Skip to content

Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

32 TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED

The curriculum for Calvin University’s online M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication program has an unparalleled focus on the two key areas of communications — strategy and creative production. Graduate as a well-rounded professional who can step into a new leadership position with confidence, experience, and integrity.

Calvin is dedicated to providing a career-ready education. The curriculum is overseen by an advisory board that makes regular recommendations for curriculum updates, so the degree reflects what’s relevant in the industry right now. Board members consist of professional leaders in their industry and have extensive subject matter expertise. They also participate in a speaker series to share their knowledge and career experiences with you.

Core Courses

A study of the role of diverse forms of media in society and an examination of critical and cultural perspectives on media. The course examines the media as a source of influential narratives, and offers an understanding of the relationship of media to democracy, capitalism, technology, audiences, media institutions, and economics.

This one-week intensive workshop will train students in the basic skills of audiovisual media design. Students will work hands-on with the essential technology and software to begin building the necessary skillsets to become fluent and engaging multimedia content producers.

A study of the principles of storytelling integrating theory, critique, and hands-on experience as a way of learning best practices and understanding what makes for effective multimedia storytelling. Students will learn to become intentional about leveraging the strengths of different media to communicate synergistically in ways that single-medium stories cannot and to grasp the crucial role of perspectives in storytelling and audience reception.

Audience research is significant for media organizations to find target consumers and formulate their communication strategies. This course intends to provide useful knowledge of audience research. It covers the current audience research methodologies and theories, the ratings industry and analysis processes. The major subjects of this course include sampling methods, data collection methods, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, the theories of audience behaviors, gross measures, cumulative measures, online audience research, and global audiences.

Students will learn about their legal rights, legal obligations, and ethical responsibilities as communicators. They also will investigate the principles on which those rights, obligations, and responsibilities are based—including social and cultural values, Christian virtues, and professional standards. In addition, they will learn to exercise legal and moral reasoning when confronted with challenging situations in their vocation. Finally, they will learn about the temptations and consequences of violating legal and ethical directives—and will commit to communicating in a legal and ethical way.

Provides students with micro-internship experience in public relations, advertising, and/or multimedia journalism, using a variety of media and platforms.

This course is a culmination of program learning that focuses on the creation, development, and completion of an independent final project for inclusion in their e-portfolio. Each student works with a faculty adviser throughout the process to gain further expertise and demonstrate professional competence in strategic communication and multimedia content design.

Electives (Choose 3)

This course introduces students to the strategic planning process, communication strategies, and message creation involved in public relations. Students will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate public relations campaigns by examining case studies and creating an actual campaign. This course also focuses on the use of social media and other new media channels, examining how they can be employed to better serve the organization’s communication and relationship-building needs. Students must also enroll in COMM 520 Media Lab to create the class multimedia project.

*Note: Students will choose between COMM 520 Advanced Public Relations and COMM 520L Media Lab.

Multimedia skills are necessary for today’s applied communication careers. Required media labs will be offered in conjunction with COMM 520, COMM 521, and COMM 522. In each lab, students will develop multimedia assignments using the concepts, theories, and strategies from the corresponding class along with the multimedia tools and technology introduced in the Basics of Media Production intensive week.

*Note: Students will choose between COMM 520 Advanced Public Relations and COMM 520L Media Lab.

This course explores advertising as an institution in society and as a communication process. Designed as a comprehensive view of the subject, the course includes such topics as advertising history, regulation, communication theory and practice, the role of advertising in the marketing mix, the organization of the advertising agency, marketing/advertising research, and the creative uses of various advertising media. Students will assess strategy, and participate in the formulation of an advertising campaign. Students must also enroll in COMM 521 Media Lab to create the class multimedia campaign.

*Note: Students can choose between COMM 521 Advanced Advertising and COMM 521L Media Lab.

Multimedia skills are necessary for today’s applied communication careers. Required media labs will be offered in conjunction with COMM 520, COMM 521, and COMM 522. In each lab, students will develop multimedia assignments using the concepts, theories, and strategies from the corresponding class along with the multimedia tools and technology introduced in the Basics of Media Production intensive week.

*Note: Students can choose between COMM 521 Advanced Advertising and COMM 521L Media Lab.

Multimedia journalism skills are critical in today’s newsrooms as well as in journalism-adjacent settings such as public relations and advocacy. This course will provide instruction and application in the tools and techniques of journalism production across non-text platforms. Using audio, video, web development, photography and more, this course will cover journalistic fundamentals such as story development, reporting techniques, and editing.

*Note: Students can choose between COMM 522 Multimedia Journalism and COMM 522L Media Lab.

Multimedia skills are necessary for today’s applied communication careers. Required media labs will be offered in conjunction with COMM 520, COMM 521, and COMM 522. In each lab, students will develop multimedia assignments using the concepts, theories, and strategies from the corresponding class along with the multimedia tools and technology introduced in the Basics of Media Production intensive week.

*Note: Students can choose between COMM 522 Multimedia Journalism and COMM 522L Media Lab.

Request More Information

Thank you for your interest in Calvin University. We are here to answer all of your questions. Submit this form and an admissions counselor will get in touch with you as soon as possible.