Apply for StratCom Certificates

How to Apply - Certificate-Only Students

If you are interested in applying to our online graduate certificate program, please contact the program outreach coordinator, Jennifer Trenkamp at, to list the certificate you're interested in pursuing. Up to 10 students per semester will be accepted into the certificate-only program. *Certificates and all MSU StratCom courses are for MSU StratCom students only. 

Fast Facts

  • 100-percent online
  • Minimum of three years of work experience
  • Minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • No GRE required

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: November 1 
  • Summer: April 1

Certificate Tuition and Fees

To calculate your estimated tuition and fees for the semester, visit the tuition calculator and choose the current semester. Graduate student costs approximate what graduate certificate students would pay. Choose in-state (Michigan) or out-of-state, and International or not. Enter the total number of credits for the program (9).

View Tuition and Fees Estimates

Enrolling in the Certificate Program

  1. Complete the Graduate School Application. The fee is $65 (Domestic) or $75 (International) and can be paid with credit card, check (US Funds), or money order. Use program code: 6328 – Strategic Communication. Be sure to email Jennifer Trenkamp, at, with the certificate you wish to pursue.

  2. Upload the following materials to the Applicant Portal: 

    • Email addresses for your three recommenders (Note: An email will be sent out to your recommenders providing them the information on where to go to submit their letters electronically. So please be sure to list accurate information. The department will only accept letters submitted via the online system. The department will not accept letters submitted through any other format.)

    • Academic Statement [one-page narrative of your academic journey]

    • Personal Statement [one-page narrative or your personal journey. i.e. family, growing up, hobbies, etc.]

    • Resume or Vita

  3. Send the following materials to the Director of MA Studies, Strategic Communication Program, 404 Wilson Road, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824:

    • One copy of official and original transcripts and degree certification documents for all college work. The department will only accept official transcripts sent directly to MSU StratCom from degree-granting universities. Prospective students may not send transcripts. Alumni who received their bachelors degree at MSU do not have to send transcripts.  All other materials should be reported electronically through the Applicant Portal or reported via ETS to the University. Supporting materials sent as a hard copy that should be submitted electronically in the Applicant Portal will not be accepted by the department.

    • Applicants from China: During the application process, applicants submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the Strategic Communication program (see address above). MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation. Effective Spring 2015, Michigan State University will require all incoming admitted students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version only) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts (大学成绩单) and bachelor degree (本科学位证书). All verification reports need to be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly by CDGDC. For those Master degree granted student, we only need the undergraduate level verification report from CDGDC. Please refer to the CDGDC website for more information.

  4.  TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international students -International students from countries where English is not the native language will be required to take the TOEFL test. TOEFL - The department requires a minimum of 91 IBT with no sub-scores below 22, or a 237 CBT with no sub-scores below 22 or a 580 PBT with no sub-scores below 55. Reported scores must be no older than 2 years. The department requires a minimum of 6.5. However, you don’t need to enter the scores when you complete and submit your initial application. You do need to have the results sent directly to: 

       Rachel Iseler, Academic Programs Coordinator
       Communication Arts and Sciences Building
       404 Wilson Road, Room 425 East Lansing, MI 48824-1212

After you have completed your admissions application, you should automatically be taken to the Graduate Admissions Management System (GAMS), where you will create an account, select the Strategic Communication code, 6328, and fill out the GAMS app as instructed.

Once the department receives the application and transcripts, they will be reviewed by the Director.

A Graduate Certificate Recommended Action Form will then be completed, and along with your transcripts, it will be sent to the Office of Admissions for processing. Once reviewed and approved by the Office of Admission, you will be formally notified of your acceptance by Michigan State University and provided with information on how to enroll in courses. After you receive your formal admission notice you will be able to enroll for the courses.

*If you decide to pursue a M.A. in Strategic Communication from Michigan State University, you may transfer up to 9 credits of lifelong learning towards the degree. All three Strategic Communication certificate courses would count towards the requirements of the program, however, only 9 credits can transfer to the degree program. 

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