Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Online

Advance your business career and become an integral part of digital influencing by adding creative content creation skills to your portfolio.

Apply by: 8/12/24
Start class: 8/26/24 Apply Now

Program Overview

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Advance your career with the M.A. in Strategic Communication

Make your creativity part of your business career with the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication online program. With the coursework from this program, you'll gain the skills needed to become a creator of digital content on a variety of social media platforms. The strategic communication master’s teaches you to develop the creative strategy and content that businesses need for upping sales and spreading their brand. The program offers an innovative curriculum if you want to be on the creative side of marketing and communications. Our dedicated Department of Communication Arts professors will give you the training you need to rise to leadership roles.

Learn what it takes to be a highly skilled content creator and become an integral part of any company. Working with a team to develop plans for communicating effectively on social platforms is a top-tier skill that every employer desires in today’s digital economy. With the online master’s in strategic communication program, you will not only learn these advanced skills, but also apply them. You’ll graduate with a portfolio of work showcasing your content creation expertise to employers.

Strategic communication career opportunities:

  • Content Media Director
  • Content Strategist
  • PR Director
  • Creative Director
  • Communication Consultant
  • Content Media Director
  • Content Strategist
  • PR Director
  • Creative Director
  • Communication Consultant
$18,000 Total Tuition
As few as 14 months Duration
30 Credit Hours

Personalized learning experience

You will receive a personalized learning experience online. Faculty regularly engages in value-added comments and feedback providing the same level of instruction as if you were in person.

Apply Now

Need More Information?

Call 888-941-1120

Call 888-941-1120

Tuition

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Discover how easy it is to fit our tuition into your budget

The M.A. in Strategic Communication online program tuition is the same affordable, pay-by-the-course rate for all U.S. residents. Fees are included in the total tuition. Financial aid may be available.

Tuition breakdown:

$18,000 Total Tuition
$600 Per Credit Hour

Calendar

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See how the program fits into your schedule

Ideal for working professionals, the M.A. in Strategic Communication online program features 8-week courses and multiple start dates each year so you can begin at the time that works best for you. View the full calendar for all upcoming starts and corresponding deadlines.

TermStart DateApp DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration DeadlineTuition DeadlineClass End DateTerm Length
Summer 2 20247/1/246/21/246/25/246/27/246/30/248/24/248 weeks
Fall 1 20248/26/248/12/248/21/248/22/248/25/2410/20/248 weeks
Fall 2 202410/21/2410/7/2410/16/2410/16/2410/20/2412/15/248 weeks
Spring 1 20251/6/251/2/251/2/251/3/251/6/253/2/258 weeks
Spring 2 20253/3/252/26/252/26/252/28/253/3/255/4/258 weeks

Now enrolling:

8/12/24 Apply Date
8/26/24 Class Starts

Ready to take the next steps toward earning your next degree?

Admissions

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Find out how to start the strategic communication master’s application process

We’ve simplified the admission process to help you get started quickly and easily. You can find all requirements for admission to the Avila online M.A. in Strategic Communication below.

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • 2.75 GPA
  • No GRE required

In order to be eligible to receive an M.A. in Strategic Communication degree from Avila University, you must have the following:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • GPA requirements for unconditional admission: 2.75 cumulative grade point average at the completion of the undergraduate degree
  • GPA requirements for conditional admission: 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the completion of the undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended

Submit all official transcripts to:
Email: [email protected]
Mail: Avila University
11901 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64145

Courses

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Learn about the customizable curriculum for the master’s in strategic communication

In order to earn the M.A. in Strategic Communications online, you will complete 11 courses for a total of 30 credit hours. Required core courses make up 21 credit hours and there are 9 credit hours of electives that can be chosen from a variety of concentration areas. Electives do not need to be taken from the same concentration area.

