Chairperson: Kati Tusinski Berg, Ph.D.

The strategic communication major prepares graduates for professional success by studying contemporary issues at the intersection of advertising, public relations and digital communication. The curriculum is designed to develop skills related to strategic communication and the development of data-driven strategic planning to manage organizational relationships with stakeholders and to create effective messages for organizational success. 

The program integrates theoretical perspectives on strategic communication with practical project-based approaches leading to creative strategic problem solving. Students develop an understanding of data analytics, business acumen and ethical decision-making to position them for success in the ever-changing industry that is strategic communication.

Strategic Communication Major

A total of 60 credits of course work must be completed for the major in strategic communication.

Required courses:

ADPR 2100Communication Design Toolbox3
ADPR 2200Media Writing3
ADPR 4300Emerging and Social Media in a Dynamic Marketplace3
ADPR 4350Social Media Analytics and Measurement3
ADPR 4600International Advertising and Public Relations3
ADPR 4750Strategic Communication in a Culturally Diverse Marketplace3
ADPR 4850Multiplatform Content Strategy3
ADPR 4997Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns3
ADVE 3000Consumer Insight and Brand Strategy3
ADVE 4100Advertising Media Strategy3
COMM 1000Foundations of Human Communication, Culture and Society3
COMM 1100Professional Communication3
COMM 1200Media in Society3
COMM 2500Introduction to Communication Research Methods3
PURE 3800Public Relations Strategies3
PURE 3850Crisis Communication and Reputation Management3
STCM 1600Introduction to Strategic Communication3
STCM 2400Business Essentials for Strategic Communication3
STCM 3400Writing for Strategic Communication3
STCM 4800Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility3
Total Credit Hours60


STCM 1600. Introduction to Strategic Communication. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduces students to the multifaceted world of strategic communication practice in the 21st century. From the global transnational media firm, to the state-wide environmental activist organization, to the local public school, today’s organizations are grappling to create and sustain relationships through strategic, targeted and integrated digital communication that supports organizational goals. Topics include advertising, public relations, advocacy/activism, media relations and content marketing. Focuses the development of planned efforts to influence others by providing information and developing relationships. Prereq: STCM major.

STCM 2400. Business Essentials for Strategic Communication. 3 cr. hrs.

A strategic communicator must be able to speak the language and understand business goals, issues and trends. Students learn the essentials of financial statements and terminology, the stock market and public companies. Prereq: STCM major or cons. of instr.

STCM 3400. Writing for Strategic Communication. 3 cr. hrs.

Builds upon basic knowledge of audience analysis and media selection from earlier courses to develop higher-level writing skills across multiple media platforms – paid, earned, social and earned. Teaches students how to write for a variety of media with clarity, insight and skill. Students are given constant practice in developing solid persuasive writing abilities necessary for professionals entering fields commonly associated with strategic communication. Writing portfolios are assembled for purposes of future internships and employment. Prereq: STCM major and STCM 1600.

STCM 4800. Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores various approaches to ethical decision-making and applies them to diverse aspects of strategic communication in professional settings. Students are exposed to a variety of ethical perspectives in theoretical contexts and learn to apply these theoretical concepts to professional situations. Analyzes the social responsibilities of corporations by exploring questions such as: What sorts of public communication practices are commonly taken to hinder or promote corporate social responsibility? What are the ethical implications for civic life of corporations' internal communication practices? How do corporations manage their ethical relations with communities, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders? Prereq: SCTM major and STCM 1600; or cons. of instr.