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Online Master's Degree in Strategic Communication

The Online Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication serves current and aspiring communication professionals by combining the rigorous standards of a University of Iowa education with the convenience of online accessibility.

The professional curriculum in this program prepares the student with concepts and skills to support a variety of careers in professional communication, including crisis communication, event planning, health communication, political campaign development, public affairs communication, social media-based communication, and strategic communication campaign development and writing.

The program’s foundational courses emphasize core professional principles, while giving students the option to focus on specific career aspirations through elective courses. Students may enroll in electives from within the program or across the university, depending on the courses’ level (minimum 3000) and availability. This degree program culminates in a capstone project in lieu of a thesis, which serves as a bridge to the professional world.

Note: All courses meet on-line once a week in the early evening. Some major courses and outside electives also schedule classroom sessions for those who live in the Iowa City or Des Moines areas.

Admission/Application process for Master of Arts-Strategic Communication program

Class Offerings

Spring 2016 class offerings: (class details can be found on MyUI - scroll to find class)

  • JMC:5238:0EXW Strategic Communication Campaigns, Instructor: Amy Jo Reimer-Myers
  • JMC:5240:0EXW Digital Strategic Communication, Instructor: Eric Nelson
  • JMC:5266:0EXA/JMC:5266:0EXW Risk Communication, Instructor: Kajsa Dalrymple
  • JMC:5300:0EXW Foundations of Strategic Communication, Instructor: Kajsa Dalrymple
  • JMC:5400:0EXW Strategic Communication Writing, Instructor: Frank Durham
  • JMC:5950:OEXW Capstone Project, Instructor: Donald McLeese

Master of Arts - Strategic Communication degree requirements

Core Courses (all 3 s.h.)

JMC:5300 Foundations of Strategic Communication
JMC:5400 Strategic Communication Writing
JMC:6800 Mass Communication Seminar
-Leadership Seminar
JMC:5950 Capstone Project in Strategic Communication

(above classes all mandatory)

JMC:5237 Financial and Budget Fundamentals for Communicators
JMC:5240 Digital Strategic Communication

(one of the two above classes required, both 3 s.h., both recommended)

Total core course hours: 15

SJMC electives include the following (all 3 s.h.):

JMC:5238 Strategic Communication Campaigns
JMC:5239 Strategic Web Video Communication
JMC:5248 Strategic Political Communication
JMC:5266 Risk Communication
JMC:5267 Strategic Health Care Communication
JMC:5268 Strategic Planning for the Communication Professional
JMC:5269 Media Management for Strategic Communicators
JMC:5285 Strategic Communication Externship

Total elective course hours: 15 

Minimum Required course hours for degree: 30

Description of Program Elements

The five core courses required of all students provide a conceptual foundation for strategic communication. They include: JMC:5300—Foundations of Strategic Communication; JMC:5400—Strategic Communication Writing; and JMC:6800—Mass Communication Seminar. An additional core course requirement directs students to choose between JMC:5240—Social Media and Web Communication and JMC:5237—Financial and Budget Fundamentals. We encourage the well-rounded student to complete both, counting one as an elective. The final core requirement, the Capstone Project in Strategic Communication (JMC:5950), which allows students to workshop their final projects, meets during the Spring semester only. 

To complete the degree program, students must also take five 3-s.h. electives. In addition to choosing among the electives offered within this program, students may take as many as two courses at the University of Iowa at the 3000-level or above in either on-line or traditional formats. Additionally, students may transfer two 3-s.h. courses at comparable levels from other, accredited universities with the approval of the program director. Electives allow students to sample courses outside their areas of concentration, recognizing that those employed as professional communicators in a specialized field might want to explore some of the more general (i.e., non-topic specific) courses. The combination of the foundation provided by the required courses and the flexibility afforded by the electives should enhance the value of the program for a wide range of professionals within the communications field.

Contact information:

Jennifer Cooper
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
The University of Iowa
E305 Adler Journalism Building
Iowa City, IA 52242