The following courses are required - students will take either CO698 or CO699.  It is recommended that the Professional Portfolio course be taken at the same time as the student's chosen capstone course.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Advanced course synthesizing public relations, advertising, sales concepts, and organizational communication. Participation in group project work with community businesses and substantial writing of proposals, contracts, and relevant business correspondence.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Nature of theory development and change, history of the discipline, important influences upon contemporary communication theory, and individual exploration of specific theories.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Strategic communication is the total effort and systemic efforts of an organization to inform, motivate, and connect with its various audiences. As social media and the immediacy of digital media takes over the news cycle, advertising platforms, and branding strategies a comprehensive understanding of how an organization can communicate effectively and how this is perceived by its internal and external audiences is essential for success. To communicate effectively using social platforms engaged with an audience, it is imperative to understand how social platform messaging is created and framed, how people respond to such messaging, and how to best deploy the plethora of emergent social driven communication channels to best advance organizational goals within this social space. Prerequisite: CO 511.
Duration: 16 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
The professional capstone course gives students the opportunity to comprehensively demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the full course of study culminating in the Masters of Communication Degree (both theoretical and practical). Students will work directly with a client or cause to deliver a strategic communications strategy and plan. The course culminates in the delivery of the consulting project and presentation shaped under the direction of a senior faculty member. This professional portfolio project will demonstrate the students’ readiness for graduation and professional practice including strategic decision making, entrepreneurship, leadership, project management, writing, media content creation and intercultural competence. Prerequisite in MA Strat Comm program: CO 552.
Duration: 16 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
Students interested in conducting basic research in the area of strategic communications, with a view to pursuing a PhD in Media Research, may satisfy this capstone by either defending a thesis or passing a comprehensive examination. Students choosing the academic research track will be required either to conduct original research reported and defended in a thesis or to take a comprehensive examination. In both cases, they will be highly encouraged to conduct and present strategic communication research at professional conferences. Students choosing this option will be expose to and will gain expertise in conducting both qualitative and quantitative research.
Duration: 16 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 1
This course is designed to provide direction for students as they complete their electronic Professional Portfolio. Content from all courses in the program will be included. Students will have the opportunity to present their Professional Portfolio to industry experts. This course is a 16-week course that may be broken out into 2 8-week sessions indicated by Part A and B. If a student fails any one part of the course, both parts must be retaken.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Introduction for managers and entrepreneurs to the fundamentals of marketing including product, pricing, promotion, distribution/logistics, segmentation and marketing research with special emphasis on global marketing and ethics.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Analysis of the techniques, methods, and technologies utilized by managers and entrepreneurs in digital, social, and mobile marketing strategies at various stages of product/brand life cycle.

Course objectives:

  • Gain an understanding the underlying processes, opportunities, regulations, and application of marketing communication in the digital world
  • Learn the core features of digital media technologies to strategically select the ideal channels to deliver the right marketing message to the right target audience at the right time
  • Develop an understanding of the changing world of digital marketing to prepare for future opportunities and challenges
  • Understand and interpret how marketing analytics reports, guides, and informs the decision- making process
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on the interpersonal communication and leadership skills needed for effective organizational development. The course emphasizes conflict management, presentation skills, and informal writing, as well as important leadership skills ranging from giving and receiving feedback to performance appraisals. The course is designed as a “train the trainers” course, enabling learners to later pass on skills to consulting clients, co-workers, and employees.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Organizational change is not a simple matter of determining where you want to be and moving forward. Rather, organizational change depends on interrelated dynamics associated with processes in the organization and the people involved. In this course, students develop ideas and models designed to help think differently about change and why change is so difficult. The course begins with an overview of the complexity found in organizations and why quality remains elusive. Next, the course develops models related to strategic thinking and acting and how to approach aligning internal capacities with external factors in an organization, or parts of an organization. Then, the course addresses organizational readiness for change. And finally, an overview of change processes, inclusion and how to participate in organizational change.

Course objectives:

  • Define the elements of Quality and High Reliability as the basis for change
  • Recognize Complex System Dynamics (why change is hard) in the transition from current state to future state
  • Summarize the Change Management Strategy including change effects related to Internal Capacity, External Factors, and Strategic Alignment
  • Distinguish between various elements of individual and organizational behavior as it relates to change readiness
  • Conceptualize the three-step change model as a framework to systematically solve problems (Process-work)
  • Conceptualize the five domains of Psychology of Change to participate in change (People-work)
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Building on the strategic organizational aspects of change and is built around the completion of a project template. The template, based on Lean Six Sigma, a performance improvement program focused on discovering process variation, and improving processes to continually provide quality outputs. This focus on processes finds ways of acting, thinking, and learning about continuous improvement through five interrelated dynamic stages. Throughout these stages, students learn to involve others with democratic concepts through structured dialog. Lastly, the course approaches the idea of innovation, or finding new value in organizations through team or community thinking. FA.

