Master of Arts in Applied Communication
Communication knowledge and skills occupy an increasingly central place in the contemporary economy. National surveys of hiring executives consistently rank communication aptitudes such as oral communication, written communication, and group collaboration within the top five qualities expected of job candidates. Managers and leaders across industries and sectors increasingly find communication-related activities play a central role in their professional duties, including engaging collaborative work using online communication technologies.
The Master of Arts in Applied Communication is designed to meet the needs of working professionals seeking critical communication competencies and knowledge to advance within their career fields. Students come to the ACOM program with strong content knowledge in their chosen fields, looking to add to that expertise by developing critical competencies highly valued by employers such as leadership, group collaboration, and working with diverse audiences.
Rather than adapting a traditional MA program to meet the needs of professionally-oriented students, those needs drive every choice behind our dynamic, innovative program. What makes our program different? We are:
Our curriculum is not designed around courses centrally anchored in the various sub-disciplines of communication studies, such as organizational communication, interpersonal communication, and rhetoric. Rather, our courses draw on research in each of these areas of focus to help students gain a better understanding of how to address communication issues and dynamics that are found in any professional context, such as persuasion, technology, leadership, and diversity. Our goal is to help students understand and translate academic research to help solve key problems and challenges in their professional lives.
We take the "applied" in the name of our program seriously. Students do not work on papers that never see the light of day. Instead, throughout the program, students work on real-world projects designed to make a difference. These projects are not tied to individual classes, but are shared across classes, allowing student work to be more efficient, more engaging, and more impactful.
Students work together in cohorts, taking the same classes in the same progression. This both enables students to build meaningful, collaborative relationships, and guarantees that students will be able to finish the program in two years.
Because our program is entirely online, students are able to make their education work with their busy, professional lives. While our classes are not self-paced, they are all asynchronous. With rare exceptions, we do not ask students to be present online at any specific time (and even in those instances, we make recordings of live sessions available for those who cannot attend).