BUTLER ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
Expand your expertise and drive your career forward.
Butler University’s online strategic communication master’s program prepares you to interpret trends, develop relevant insights, and implement strategies.
BUTLER ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION PROGRAM
Butler University’s online strategic communication master’s degree program prepares you to strategically lead communication initiatives at non-profit organizations, corporations, and agencies. Through our student-centered, innovative curriculum, you will:
Research and develop insights to strategically communicate with audiences.
Pave your career path in advertising, public relations, or media.
Master industry trends and solve pressing communication challenges in real time.
Merge theory and practice with real-world projects and networking opportunities.
ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION PROGRAM OVERVIEW
As a Butler online master’s in strategic communication student, you will expand your network and apply new skills in real time.
These pillars of the online strategic communication master’s will prepare you to advance within your current organization or transition into a new career path:
- Learn to interpret research and data then communicate your findings effectively.
- Apply concepts and best practices to lead communication strategy on multiple media platforms aimed at diverse audiences.
- Design and analyze research methods to drive informed communication strategy and address organizational goals.
- Utilize real-world case studies and simulations to learn how to strategize, plan, execute, and evaluate ethical and effective strategic communication.
- Complete a comprehensive capstone experience and tackle real-world communication challenges that an organization is facing.
SPRING 2024 NEXT APPLICATION DEADLINE
- GRE/GMAT Not Required
- 30 Credit Hours
- 10 Courses
- 100% Online
- Scholarships Available
Watch how online MS in Strategic Communication program faculty empower students to build their expertise, expand their professional network, and make the most of their Butler online experience.
HEAR FROM ONLINE COMMUNICATION MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENTS
“The Butler MS in Strategic Communication program was exactly everything I was looking for – the structure and scheduling that would work well with my full-time job and family, the class topics, and the flexibility were what really drew me!”Ashley M. ’24
Communications & Employment Branding Strategist at The Suter Company, Sycamore, IL
“I picked up a job in the communication industry and just by sheer will, I figured it out. I didn’t have a foundation. I realized I wanted to study this discipline. I wanted to do this for the rest of my life, and I wanted to get a degree in communication.”Erick C. ’23
Director of Branding and Marketing at Eastern Kentucky University, Lexington, KY
ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION CURRICULUM
Students in Butler’s master’s in strategic communication program take one, seven-week course at a time.
This course introduces students to the foundational theories, strategies, and practices of strategic communication. The course is organized to expose students to the interdisciplinary theoretical literature on strategic communication, to understand and embrace the relationship between theory and practice, and to apply theoretical frameworks to strategic communication challenges.
This course is a comprehensive examination and application of qualitative and quantitative methods and designs typically employed to plan, monitor, and assess strategic communication campaigns. The purpose of the course is to develop students’ skills to direct and develop valid and reliable research, and to analyze and apply results that lead to successful programming that addresses a variety of organizational goals.
This course will examine the dynamic legal and ethical issues facing the strategic communication field with an emphasis on central legal concepts such as First Amendment jurisprudence, commercial speech, and intellectual property. Additional concepts to be explored include defamation, privacy, indecency/obscenity, and political speech across print, broadcast, and digital media. Students will apply these concepts through a combination of discussion, activities, and case studies to current legal and ethical challenges relevant to strategic communication and explore the larger implications for mass media and society at large.
This course will introduce students to graphic design principles and production technologies as they relate to strategic communication design. The course provides students with essential knowledge and skills for success in discriminating good design from bad, and the ability to articulate the difference. Students will also explore the most common tasks required to create and optimize media for digital and print distribution.
The Capstone in Strategic Communication simulates a senior communication management context, where you will apply what you have learned throughout your graduate studies. This research-intensive course provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate specific skills and knowledge, as well as sound judgment, on route to developing an organization’s strategic communication plan.
Throughout this course students will become familiar with a range of social media tools, analyze and discuss their uses and implications for strategic communication, and develop participation literacy. Students will have the opportunity to explore both the theory and practice of social media through writing assignments, reaction papers, and a final applied research paper. This course covers topics such as social media strategy and tactics for businesses, the history of social media, privacy issues and concerns, and how to use social media in moments of organizational crisis.
