Strategic Communication

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  • Student presenting

What is Strategic Communication?

Strategic communication is the study of how organizations and individuals use advertising, public relations, visual communication, integrated marketing, research and technology to establish brand identity. Through these disciplines, strategic communication focuses on the promotion of services and products to build relationships with consumers. Nonprofit and government professionals use this form of communication to move audiences and to influence public policy. Students may specialize in Advertising Account Planning, Public Relations or Visual Communication.

What skills do I need for a career in Strategic Communication? 

Strategic communication professionals must have creative problem solving skills and the capability to adapt to the changing media landscape. Skills necessary for a quickly evolving field include:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Innovative attitude
  • Research/information gathering
  • Analytical and creative thinking
  • Layout and design skills

Careers in Strategic Communication include:

  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Project Manager
  • Digital Strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Media Planner
  • Public Relations Director
  • Market Researcher/Analyst
  • Strategic Planner
  • Brand Manager
  • Media Relations
  • Public Information Officer
  • Sports Communication

What can I do with a concentration in Strategic Communication? 

Knowledgeable staff and small classes offer students an academically rich environment and immeasurable experience in writing, critical thinking, public speaking, research and other practical skills that prepare students for the competitive communication field. Students gain professional experience through internships, departmental positions and a hands-on learning environment. 

In brief, the department's commitment to a broad-based study of communication activities permits a more intelligent choice of career fields. In addition, it provides a more meaningful classroom experience in their upper level courses. The requirements listed below are for the catalog year 2015-2016. For other years, please consult the USA Bulletin. 

Requirements for a major in Communication:

Communication majors must complete CA 110, Public Speaking, and 42 hours in one of the department's 5 concentrations listed below. At least 5 communication classes must be numbered 300 or higher and must be taken at USA. Only three hours of credit from CA 394 or CA 494 can be used to satisfy this requirement. 

All general education requirements can be found on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Specific Strategic Communication Requirements: 

This concentration focuses on all aspects of strategic communication in American society including, creative, media, research and advertising's impact on audiences and institutions. Students in this concentration will be asked to choose a specialization of advertising account planning, public relations or visual communication. Students will be prepared to develop and implement strategic campaigns. At least 72 hours in courses outside of the Department of Communication are required. 

Core Requirements: CA 101, CA 220, CA 260, CA 300, CA 445 Required: CA 224, CA 321, CA 324-W, CA 381, CA 485, CA 486/487

Choose 3 classes from one of the following groups:

Group 1 - Advertising Account Management: CA 322-W, CA 383, CA 384, CA 470, CA 474, CA 496

Group 2: Public Relations: CA 383, CA 453, CA 470, CA 496

Group 3 - Visual Communication: CA 271, CA 322-W, CA 370, CA 371, CA 383, CA 471, CA 496

Four Year Advising Plans: 

Strategic Communication 2015-2016