StratCom FAQ

How long will the program take?

You can choose 1, 2 or 3-year tracks to complete the program. Because there's flexibility in the program, you can make changes anytime. 

How much does it cost?

Tuition & Financial Aid

  • In-State Resident Graduate Tuition $21,814 [$726.50 per credit hour x 30 credits]
  • Out-of-State and International Graduate Tuition $42,844 [$1427.50 per credit hour x 30 credits]

How much time will it take in a week?

The general rule for on-campus classes is that each contact hour is associated with 2-3 hours of weekly work outside the classroom. While there is no standard rule for online courses, I would estimate the same level of effort but amplified slightly, as the absence of immediate feedback from the instructor will mean the student will need to spend more time on their own to get clarity on concepts / answer questions along the way.

Hence, for each 1-hour of online materials, I would estimate 3 hours of readings, search queries, emails, chat communications and of course working on assignments and deliverables. This effort (3 hours) will be higher (e.g., 4-5 hours) if the student does not have a relevant background in the subject matter.

We've polled current students, and they estimate between 8-10 hrs/wk per class. 

Do you offer assistantships or other financial aid?

At this time, the Strategic Communication Master’s Program does not offer assistantships.

Michigan State University offers in-state tuition to all [what status? Active?] members of the military, and the US military offers many other financial incentives to help pay for college. 

Additional Resources: 

What’s part time vs full time?

Here’s the page with the details

However, big picture is 9hrs/semester is full time. 5-6 is part time

Enrollment Process

  • The enrollment process is explained on the Office of the Registrar website.
  • Registration is the process of students picking out their courses and adding them to their schedules. That’s done through the Schedule Builder.  
  • Confirmation is the process of confirming that you are taking courses for that semester, and that you confirm financial responsibility for the courses you are taking (this is part of the billing process). That is done through Stu Info. Students must click the “Confirm registration” button even if their bill is $0.  Students are officially enrolled once they confirm their registration. 

How do I create, view, and/or alter my academic plan?

The director of the program, Jason Archer, is currently advising all Strategic Communication Master’s students on their academic plans. 

When you are first admitted, a default academic plan will be created for you. This is a plan for which courses you will take and when you will take them, and a graduation date goal. This will be stored in the Electronic Student Academic Folder (ESAF) system.

The academic plan on ESAF is a guide, and is not set in stone. If your plans change, contact your academic advisor (Jason) to discuss a new plan, and your ESAF will be updated to reflect those changes. 

When are the various courses offered? 

Classes offered in Fall: 

Classes offered in Spring:

Classes offered in Summer:

Summer 1 [May-End June]: 

Summer 2 [July-Aug]:

This schedule is subject to change. Check with your advisor if you have any questions. There will also be classes that are offered once, or infrequently.

What are the registration and drop/add deadlines? 

View Important dates about registration

What are the admission deadlines?

StratCom has a rolling admission process. Meaning, we admit in fall, spring and summer. Here are the admission deadlines for each semester:

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: April 1

Where can I find descriptions of the courses offered?

Brief course descriptions can be found at

More detailed course descriptions, including learning objectives

What GPA do I need to maintain for good academic standing?

Details on academic standing can be found in the Strategic Communication Academic Handbook.

View Handbook

How can I stay informed on news about new courses, program announcements, resources, and other news related to the program?

  • Email Newsletter: We send a monthly newsletter that contains important updates, resources and info about the program. Sign Up
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram:

Also, the StratCom program maintains a private Facebook group page that will have news and announcements, as well as extracurricular student discussions. When you are admitted to the program, you will receive an invitation to join the group. 

What is the e-Portfolio?

The StratCom e-Portfolio is meant to help you catalog your work in the program in order to maximize the benefits you get from completing the Strategic Communication MA. 

When you graduate, you will be able to easily retrieve the work you created during your time in the StratCom program in order to demonstrate the skills you learned to your current or prospective employers. 

What is the Capstone?

Many M.A. programs require students to complete a research project (a Master’s thesis) to be able to graduate. Because the Strategic Communication MA is a program for working professionals, however, the final project is different from the traditional Master’s project. It is intended to be a more accurate test of applicable professional skills than a traditional Master’s thesis.

The Capstone course will simulate a real-life professional communications scenario to which students can apply the broad range of Strategic Communication skills they have acquired. This will involve measurement and analysis of the presented scenario, and the creation of a comprehensive communications plan (including an array of communications material) in response to the issue.