media Management
  • COMM 700 Issues in Strategic Communication
  • COMM 706 Independent Readings and Research
  • COMM 730 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 745 Crisis Communication
  • COMM 765 Persuasive Strategies and Techniques
  • COMM 766 Propaganda
  • COMM 767 Public Communication
  • COMM 770 Communication & Global Audience
  • COMM 785 Communication Law

Sample Plan of Study and Course Rotation

Sample Course Rotation

Course Descriptions

Professional Seminars

  • COMM 701 Pro-Seminar I (1 credit hour): An introduction and orientation to the Master’s in Strategic Communication program, including exploration of resources supporting the program, instruction in academic research and writing skills. Students are required to attend one Saturday on-campus meeting at the beginning of the semester for orientation.
  • COMM 702 Professional Seminar II (1 credit hour): Seminar focusing on strategic communication and professional practice. Introduction to portfolio or capstone requirements. Includes one on-campus weekend. Prereq: Earned grade of at least a “B” in COMM 735 or permission of instructor.
  • COMM 703 Professional Seminar III (1 credit hour): Completion of written comprehensive exams and portfolio at the culmination of coursework for the M.A. in Strategic Communication program. Prereq: Earned grade of at least a “B” in COMM 701, 702, 710, 720 and 12 hours of graduate-level elective courses.


Students can take no more than 6 credit hours at the 500-600 level.

  • COMM 534 International Public Relations (3 credit hours): Students will examine the nature of international public relations and the impact globalization has had on businesses and their communication structures. It will review global corporate communication theories, organizational structures to accommodate the rapidly changing nature of businesses beyond the historical traditional borders, the barriers encountered, the approaches using changing technology to enhance global public relations, projecting future changes, and examining trends that may influence the profession. Additionally, students will examine multiple case studies involving international public relations in an effort to establish knowledge baseline that will enable them to apply tested principles in their own work settings.
  • COMM 605 Social Media Management (3 credit hours): This course uses hands-on learning to examine the process of creating, implementing, and evaluating engaging social media programs; to learn current tools for managing social media; and to discuss factors involved in creating social media policies for organizations.
  • COMM 625 Strategic Communication Campaigns (3 credit hours): Examination and application of the principles of strategic communication campaign design. Students plan and design communication campaigns for a real client as a major component of the course. Topics cover the integrated use and design of traditional advertising, public relations, social, and non-traditional media to accomplish communication objectives.
  • COMM 655 Digital Media Production for Corporate Environments (3 credit hours): Advanced production techniques in videography, sound recording, photography, and related media technology, including practical experience in producing, editing and distribution of media content. Students will learn to use digital production tools to produce work for professional purposes in public relations, journalism or broadcast that can be shown to audiences through multiple formats.
  • COMM 700 Seminar in Strategic Communication: [Topic] (3 credit hours): Intensive treatment of selected topics not found in the regular Strategic Communication curriculum. Course content varies from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit in different topics. Topics will vary and will examine topics related to mass media, media design, specialized areas of strategic communication.
  • COMM 706 Independent Readings and Research (1-3 credit hours): An in-depth study of a strategic communication topic approved and supervised by a member of the graduate faculty. Prereq: Approval of the instructor and MASC Graduate Advisor.
  • COMM 710 Applied Research Methods for Professionals (3 credit hours): Students will learn about the research process and examine qualitative and quantitative research methods with a focus on application of the techniques in the professional environment. Prereq: Earned grade of at least a “B” in COMM 720 or permission of the instructor.
  • COMM 720 Media and Communication Theory for Professionals (3 credit hours): This course examines a wide range of media and communication theories that help professionals understand communication processes and strategies used to develop strategic communication initiatives in the workplace.
  • COMM 730 Organizational Communication (3 credit hours): A study of theories of organizational communication and their application to the workplace. Students will analyze communication challenges in organizations from various perspectives, including supervisors, subordinates, and peers.
  • COMM 735 Introduction to Strategic Communication (3 credit hours): An introduction to strategic communication concepts, processes, and practices. This course will provide students with an overview of the historical development of strategic communication and the ways in which individuals and organizations use strategic communication to achieve goals.
  • COMM 740 Leadership Theory and Practice (3 credit hours): This course is designed to engender understanding of various theoretical approaches and conceptualizations of leadership, as well as promote and develop interpersonal communication strategies for practical application in professional environments.
  • COMM 745 Crisis Communication (3 credit hours): An introduction to crisis communication providing insights into key concepts, theoretical perspectives, essential critical thinking and planning skills necessary for effective crisis management within organizations. Topics will include issues management, risk management, relationship management, crisis planning and preparation, case studies, and developing crisis communication management plans. In addition to traditional methods, the class will engage in simulations, field trips and individual research to master the content area.
  • COMM 765 Persuasive Communication Techniques and Strategies (3 credit hours): This course examines the theories and techniques of persuasion as they apply to strategic communication contexts.
  • COMM 766 Propaganda (3 credit hours):The examination of how propaganda differs from persuasion; the history, theory, and practice of propaganda; and, the methods used to analyze propaganda.
  • COMM 767 Public Communication (3 credit hours):This course is designed to engender understanding of various theoretical approaches and conceptualizations of public communication including the following topics: the foundations of public communication theory, the communicator, the message, the medium, the relationship, and culture of communication.
  • COMM 770 Communication and the Global Audience (3 credit hours): Communication and the Global Audience consists of the study of theoretical concepts pertaining to intercultural communication and its application to interpersonal, workplace, public and mediated communication practices.
  • COMM 785 Communication Law for Professionals (3 credit hours): Examination of the constitutional underpinnings of freedom of expression and the limitations on such freedoms as enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will focus particularly on libel, privacy, intellectual property, source protection, information gathering, obscenity, and government regulation.
  • COMM 790 Capstone Professional Project (1–3 credit hours): Required independent study whose purpose is to allow the student to develop substantial expertise in an area related to strategic communication. All MASC students are required to complete a capstone professional project during their last semester in the program. May be repeated for credit for a total maximum of 6 hours. Prereq: Earned grade of at least a “B” in COMM 702 or permission of the instructor.
Academic Advising

MASC Academic Advisor

Dr. Chara Van Horn

Graduate Program Co-Coordinator and Assistant Professor

305 Gooch Hall

Martin, TN 38238

Ph: (731) 881-7548