Strategic Communication (BA)


2020-2021 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


This program is offered by the School of Communications/Communications and Journalism Department and it is only available at the Vienna campus.

Program Description

The major in strategic communication combines coursework and skills in public relations, advertising, media studies, speech communication and more for a robust field of study to prepare students for leadership positions in advertising, public relations, promotions, campaigns and corporate communication, etc. Students will learn and apply theoretical knowledge in written and oral demonstrations and will build a professional toolkit preparing them to understand the nuances of digital media literacies, both as a producer and as a consumer of media texts.

The major in strategic communication combines knowledge management, public relations, problem-solving, negotiation, leadership, persuasion, media literacy, communication theory, corporate and crisis communication, promotions and communication campaigns for graduates to apply that knowledge in workforce situations.  

Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental theories and ethical best practices of strategic communication.
  • Apply the acquired knowledge, skills and research methods to the completion of an original thesis in strategic communication.
  • Gain exposure to global connectivity and interactivity through the exploration of corporate, social and political environments across borders.
  • Apply current communication and media technologies to address clients' problems related to advocacy and/or reputation management. 

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 61 required credit hours*
  • 12 hours in foreign language or equivalent proficiency
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives**

*Includes the completion of an undergraduate thesis.

**Recommended electives are listed below.

Required Courses

  • PBRL 1010 Fundamentals of Strategic Communications and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • MDST 1010 Media Foundations (3 hours)
  • MDST 1050 Media Writing (3 hours)
  • ADVT 1940 Introduction to Marketing Communications (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2400 New Media Messaging (3 hours)
  • MDST 2200 Ethics in the Media (3 hours) 
  • SPCM 2400 Persuasion (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2920 Writing for Public Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 3600 Public Relations Case Studies, U.S. and Global (3 hours)
  • MEDC 3190 Introduction to Media Research (3 hours)
  • MDST 3260 Global Media Practice (3 hours)
  • MDST 4500 Political Communications (3 hours)
  • MDST 3300 Media Law, Ethics & Policy (3 hours)
  • MDST 4110 Digital Media and Culture (3 hours)
  • SPCM 4500 Conflict Resolution (3 hours)
  • SPCM 4600 Communication Theory (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4300 Crisis Communications and Issues Management (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4960 Global Strategic Communication Campaigns (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4250 Media Relations (3 hours)
  • MDST 4620 Media Practicum/Thesis* (4 hours)

*Pursuant to the requirements for Austrian accreditation at Webster Vienna Private University, students wishing to complete the degree at that campus must select the thesis option.

Recommended Electives

Students are strongly encouraged to take 30 credit hours from the following to strengthen their core knowledge of the field but also to add thematic breadth to depth:

  • POLT 1070 Introduction to Political Theory (3 hours)
  • SPCM 1280 Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)
  • ANSO 2060 Culture and Communication (3 hours)
  • ADVT 2350 Introduction to Visual Communications for Advertising and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • MDST 2800 Media, Diversity and Society (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2800 Organizational Internal Communication (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4500 Health Communication (3 hours)
  • MNGT 2500 Marketing (3 hours)
  • MNGT 3510 Advertising (3 hours)
  • SPCM 3500 Presentations for Media Professionals (3 hours)
  • SPCM 3600 Rhetoric (3 hours)

Minors Encouraged

Strategic communication students are strongly encouraged to pursue a minor. Academic programs of particular relevance to the BA in strategic communication are:

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Business
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Management
  • Political Science
  • Psychology