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MCM Specializations

The MCM offers eight specializations so students can align their studies to their professional goals.

Communication and Media Studies

Communication and Media Studies is a general specialization in which students create a self-designed course of study that draws across any Master of Communication and Media (MCM) specialization as well as courses in other areas of the School of Communication and Information (SC&I).  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 school’s Ph.D. program or Master of Information program. 

Strategic Organizational Communication

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)

  • 510: Communication and Society
  • 511: Organizational Communication

The Strategic Organizational Communication specialization emphasizes 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 who 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 (18 Credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 512 Mediated Communication
  • 517 Media Studies
  • 525 Internships
  • 540 Organizational Leadership
  • 541 Organizational Decision Making
  • 5XX Organizational Change

 Other potential electives

  • 516 Advanced Communication Studies
  • 518 Persuasion and Advocacy
  • 525 Internships
  • 532 Dynamics of Global Organizations
  • 534 Organizational Communication Networks
  • 542 Interorganizational Relationships and Stakeholder Communication
  • 544 Organizational Cultures and Diversity
  • 549 Organizational Assessment
  • 593 Globalization, Media and Social Change

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester):

  • 5XX Effective Presentations
  • 5XX Crisis Communication
  • 5XX Multiculturalism and Leadership: Communication Perspectives
  • 5XX Small Group Communication
  • 5XX Non-Profit Organizations
  • 5XX Redefining the Role of Business in Society

Digital Media (Available Fully Online) 

The Digital Media 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 specialization will ensure students are conversant in digital video capture, editing, and production as well as social media management. This specialization is completely online, although face-to-face or online electives in other specializations are available to these students.

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)

  • 509: Digital Media Innovation
  • 517:  Media Studies: Theory and Practice

Electives (18 Credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 507 Digital Media Production
  • 512 Mediated Communication
  • 525 Internships
  • 540 Organizational Leadership
  • 546 Social Media
  • 549 Organizational Assessment
  • 551 Children and Media
  • 590 Digital Journalism
  • 591 Critiquing Marketing Communication
  • 592 Digital Advocacy and Persuasion
  • 593 Globalization, Media and Social Change
  • 597 Newer Media Law and Policy

 Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

 Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester):

  • 5XX Effective Presentations
  • 5XX Crisis Communication
  • 5XX Small Group Communication
  • 5XX Transmedia Storytelling
  • 5XX Creative Engagement

Health Communication

The Health Communication 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.

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)

  • 560 Health Communication
  • 561 Patient-Provider Communication

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 518 Persuasion and Advocacy
  • 525 Internships
  • 563 Applied Interactive Research in Health and Wellness
  • 566 Social Marketing and Public Health
  • 575 Communication and Normative Influence

Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester):

  • 5XX Effective Presentations
  • 5XX Crisis Communication
  • 5XX Small Group Communication
  • 5XX Non-Profit Organizations
  • 5XX Mental Health
  • 5XX Communities and Health
  • 5XX Communicating Emotion
  • 5XX Health Risk Communication
  • 5XX Leadership and Healthcare Teams
  • 5XX Health Literacy
  • 5XX Interpersonal Health Communication

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

Communication and Media Research

The Communication and Media Research 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 MCM degree. These students have somewhat different requirements (9 credits of core; 3 credits of research practicum; 3 credits of teaching internship; 21 credits of electives and also a zero-credit Colloquium requirement). 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. 

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits):

  • One of these three courses:

              510: Communication and Society

              509: Digital Media Innovation

              560: Health Communication

  • 523-524: Research Internship (3 credits)
  • Colloquium (0 Credit) – one per semester

 Electives (18 credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 508 ePortfolio
  • 525 Internships
  • 535 Research Practicum
  • 543 Organizational Communication Research

 Communication and Media Research students can take any MCM course related to their research interests.

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester)

Leadership Communication 

The Leadership Communication specialization emphasizes theory-informed, research-based study of the communication demands on leaders in this fast-paced, complex organizational environment. We explore the competencies needed to be an effective communicator in all three main modalities:  one to one, one to many and various ‘e’ forms of communication. This specialization may be especially appealing for those who have goals for careers in organizational leadership, want to improve their personal leadership communication skills or add to their professional leadership/management credentials.

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)

  • 540 Organizational Leadership
  • 510 Communication and Society

Electives (18 Credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 512 Mediated Communication
  • 518 Persuasion and Advocacy
  • 525 Internships
  • 532 Dynamics of Global Organizations
  • 534 Organizational Communication Networks
  • 541 Organizational Decision Making
  • 542 Interorganizational Relationships and Stakeholder Communication
  • 544 Organizational Cultures and Diversity
  • 549 Organizational Assessment
  • 593 Globalization, Media and Social Change

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

 Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester):

  • 5XX Organizational Change
  • 5XX Effective Presentations
  • 5XX Crisis Communication
  • 5XX Multiculturalism and Leadership: Communication Perspectives
  • 5XX Small Group Communication
  • 5XX Non-Profit Organizations
  • 5XX Redefining the Role of Business in Society
  • 5XX Leadership Communication
  • 5XX Leading at the Speed of Now

Public Relations

This Public Relations specialization is designed for those public relations professionals to enhance their professional credentials or those who wish to enter this fast-growing and dynamic profession. We explore the competencies needed to be an effective public relations practitioner in this dynamic, complex and social-driven environment. We offer you both the emerging theories of the practice of public relations as well as the skills you need to have to compete successfully in this profession. Many of our courses are taught by highly experienced senior public relations practitioners.

Specialization Core Requirements (9 credits)

  • 5XX Public Relations Management
  • 5XX Public Relations Strategy
  • 5XX Public Relations Effectiveness:  The Use of Analytics           

Electives (15 Credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 518 Persuasion and Advocacy
  • 525 Internships
  • 542 Interorganizational Relationships and Stakeholder Communication
  • 546 Social Media
  • 5XX International PR
  • 5XX PR History and the Modern World

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester):

  • XXX Effective Presentations
  • XXX Crisis Communication
  • XXX Small Group Communication
  • XXX Non-Profit Organizations
  • XXX Redefining the Role of Business in Society

Corporate Purpose and Social Impact

Our new Corporate and Social Impact specialization looks at the concepts of sustainability, organizational purpose and corporate social responsibility (CSR) that are becoming more and more crucial to understanding the role of business in society. This specialization aims at defining CSR and how organizations create social impact.  The program will look at new managerial solutions and new performance evaluation and reporting methodologies capable of integrating and improving traditional economic measures. It is designed to build a new vision of social impact based on a stakeholder framework. Whether Corporate Social Responsibility is understood as organizations taking responsibility or society holding organizations accountable, the underlying issues are about the environmental, social, and governance opportunities and risks that have emerged in today’s globalized, networked world.

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)

  • 510 Communication and Society
  • 5XX Redefining the Role of Business in Society

Electives (18 credits)

These courses are recommended for this specialization.

  • 516 Advanced Communication Studies
  • 518 Persuasion and Advocacy
  • 525 Internships
  • 5XX Non-Profit Organizations
  • 542 Interorganizational Relationships and Stakeholder Communication
  • 544 Organizational Cultures and Diversity
  • 546 Social Media
  • 591 Critiquing Marketing Communication
  • 592 Digital Advocacy and Persuasion
  • 593 Globalization, Media and Social Change

Cross-listed Ph.D./MCM Courses (as offered by semester)

 Special Topics Courses (as offered by semester)