Masters in Global Strategic Communication

Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 8181 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction: N Admission status: graduate
Delivery Mode/s: classroom only Location/s: main campus
Admission Materials: 2 letters of recommendation, objectives

Program Chair
Judith B. Strother, Ph.D.

The master of science program in global strategic communication stresses the development of strategic communication, new media and various forms of corporate communication. The degree program combines theory and document analysis with practice in generating written documents in a wide variety of forms and styles, from research-based papers and academic articles to formal reports and proposals; revising and editing technical, scientific and managerial documents for a variety of professional purposes; designing and publishing professional-quality documents; and problem solving and communication-oriented decision making in collaborative team environments.

Admission Requirements

An applicant should have a bachelor's degree (B.A., B.S. or B.B.A.) prior to admission. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this graduate program, students with undergraduate degrees in a wide variety of fields (e.g., biological sciences, business, communication, computer science, engineering, English, journalism, management, psychology, and physical and social sciences) are encouraged to apply.

The admission decision is based on a review of the application documentation including transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work taken previously, two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources, a statement of objectives and previous work experience. Although taking the GRE is not required, a satisfactory GRE score can strengthen the applicant's admission package.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 36 credit hours of approved graduate coursework, including required, advanced and elective courses tailored to meet the student's professional needs. Students are required to complete 15 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of advanced coursework in strategic global communication and three elective credit hours. To complete the program, a student either produces and defends a design project (six credit hours of COM 5990) or thesis (six credit hours of COM 5999), or takes an additional six credit hours of coursework and passes a final program examination. Students may choose to focus their study in the technical specialization (takes the place of nine credit hours of advanced coursework).

Core Courses (15 credit hours)
  • COM 5100 Communication Theory
    Credit Hours: 3
    Examines the full range of communication theories related to such areas as interpersonal communication, rhetoric, small-group communication, mass communication, linguistics, persuasion and multiculturalism.
  • COM 5110 Strategic Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Provides an overview of the theory, principles, techniques, practices and trends of public relations and other corporate strategic communication functions. Includes strategic communication processes, issue / crisis / reputation management, stakeholder relationship management and other corporate communication activities.
  • COM 5120 Mass Communication and Society
    Credit Hours: 3
    Studies media influence from political, social and cultural perspectives; examines theory and media effects in its survey of film, print, broadcast and new technologies; and discusses the role of media in society and culture, issues related to the First Amendment and the implications of media mergers.
  • COM 5130 Global Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Examines the elements of cross-cultural communication by analyzing the interface between the organization and its cultural environment. Focuses on developing skills to improve communication across both language and cultural barriers in a diverse domestic workplace and an international business environment.
  • COM 5140 Communication Research Methods
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces research methods used to identify problems and issues of concern; guide strategic planning, message development and overall communication planning; and evaluate plans and programs. Covers research theory, conceptual and operational definitions, measurement, sampling and research design and reporting.
    Program chair approval or a minimum of 12 credit hours in graduate degree program
Advanced Courses (12 credit hours)
  • COM 5145 Qualitative Research Methods
    Credit Hours: 3
    Describes communication qualitative research methods including in-depth interviews, focus groups and ethnography. Situates qualitative methods within the history of communication. Also focuses on the research problem or question to develop the most effective type of inquiry.
  • COM 5210 International Political Communication and Global Politics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Examines the interactive relationship between international political communication and international politics. Investigates how the effectiveness, successes or failures in international political communication affect the outcome of international events. Applies theories to analyze the background, process and result of communication cases.
  • COM 5220 Linguistics and World Languages
    Credit Hours: 3
    Provides a comprehensive overview of the complex structure of language using analysis of various world languages. Includes sounds and sound patterns (phonology), word formations and their patterns (morphology), sentence structure (syntax) and meaning (semantics), as well as the use of language to communicate and interact socially.
  • COM 5230 Argumentation Within and Across Cultures
    Credit Hours: 3
    Provides an intensive exploration of the practical applicability of theoretical accounts of argument and their responses to difficult real-world cases, including new media, intercultural communication and visual argument. Examines intersections with research in communication theory, philosophy, rhetoric, artificial intelligence and law.
  • COM 5310 Visual and Graphic Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Focuses on how principles / elements of design and computer graphics integrate into creating brand identity. Emphasizes achieving in-depth knowledge about building strong brand identity, developing creative visual communication skills and working with a portfolio. Software training includes Adobe® InDesign,® Photoshop® and Illustrator.®
  • COM 5320 New Media and Strategic Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Examines the changing media environment and its impact on society and culture. Includes the impact of the strategic use of new media technologies on economics, interpersonal relationships, politics and popular culture. Requires student analysis of the various issues in new media and practice using these technologies.
  • COM 5340 Services Marketing Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Focuses on corporate strategies for successful interaction between service providers and both internal and external customers in various corporate cultures. Also focuses on key variables that shape communication behaviors and impact customer satisfaction levels, problems within these relationships, and behaviors to increase communication effectiveness.
  • COM 5410 Rhetoric and Discourse
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces the history and theory of rhetoric from its origins to the present. Emphasizes close reading and application of primary sources.
  • COM 5420 Special Topics in Communication
    Credit Hours: 3
    Investigates special topics and current issues in the discipline of global strategic communication. Topics vary based on program needs and student / faculty interest.
    Program chair approval
  • COM 5430 Independent Study
    Credit Hours: 3
    Offers master's-level independent research or directed study under faculty supervision.
    Program chair approval
  • COM 5440 Communication Internship
    Credit Hours: 3
    Allows students to work under the supervision of a business or industry professional in coordination with the program chair.
    Program chair approval
Technical Specialization (9 credit hours)
  • COM 5510 Covering Science and Technology
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces science and technology newswriting and key issues in communicating with general audiences. Presents the structure of science news articles and press releases, examines issues of balance and accuracy, and analyzes the interaction between technical sources, public information officers, reporters and readers.
  • COM 5520 Proposal Writing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Focuses on the process of researching, writing and preparing both solicited and unsolicited proposals for submission to identified funding sources. Requires students to identify submission opportunities, plan and submit effective proposals, manage the proposal-writing process, orally present proposals and follow up after submitting proposals.
  • COM 5530 Technical Editing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Provides advanced theory and practice in editing scientific, technical and professional prose. Introduces the principles of copy and rewrite editing, techniques of production and essentials of preparing manuscripts for publication. Requires students to develop and refine professional skills via hands-on, decision-intensive editorial projects.
Electives (3 credit hours)

Choose one elective from fields such as business or psychology, or from the advanced course list.

Nonthesis Option

A student may choose to complete 36 credit hours of coursework without completing a thesis or design project. In that case, the student must take a final program examination no earlier than the last full semester in which the student is registered for courses.

Thesis/Design Project

In lieu of six credit hours of coursework, the student may choose to complete either a traditional, research-based thesis or a design project (an extended problem-solving project exploring and resolving a designated situation in business, industry, government or education).

A thesis or design project proposal must be approved in advance by the student's committee. A defense of the thesis or the design project before the student's faculty committee is required. A unanimous vote of the student's committee is necessary for acceptance of the thesis or design project.