The M.S. curriculum has a broad reach. Strategic communication has important ties to business, psychology, politics, and cultural studies, among other fields, so students increasingly need knowledge that spans disciplines. At the same time, the M.S., a professional degree, is designed to enhance students’ understanding of specialized industries where they work.
To achieve this reach and depth, the M.S. curriculum requires 36 credit hours of work in a three-tier design: core courses, electives (both communication and non-communication courses), and a capstone thesis or project.
Taking undergraduate courses as electives while a master’s student
M.S. students are permitted to take a maximum of SIX undergraduate credits (generally, two 3000-level courses) when they make a case that there are no graduate courses available to meet their needs. First, advance permission of the undergraduate course instructor must be obtained and a plan must be devised for “additional” study opportunities within the course to approximate graduate-level rigor. Second, permission must be obtained from the M.S. Director. Undergraduate courses may NOT serve as substitutes for M.S. Core courses.
Beginning Fall ’13, students taking required core courses and the Capstone course in the M.S. program must earn a grade of B- or higher in order for them to count toward graduation.
Tier 1: Core courses
There are four core M.S. courses:
1. STRC 8101 Communication Management Research Methods (3 s.h.)
Types and methods of research applied in communication settings, including market research, surveys, interviews, content analysis, focus groups, audience analysis and campaign testing.
2. STRC 8102 Legal Issues in Communication Management (3 s.h.)
Grounding in legal issues that bear on communication: governmental regulation of speech; deceptive advertising; product liability class action; defamation and commercial speech; publicity and privacy; trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and copyrights; obscenity and indecency; journalistic privilege, free press, fair trial and access to information.
3. STRC 8103 Organizational Communication (3 s.h.)
Classical and contemporary theories of management and communication and their implications for communication management. This course addresses topics such as organizational culture and identification, organizational change, and power/control in organizations.
4. STRC 8105 Social Responsibility in Corporations and Not-for-Profit Organizations (3 s.h.)
Students will critically examine ethical issues associated with social responsibility of corporations and not-for-profit organizations with local, regional and global stakeholders — and the environment.
The M.S. allows students to take 21 s.h. of coursework focused on individual interests and career plans. Working closely with their MS advisor, students may choose their electives from within the M.S. program, from another degree program within the School of Media and Communication, or from programs across the university.
Since policy, business, and culture shape and are shaped by communications, we encourage students to add to their MS coursework other areas of expertise that are relevant to their career plans. Several of these areas are located in the School of Media and Communication (SMC) – for example, mass media management or visual communication. Other areas of possible interest – such as health care communication, social policy, or political science – can be addressed with graduate courses outside of SMC.
To help M.S. students better comprehend the integration of communication with other fields, they may take up to 12 s.h. of courses in Temple colleges outside of the School of Media and Communication. For example, many M.S. students select electives from MBA courses offered by Temple’s Fox School of Business and Management. Others may take courses in The Department of Public Health, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, or various departments in the College of Liberal Arts, such as Political Science or Psychology.
While there are no required concentrations or “typical” career trajectories, some MS students are planning for work in these very broad arenas and select electives to meet their individual needs and desires:
- Strategic and Corporate Communication Management (primarily public relations, integrated marketing communications, advertising, and marketing).
- International Communication Management (cross-cultural approaches to relationship building with audiences, both within the U.S. and abroad).
- Communication Management and Social Policy (including nonprofits, activist groups, and government).
Recommendations for electives relevant to student interests are available through the M.S. faculty. Click here to see the M.S. electives.
9101 Capstone Thesis or Project in Communication Management
(3 s.h. ; included in the 36 s.h. of coursework)
In-depth, original analysis of a professional issue in communication management. Required of all MS students in their final semester.
This course, which completes the degree, requires students to analyze in depth a professional issue, either at their current place of employment or derived from public sources such as the media. This 50-page project allows students to reflect on and sum up relevant concepts, practices, and readings from their entire course of study.