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Online Master of Science in Communication - Courses

Purdue University’s online Master of Science in Communication curriculum is designed to provide you with an exceptional understanding of strategic communication and the knowledge to address messaging on international, national and local levels.

The 30-credit online MS in Communication degree program can be completed in just 20 months and is comprised of 10 courses.

Course Descriptions: Core Courses

This course surveys the theories and processes of strategic communication and its practice by business, government, politicians and nonprofits – in domestic and international arenas. It also emphasizes the application of theory to provide an in-depth understanding of planning, executing and evaluating strategic communication plans.

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This course provides students with a global perspective in strategic communication issues with international audiences. The class emphasizes such questions as how strategic communication plans can be successfully implemented in other countries and how plans can be measured and evaluated.

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This course focuses on how to communicate in a time of crisis in order to manage threats to organizational identity, reputation or financial security.

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This course serves as the methodological foundation of strategic communication. Students in this class survey core research methods (qualitative and quantitative) in professional and applied settings.

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This course introduces the application of ethical principles and decision making. Students study both philosophical and practical ethical questions related to strategic communication.

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This course provides an overview of social media and its relationship to strategic communication. Students will learn about the available forms of social media (e.g., Blogs, Social Networks and Wikis) and they can help build and manage relationships with stakeholders. Students also analyze social media metrics as a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of social media strategies as tools for developing corporate, nonprofit, and governmental images and brands.

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Course Descriptions: Elective Courses

This graduate course covers topics related to professional writing and strategic communication. Topics include grammar basics, audience considerations, credibility and ethics, and documentation style. In addition, writing is discussed in a variety of contexts such as media, public relations, advertising business communication.

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This course provides students with a theoretical and practical overview of theory and practice in financial and investor relations. Students learn about the potential investors in public companies and how to reach them. The course also covers communication with investors to facilitate informed investor decision-making.

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This course looks at approaches for designing fundraising campaigns. It will review major theoretical approaches related to fundraising, overview best practices in fundraising management, discuss implications for message design and mediums when creating fundraising campaigns, primarily in the nonprofit sector.

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This course provides students with theoretical background in leadership and global strategic communication, as well as the opportunity to apply what they learn to strategic communication cases and their own professional experiences. It also encourages them to handle leadership challenges and articulate theoretically-informed analyses and evaluations of leadership in action.

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Strategic communication is composed of integrated marketing communications (IMC), advertising, and public relations. As such, it builds on the general strategic communications course by providing an in-depth understanding of public relations. Specifically, the class will cover public relations theories, ethics, concepts, principles, and applications.

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This course provides students with an overview of qualitative research in public relations with particular emphasis on focus groups and interview methodologies. Students will consider practical applications of these protocols in strategic communication contexts. Prerequisite: COM 604 – Seminar in Communication Research Methods

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This course provides students with an overview of quantitative research in public relations with a particular emphasis on survey design and analysis. Students learn the practical applications of design and delivery of questionnaires, the use and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistical methods, and reporting of quantitative results. Prerequisite: COM 604 – Seminar in Communication Research Methods

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Developing cohesive and integrated external and internal communication initiatives across traditional and social media channels is becoming increasingly important for strategic communication professionals. Traditionally, Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising/Promotion have had separate functions; increasingly the role of strategic communication practitioners is to ensure the consistency of the brand story and message across all channels of communication.

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The healthcare environment is increasingly complex, and poses many challenges for communication professionals seeking to improve communication with key health industry stakeholders, including patients, providers, payers, government agencies, and others.

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This course focuses on the creation of persuasive messages in a variety of contexts from interpersonal to mass media. Specifically, students will review several of the prominent persuasion theories and models and examine the message, audience, and situational characteristics that influence the success of persuasive efforts.

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Communication is the essence of leadership, and this course aims to identify how communication can fuel productivity, drive consensus and push the organization to a leadership position within a market.

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