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The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication Murrow Online Programs

Online MA Strategic Communication

Since 2014

The online M.A. in Strategic Communication offered in The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University is a highly competitive program designed for those who want to excel in advertising, public relations, corporate communication, and communication management. Students learn how to use advanced media tools, create data-based communication plans, and design and deliver integrated promotional campaigns across earned, owned and paid channels. The degree is tailor-made for communications specialists and other business professionals wishing to enhance their communications capacities.

The program provides a comprehensive set of graduate courses designed for working professionals and adult learners who seek to become effective and ethical communicators. Courses are rooted in the foundation of research methods in partnership with courses teaching students best practices and industry standards in contemporary communication strategies and tactics. Students learn how to use advanced media tools, create data-based communication plans and design and deliver integrated promotional campaigns across earned, owned and paid channels.

Program of Study

The degree requires 30 credits. All courses are available online.

Professional Core Courses – 12 credits

  • COM 561: Professional Multimedia Content Creation
  • COM 562: Crisis Communication in Global Contexts
  • COM 563: Ethics for Professionals
  • COM 564: Research Methods for Professionals

Health Communication and Promotion Core Courses – 15 credits

  • COMSTRAT 561: Persuasion for Professional Communicators
  • COMSTRAT 562: Creative Media Strategies & Techniques
  • COMSTRAT 563: Professional Digital Content Promotion
  • COMSTRAT 564: Consumer Behavior and Brand Development
  • COMSTRAT 565: Professional Marketing Communication Management and Campaigns

Capstone Course – 3 credits

  • COMSTRAT 701: Master’s Independent Capstone Project and /or Examination

Interested? Learn more.


Focused curriculum

The master’s degree offers hands-on training in the most advanced platforms, tools and techniques. You will work closely with industry professionals and faculty to learn audio and video software, graphic design tools, new media and publication layouts. By the time you are finished, you will have created multimedia materials that are evaluated by peers and produced as portfolio-quality items stored online. This work is tailored to each individual career, or even your specific job needs.

Tuition and financial aid

For the latest tuition information, see Global Campus Graduate Tuition. Loans and scholarships are offered through the Office of Student Financial Services.

  • Christy Curtis, Senior Instructor and Graduate Coordinator  /  (509) 335-5608  /
  • Rebecca Cooney, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Murrow Online Programs  /  (509) 335-3911  /
Related Sites




Program Objectives

There are two primary objectives for the Online MA Strategic Communication program.

These include:

1) producing quality students who possess the theoretical foundation and practical
knowledge to succeed in their chosen fields and

2) training individuals who will perform at the highest level of both professional and ethical standards.

In keeping with the recommendations of the Commission on Public Relations Education for professional master’s degrees[1], our program will combine professional skill development with training in ethical decision-making. This dual emphasis seeks to honor the legacy of Edward R. Murrow, our college’s namesake.  Murrow set professional standards for what was then the
emerging broadcast news industry. He also was one of the industry’s strongest critics who
urged its practitioners to rise to the industry’s potential for serving justice and for fostering democratic institutions.

Similarly, the goal of the MA Strategic Communication is to train individuals who will perform
at the highest level of both professional and ethical standards, who will both define and improve the industry while in the service of just and democratic societies.

[1] Ibid, p. 4.


Student Learning Outcomes

(1) Demonstrate knowledge of strategic, entrepreneurial communication skills such as managing online presence, self and organizational presentation, and collaboration in an increasingly global world.

(2) Ability to gather and assess strategically
relevant information using analyses and research.

(3) Evidence of professional skills to develop strategic communication campaign materials and implementation of campaign through administration and management, planning, leadership, teamwork, and customer relations.


Application Info


  • Applications deadlines are Aug 1, Dec 1 and April 15 for fall, spring and summer enrollment
  • To apply, complete a general application with WSU Graduate School
  • There is a $75 application fee (non-refundable)


  • This program does not require any undergraduate prerequisites but applicants must have bachelor’s degree with GPA over 3
  • No GRE required

Get started

Applicants will be evaluated by the Murrow graduate selection committee, which will require official copies of undergraduate transcripts, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a written statement of purpose. GRE scores are NOT required.

Apply by April 15 to start in the summer, Aug. 1 to start fall semester, and Dec. 1 to start spring semester.

Application Materials

  1. Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate institutions
  2. International students submit TOEFL
  3. Current professional resume that includes at least three professional references name and contact information
  4. Statement of Purpose articulating your perspectives, contributions, qualifications, and talents

Statement of Purpose

To gain a better understanding of your perspectives, contributions, qualifications, and diverse talents, we ask that each applicant prepare a comprehensives statement of purpose.  Admission decisions for the online MA Strategic Communication program are based on a full assessment of the applicant’s academic profile, mix of experience they bring to the program and overall readiness for graduate-level work. Please address your experience in each category keeping in mind how you could contribute to the future community of excellence at WSU.Your statement of purpose should not exceed one page and should address the following:

  • Why the online MA Strategic Communication program at WSU interests you – what attracted you to the program
  • What led you to the desire of earning an advanced degree
  • Where do you think your MA will lead you personally and/or professionally
  • How the degree program fits into your current personal or professional path
  • What are your goals in furthering your education? What do you hope to achieve through the curriculum?
  • Other anecdotes or background information that will aid in evaluating whether or not you would thrive and be successful in 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 bench-marked 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.


  • Online students pay the in-state tuition rate
  • The tuition is estimated at $587 per credit
  • The estimated cost of program is $18,000
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in at least half-time SIX CREDITS to be eligible for financial aid.
  • Veterans’ benefits. For questions, contact Blaine Golden (509) 335-1234 or

Terminal professional master’s degree

The Online MA Strategic Communication program is a terminal professional degree program. It is structured to provide opportunities for those interested in career transition or advancement in professional communication positions. The program is non-thesis, involves limited theory, does not include a classroom teaching component or active research assignment, and therefore should not be considered a preparatory stepping stone to most PhD programs or teaching at a collegiate level.

Student Pathways

  • All courses are 100% online and include weekly online instructor office hours, frequent student self-assessment tools & ongoing interaction with other students.
  • Most students take 2-3 classes each semester across the 10-course curriculum.
  • Students work closely with both industry professionals and PhD faculty scholars
  • 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