Classes and Curriculum

In addition to three specialization areas—organizational leadership, rhetoric and public advocacy, and public relations—and a general sequence, the Strategic Communication program in Temple’s School of Media and Communication (SMC) prepares you for a variety of postgraduate options. You can also earn a minor in organizational leadership and gain expertise in conflict management, motivation, persuasion and self-awareness. Additionally, you can design your own major by tailoring your course work to suit your interests and professional goals.

Sample Courses

Public Speaking

Evaluate, prepare and present speeches to inform and persuade your classmates on significant topics of public concern. You’ll also learn principles of public speaking and critical thinking: those concerned with the discovery and evaluation of arguments and evidence, organization, style, audience analysis and adaptation, speech composition, and presentation skills.

Communicating Leadership

Study leadership studies from a communication perspective. You’ll learn about leadership in a variety of contexts, including elected and non-elected public leadership, for- and nonprofit organizational leadership, and group leadership. Through case studies, discussion, readings and more, you’ll finish the course with a broad understanding of how leadership emerges and flourishes through communication.

Introduction to Communication Theory

Get an introduction to the field of communication through an examination of historical and contemporary communication theories. You’ll learn to analyze communication theories in a variety of areas, including interpersonal, mass, organizational, public and small-group communication, and integrate those theories into your daily communication practices.

Rhetoric and Identity

Examine a variety of contemporary issues related to the construction of personal and collective identity, including class, gender, race and sexuality. The course is based on the principle that our identities are created, challenged and maintained through communication and rhetoric.


Organizational Leadership Concentration

Gain the skills and training necessary for organizational and small-group communication. You’ll learn principles and theories that can be applied to various work environments, including corporate product placement, fundraising initiatives, human resource management, marketing teams, multinational sales and startup strategic planning. You’ll also explore the theories and skills needed for creating and maintaining effective leader-follower relationships.

Rhetoric and Public Advocacy Concentration

Learn how to advocate for personal and political beliefs; create persuasive messages for specific audiences; critically analyze public discourse; develop a sense of engaged, democratic citizenship; and think strategically about social change. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared for a career in campaign management, community organizing, government, grassroots activism, law, politics, nonprofit lobbying, social media management, social movements or speech writing.

Public Relations Concentration

Learn theories of communication related to the practice of public relations and the skills of critical thinking, speaking and writing—the basic foundations for becoming a PR professional. You’ll also study various other responsibilities of public relations professionals, such as why and how to develop and execute strategic communication campaigns, design and present messages to inform and persuade target audiences, and properly communicate messages.

General Sequence

Design your own own major from courses offered in the organizational leadership, rhetoric and public advocacy, and public relations concentrations. Focused on the planning and implementation of strategic and ethical communication, this concentration will give you the opportunity to personalize your program and prepare for a career as a professional in a corporate, government or nonprofit position.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, you must successfully complete a minimum of 124 semester hours of credit with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, overall and in your major.

University requirements

All students are required to complete the General Education (GenEd) curriculum and take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses in their major.

SMC requirements

  • A minimum of 36 credits and a maximum of 54 credits in Strategic Communication courses may be taken, including the department’s required core courses (12 hours) and a concentration (24 hours).
  • A grade of C or higher must be attained in all required Strategic Communication courses.
  • No more than 12 semester hours of transfer credits may be applied to Strategic Communication requirements.
  • No more than 8 credits may be taken in Kinesiology and Dance activities courses.