As a student in the online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Communications program, you will take 15 credits of media and communication courses and 15 credits of marketing courses. There is also a 3-credit applied project.

Here are the course descriptions for the 33 total credits you will take while enrolled.


Persuasive Corporate Communications
Business professionals have long known that the ability to influence is a critical business skill. Developing long-term relationships with clients and developing an effective corporate culture is highly valued. Students will critically examine contemporary scholarship from the academic and applied field detailing effective and ineffective practices for persuading stakeholders at various levels. Students will examine how different communication channels can impact the degree to which an audience is persuaded. The course will focus on internal and external organizational communication.

Crisis Communication and Leadership Strategies
Every organization faces crises, yet how crisis is handled is critical to helping its brand move forward. Students learn theoretical conceptualizations and public relations and crisis management skills to handle real-world crises. Students assess how public relations fits into the strategic management and decision-making of an organization during a crisis situation. Possible remedies for crisis are examined by applying best strategies for specific situations, using both traditional and new media, while also focusing on strategies and approaches for crisis prevention.

Social and Digital Media
This course examines social-media innovations and the disruptive force they create on traditional media, as well as how businesses across industries are handling the new technological environment. This course examines the factors affecting why and how consumers adopt or fail to adopt new media technologies and services. It also considers how the characteristics of individual technologies and services affect the adoption process and how adoption patterns differ across consumer categories.

Advanced Business Communication
A leader’s success hinges on the ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders in divergent settings. This applied course introduces students to academic theories that describe, explain, and predict effective and ineffective leadership communication behaviors. Throughout the semester, students solicit candid and constructive feedback about their leadership communication strengths and improvement opportunities. Then, they apply practical strategies, validated by academic research, to improve their communication effectiveness as leaders. Previously titled Management Communication.

Most major companies employ sponsorships to reach their target audiences, spending an estimated $60 billion annually. In this course, students learn how and why sponsors choose certain properties; how properties prospect, recruit, and retain sponsors; unique opportunities for brand exposure, recall, and associations; and the importance of product category exclusivity. Special attention is given to sponsorship activation and flexible, customizable sponsorships to fulfill specific brand goals, as well as evaluation and measurement in determining the sponsorship effectiveness.


Marketing in the Digital Age
This course introduces the ways in which marketing creates value in the interactions with other business functions, stakeholders and consumers. It emphasizes why and how successful marketing needs to be customer-driven, especially in the digital age, where consumer engagement through various channels is key to a firm’s success. Topics covered include the strategic marketing process; the exchange of value; market segmentation, targeting, and positioning, and the marketing mix in the digital economy.

Contemporary Research Methods
This course provides a fundamental understanding of analytical methods and their application in marketing and communications. It covers analytical tools needed to quantify market potential, empirically establish customer needs, and optimize efficiencies of market communications. It discusses the research process and the identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of consumer data. Topics include problem definition, using secondary data, quantitative and qualitative methods, preparation and evaluation of surveys, and data analysis.

Understanding Digital Consumer
Consumer behavior is rapidly changing as channels and shopping offer more options and more data points. This course prepares students for marketing to digital consumers, covering the latest social science research and theories to better understand consumer behavior. The course focuses on applications in managerial decision-making for digital consumers. Topics include motivation, learning, memory, perception, attitude formation and change, and consumer and social well-being, all of which aid in predicting consumer behavior in traditional marketplaces and on digital platforms.

Integrated Marketing Communications
This course is designed to teach students about the role of an integrated marketing approach in the digital age and how to effectively carry out advertising and branding, and use other communications tools in the marketing communications mix. Students will learn about developing advertising strategy, product positioning, creative development, media and event planning, consumer research, purpose-driven marketing, writing a creative brief, and ethical considerations in advertising. An emphasis is placed on the creative ways to foster brand awareness, maintain consumer involvement and build consumer engagement through digital media platforms and other marketing tools.

Marketing Strategy
This course presents an integrated framework on how marketing decisions can be guided by the company environment, the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and future prospects in the marketplace. It synthesizes current research on strategic marketing theory, and involves students in practice through the use of computer simulations, data analytics, measurement tools, and case analyses. This enables students to develop the most current techniques needed to optimize marketing activities related to pricing, advertising, distribution, and product development.


This course provides students the opportunity to apply their skills to an actual client project with a real client. Students will gain real-world experience as they learn how to both manage a project and client relationship virtually as they maintain effective client engagement. Students will be responsible for both managing their project and the client relationship, as well as submitting deliverables on time. During this course, we will discuss effective project management and the importance of stakeholders. We will review the various deliverables for this project, including the project management deliverables and final presentation deliverable.


Learn how our online MS in Strategic Marketing Communications courses prepare you to meet the marketing challenges of the new digital media landscape.

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Thinking about an on-campus program? The Gabelli School of Business also offers a portfolio of graduate programs across a variety of business disciplines. Visit the Gabelli School website to learn more.