2023-24 Graduate Catalog 
    Sep 29, 2023  
2023-24 Graduate Catalog

Strategic Communication, M.A.S.C. (2450)

The Department of Communications offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication (MASC). The MASC is a professionally oriented, executive-style degree program that will prepare students to plan, create, and manage communication to achieve organizational goals.

The MASC is unique because of the integrated curriculum. Strategic communication is a very broad area that pulls together communications disciplines that are typically separated in many academic programs. The integrated curriculum reflects a strong demand in the workplace for professionals who understand how to plan and manage many types of communication initiatives.

The MASC combines the flexibility of engaging online coursework with a small amount of required attendance on campus (approximately three weekends total) and optional virtual discussion meetings in some courses. This approach allows working professionals the flexibility needed to accommodate busy work schedules and provides an opportunity to develop relationships with faculty mentors and peers.

The Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE), which is composed of educators and public relations professionals, has studied and made recommendations about U.S.-based public relations education since 1980. The Commission’s recommendations have been widely adopted by academic programs and endorsed by professional organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America. The CPRE released the Standards for a Master’s Degree in Public Relations: Educating for Complexity report in 2012. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) also lists 13 professional values and core competencies that must be addressed in journalism and mass communication graduate programs.

Based on extensive industry research conducted by the CPRE and ACEJMC professional values and core competencies, graduates of the M.A. in Strategic Communication at UT Martin should demonstrate proficiency in the following five student learning outcomes.

  • Strategic Planning and Message Creation-Produce advanced written, visual, and/or oral communications that effectively achieve strategic communication objectives.
  • Communication Management and Leadership-Apply basic management and leadership principles and processes in the workplace.
  • Theory, Research, and Evaluation-Use communication theory and research methods in addressing critical issues related to the students’ career fields.
  • Global Influences-Analyze the impact of global influences on professional interactions and communications.
  • Professional  Ethics-Apply professional ethics in the workplace.

The MASC is open to and appropriate for students from a variety of academic backgrounds. This degree program is appropriate for anyone with a bachelor’s degree in - but not limited to - public relations, communications, mass communication, communication studies, organizational communication, business communication, marketing, advertising, business administration, agriculture business, agriculture communication, and political science.

Requirements (33 Hours Required)

MASC students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours with no final course letter grade lower than a B.

Strategic Communication Foundation (9 hours)

All students are required to complete the following courses:

Strategic Communication Research and Management (3 hours)

All students are required to complete the following course:

Strategic Communication Leadership (3 hours)

All students are required to complete the following course:

Communication Strategies and Tactics Electives (12 Hours)

Students will work with an academic advisor within the Department of Communications to select an additional 12 hours of strategic communication elective courses. Students can count no more than six hours at the 500 and 600 level toward degree requirements. Students also cannot earn graduate credit for courses previously completed at the undergraduate level. 

Portfolio or Capstone Research Electives (6 hours)

Students choosing to complete the portfolio option must take two additional strategic communication elective courses for a total of six credit hours, excluding MMSC 790 , and submit the required portfolio as part of the course requirements in MMSC 703  


Students choosing to complete the capstone research project option must take the following two courses for a total of six credit hours:

  • MMSC 706  (May be repeated for up to 3 hours.)
  • MMSC 790  (May be repeated for up to 3 hours.)

Students choosing the capstone project option must also submit an approved capstone project proposal as part of the course requirements for MMSC 703