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The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication Online MA Strategic Communication


Admission Requirements


Do I need a background in communication to qualify for admission?
No. Our students come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be considered for admission – but our applicants’ degrees range from business to biology; education to psychology and fine arts to English; political science to engineering. Our applicants are teachers, active military, veterans, journalists, communication managers, graphic designers, government administrators and scientists – all with the goal of improving their skills in professional communications and pursuing careers in marketing, advertising and integrated communications.


What is the deadline for application?

Applications are reviewed throughout the year. We are on a rolling admissions schedule. Applications deadlines are Aug 1, Dec 1 and April 15 for fall, spring and summer enrollment


Is there a fee for applying?

Yes. The application fee is $75 and non-refundable.


What are the required prerequisites for application?

This program does not require any undergraduate prerequisites but applicants must have bachelor’s degree with GPA over 3.0


Should I bother applying if I have a GPA below 3.0?

The WSU Graduate School has instructed us to not recommend for admission those who have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0. Requests for exception to policy can be made for those who have a semester or more of graduate work with a graduate GPA above a 3.0, impressive professional experience or can otherwise exhibit maturity and readiness for graduate-level work.  Please note that the $75 application fee is non-refundable so if you have a GPA below a 3.0 you are applying at your own risk.


Do I have to take the GRE as part of admissions?

No GRE is required in our admissions process.


I am new to the field and have less than three years work experience. Should I hold off on applying to the program?

The program is designed for individuals who are at least three years outside their undergraduate program and/or have at least three applied work experience. The coursework is benchmarked at a level best suited to those with solid work and life experience. Student engagement is built into each course and with it students benefit greatly from knowledge share and mutual exchange. We find that those with limited applied work experience are not fully equipped to contribute to those discussions in a meaningful way – nor are they as successful in completing the more complex course work. The decision to admit involves a full assessment of the applicant’s academic profile, the mix of experience they bring to the program and overall readiness for graduate-level work – not just undergraduate GPA or quality of their statement of purpose.


Do I need to include letters of recommendation?

You are asked to provide three professional references – contact information only. No letters of recommendation are required.


What is a statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose gives us a better idea of where you are today and what you hope to achieve with the completion of the professional master’s degree program. The statement of purpose tells us more about your personal, professional and education goals and helps us determine if you are a good fit for the program. Learn more on our Apply page.


Is financial aid available? How much is tuition?
Financial aid is available as are veteran’s benefits. Students must take at least six credits to qualify for financial aid. Online students pay the in-state tuition rate. The tuition is estimated at $587 per credit. The estimated cost of program is $18,000.


Will this degree prepare me for a future Ph.D. track?

The Online MA Strategic Communication is a “professional degree program.” It is structured to provide opportunities for professional advancement opportunities in the areas of public relations, marketing, digital marketing, corporate communications, government relations and other areas related to integrated communications. The program is non-thesis, involves limited theory, does not include a classroom teaching component or active research assignment and is therefore NOT a preparatory stepping stone to most Ph.D. programs. It will not aid in qualifying graduates for doctoral-level programs at WSU or other institutions. If your goal is to truly continue on to a Ph.D. program, please consider alternative in-residence master’s degree programs such as the MA Communications program tracks at WSU.

Technology & Learning


How fast can I finish the program?

Most students take 2-3 classes each semester across the 10-course curriculum.  Students select one, two or three-year tracks but it is recommended they take no less than five semesters to complete the program in order to achieve the best work-home-school balance


How do online classes work? Do I have to set aside specific times to be online?
All courses are asynchronous, meaning you are not required to be online at specific times. Courses are designed with weekly lessons or blocks and most require some level of reading, reviewing audio or video lecture, participation in discussion forums and assignment each week. Students should expect to have assignment or activity deadlines every week.


Do I have to complete a thesis?
The Capstone is non-thesis and non-research project. For their last class in the program, students take the Capstone where they complete a comprehensive exam and online portfolio.


How many total credits are required?
The program requires a total of 30 credit hours including 12 credits in Communication Core, 15 credits in Strategic Communication Core and 3 credits for the Capstone.


How much time should I plan to spend on the program each week?
The time commitment for each course varies. Some require more reading than others. Some have more involved and complex assignments than others. Some require exams, others require demonstration of competency through work product. Students should expect to spend no less than 15-20  hours per week per course.


How does faculty-student interaction work? Will I ever be able to communicate directly with my instructor or peer students?

Faculty and students engage regularly throughout the duration of a course via email, discussion forums, phone or video conference. Faculty have regular office hours for their online courses. Students also interact via email, discussion forum, phone and video conference, as well as a student-run group  Facebook page that has proven to be a great source of support and resource.


Do I ever have to be on campus?

No on-site residency is required for this program. It is 100% online.


Are support services available to students?

Yes. Students have access to support services through the Grad School, Disability Support Services and Global Campus. Other services are provided for technical issues, financial aid and academics. Learn more at WSU Global Campus Student Services and WSU Access Center.


What technology is required? Do I need to invest in specific hardware and software?

  • Students taking courses through the Global Campus need regular access to a computer with Internet access. Because your computer is your connection to your courses – essentially the way you “go to class” – you also need to have a backup plan should your primary computer become unavailable.
  • Most required course media is available in the online Media Center so you can watch course videos, presentations, and other media on your computer.
  • Please visit the WSU Global Campus Technical Requirements page for updated information on hardware, software and system requirements.