Chairpersons:  Dr. Kati Berg, Ph.D. and Dr. Jeanne Simmons, Ph.D.

Degree Offered

Master of Arts, Plan B Non-Thesis option only.

Program Description

The master of arts in Corporate Communication combines the skills of communication and business to ensure that the Chief Communication Officer (CCO) is properly prepared to make global, strategic decisions for their company. This interdisciplinary master of arts in Corporate Communication degree is offered jointly by the Graduate School of Management and the Diederich College of Communication. Students may complete the program face-to-face, 100% on-line or a combination of formats. The program allows for the expertise of multiple disciplines to prepare students for an increasingly complex communication landscape. The program focuses on communication as an executive level function and course work includes topics such as: organizational communication, accounting and finance, international business and communication, corporate advocacy and organizational leadership. The program reflects Marquette’s commitment to developing students’ abilities as ethical leaders with an understanding of corporate social responsibility in a global environment. As such, the degree prepares graduates to be ethical and informed communication leaders.

At the completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Establish the business case for communication functions within the corporation and lead and coordinate the comprehensive communication functions of a corporation.
  • Articulate the importance of having a clear corporate vision, mission and identity of a corporation and develop and execute plans for communicating these both internally and externally.
  • Assess internal and external corporate communication needs and develop strategic communication plans.
  • Articulate the roles corporations play within the larger social, cultural, political and economic context of our contemporary global society.

Prerequisites for Admission

Applicants for this program must have graduated with, or are about to graduate with, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) equivalent to at least a 3.000 on a 4.000 scale. Students are required to complete the GRE or the GMAT exam for admission. Two letters of recommendation are optional, and students are asked to provide a resume.

Application Requirements

Students may apply for Regular Degree, Temporary Degree or Non-degree status. It is recommended that students apply for Regular Degree Status when possible. The application is online via the GSM website. Then click on Apply Now.

A completed application form and fee.

  1. Essay questions on the application form including a brief statement of academic and professional goals.
  2. Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges/universities except Marquette.
  3. Official test scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) test code 1448 or Graduate Records Exam (GRE) test code 5786.*
    1. Applicants may request a waiver of the GMAT/GRE requirement if they have earned an overall GPA of 3.250 or higher from an AACSB accredited school or Department of Education approved regional accrediting body.
  4. Resume or job profile.
  5. (For international applicants or applicants applying for Graduate School financial aid, i.e. assistantship positions) three letters of recommendation.
  6. (For international applicants only) an official TOEFL score (test code 1448 and department code 02) or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

Note: Temporary non-degree applicants (admission valid for one term only) must submit all of the above, except the GMAT/GRE scores. Temporary non-degree admission is not available to international students.

Students are encouraged to complete all application materials and apply for degree status. Temporary status is valid for one term only. Temporary non-degree status students are not eligible to continue taking graduate classes beyond one term without degree admission.

All application materials should be sent to:

Graduate School of Management
David A. Straz, Jr. Hall, Executive Center, Suite 275
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

or by courier to:  Marquette University Graduate School of Management; David A. Straz, Jr. Hall, Executive Center, Suite 275; 1225 W Wisconsin Avenue; Milwaukee, WI 53233

Corporate Communication

The M.A. in Corporate Communication requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work, split between the College of Communication and the Graduate School of Management. 

Recognition is given to those applicants with or pursuing the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). An official copy of the certificate of completion, or proof of current enrollment, must be submitted with the application materials. Upon verification of the APR, and successful completion of 6 graduate credits within the Corporate Communication program, the Graduate School of Management will award 6 credits equivalent to CMST 6600 Communication Consulting and CCOM 6700 Corporate Advocacy to the student records, recognizing the mastery of these strategic communication competencies. It is the student's responsibility to communicate participation in the APR program with the Graduate School of Management to ensure proper advising and the awarding of the credits.

Students complete five classes in each college as listed below.

