Communication master’s now offered at higher ed centers
Daniel Mullins set a goal to pursue a career in communications.
To get there, he first had to seek education beyond his four-year bachelor’s degree, but he wasn’t sure which route to take. That is until he noticed a social media advertisement for Radford University’s Master of Science in Strategic Communication.
Mullins lives in Clintwood, near Virginia’s border with Kentucky, and works a full-time job during the day, so attending the classes on Radford’s campus did not fit into his busy schedule. But Radford University offering the program at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia, perfectly met his needs.
“Taking courses in Abingdon is a perfectly fine arrangement for someone in my area,” Mullins explained, “and I live roughly an hour and 15 minutes away.”
Radford University’s Master of Science in Strategic Communication degree allows students like Mullins to prepare for careers across various areas of expertise and industries, such as government, gaming industries, financial institutions, public relations firms, higher education, health education and much more.
It offers courses in numerous disciplines, including public relations; organizational communication; political communication; training and development; communication change and innovation; and interactive media and analytics.
The strategic communication curriculum has a broad approach to allow students to learn multiple communication tactics. Students can take specialized classes to develop their skills in their interested areas.
“We value student-centered learning, and students in the program receive a lot of attention from our faculty,” said School of Communication Graduate Coordinator Shuo Yao, Ph.D. “A carefully designed curriculum helps our students build a strong foundation in communication with practical applications in an organizational context.”
Mullins’s mother is a Radford University alumna, and “she always said Radford was an excellent university,” he said. Her words, combined with the ad Mullins saw, “helped solidify my decision.”
In addition to Abingdon, Radford offers the M.S. in Strategic Communication at Virginia higher education centers in Martinsville and South Boston. It is the same program offered on the university’s main campus, but with the convenience of location to students in those areas who cannot travel to Radford.
Courses are taught through blended learning, with some in asynchronous online format and some in flexible hybrid format with interactive videos. Students meet only one night per week at designated cohort locations during spring and fall semesters, providing a balance of work life and academic life.
This program consists of 36 hours of coursework. Classes are completed in a specific sequence with cohort colleagues, allowing students to build valuable relationships, connections and community as they pursue graduate education.
The program lasts six semesters, including summer sessions, and involves two courses each semester. The program only accepts fall enrollment.
To join the fall 2023 cohort, interested students must complete an application before May 31, 2023.
Mullins began the program in August 2022 and is still deciding, while he learns, which career path he might pursue. At the moment, in the early stages of his latest academic pursuit, he is leaning toward marketing or human resources.
“The concepts which are used to craft meaningful messages that impact and influence people’s perceptions and influence their behaviors is wildly fascinating to me,” he explained. “It’s the reason I would like to work in marketing or human resources because I feel like this program is equipping me with the tools necessary to excel in these fields and be an asset to companies. I feel this degree will give me the flexibility to choose what I want to do.”
Mullins is part of the program’s 2021-23 cohort, and Radford University is already recruiting for the next cohort of students to begin the program and take the first step toward an M.S. in Strategic Communication at the Abingdon, Martinsville and South Boston higher education center locations.
To learn more about the fall 2023-2025 cohorts at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, New College Institute in Martinsville or the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, contact Radford University Site Coordinator Amanda L. Baldwin-Estep, M.A. at 276-619-4314 or email@example.com.
For information regarding the M.S. in Strategic Communication program, contact School of Communication Graduate Coordinator Shuo Yao, Ph.D., at 540-831-6643.
In addition, in-person and virtual information sessions are scheduled through spring 2023. Registration for those sessions can be completed online.