Strategic Communication M.A. Course Listing


Michigan State University's Strategic Communication Online Master’s Program was built specifically with the working professional in mind. 

The Basics

  • 100-percent online
  • Minimum of three years of work experience
  • Minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • One-, Two- or Three- year tracks
  • Interactive weekly lessons
  • Three areas of specialization
  • Cohorts begin fall, spring and summer
  • Student, faculty and staff support

Learn More

Enter your name and email address to receive  our Program Overview PDF.


CAS 827: Digital Media Strategies

This advanced course in digital media strategies is designed to provide an in-depth overview of new and social media marketing strategies. More importantly, the course applies advertising, consumer psychology, social psychology and marketing to ensure the effectiveness of social media marketing strategies.


CAS 828: Persuasion Techniques for Working Professionals (core course)

This course covers the application of principles of persuasion and compliance, focusing on the primary processes that affect the magnitude and manner in which attitudes and behavior are changed. The course also covers the interplay between audience and communicator characteristics, and message design are examined.


CAS 829: Evaluation Techniques for Working Professionals (core course)

This course is designed to develop your ability to conduct and evaluate social scientific research. As a communication professional, you may need to conduct a research project yourself or may want to commission research from others (e.g., a consulting firm). Specifically, the course will examine the philosophy of social science research, fundamental elements of research design and statistical methods for analyzing data.


CAS 831: Digital Content Creation, Curation, and Promotion

This course covers the creation of content for a number of digital media, including email, social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and interactive media (e.g., websites). An integrated digital communication strategy requires the consideration of design and communication theories, principles and best practices for written and visual communication.


CAS 832: Strategic Message Development (core course)

The effectiveness of corporate messages can be enhanced by careful, research-informed development. This course provides a model for designing effective marketing communication, along with detailed ideas about topics such as conducting effective stakeholder analysis, setting outcome parameters, designing messages and engaging your audience.


CAS 833: Crisis Communication

This course provides skills and strategies to communicate crises experienced by organizations and institutions through optimal media formats. The course will provide the tools to manage effectively the use and the relationship with the media, which plays a crucial role in crisis situations as the vehicle to pass information to affected communities and people. Students will learn using real-life case studies.


CAS 835: Brand Image & Communication

In this course you will examine the power and value of branding and using consumer-based brand equity to differentiate a product, service or company from its competitors. Related issues include the way brands are created, managed and grown; and extensions under the brand umbrella.


CAS 837: Catalyst Thinking in the C-Suite

This course will provide organizational leaders with cutting edge research so they can continue to meet the needs of their organizations in a fast-paced global environment. A number of constructs like communication, collaboration, community, conflict, change and other ideas or constructs are central to creating change in organizations and are crucial skills to c-suite executives in organizations.


CAS 838: Organizational Communication

This course introduces theories, contexts and processes related to organizational communication issues, including employment interviewing, supervisor-employee communication, role and work group coordination, decision making, and unit climate. This course will also include an overview of research on organizational communication through time, and discuss coordination within and between organizational communication structures.


CAS 839: Media Analytics

This course will introduce basic concepts, processes and uses of media analytics. It will explore the rise and characteristics of big data; data acquisition about audiences, media consumption and response to advertising and news; sources of commercial and news data; popular analytics platforms and tools for advertising and news; data analytics for consumer/reader/user insights; and overview user privacy and ethics issues of media analytics.


CAS 840: Audience Analytics

This course will cover basic concepts of digital analytics and actual use of live data to generate consumer insights on major aspects of a website or mobile app, such as user profiles, traffic sources, navigation patterns, conversion ratios and path to purchase. It will also cover how to interpret analytics and put it into a strategic plan.


CAS 841: Social Media Storytelling

This course is important because it will cover main industry trends so students master the best practices for social media storytelling. This course focuses on teaching communicators the qualitative skills regarding social media storytelling, including finding, making sense, verifying, assessing and creating stories for online networking platforms.


CAS 842: Ethical Concerns and Controversies for Emergent Thinkers (core course)

The main objective of this course is to make informed ethics decisions in your professional life by using a combination of your head, heart and the ethical philosophies covered in this course. You will learn to identify ethical issues across media communication industries, including those in journalism, public relations, advertising and convergent media.


CAS 844: Capstone (core course)

This course is the Capstone in the Strategic Communication M.A. program. It provides practical experience in the planning and management of strategic communication projects involving the use of new and digital media. Using a service-learning format, it requires the application of managerial, communication and strategic skills to a realistic business project in a virtual team setting.