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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

Strategic Communication

Graduate Programs

MS Strategic Communication

Strategic communication student with clipboard

As media technologies advance and audiences become increasingly media savvy, the traditional lines between public relations, advertising, and marketing are getting more blurred. Strategic communication encompasses skills and activities that are traditionally associated with the field of public relations, but are also relevant in the areas of advertising and marketing communications.

At DU, you will benefit from our faculty's diverse expertise in nonprofit, international, intercultural, health, corporate, crisis and political communication. The Master of Science in Strategic Communication is a 48-hour, two-year degree program that synthesizes a strong theoretical background in media and strategic communication with the applied research, writing, and messaging skills needed for a successful career in a variety of communication contexts. The program emphasizes nonprofit and international public relations, but is designed to prepare you for a variety of careers in both nonprofit and corporate settings. In lieu of a thesis project, students in this program are required to complete an internship in strategic communication as well as a Capstone Seminar.

The DU difference

Why get a degree in strategic communication?

Our program prepares you to be a communication leader and use a wide range of strategies and tactics to advance the goals of various organizations and advocate for positive impacts in the world. Recent alumni of the program are working in such areas as media and community relations, health communication, government relations, social media, brand consulting, and education marketing.

In today's dynamic media environment, every organization – from the smallest nonprofit to the largest corporation – depends on smart, purposeful communication in order to survive. Strategic communication professionals help organizations to connect and interact with a variety of essential publics, including customers, employees, volunteers, supporters, journalists and so on.

The graduate program in Strategic Communication trains students to become active and dynamic communication leaders who can provide a strategic vision to an organization's communication efforts as well as implement innovative, ethical, and culturally-sensitive communication techniques.

Where are our alumni today?

Here are a few organizations where our most recent alumni are making their professional mark:

  • Government: Denver Health, Denver Public Works
  • Nonprofits: Project Cure, Colorado Anti-Violence Project, Smart-Girl, Inc.
  • Corporate: Whole Foods - Austin headquarters, Angies' List
  • Agencies: Purebrand, Barefoot PR
  • Education: University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, Regis University
What's unique about DU's program?
  • Engaged and knowledgeable faculty with diverse professional experiences in US and international settings
  • Hands-on, student-centered learning with multiple opportunities to work with real clients as part of regular course work
  • A strong emphasis on theory, research, and strategic thinking as the foundations for all strategic communication
  • A passion for giving back to the community, which shines through our emphases on nonprofit and health communication
  • A commitment to ethical and culturally sensitive communication, which prepares students for the challenges of international and intercultural communication in a global media environment
  • An outstanding internship program which places students in a variety of internships related to their individual interests
  • An established network of contacts with organizations, agencies, and experts which are frequent guests in classes
  • An intimate program with small classes where everyone gets to know your name and works together to create a challenging but supportive learning environment
Why study in Denver?
  • A major media market with a variety of traditional and new media outlets
  • A rich variety of nonprofit and corporate organizations where students can intern and seek employment
  • A young and health-conscious city with plenty of options for outdoor recreation
  • A rich local scene for culture and entertainment

Admission, financial aid & program requirements

Visit campus or talk to a faculty member

Want more information on the Strategic Communication MS program? We'd love to answer any of your questions. And, if you'd like to visit DU for a tour and meeting with faculty and current students, we can arrange that, too. If you can't make it to campus, we can arrange for a phone consultation as well. Contact:

Kate Burns

Current Media, Film & Journalism Studies Handbook