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Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Degree Sheet




The online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication (MASC) equips students with the cutting-edge strategic communication skills, research knowledge, technology competencies, and theories needed to create effective community engagement and messaging with culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse public audiences and stakeholders.

About the Program

This fully online master’s degree focuses on community engagement and promotes community advancement through collaboration and relationship building. Students will develop their abilities to engage diverse communities in organizational, public, and interpersonal contexts. The program will also prepare students to be advocates in their communities by focusing on several major strategic communication areas: (1) strategic public engagement, (2) stakeholder management and conflict resolution, and (3) crisis communication.

Graduates of the program will learn to:

  • Analyze and critique communication issues, concepts, and theories as they apply to community engagement
  • Develop and research analyzing emergent communication practices in local and global community engagement contexts
  • Design tailored responses to community engagement issues by using appropriate technology
  • Create robust community engagement strategies with stakeholders in groups and teams

The MASC program requires a minimum of 30 hours including:

  • 2 required courses (6 credit hours)
  • 8 elective courses (24 credit hours)
  • Graduate portfolio (0 credit hours)
Required Courses (3 courses / 6 credit hours)

COMM 5314: Strategic Communication Research Methods

COMM 5320: Strategic Communication Theory and Practice

COMM 6098: MASC Portfolio

Elective Courses (8 courses / 24 credit hours)

Full list of elective courses can be found online at

Career Options

In recent years, community engagement has become more integral to strategic communication as a way of building credibility with the public, creating more authentic experiences, and facilitating inclusive decision making with various constituents. The MASC program prepares students to succeed in a range of jobs including:

  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • City Managers
  • Community Engagement Coordinators & Managers
  • Strategic Partnership Coordinators
  • Communication Directors / Specialists
  • Emergency Management Directors
  • Public and Community Affairs Specialist
  • Public Engagement Specialists
  • Training & Development Managers

Note: Student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0


How to Apply

For a full list of admissions instructions vist the M.A. in Strategic Communications website.

Applicants must complete and submit all of the following items in order to be considered for admission. Resumes and personal statements can be uploaded through the myUHD portal, emailed to, or mailed to:

Office of Admissions – Graduate Admissions
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street, Suite GSB 308
Houston, TX 77002-1001

  • Submit an application 
  • Pay the $35 application fee
  • Request/submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended to the email or mailing address above (including community college work and prior graduate work).
  • Provide a professional/personal resume
  • Provide a personal statement of approximately 500 words that addresses some or all of the following questions in detail. Support your views with reasons and examples drawn from areas as your reading, experience, observations, or academic studies. Be sure to develop your ideas fully and organize them coherently:
    • Why do you want to study strategic communication?
    • What topics or issues in our field might you want to study further and why?
    • What qualifies you to embark upon this field of study?
    • What experience do you have in this field?
    • how do you plan to use your degree?
  • Provide the names and email contact information for two recommenders in the application. 
    • Your recommenders/references should be individuals with knowledge of your work and who are able to address your academic potential such as former professors, work supervisors, or professional colleagues.
    • Your recommenders will be contacted and provide their recommendations directly into the application system. Please make sure you have accurate email addresses for both recommenders.
  • Provide TOEFL/IELTS scores as outlined above (if a graduate of a university in which English is not the  native language).


Median Salary

According to the department of Labor and Bureau Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for:

  • Community Engagement Coordinator: $69,600
  • Public Affairs Specialists:
    $62, 810
  • Training Manager: $115,640


Earn Your Degree

  • Online


MASC Program Director:

Dr. Darius M. Benton

Assistant Director of Graduate Studies: Andy Osborn