Master of Arts in Media and Strategic Communication

Graduate Degree

Academics / Departments & Programs / Communication / AcademicsMaster of Media and Strategic Communication

Degree Overview

Advance your communication skills and your career options with a Master of Media and Strategic Communication from Calvin University.

Effective storytelling adapts to new media channels, social media platforms, and cultural shifts. With a master's degree from Calvin, you'll do much more than simply keep up with trends. You'll discover ways to create nuanced, powerful stories that resonate in audio, video, text, and more.

Your experience begins with a week-long course where you'll be introduced to the basics of media production. From there, you'll go on to build strategies for reaching your audience, employ them in crafting messages for different media platforms, and evaluate their effectiveness.

By completing this program, you'll boost your career options in advertising, journalism, public relations, social media, and more. You'll gain all the skills you need to communicate with power and integrity in an ever-changing digital world. You'll have a voice that commands attention and a message that's worth listening to.

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Program Distinctives

 
Set your own pace - Take courses both online and in the classroom, at a pace that fits your schedule. You can earn your master's degree from Calvin in as little as ten months.
 
Gain real-world experience - You'll apply what you're learning through a micro-internship, working with an experienced professional to create strategies and content for real clients through Calvin's student-run creative media company.
 
Ask important questions - Your classes are taught by committed Christian professors who will challenge you to think through tough questions about ethics in communication careers. You'll learn to advocate for the people, communities, and businesses you serve.

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Degree Information

Graduate Degree
  • Courses
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  • Other Details

    Frequently asked questions

    Tuition, program costs, and financial aid

    What is the cost of the program?
    Students accepted into the program will be charged a fee per credit hour for a total of 32 credit hours. The fee for the 2021–2022 academic year is $750/credit.

    Can I apply for financial aid?
    Yes. All U.S. graduate students are eligible for up to $20,500 in federal loan aid. Students seeking loan aid must complete the FAFSA form and are encouraged to consult with a Calvin financial aid officer before starting the program.

    Are scholarships available?
    At this time, there are no scholarships available for this program.

    Can I get a discount if I live in-state?
    No, the cost of the program is the same for all students regardless of where a student resides.

    Is there a registration fee?
    Students enrolling in this program are required to pay a $300 deposit within three weeks of receiving their letter of admission. This deposit reserves a space for the student in the program, and will be applied to the student’s tuition once they enroll in the program.

    What is the typical cost of course materials?
    Costs vary, but students can expect to spend an average of $50–$100 per course on textbooks.

    Will I need to pay a student service or wellness fee?
    Yes, the service fee is $103 per semester.

    Scheduling and requirements

    Who can apply for this program?
    Students may apply to the program after completing a four-year degree at an accredited academic institution. A cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate education is required for admittance to the program.

    When is my application due?
    Applications for fall-start cohorts are due by May 1st.
    Applications for spring-start cohorts are due by Nov. 15th.

    How long do I have to complete the program?
    The program may be completed full-time in one year or part-time in as little as two years. All students are required to complete the program within a maximum of four years from enrollment.

    How many credit hours are required?
    This is a 32 credit hour program.

    What courses do I need to take?
    Please refer to the "Courses" tab above for required courses and descriptions.

    Can I take courses online?
    Cohorts in 2021 are in-person only. However, an online cohort will be available beginning in the spring of 2022.

    When do classes take place?
    At this time, all in-person courses will be offered in the evening.

    Beginning in 2022, will online courses be synchronous or asynchronous?
    The primary mode of online instruction will be asynchronous.

    How many credit hours do I need to take to be considered full-time?
    Students taking 9–14 hours per semester are considered full-time.

    How long does it take to complete the program if I attend full-time?
    A full-time student can complete the program in one year. See sample schedule below:

    Fall-Start Cohorts

    Fall
    COMM 500 (1) – Basics of Media Production
    COMM 510 (4) – Storytelling Across Media Platforms
    COMM 511 (3) – Audience Analytics
    COMM 512 (3) – Media Ethics & Law
    COMM 540 (1) – Master’s Project (concept development)
    Spring
    Two from:
    COMM 520 (4) – Advanced Public Relations
    COMM 521 (4) – Advanced Advertising
    COMM 522 (4) – Advanced Multimedia Journalism
    COMM 530 (3) – Media & Society
    Summer
    COMM 540 (3) – Master’s Project
    COMM 550 (6) – Creative Media Agency

