Open only to selected High Point University students

If you have any questions about the application process please email Brad Lambert, Director of the M.A program in Strategic Communication at blambert@highpoint.edu.

The BA to MA program in Strategic Communication is a selective and demanding option that allows High Point University students to complete an undergraduate degree in any major and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication within a five-year time frame. Students can complete an undergraduate major, apply for admission into the MA program in their junior year, begin taking graduate-level courses in their senior year, and complete their MA in their 5th year.

Our MA program in strategic communication 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.

Students interested in the BA to MA program should meet with Brad Lambert (blambert@highpoint.edu), Director of the M.A program in Strategic Communication , by the beginning of their junior year. Students apply directly to High Point University Graduate School and NQSC faculty review all applications. This program is open to all majors.


Current HPU students intending to apply for admission to the Bachelors to Masters program have the option to apply in the Fall or Spring for upcoming undergraduate semester. Students apply to the graduate portion of the program the semester prior to their completion of their undergraduate degree.

 Apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Completed Online application.  When starting your application, please indicate your entering term (the semester you are no longer an undergraduate student) as the semester after graduation. For most BA to MA students, this will be the summer term after you graduate.
  • Essay/personal statement about interest in the program and goals for the degree (1-2 pages)
  • Three recommendation letters from High Point University professor’s
  • An official transcript from all colleges attended other than High Point University. *Note: The Office of Graduate Admissions will request your High Point University transcript for you once application is submitted.
  • Professional resume
  • 3.0 GPA is required for consideration for admission.

Exceptions to any admission requirement may be considered under special circumstances

B.A. to M.A. (35 semester hours)

Students in the Strategic Communication Master of Arts Degree program take core courses in strategic communication, research methods, campaigns and communications technology, as well as electives of their choosing.

Click here for course descriptions

Senior Year Courses (9 Credits)

  • COM 4996/5000 – Contemporary Strategic Communication
  • COM 4997/5002 – Persuasion and Media Effects
  • COM 4998/5100 – Research Methods

Core Courses (5 Credits)

  • COM 5005 – Practicum in Strategic Communication
  • COM 5900 – Master’s Thesis Project

Methods (3 Credits)

Choose one course from the following:

  • COM 5120 – Quantitative Methods and Analysis
  • COM 5130 – Mixed Methods and Analysis
  • COM 5140 – Public Opinion and Polling

Campaigns (3 Credits)

Choose one course from the following:

  • COM 5330 – Health Communication Campaigns
  • COM 5430 – Public Relations Campaigns
  • COM 5500 – Contemporary Political Campaigns

Technology (6 Credits)

Choose two courses from the following:

  • COM 5200 – Message Design and Production
  • COM 5210 – Video and Audio Production
  • COM 5250 – Topics in Technology for Strategic Communication

Courses offered:

  • COM 5300 – Health Communication Research and Strategies
  • COM 5330 – Health Communication Campaigns
  • COM 5350 – Topics in Health Communication
  • COM 5400 – Public Relations Research and Strategies
  • COM 5410 – International and Intercultural Public Relations
  • COM 5420 – Crisis Communication
  • COM 5430 – Public Relations Campaigns
  • COM 5450 – Topics in Public Relations
  • COM 5510 – Politics and the Media
  • COM 5550 – Topics in Political Communication
  • COM 5600 – Independent Research
  • COM 5699 – Special Topics in Communication

Electives (6 credits)

To satisfy their elective requirements, students may, with the approval of the appropriate program directors and the student’s program of study committee:

  • complete any other 5000- or 6000-level Strategic Communication courses not already used to satisfy a program requirement;

OR

  • any 5000- or 6000-level courses taught outside the School of Communication.

What is a BA to MA Program in Strategic Communication?

A BA to MA Program in Strategic Communication is an uninterrupted enrollment plan that leads to both a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication and a master’s degree in Strategic Communication at High Point University within a total of five years. In a BA to MA Program, a student follows a prescribed BA to MA Program Plan of Study, which requires uninterrupted enrollment and stipulates the courses that must be completed each term: fall and spring of the senior year; and summer, fall and spring immediately following spring completion of requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

How is the bachelor’s degree program affected by participation in the BA to MA Program?

The bachelor’s program works with the BA to MA Program in that undergraduate semester hours are replaced with the graduate semester hours, which are completed during the senior year. These graduate semester hours are included in the undergraduate total that is required for graduation with a bachelor’s degree.

Who is eligible to participate in the BA to MA Program in Strategic Communication?

A participant in the BA to MA Program would be a current undergraduate student. Students from a variety of majors can be considered for admission to the BA to MA program.