Course objectives:

  • Recognize the basic elements of the business process and how to assess change impact and risk
  • Produce a project charter including Project Classification, Stakeholder Analysis, Problem Statement, Aim/Goals, and Define the Process
  • Produce a process model and measures related to a change management project
  • Produce root cause analysis associated various problems related to measures in a change management project
  • Produce an action plan from solution ideas associated with a change management project
  • Produce a control plan associated with a change management project
  • Generalize the realities of project work and how to include stakeholders in the change management project template
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
In organizations, many stakeholders with various perspectives make up reality. To change and ensure continuous improvement, change agents have to discern this reality through data and evidence. This course will take a deeper look at data and statistically based decision making. Students will layer this data-based view over the DMAIC framework. Consideration of other change methodologies and team development approaches will also be examined.

Course objectives:

  • Assess the Complex elements of business processes and produce decisions based on evidence
  • Distinguish between types, frequency and severity of existing problems and predict their effects on complex stakeholder relationships
  • Distinguish data collection methods, data and measurement scales, statistical sampling, descriptive statistics, and data summary in interconnected processes
  • Discriminate statistical analysis methods including common cause relationships, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), and time series patterns in organizational processes
  • Differentiate the various approaches to improve processes including Design of Experiments and making choices
  • Discriminate process behavior charts and how to adapt to organizational processes
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This interactive course increases students understanding of a variety of models of individual, cultural, and social group identities, focusing on several contemporary frameworks for understanding differences. Special emphasis is placed on providing the skills and competencies necessary for working with multicultural, inclusive teams

Course objectives:

  • Identify diversity issues at the individual level
  • Critically evaluate and apply common models of identity used in diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of self as an agent of change in diversity and inclusion work
  • Identify and understand unearned privilege
  • Use the dimensions of diversity in the work
  • Use a current vocabulary in diversity and inclusion practice
  • Build and utilize a diversity change agent toolbox
  • Explain unconscious bias
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
One of the most important skills leaders and practitioners can have is the ability to influence others to achieve work and organizational objectives. Many organizations welcome diversity as an asset, but lack strategic thinking for managing diversity, inclusion and belonging effectively. This program provides participants with a strategic planning model and an understanding of the critical role diversity councils play in organization success. There is a blend of facilitation skills and activities that will enable organizations to appoint effective diversity councils, develop a mission statement, a vision for the organization, objectives, strategies, and employee action plans.

Course objectives:

  • Identify and implement strategic planning tools and models in diversity and inclusion
  • Facilitate leaders through a vision, mission, goals, objectives strategies and value proposition schematic
  • Develop tools to implement and evaluate a comprehensive diversity plan
  • Position diversity councils for success
  • Identify the top ten characteristics common among high-functioning diversity councils
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Effective diversity training is ensuring that leadership and employees have an experience that raises awareness, changes behaviors, and does not reinforce stereotypes and biases. Increasingly, when diversity training is developed improperly, it is fraught with legal risk and may cause backlash. This interactive course enhances skills in developing and delivering diversity, inclusion and belonging training

Course objectives:

  • Use a training needs assessment
  • Develop a diversity and inclusion detailed training plan
  • Use instructional tools, PowerPoint Slide Show, videos, etc.
  • Decide whether diversity, inclusion and belonging training is the right intervention
  • Deal effectively with the difficult issues (e.g., race, gender, sexual/affectional orientation, unearned privilege, generational gaps)
  • Evaluate success and minimize failure
  • Manage training consultants
  • Gain knowledge of emerging issues in diversity training
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will examine fundamental questions about the role of creativity and innovation in leadership and organization development. The course links creativity and innovation to the organization development practices and human resource programs including recruiting, staffing, benefits, compensation, and organization development interventions. Students discuss the importance of creativity and innovation for individuals, teams/groups, and organizations as a whole. The course will also examine the connection of creativity and innovation to problem solving, diversity, and organizational effectiveness.

