Lauren Saul is the Strategic Communication graduate staff liaison. If you would like to tour campus or have general admission questions, please call Lauren at (336) 841-9145 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in joining our group of outstanding graduate students, please contact Dr. Virginia McDermott at email@example.com or 336-841-9384.
Our MA program in strategic communication focuses on three areas: public relations, health communication, and political communication. The program provides students the skills to design, develop, implement, and evaluate communication campaigns. By communication campaigns, we mean a plan designed to address a problem—a health risk behavior, an image or credibility problem, or any communication issues that exist. Graduates from our program will have the skills to enter into a variety of careers, including careers as communication strategists for organizations, political groups, universities, and non-profits; campaign managers; political consultants; marketing researchers; public relations executives; and any other career that involves analyzing audiences and creating messages.
The Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication at High Point University provides students the foundation to create, implement, and evaluate communication campaigns, programs, and training seminars. In addition to coursework in Health Communication, Public Relations or Political Communication, students graduate with mastery level knowledge in three areas: the theories that explain why and how messages work; the technical and production skills to create campaign materials; and the research skills to evaluate the success of the campaign.
Projected Annual Enrollment: 15-20 students per year
Our students will have the skills to develop a campaign from start to finish:
Please see the admissions information page for current degree admission deadlines.
Exceptions to any admission requirement may be consider under special circumstances.
|Degree:||Master of Arts|
|Class Time:||6:00 pm – 9:00 pm|
|Admission Enrollment Classification:||Unrestricted|
|Transfer of Credit:||The M.A. program in Strategic Communication does not accept transfer of credit. All credit toward the degree must be earned at High Point University.|
Students in the Strategic Communication Master’s Degree program focus on one of three areas: Health Communication, Public Relations, or Political Communication. In addition to taking core courses in strategic communication, research methods, and communications technology, each student also takes two courses in their focus area. Students do have the option to have a blended concentration, requiring 6 credits from both concentrations.
Choose one course from the following:
Choose two courses from the following:
To satisfy their elective requirements, students may, with the approval of the appropriate program directors and the student’s program of study committee:
As you know, jobs in the communication field are sometimes hard to come by. What kind of jobs could I possibly get with this Master’s degree?
Our degree focuses on strategic communication, with an emphasis in one of three areas: Public relations, health communication, or political communication.
This is a really broad degree that will allow you to almost any job that requires the development of messages and the analysis of audiences. In other words, the job market for strategic communication is very deep. Depending on your focus, here are some of the possible job titles:
How would this degree make me stand out against someone with a only Bachelor’s degree but who has a ton of experience?
The difference between an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is the ability to explain why certain messages will work better and why audiences will respond a certain way. Our master’s degree will help you think much more critically about communication and message development. You will be able to develop messages addressed to specific audiences and understand why some the actions many people think are the best will not be very successful. If someone has a BA degree and 20 years of experience in the communication field, he or she has probably learned these lessons the hard way. However, for someone without 20 years experience, a MA degree in strategic communication provides the knowledge and skills needed to develop a communication campaign. Perhaps most importantly, in our program, you will develop two very marketable skills: research methods and evaluation and message design and development. In other words, you will know why certain messages will work, have the technology skills to actually develop the messages (i.e., videos, websites, print materials), and the evaluation skills to assess if the messages achieved the effect you intended.
How long does it take to complete the graduate program?
This will depend on how many classes you can take. For most students, the program can be completed in 21-months. Students who want an accelerated course can complete it in 15-months. If you’re working full time, we encourage you to take the 21-month route.
When is the deadline for turning in an application?
The deadline for priority decision for the fall semester is March 15. We will have a rolling admissions process, so applications will be accepted until July 15. After that deadline, no new applicants will be admitted.
I have no experience in strategic communication and my undergraduate degree will be in another major. I’m still very interested and would like to complete this program. Will that affect my chances of being admitted to the program?
We provide the preparatory courses you need, so you do not have to have a background in communication studies. Students without a background start in the fall and take research methods and an intro to strategic communication course. These courses prepare you for the other courses.
When I apply do I need to have everything (the references, personal statement, etc) at that time or can I turn it in as I get it?
It’s an online application, so things can be turned in as you get them. However, your application is not reviewed until it is complete.
Can I get some of the references now or does it have to be within a certain time frame?
You can absolutely get some references now. Your references should be from people who can address your academic ability.
How many nights a week do you have to go to school?
Our classes are one night a week, so how many nights would depend on how many classes you wanted to take. Most students take two or three classes.
Are all the classes on the main campus or are any of the courses offered off campus or online?
All classes are offered on main campus.
How many faculty participate in the graduate program?
We currently have 18 full-time faculty, so you will have a lot of mentoring during your program.
Is there housing available on campus?
No, there is no housing available on campus for graduate students. However, we do have a relationship with a local apartment complex–many of our students live there. See Dr. McDermott for more information. Also, the city of High Point offers several housing options and rent complexes (apartmentfinder.com; apartmentlist.com).
Is there a minimum GPA required?
The minimum expected GPA is a 3.0. However, if your GPA is slightly below that and you have other academic or professional credentials that you think make your application compelling, you can still apply. Your GPA will be considered as one component of your application — we will also review your test scores and academic indicators, professional experience, references, personal statement, and resume.
What if my GPA isn’t as high as needed, what can I do to strengthen my application?
Your GRE test scores can improve your chances for acceptance. Also, give extra attention to completing your essay and resume thoroughly.
Is the GRE mandatory or do you only have to take it if you have below a 3.0?
It is not mandatory. Because part of our program focuses on the production and technology skills for campaign development, the GRE is not necessarily predictive of a student’s success. If a student’s prior academic record is not as impressive as he/she would hope, he/she could take the GRE as additional evidence of academic preparation.
What score would you need to receive on the GRE?
A minimum of 1000 (combined) for the verbal and quantitative, and a minimum of a 4.5 on the analytical writing section. The High Point University GRE code is 5293.
I took the GRE a couple years ago. Will you accept my scores?
Acceptable GRE scores must have been taken with the past five (5) years.
Do I need to take three classes a semester?
No, you can arrange your timeline to suit your specific situation.
When is registration for graduate school for the fall session?
Registration for the fall semester starts in April. Graduate students, however, can enroll up until August.
What days are classes held and times?
Currently, all our courses will be held Monday-Thursday evening from 6-9 pm.
What is the application fee?
The application fee is a nonrefundable $50 fee.
How do I check my application status?
Call Lauren Saul to check on the status of your application at (336) 841-9145.
How much does it cost?
The cost of tuition for the 2015-2106 academic year is $1,009 per credit hour.
Are there any scholarships or assistantships offered by the Graduate School?
Many graduate students use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA loans to support their graduate education. Information about these loans is available in the office of Student Financial Planning. Contact the office directly at (336) 841-9124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m an international student; Do I have to take the TOEFL?
Yes, unless you have attended a university or college in the United States or have come from a predominantly English speaking country. However, the IELTS is acceptable to replace the TOEFL. A 6.5 is the guideline for the IELTS score. TOEFL score minimum for the internet based test is 80 and the paper based score is 550.