What is the process to become a participant in the BA to MA Program?

In spring of the junior year, the School of Communication seeks applications from its most academically qualified students who are interested in strategic communication.

What is the admission term for a student in the BA to MA Program?

Fall of the senior year is when a student takes the first course in the BA to MA Program.

Is there an advantage to participating in the BA to MA Program?

The typical two-year minimum time that is required to earn a master’s degree is decreased to one year (12 months) from the date a student receives a bachelor’s degree.

What are some academic and enrollment expectations for a student participating in the BA to MA Program?

  • Complete prescribed courses in both the fall and spring of the senior year.
  • Apply for admission to Norcross Graduate School at High Point University
  • Qualify for graduate admission.
  • Begin graduate enrollment the summer immediately after spring graduation for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Enroll and complete specified courses according to a prearranged schedule.
  • Maintain uninterrupted enrollment to the master’s degree.

Does taking classes in the BA to MA Program give a student graduate admission status?

Taking classes in the BA to MA Program does not equate to graduate admission. A senior taking the classes remains an undergraduate student.

Who selects the students to participate in the BA to MA Program?

The coordinator of the Master’s program in the School of Communication selects the participants.

When do students in the BA to MA Program begin to take classes that, later, may be used toward a master’s degree?

The students take classes in the fall and in the spring of the senior year.

What are the minimum eligibility requirements for participating in the BA to MA Program?

  • Full-time Day or Evening Degree senior at High Point University in any major
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • High interest in earning a master’s degree in Strategic Communication
  • Completion of bachelor’s degree requirements during a spring semester for graduation in May

What is the maximum number of hours that can be taken in the senior year of the BA to MA Program and later credited toward a master’s degree?

Most students take 9 hours of graduate level courses during their senior year.  Students with a GPA of at least 3.5 have the option to take an additional 3 credits if they they can do so while still fulfilling all undergraduate

Do participants in the BA to MA Program have elective freedom in choosing the courses that may, later, be used toward a master’s degree?

Students in the BA to MA Program follow a prescribed plan of study. They must follow a schedule of defined courses in the fall of the senior year, in the spring of the senior year and in the summer, fall and spring immediately after receiving a bachelor’s degree.

What standard is applied to the graduate work of seniors in the BA to MA Program?

The seniors are expected to do graduate quality work in graduate classes. There is no reduction in class requirements, which are evaluated using the graduate grading system: A (4 quality points), B (3 quality points), C (2 quality points, and F (0 quality points). There is no plus (+) or minus (-) grading. Grades of A or B are the only acceptable graduate grades.

How does a student become ineligibile to continue in the BA to MA Program?

A student becomes ineligible to continue in the BA to MA Program for any one of these reasons.

  • a grade less than B is earned in a graduate course in the Fall of the senior year
  • a grade of less than B is earned in a graduate course in the Spring of the senior year
  • enrollment in grade courses is not completed as prescribed in the BA to MA Program Plan of Study
  • voluntary withdrawal from the Fifth Year Program
  • the bachelor’s degree GPA is less than 3.0

Who monitors a student’s academic performance in a class that, later, may be used toward a master’s degree?

The School of Communication monitors a student’s academic performance. When ineligibility occurs, the coordinator of the graduate program sends a letter of ineligibility to continue in the BA to MA Program to the student with copies to the Registrar and to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Can a student who becomes ineligible to participate in the BA to MA Program apply for regular admission to the same graduate program?

A student who becomes ineligible to participate in the BA to MA Program forfeits the opportunity to apply for regular admission to the same graduate program.

Can a senior voluntarily withdraw from the BA to MA Program?

A senior may withdraw at any time from the BA to MA Program by informing the coordinator of the graduate program in writing. The coordinator of the graduate program sends one copy of the student’s notification of withdrawal to the Registrar and the Dean of the Graduate School. If a senior voluntarily withdraws, this may delay completion of the undergraduate degree.

Can a student who voluntarily withdraws from the BA to MA Program apply for regular admission to the same graduate program?

A student who voluntarily withdraws from the BA to MA Program may apply for regular admission to the graduate program in Strategic Communication; admission is not automatic. The regular admission must occur within one calendar year of the date of withdrawal from the BA to MA Program for the appropriate credits earned in senior year of the BA to MA Program to be accepted toward the master’s degree, which must be received within BA to MA of the date of regular graduate admission.

How does a student receive credit for courses completed in the senior year in the BA to MA Program?

Appropriate work earns graduate credits only when the student completes the prescribed BA to MA Program of Study and files for master’s degree graduation. Prior to filing for master’s degree graduation, the credits are not part of the student’s graduate academic record.