Course objectives:

  • Students will be able to discuss the role of creativity and innovation at the individual, group and organizational level
  • Students will be able to identify ways that creativity and innovation can be used in problem solving, human resources, teams, diversity, and organizational effectiveness
  • Students will be able to identify and apply appropriate terminology, facts, concepts, principles, analytic techniques and theories from the innovation and creativity course
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This is a course about leadership theory specifically in the context of management and organizations. In this course, you will survey the broad spectrum of leadership theories and the research that led toward the theoretical conclusions. You will learn to appreciate the strength of the theories but understand the limitations so that as practitioners you can apply your own set of principles based on what we do know about leadership.

Course objectives:

  • Develop knowledge of the models for analyzing leadership behavior and leadership effectiveness
  • Be able to integrate theoretical foundations of leadership to real leadership situations
  • Be able to synthesize various theories into guiding leadership principles that are applicable in modern organizations
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on conflict management programs in the workplace. It emphasizes the design and development of conflict management systems for organizations. This course applies Organizational Development theory and action research to a systems approach for handling workplace conflict. Attentions is paid to how conflict is handled in the workplace, in order to design conflict management systems that employees participate in to manage conflict at work.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the principal theories of conflict and effects on organizations
  • Understand the organizational dynamics occurring on a systemic level and be able to develop concrete interventions that address these
  • Be able to integrate principals of conflict management systems and leadership into real organizations
  • Be able to gather and analyze evidence of conflict in organizations and identify dispute resolution options
  • Be able to evaluate organizational dynamics and develop concrete interventions
  • Be able to develop implementation plans for conflict management systems for organizations
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The Practice of Project Management is a systematic examination of the core method and techniques of the project management process. This class will focus in more depth on such topics as the Project Manager and Work Styles, the Project Management Life Cycle, Teamwork and Conflict, Planning Fundamentals, Managing Risk, and Project Lessons Learned.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the difference between the Project Management Life Cycle and the Systems Development Life Cycle
  • Articulate the specifics of project communication and forming a project team
  • Understand project manager responsibility and authority
  • Recognize project failure, success and lessons learned
  • Demonstrate PMP exam preparedness by completing a mock PMP exam
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is a survey of project management tools designed to meet the increasing need to plan, schedule, track, control, and report on every aspect of project management. In addition, the functions and applicability of the “Project Office” will be reviewed. The class will also conduct a tutorial on Microsoft Project. Prerequisite: PM 672.

Course objectives:

  • Explain why a project office is highly valuable to project success
  • Articulate how a project office should operate. This will include benefits, structure, and operation within the business enterprise
  • Describe the scope of available tools and software available to the project manager
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on a case study with students assigned to teams and chartered to develop a detailed case study solution and supporting project plan. It incorporates the materials covered in previous course work and gives the student a real world feel for the rigors of the Project Management Process. Prerequisite: PM 673.

Course objectives:

  • Discuss the necessary requirements of an undefined project
  • Define a project management approach
  • Apply the project management life cycle to solve a business need
  • Articulate the dynamics of real project management and how to respond to changing environments
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Workforce planning and employment involves the processes of developing, implementing, and evaluating sourcing, recruitment, hiring, orientation, succession planning, retention, and organizational exit programs deemed appropriate to ensure that the workforce will meet the organization’s goals and objectives. This course will examine key legislation affecting employee rights, employee privacy, equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination issues, and employee record management.