All organizations experience crises. This course explores theories and research related to organizational communication before, during, and after a crisis. Students examine and apply the fundamentals of crisis communication and crisis management. The course will use theoretical and applied research as well as recent real-life organizational crises to see the need for audience-centered, research-based crisis communication in order to successfully navigate today’s crisis communication landscape. The goal is to prepare students to better strategize, plan, execute, and evaluate ethical and effective crisis communication across a variety of organizational and audience contexts – including students’ current or aspirational industries.
This course focuses on the techniques by which public relations practitioners influence selected publics through mass and social media. It covers theory, best practices, and especially application of principles so that students will complete the course with the ability to create a sound media relations function for their organization that is ethical, effective, and that serves to advance their organization’s goals and objectives.
This course will examine branding from an audience-centric approach to understand the interplay of audiences, the marketplace, and strategic communication in the branding of new and existing products and services. A combination of discussion, activities, case studies, and readings will provide students with theoretical and applied frameworks to understand, measure, create, and manage brands over time in a highly competitive marketplace. Specific emphasis will be placed on the role of strategic communication to communicate a clear positioning statement, value proposition, and brand personality to target audiences that contributes to strong consumer-brand relationships and brand equity.
This course is an introduction to strategic communication in the global and cross-cultural context. Students are exposed to a wide range of topics, including: the role of culture in strategic communication, intercultural communication theories, ethics and regulatory issues, history of globalization, new media technologies, cases in international strategic communication, and strategies to communicate with diverse audiences.
This course addresses the theory and practice of health and risk communication. This field considers effective ways to encourage healthy behaviors and is informed by sociological and psychological variables. Specifically, we’ll examine public health campaigns across multiple contexts—crises (like a pandemic) and general well-being (exercise, nutrition, safety, mental health, cancer prevention, etc.). Risk communication is a sub-study pondering, “Why do people differently evaluate personal risk?” Risk assessments don’t always correlate with personal behavior, making health communication a challenge. This course is for anyone interested in communicating about health to diverse stakeholders, including those managing lifestyle products.
Students in this course will examine leadership communication in the context of organizational change. Leadership is analyzed using the concept of citizenship with a focus on communication skills needed to help construct effective experiences for an organization, team, or community, whether in the role of doer, follower, guide, manager, or leader. Students will also evaluate organizational theory and practice that links to how early to mid-20th-century management theories have shaped current 21st-century organizations throughout change.
“About a month prior to starting this program, I was tasked with creating a strategic communication plan for my organization to guide the next two years of our communication efforts. The foundations class could not have come at a better time for me because instead of just reading and learning about topics…I was able to immediately apply them to my role. The Butler program has clearly informed my work [on the communication plan] and set me up for success in future iterations.”
Ben Bland, MS in Strategic Communication, 2024
Communications and Advancement Manager at The Colossian Forum
MEET BUTLER’S MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION FACULTY
From public relations and advertising to research methods and strategic communication, our faculty bring invaluable knowledge and experience to the classroom. Learn about our faculty experience across a range of healthcare, technology, non-profit, government, politics, legal, and environmental industries.
Dr. Rong Ma
Dr. Abbey Levenshus
Dr. Mark Rademacher
Dr. Eileen Taylor
Dr. Kevin Wang
“The degree requires a lot of sustained, hard work over multiple years. But that’s what employers value seeing: a rigorous program from a respected university like Butler.”
Joey Wohlhieter, MS in Strategic Communication, 2022
Recruitment Social/Digital Communications Specialist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
ONLINE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION MASTER’S TUITION COSTS
Per Credit: 30 Credits – Master’s Degree
*Tuition is subject to change each academic year.
