Master of Arts in Strategic Communications

Available Online

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communications prepares students to assume professional positions in organizations that must meet the challenges of operating in an increasingly complex and interdependent global environment. A master’s in strategic communications equips graduates with both theoretical and practical approaches to developing strategic communications programs that enable organizations to meet their goals and objectives. Each course provides an essential stepping stone on the way to planning, executing, and evaluating effective strategic communications efforts.

The objective of the MA in strategic communications program is to develop effective, strategically sophisticated professionals who possess the full complement of analytical and practical tools to lead communication efforts. It fosters strategic thinking, logical analysis, and solution generation. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will have the skills to develop and implement communications initiatives using both traditional and emerging channels such as social networks, blogs, podcasts, and mobile media.

Graduates will acquire an array of intellectual, managerial, and communication skills and competencies, including: an understanding of communications opportunities; the ability to carry out analyses of organizational communications needs; the knowledge to conduct audience analysis, as well as formative and evaluative research; the training to develop, implement, and evaluate appropriate strategies and tactics to reach multiple publics; and professional-level writing and presentation skills.

At the completion of the Master of Arts in Strategic Communications, graduates will emerge with a deep understanding of the theories of communication and persuasion, an ability to lead and participate in the team development of organizational communication strategies, and the practical skills to plan, produce, and evaluate strategic communications programs and campaigns.

This degree requires that students be able to write in English at an advanced level. If writing skills need improvement, the student may be required to enroll in a writing course before continuing in the program. Applicants for whom English is a second language are encouraged to take the Accuplacer English as a Second Language Placement Test.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Produce multi-public, multi-channel communication campaign planning documents.
  • Manage communication campaigns by producing budgets, task lists, and schedules.
  • Apply formative research to develop communication campaigns and messages.
  • Create persuasive campaigns that meet professional ethical standards.
  • Evaluate communication campaigns by conducting summative research.
  • Deliver professional communication presentations online.
  • Demonstrate leadership and collaborative skills by participating in group tasks and presentations as leader and team member.


To receive a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications, students must complete at least 45 quarter units of graduate work, of which a minimum of 40.5 quarter units must be taken in residence at National University. Students can transfer up to 4.5 quarter units at the graduate level from a regionally accredited institution in the areas of communication or business, provided the units have not been used to satisfy the requirements of an awarded degree. Students wishing to transfer credits into the program should contact the program faculty advisor. Refer to the section in the graduate admission requirements for additional specific information regarding application and matriculation.

Core Requirements (9 courses; 40.5 quarter units)

Students may take any graduate-level course with the approval of the program lead faculty, provided that they have completed all prerequisites for that course.

Core Requisite(s):

Elective (1 course; 4.5 quarter units)

Students may take any graduate-level course with the approval of the program lead faculty, provided that they have completed all prerequisites for that course.