Course objectives:

  • Understand what strategic workforce planning is: past, present, future
  • Obtain an in-depth understanding of employment laws that impact the workforce planning process
  • Identify adverse impact and disparate impact – two types of discrimination
  • Possess an in-depth understanding of the succession planning process
  • Identify the quantity and quality of worker talents/outputs
  • Determine the organization’s selection process; e.g., behavioral interviews, testing, background investigation, etc.
  • Develop, administer & analyze exit interviews data for improvements/revisions to the recruitment and retention strategy
  • Understand the steps that need to be taken during a reduction in force (RIF)
  • Anticipate and proactively respond to generational differences that affect workplace performance and productivity
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The manner in which an organization manages rewards and risks has a significant impact on its ability to achieve its strategic goals and objectives. A carefully crafted compensation plan, offering an appropriate mix of direct and indirect compensation, is essential to maintaining a quality workforce. The careful and strategic management of organizational risk is equally as important. This course will focus on identifying and designing appropriate and effective compensation systems that serve to sustain a highly engaged workforce in full compliance with legal and ethical standards. Today’s HR professionals will be expected to not only understand strategic compensation and risk issues as they relate to organizations, but take a leadership role in designing, revising, and implementing current and relevant compensation and risk strategies in a quickly changing employment and legal landscape.

Course objectives:

  • Understand the historical and contextual influences on strategic compensation and risk management practices
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of traditional, incentive, and person-focused pay methods
  • Identify and apply methods for building internally consistent job structures, establishing market-competitive pay rates, and creating pay structures that recognize employee
  • Understand the appropriate use and application of employee benefits including discretionary benefits and legally required benefits
  • Identify the contemporary strategic challenges relating to compensation and risk management facing today’s organizations
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the principles and practices of expatriate compensation and employee benefits as well as relationship of global compensation trends and practices to US practices
  • Understand the requirements of a legally and ethically compliant compensation and HR function and the associated risks for organizations
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Employee and Labor Relations is the study of effectively managing personnel and labor relations to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Human Resource department and the organization. The field addresses the social, legal, and psychological dimensions of work and how these influence the employee/employer relationship.

Course objectives:

  • The content of the course will cover the major systems of personnel management including the growth and changes of human resource management and labor relations
  • Among these systems the legal environment of personnel management, the structure and relative merits of different approaches to managing, and the structure and usefulness of the specialized function of the HR manager will be examined
  • Additionally, this course extends beyond the study of the profession and provides a practical approach to implementing the studied material in the workplace. A wide range of topics will be covered as can be seen from the chapter descriptions
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The course sets the stage for lifelong learning based on capabilities within the field of Instructional Design. As reflective practitioners, students will create and use ePortfolios throughout the program to demonstrate ID capabilities. This course explores IDT practices that are flexible and adaptable making it a dynamic capability that adds value to a business. The course topics will include concepts used in project management, knowledge management and change management and how they are used in the ID setting. This portion of the class explores the people side of instructional design.

Course objectives:

  • Learners will have knowledge of instructional modalities
  • Learners will identify the elements of effective learning and behavioral outcomes
  • Learners will have knowledge of rapid prototyping in the context of instructional design
  • Learners will develop an understanding how project management, change management and knowledge management play a role in instructional design
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Students will study learning theory and instructional design theory and assess the impact of technology on learning and instruction. This course provides a historical view of the Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) field to draw parallels between constantly changing issues and demands on its practitioners. Students will learn how to adjust instructional methods for specific instructional situations. Students will be challenged to adapt methods and technologies in innovative ways to respond to market demands. Prerequisite: ID 600

Course objectives:

  • Learners will have knowledge of instructional modalities
  • Learners will identify the elements of effective learning and behavioral outcomes
  • Learners will have knowledge of rapid prototyping in the context of instructional design
  • Learners will develop an understanding how project management, change management and knowledge management play a role in instructional design
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Participants test their consulting skills and their conceptualizations of IDT principles in problem-solving based scenarios. The course emphasizes instructional design theory to match methods and techniques to the situation for learning solutions that provide speed-to-value at minimal costs for clients. Technology is demonstrated as an enabler to achieve these results. Prerequisites: ID 600 and ID 611.

Course objectives:

  • Use effective questioning techniques to identify training outcomes
  • Select and use analysis techniques for determining instructional content
  • Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics
  • Conduct a needs assessment in order to recommend appropriate design solutions and strategies
  • Analyze and utilize a variety of design models for ID
  • Assessment: Develop a Needs Assessment

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