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MCIS students complete 36 credits to earn their degree. The program is self-paced (3-12 credits per semester). There are five specializations available to the student. Once you are admitted to the MCIS program, you can stay within a specialization or combine specializations to focus on multiple areas of interest.

All core and elective courses in the three specialized tracks are taught online and/or on-campus in the evening (between 6:20-9 p.m.) on weeknights. Some electives are cross-listed with the doctoral program courses in the school as well as our Master in Information program.

MCIS Degree Specializations

Communication and Media Studies

In this general specialization students will take a self-designed course of study drawing across any of the MCIS specializations as well as courses in other areas of the School. Courses in organizational communication, mediated communication, health communication, social interaction, knowledge management, and media studies are offered throughout the year. Many of these courses are cross-listed with the doctoral program or the Masters in Information program in the School.

Strategic Organizational Communication

In the Strategic Organizational Communication specialization students are able to emphasize theory-informed, research-based study of organizational process, structure, and interaction as well as use of new communication technologies in organizational and societal contexts. Courses examine organizations in a variety of contexts including businesses, nonprofits, civil society, and government. This specialization may be especially appealing for those whose have goals for careers in organizational leadership, corporate communication, advocacy, administration and/or management, training and development, consulting, change management, stakeholder relationship management, and social media management.

Electives in this specialization include courses dealing with organizational leadership, organizational decision-making, inter-organizational relationships, organizational change, organizational training & development, persuasion & advocacy, networks, collaboration & conflict, global organizations, virtual organizing, work & technology, knowledge management, information policy, competitive intelligence and social media.

Digital Media (Available Fully Online)

This specialization is intended for journalists and other media or communication specialists who wish to retool and gain understanding of 21st century media. This includes study of grassroots reporting and advocacy. The track will ensure students are conversant in digital video capture, editing, and production as well as social media management. This track is completely online (although face-to-face or online electives in other tracks are available to these students as well).

Electives in this specialization include new media law and policy, critiquing marketing communications, digital journalism, digital advocacy and persuasion, globalization, media and social change, and digital media production, and interface design among others being developed.

Health Communication

This specialization is intended for students who wish to specialize in various contexts related to community wellness and health interaction such as public health communication; facilitated provider-patient communication; health campaigns and advocacy; and community health and wellness.

Electives in this specialization include persuasion & advocacy, e-public health, community-based organizing, interpersonal health, health campaigns, mediated health communication, health informatics, social informatics, and records management. Students who have interests in health organizations may wish to combine study in this track with study in the Strategic Organizational Communication track.

Communication and Media Research

This specialization is intended for students who wish to take a more research oriented course of study. It is also designed for those students who may wish to pursue a Ph.D. program after completing the MCIS degree. These students have somewhat different requirements (9 credit core; 3 credits of research practicum; 3 credits of teaching internship; 21 credits of electives and also a Colloquium requirement – (0 credits). In addition to coursework, these students will be involved in empirical research with a faculty member; assist in teaching a course; and focus their study and capstone project with a research orientation.