Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication

The most comprehensive strategic communication program in downtown Washington, D.C., the M.A. prepares students to achieve advocacy goals in today’s fast-paced media environment.

Designed for students and professionals interested in media and tactical political communication, the M.A. program instructs pupils to:

  • Design and implement campaigns
  • Develop messaging to target audiences, support campaigns, and encourage activity
  • Perform analytics and data analysis
  • Employ insights from media persuasion within their work, public opinion, and effects

A Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication is designed to provide solid training for many different careers in media and politics, including:

  • public and non profit direction
  • Authorities media relations
  • advocacy and cause communications
  • public relations and communications consulting
  • media research
  • public opinion and policy analysis
  • academia

Curriculum

The SMPA M.A. demands 36 total credits for graduation. The curriculum builds on five core classes that provide students with an extensive grasp of the interaction among media, communicating and political processes, as well as research and media production skills. Past the central courses, students work closely with faculty advisers to build up expertise on particular problems in the field of media and politics.

After the end of core theory classes, the program is tailored to individual interests. Students take electives offered by both SMPA and GW’s many other renowned departments and schools, including such top-ranked programs as American Studies, International Business, International Affairs, Political Science, and Public Policy and Administration.

Capstone Job

Pupils should run a capstone project to complete the program. Three choices are offered: develop a strategic communication project, compose a dissertation, or create an in-depth media/journalism endeavor. Students work through the second year with a faculty committee and an advisor in their capstone project.

Working Students

All mandatory M.A. courses are offered during weeknights to allow students the option of working full time while registered in the program, and most of our electives are also offered in the evening.

Quite a few students come with post-school professional experience, and lots of them continue working in internship positions or salaried jobs while studying. Recently, SMPA students have worked at Media Matters, the federal government, and CNN, CBS, APCO Worldwide Consulting.

Alumni

Grads have gone on to positions at government institutions such as the State Department, Department of Defense, and also the U.S. Senate, as well as private companies like the Pew Research Center, The Glover Park Group, Qorvis Communications, APCO Worldwide, Fleishman-Hillard, Burson-Marsteller, Hart Research, Bully Pulpit Interactive, Media Matters, CNN, and POLITICO.

Financial Aid

Our program has a limited variety of comprehensive financial aid packages in the type of tuition support and teaching or research assistantships, which are assigned on the basis of merit. Applicants will be considered for financial aid during the regular admissions procedure.

The Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication blends analytical and applied skills, giving students a grounding in the function and influence of the media. The most comprehensive strategic communication program in downtown Washington, D.C., the M.A. prepares students to achieve advocacy goals in today’s fast-paced media environment.

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