CAREER OUTLOOK WITH A MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
Media and communication jobs are projected to grow 6% by 2031. Now is a great time to upskill and set yourself apart in the communications job market.*
Urban hubs like New York City, along with metropolitan areas in Texas and California, tend to employ the highest number of communication professionals.* However, remote positions are more popular than ever, providing ample opportunities to advance your career from anywhere.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021
COMMUNICATION JOBS FOR MASTER’S GRADUATES
Earning a master’s in strategic communication may position you for opportunities in the following career paths:
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021. All figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
WHY CHOOSE BUTLER UNIVERSITY FOR YOUR ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION?
When you choose Butler University, you choose an experiential, student-centered education. We continually implement new lessons, community partnerships, and tools to help students become strategic leaders. That’s why U.S. News & World Report has ranked Butler University as the No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest for eight consecutive years (2022).
Our online MS in Strategic Communication program embodies the Butler philosophy that experiencing is foundational to learning. You’ll learn communication theories and apply them to real-world projects with your classmates.
Our flexible online learning format also helps you cultivate strong relationships through live, online courses while giving you the flexibility to advance your career and put course concepts into practice. You will graduate with the knowledge to draw meaningful insights, the expertise to communicate effectively, and the confidence to pursue your career goals.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
All online master’s in strategic communication candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or the international equivalent prior to enrolling at the graduate level. Additionally, applicants should have a strong desire to grow in the communications field.
GRE/GMAT scores are not required for admission to the online master’s in strategic communication program. Review all master’s in strategic comunication program requirements before submitting your application.
We know students pursuing an MS in Strategic Communication need the ability to advance without sacrificing the hands-on learning that in-person programs provide or putting their careers on hold. That’s why we’ve designed a flexible, experiential online communication master’s degree program that offers interactive opportunities such as live debates, presentations, and breakout group discussions. We combine innovative technology and a carefully considered curriculum to help students build confidence and connection. Real-time application of learned skills ensures online master’s students graduate prepared to pursue communications jobs of all kinds and be the world-changing professionals they set out to be.
Learning Platform: Canvas
Our learning management system (LMS), Canvas, serves as students’ centralized hub for all course content and activities—think of Canvas as your college campus. Our students use this system to manage everything from asynchronous course content, course syllabi, assignments, and communication with instructors and peers.
Class Structure and Feel:
Includes live debates, presentations, and breakout group discussions with peers, emphasizing group work, collaboration, and a feeling of intimacy within our online classrooms. Students complete coursework, assignments, and readings prior to class and are ready to use learned information in lively classroom discussions. This “flip model” approach to learning allows students to get more out of the live classroom experience.
Butler offers multiple financial assistance options to help fund your education. The Office of Financial Aid awards Federal Direct Loans to degree-seeking graduate students enrolled at least half-time (three credit hours). You may also consider private loans after exhausting federal aid options. Take time to review our tuition and fees and create your financial plan. The Office of Student Accounts can provide additional information about billing and payment plans.
The online strategic communication master’s program curriculum consists of a total of 30 credit hours completed over 10 courses. You will complete 15 credits of required classes and an additional 15 through electives.
On average, students in the online master’s in communications program dedicate 15-20 hours per week to their coursework.
Butler’s online programs offer the same high-quality, rigorous curriculum taught by the same distinguished faculty as our on-campus programs. You’ll learn from industry experts and engage with your peers in small classes through a flexible online format designed to work alongside your busy schedule. Many online students also work full-time jobs so we infuse opportunities for you to apply your career expertise in the classroom and apply classroom insights to real-world situations.
Butler University offers three starts per year for this program—spring (January), summer (May), and fall (August).
Yes. Communication jobs are projected to grow 6% by 2031 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Earning your master’s degree in strategic communication can increase your earning potential and better position you to take on leadership roles at non-profits, corporations, and agencies. Through the master’s program, you will develop the strategic, research, and storytelling skills needed to stand out in a competitive field and lead communication initiatives across industries.
You will have many career opportunities within the field of public relations, marketing, advertising, and media relations as a strategic communication master’s degree holder. Common jobs include creative director, digital strategist, fundraiser, editor, marketing manager, and public relations specialist, among others.
Bachelor’s degree required.