Strategic Communication (MS)

Donna Davis
Associate Professor, Director, Strategic Communication Master’s Program & Oregon Reality (OR) Lab
Phone: 503-412-3658
Office: SOJC Portland

In our flexible Portland-based master’s program in Strategic Communication, students master a broad skill set encompassing creativity, critical thinking, strategic analysis, ethics, and practical application. The program is designed for working professionals who know that in a complex and rapidly changing world, communicating strategically is more important than ever. Classes meet evenings and weekends.

The program consists of a core of required four-credit communication courses complemented by two-credit, shorter-term classes, culminating with a capstone project. Coursework is consistent with the Public Relations Society of America’s guidelines for accreditation. 

Students may choose between two program timelines to complete the 48-credit program: the standard two-year, six-term pathway or the accelerated five-term pathway. Students may also choose to complete the program on a part-time basis and extend the total time to degree.  

Admission Process

Please visit the program's website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the political, economic, and cultural significance of the media and understand the responsibility inherent in creating and distributing effective messaging.
  • Understand theoretical concepts and apply them to understanding how professionals and institutions shape communications relevant to their profession/field.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical principles and apply them to work ethically in pursuit of truth, fairness, and diversity.
  • Analyze diversity in a global society as relevant to their profession/field with an expectation of engaging in equity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrate the leadership skills necessary to facilitate professional teams, design communication campaigns, and advise top-level management and clients in moving their goals forward through effective communication.
  • Critique information to determine accuracy, authenticity, and appropriateness for developing content and advancing research and communication agendas.
  • Critically evaluate self and peer work, suggesting performance improvements in materials in a variety of formats.
  • Understand the communication challenges faced by organizations doing business locally and globally.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the range of research methods (primary, secondary, quantitative, and qualitative) used by communication researchers.
  • Evaluate data and measure targeted outcomes associated with communication strategies.

Strategic Communication (MS) Requirements

Successful applicants for this program typically have significant professional experience as well as strong academic credentials. Candidates for this MS degree must earn at least 48 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. Courses that do not carry graduate credit do not count toward the graduate credit minimum and are not included in the GPA.

Note: Please review the SOJC graduate student handbook for updated program requirements, which do not yet appear in the catalog:

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Strategic Communication Core
J 621Foundations of Strategic Communication4
J 623Creativity in Strategic Communication4
J 624Strategic Communication: [Topic] (Project Management and Planning)2
Course chosen in consultation with advisor4
Business Core
J 616Introduction to Strategic Communication Marketing4
J 618Strategic Communication Management4
Course chosen in consultation with advisor2
Mass Communication Core
J 595Research Methods: [Topic] (Strategic Communication)4
J 609Terminal Project6
J 611Mass Communication and Society4
Professional Specialization Elective Core
J 624Strategic Communication: [Topic] 12
Elective chosen in consultation with advisor4
Total Credits44

See the School of Journalism and Communication website for more detailed and up-to-date information about application requirements, the curriculum, and final project options.