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Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications

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Take the Art of Communication to a Professional Level

Gain in-demand strategic thinking and communication skills by earning a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications at NU. In the strategic communication degree program, you will learn how to help organizations develop a unique voice for use in presentations, print, broadcast, and digital media in a wide variety of fields, such as public relations, advertising, marketing, and corporate communication.

Courses within the BA in Strategic Communication program include academic work, case studies, and hands-on experience creating messages across media platforms. Upon completion of the program, you will be well-prepared to pursue a career that involves developing marketing strategies, project planning, project management, content creation, and leadership.

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Course Details

Requirements for the Major

  • 17 courses; 76.5 quarter units


  • 2 courses; 9 quarter units

An introductory course on the written academic discourse patterns required for college-level writing. Emphasizing essay-length compositions, the course covers critical reading, thesis formation, essay organization, and basic revision techniques.

This class is an introduction to the principles and application of speaking effectively to diverse audiences in a variety of settings. Focus is on topic selection, organization, analysis of research, and delivery, with special attention on learning effective delivery skills.

* May be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Core Requirements

  • 14 courses; 63 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines the theory and research behind interpersonal communication. Explores communication processes in dyads, small groups, and teams, and in organizational settings. Teaches skills to improve students’ communication competence in both personal and professional environments. The course also covers self-awareness, self-disclosure, relational development, and conflict resolution.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Looks at communication across cultures and considers how culture influences communication. Focuses on the dynamics of cross-cultural face-to-face interaction, conflict styles across cultures, societal influences on ethnocentrism and racism, cultural value orientations, non-verbal dimensions of communication, language interaction, stereotypes, relationship development, and cultural adaptation.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Provides a broad survey of the theoretical approaches employed in the study of communication. Focuses on theories relevant to many levels of interaction from interpersonal to mass and mediated communication. Also explores how and why theories are developed and how they can be evaluated.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces students to quantitative and qualitative communication research methods to enable them to become competent evaluators, designers, and authors of research. Teaches the fundamental principles of communication research, providing learners with the knowledge base and experience to answer questions in the practice of professional communication.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines critical thinking and ethics, and their application to academic, personal, and professional situations. Covers systems of logical reasoning, critical analysis, and evaluation of message content, including supporting evidence, and logical fallacies. Discusses the morality and ramifications of decision-making in media industries.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces learners to the principles, functions, and practices of social influence. Examines how to influence others’ attitudes, beliefs, opinions, values, and behaviors through communication. Explores scientifically established principles of persuasion that are used in contemporary media.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines communication technologies and their effects on society. Looks at the history of such systems: how they emerged, diffused, and evolved. Covers current systems, with an emphasis on how the Internet and other new platforms are changing media, education, business, and politics around the world.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Provides for the study and application of current theories and research on communication within and among organizations. Includes the study of the influence of management styles on organizational communication. Discussion of communication structure, functions, contexts in organizations, and communication ethics in organizations.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Explores professional speaking and presentations. Identifies and provides practice of theory and skills used in advanced speaking. Teaches creation and integration of text, graphics, audio, and video into presentations. Offers hands-on experience applying theory and methods to create professional presentations.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces the evolution of storytelling, from oral delivery to written and interactive texts, and transmedia publication. Examines the effects of this evolution on storytellers and participants. Offers hands-on creation of online identities and texts.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Teaches strategic writing and presentation for traditional and new media platforms. Provides students practice in creating content that meets organizational objectives, and in applying communication theory and persuasion techniques. Learners develop content for advertising, PR, and corporate communications.

PrerequisiteCOM 385 and COM 394

Course examines 21st-century mediated communication systems and technology. Theory and methods used in creating, shaping, encoding, and transmitting mediated messages for personal and professional communications are examined. Software and skills for encoding mediated messages into text, graphics, audio, and video are learned and practiced.

PrerequisiteCOM 400

In-depth study of topics in media management, including managing media enterprises and units, business practices, content marketing and distribution, and technologies such as content and media asset management systems, as well as distribution and delivery networks. Students learn analytical techniques necessary to weigh business strategies and technology choices in bringing a variety of types of media content products to market.

PrerequisiteCompletion of 13 core and advanced core courses.

Students assemble and create materials necessary to produce an ePortfolio that demonstrates their research, analysis, strategic thinking, content production, and campaign evaluation skills. The ePortfolio demonstrates the student’s experience and capabilities. It will be an asset in the job search and in career advancement. Grading is S or U only.

Advanced Core Requirements

  • 3 courses; 13.5 units

PrerequisiteCOM 334

Synthesizes principles and strategies used to develop PR and integrated advertising messages used in the planning and implementation of communication campaigns. Focuses on analyzing markets, clients, products, and audiences and on creative copywriting and art direction. Provides training in how to develop campaign plans in traditional and digital media.

PrerequisiteCOM 441

Create and integrate campaign materials and media assets for a complete public relations or advertising campaign to be delivered across multiple media platforms. Materials produced include print, graphic, video, and other digital assets. Provides hands-on experience presenting a creative plan to a potential client.

PrerequisiteCOM 442

Apply and integrate new tools and techniques to design, create, and implement interactive communication programs and campaigns. Focuses on delivery through Social Media, location-based messaging, and personal mobile devices. Offers hands-on experience producing multimedia and mobile content.

Hear From Our Students

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as follows: 76.5 units must be completed at the upper-division level, and 45 units must be completed in online residence through National University. Students must also complete a minimum 69 units of the University’s General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

National University’s strategic communication degree program can be completed online, meaning you won’t have to put your life on hold while working toward your degree. With small class sizes and faculty mentors who bring real-world experience, you’ll gain the communication skills relevant to today’s job market. NU offers four-week courses, so you can focus on one subject at a time, one month at a time and finish your degree faster. Plus, with year-round enrollment, you don’t have to wait to apply and can begin classes as soon as next month. As a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon school, active-duty servicemembers and their immediate family members have access to tuition discounts.

A strategic communication degree can be the foundation for a variety of career paths, both within and beyond the communications industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for media and communication occupations (such as Editors, Public Relations Specialists, and Technical Writers) was $62,340 in May 2021.* Effective communication within smaller teams and to broader audiences is a growing need among the top companies in every industry. Typical roles can include:

  • Advertising
  • Brand management
  • Communications consultant
  • Corporate communications
  • Digital strategic
  • Media planner
  • Publicist
  • Public relations marketing specialist
  • Promotions

*SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, the internet, (viewed June 3, 2021)

Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

According to Emsi labor market analytics and economic data1, consulting services, finance and banking, health insurance and health care systems, and information technology are among the top industries for graduates. Emsi also confirms some of the top job titles for professionals who have earned this degree include:

  • Communications specialist, coordinator, consultant or strategist
  • Internal or strategic communications manager
  • Director of Communications
  • Corporate Communications Managers
  • Marketing and Communications Managers
  • Accounts (account executive)
  • Public Relations (manager, specialist, coordinator)

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at (Report viewed: 2/17/2022). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop communication campaign messaging strategies
  • Apply persuasion theory to communication campaigns and media messages
  • Create content that fulfills strategic communications campaign objectives
  • Collaborate with others in creating strong, strategic messaging
  • Apply research data to guide the development of strategic communication campaigns and messages
  • Develop multi-platform, multi-public message dissemination plans
  • Create mobile apps for PR and marketing

Hear From Our Faculty

Watch this video to hear from Dr. Melinda Campbell from the Department of Arts & Humanities discuss the BA in Strategic Communication program and what to expect.

Dr. Sara Kelly, Academic Program Director, Strategic Communications BA Program


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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.