Strategic Communication

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Graduate Program

Professional Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication Applications are being accepted for the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (UO SOJC) master’s program in Portland, Oregon. The master's degree will provide working professionals in public relations, advertising, and allied communication fields such as marketing, corporate communication, and organizational communication with management-level credentials needed to lead campaign teams, to manage communication programs, and to advance in their careers.

The program is designed as a part-time program with students taking a maximum of nine credits per term. Classes meet evenings and weekends in downtown Portland at the UO SOJC Turnbull Center at 70 NW Couch St. (in the UO White Stag Building located at First and Couch). Students can complete the 48-credit program in two academic years (six terms) by taking up to nine course credits for each of six terms, plus at least six credits for a final project/portfolio course.

Program Overview

Curriculum for Strategic Communication Master’s Degree

Fall Term: First year

J611 Mass Communication & Society (4)
J611 is an introduction to graduate study in communication, with an emphasis on the major intellectual traditions and enduring issues in the field of strategic communication.  This course will help students understand the social, political, economic, technological and cultural considerations that provide the context within which strategic communicators work.  J611 also is intended to enhance the skills needed for success in graduate study in mass communication – information gathering, analytical reading, critical thinking, and academic presentation.

J621 Foundations of Strategic Comm (4)
The course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of strategic communication theory and practice. Specifically, this class offers students the opportunity to reflect on current communication in the workplace and to improve future communication skills. As a result, class time is spent considering a wide variety of workplace activities from the vantage point of strategic communication.  In addition to exploring the extensive research associated with the field of strategic communication, the course is designed to allow every student to productively engage with the material by applying theory to the real communication challenges faced by students in their own work lives.

(elective) J624 Workshop* (2)

Winter Term: First year

J595 Strat Comm Research Methods (4)

This is a practical, real-world research course, designed to give students methodological skills that can be applied directly in the workplace. In this course students will:
• Learn how to design & test survey instruments for targeted audiences
• Collect, clean and analyze real data
• Utilize graphs and other visuals to present data in a useful manner
• Gain insight into how research can be collected and applied in a professional manner
• Understand the numerous issues and problems with data collection and interpretation
• Develop executive summaries and “linked” PowerPoint presentations

J610 Intro to Marketing for Strat Comm (4)

This course approaches the practice of marketing from the perspective of the general manager. We will discuss fundamental marketing concepts and develop a framework for analyzing complex marketing challenges. Specific topics include market research, market segmentation, targeting, positioning, differentiation, value propositions, products, services, pricing, distribution, marketing communications, and branding.

(elective) J624 Workshop (2)

Spring Term: First year

J610 Strat Comm Research & Planning (4)
First, this course will focus on the principles of research for the strategic management of communications programs and campaigns.  Students will gain further understanding of research methods used in mass communication and be able to identify the appropriate instrument creation, data collection, and analysis for guiding the messages, strategies and tactics needed to achieve the organization’s goals. Second, students will investigate best practices in the creation of a strategic and comprehensive communications plan.  Students will critically examine current case studies that address issues and crisis management.  Ultimately, students will develop a plan for an organization that can serve as a basis for the final project for the degree.

J610 Intro to Management for Strat Comm (4)
This course will focus on the essential elements of managing and leading groups and organizations. Students will examine the key issues leaders face and develop practical solutions. Topics include leadership theory, leading change, dealing with conflict, performance management, and strategic management. Students will learn through a combination of readings, lectures, case analysis, class discussions, writing, and self-reflection.

J624 Project Management & Planning (2)

Summer Term: First year

(elective) J624 Workshop

Fall Term: Second year

J623 Creativity in Strat Comm (4)
J623 is dedicated to solving strategic communication issues with creative solutions. Student teams focus on a client project and develop research and communication plans providing innovative solutions to real-world problems. Past projects have included the Sustainable Cities Initiative and Metro Regional Government. The capstone of the class is an integrated client presentation.

J610 Marketing Communication (4)

This course will expand students’ knowledge of essential marketing communication forms including mass media advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, social media, sponsorship and events, packaging, customer service and personal selling.  In addition, the class will explore issues that affect the successful development, implementation and management of an integrated marketing communications plan.  Students will gain new insights into market research, target audience selection, message strategy, and media choices.  By the end of the term, students should have expanded their current understanding and mastery of the theoretical basis and strategic decisions that build and manage the marketing communications that impact relationships and brands.  Finally, students will also have more deeply explored a targeted method of communication and be able to effectively justify how students would utilize it in an integrated plan. 

(required) J624 Finance for Strat Comm (2)
This short course focuses on the core basics of the financial statements and their application for anyone working in public relations, advertising, marketing, and corporate communication. Students will develop their ability to communicate using business and financial terms and concepts, while clearly connecting strategy and finance.

Topics in this course include: review of applicable accounting and finance basics, logic
and use of key financial statements, analyzing and evaluating information, connecting the analysis to the organization’s mission and strategy.

This is a hands-on session working with actual public financial reports in a case study
setting. The trainings are highly interactive, use real-life case studies and adult learning
theory. A great deal of work is done in a team setting.

Winter Term: Second year

J6xx Skills class (4)

J609 Final Project (3)

(elective) J624 Workshop (2)

Spring Term: Second year

J609 Final Project (3)

Total credits=48

*Recent workshop topics:

Mobile Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy

Strategic Search Engine Optimization

Creativity as a Professional Asset

Corporate Social Responsibility

Who We Are Looking For

The Professional Master's in Strategic Communication is designed for full-time Portland area professionals  who work in communication fields such as corporate communication, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Our most successful students have an academic background and/or several years of professional experience in communications. It is crucial to have a BA degree from an accredited university. As this is a program for mid-career professionals, evidence of current involvement in the design and/or implementation of strategic communication plans is desirable. We encourage students to consider how elements of our program will meet individual career goals. Students will work hard during their studies and complete a capstone project near the end of the degree; self-directed, motivated and organized students will excel in the program.

Application requirements are on the SOJC website and are essentially the same for all of our graduate programs: statement of intent; undergraduate transcripts; letters of reference; GRE scores (the GRE is optional); resume; professional work samples (such as: writing samples from your current job that focus on persuasive communication that could include advertisements, press releases, brochures, sales letters, presentations, and strategic recommendations.) The selection committee for the program will place the greatest emphasis on professional work experience, statement of intent, and undergraduate grades/achievement.

Cost for the Professional Master's in Strategic Communication is the same as for Eugene-based graduate programs. The calendar is the same as for Eugene-based programs. See the UO Graduate School for information.

Application Materials

We welcome inquiries about our program or the application process. Screening of applicants for the 2014/2015 academic year will begin February 1, 2014. Information about applying to the UO SOJC graduate program is available here.

The UO no longer accepts hard copies of the Graduate Admission Application.  All applications must be submitted online.

Additional UO Graduate Information

UO bulletin and course catalog:

Tuition and fee information:

Questions and Mailing List

For more information about the graduate program, please send an email to or call (541) 346-6304.

To receive ongoing information about the program, please sign up for the mailing list!