College of Communication Required Courses (15 credits)
Three credits from:3
Corporate Advocacy
Corporate Advocacy
Three credits from: 3
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility
Three credits from: 3
Communication Consulting
Communication Consulting
CCOM 6300Financial Communication and Investor Relations3
CMST 6200Organizational Communication3
Graduate School of Management Required courses (9 credits)
BUAD 6000Accounting and Finance for the Non-Financial Manager3
BUAD 6005Economic Foundations for Marketing Decisions3
MBA 6140Leading People and Change1.5
MBA 6160Leadership Coaching and Development1.5
Leadership course - Choose one of the following: (3 credits)3
Contemporary Leadership: Theory, Research and Application
Strategic Communication
Managing Behavior in Organizations
Character Driven Leadership
Negotiations
Change Leadership
Topics in Leadership Studies
Business - Graduate School of Management course: (3 credits)3
Select from Graduate School of Management courses, excluding MBA 6130
Total Credit Hours30

A capstone assessment exercise is required and is completed during the last term of study. The exam has two components: 1. written response to a case study as assigned by CCOM faculty; 2. complete an interview with a panel of CCOM faculty to explain the written response. The case is designed to target the following learning outcomes: 

  • Establish the business case for communication functions within the corporation and lead and coordinate the comprehensive communication functions of a corporation.
  • Articulate the importance of having a clear corporate vision, mission and identity of a corporation and develop and execute plans for communicating these both internally and externally.
  • Assess internal and external corporate communication needs and develop strategic communication plans.
  • Articulate the roles corporations play within the larger social, cultural, political and economic context of our contemporary global society.

Bachelor's-Master's Program

This five-year program allows students to earn both their master of arts in corporate communication and an undergraduate degree from Marquette University. Undergraduate students begin their graduate work in their senior year by taking up to three graduate-level courses or 9 credit hours.

These graduate courses count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Should a student be denied admission to the M.A. program, the courses are counted toward the undergraduate degree only. A minimum grade of B is required for courses taken as an undergraduate student for graduate credit to apply toward graduate program requirements. Upon completion of the first term as a master's candidate, the student must petition the appropriate Graduate School of Management program director to transfer the courses taken as an undergraduate to the master's degree.

To be considered for admission to the five-year program, applicants must formally apply to the Graduate School of Management during their senior year at Marquette University, complete all of the application requirements as listed above and indicate on their application that they are applying for the five-year program. For information, contact the Graduate School of Management at 414-288-7145 or GSM@marquette.edu.

Courses

CCOM 5700. Corporate Advocacy. 3 cr. hrs.

Apply concepts from corporate communication and rhetorical criticism to analyze how organizations use symbols to develop organizational culture, manage organizational impressions, manage crises, and advocate for particular positions. Builds ability to critically think about and analyze the persuasive messages of organizations. Prereq: CMST 6200 or cons. of graduate director.

CCOM 5750. Corporate Social Responsibility. 3 cr. hrs.

Analyzes the range of public debates about the social responsibilities of corporations. Key questions explored include the following: What sorts of public communication practices are commonly taken to hinder or promote corporate social responsibility? What are the ethical implications for the civic life of corporations' internal communication practices? How do corporations manage their ethical relations with communities, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders? What sorts of groups have historically participated in public controversies over corporate social responsibility? Prereq: CMST 6200 or cons. of prog. dir.

CCOM 6300. Financial Communication and Investor Relations. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines the intersection of corporate communication theory, financial markets and investor relations. Prepares students to analyze flow of investment in corporate strategy from a communication perspective. Discussions focus on understanding financial markets, investors, creditors and other stakeholders. Focuses on assessing communication needs relative to finance and investors and developing effective communication strategies. Topics include: communication of shareholder value, the role of the IR professional, corporate governance, shareholder activism and regulation of financial communication and investor relations.

CCOM 6700. Corporate Advocacy. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides the opportunity to analyze how organizations use symbols to develop and maintain organizational culture, manage organizational impressions, manage crises and advocate for particular positions using a combination of concepts from organizational communication, rhetorical criticism and public relations. Designed to build abilities to critically think about and analyze the persuasive messages of organizations. Explores roles, uses and theories of rhetoric in organizational life. By learning how to analyze examples of organizational advocacy, students are better prepared to responsibly and effectively create those messages.

CCOM 6750. Corporate Social Responsibility. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores the key concepts, issues and challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a growing field of organizational study as well as corporate communication. Building upon the management literature, it explores theories of CSR with a strategic and process-oriented approach, then examines the discourse and practices of companies engaged in CSR efforts.