    Spring-Start Cohorts

    Spring
    COMM 500 (1) – Basics of Media Production
    COMM 510 (4) – Storytelling Across Media Platforms
    COMM 511 (3) – Audience Analytics
    COMM 530 (3) – Media & Society
    COMM 540 (1) – Master’s Project (concept development)
    Summer
    COMM 520 (4) – Advanced Public Relations
    COMM 521 (4) – Advanced Advertising
    Fall
    COMM 512 (3) – Media Ethics & Law
    COMM 540 (3) – Master’s Project
    COMM 550 (6) – Creative Media Agency

    Can I be a part-time student?
    Absolutely. Our goal is to make this program accessible and convenient for all students. Each student will be assigned an advisor who will work with them to design the best schedule to address both the program requirements and the student’s unique needs.

    How long will it take to complete the program if I go part-time?
    In the spring of 2022, term-length will shift from 16-weeks per term to 8-weeks. This change will allow part-time students to take two courses per semester. At that pace, part-time students will be able to complete the program within two years. Students beginning before the spring of 2022, may take up to 3 years to complete the program.

    Please see the sample schedule below:
    Please note, Comm 522 (Advanced Multimedia Journalism), is not included on the sample fall-start schedule. All students should consult with their advisor to build a schedule that meets their interests and needs.

    Fall-Start Cohorts

    Part-Time (one course per 8-week term**)
    Fall 1
    COMM 500 (1) – Basics of Media Production
    COMM 511 (3) – Audience Analytics
    COMM 512 (3) – Media Ethics & Law
    Spring 1
    COMM 510 (4) – Storytelling Across Media Platforms
    COMM 530 (3) – Media & Society
    COMM 540 (1) – Master’s Project (concept development)
    Summer
    COMM 520 (4) – Advanced Public Relations
    COMM 521 (4) – Advanced Advertising
    Fall 2
    COMM 550 (6) – Creative Media Agency
    Spring 1
    COMM 540 (3) – Master’s Project

    **This sample part-time schedule is for students who begin in the spring of 2022 or later. Students enrolling in the fall of 2021 will have a 16-week semester during Fall 1 and may only be able to take one course that term instead of two.

    Spring-Start Cohorts

    Part-Time (one course per 8-week term)
    Spring 1
    COMM 500 (1) – Basics of Media Production
    COMM 511 (3) – Audience Analytics
    COMM 530 (3) – Media & Society
    Summer 1
    Spring-start students will not take any courses their first summer.
    Fall 1
    COMM 510 (4) – Storytelling Across Media Platforms
    COMM 512 (3) – Media Ethics & Law
    COMM 540 (3) – Master’s Project
    Spring 2
    COMM 520 (4) – Advanced Public Relations
    COMM 521 (4) – Advanced Advertising
    COMM 522 (4) – Advanced Multimedia Journalism
    Summer 2
    COMM 550 (6) – Creative Media Agency
    Fall 2
    COMM 540 (1) – Master’s Project (concept development)

    What type of schedule do the courses follow? How many weeks for each course?

    • In 2021 we will be following the traditional 16-week semester schedule for spring and fall.
    • Beginning in 2022, our courses will follow an 8-week intensive schedule.
    • Summer classes will be 3-4 week intensives.

    How can I make sure I am signing up for the right courses at the right time?
    Each student will be assigned an advisor who will work with them to design the best schedule to address both the program requirements and their unique needs.

  • Advising

    Gregory Braun

    Gregory Braun

    Co-Director, MMSC
    Full profile

    Samuel Smartt

    Samuel Smartt

    Assistant Professor
    Full profile

  • Careers

    Use your degree to thrive as a(n):

    • Advertising executive/planner
    • Advertising, promotions, and marketing manager
    • Content manager
    • Digital marketing manager
    • Editor
    • Film and video editors and camera operator
    • Multimedia journalist and more
    • Public relations specialist
    • Social media manager
  • To apply

    Who can apply?

    Students can apply after finishing a four-year degree at an accredited academic institution. You'll also need a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate education for admission.

    We are currently accepting applications for the cohort starting in fall 2021. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

          APPLY NOW      

    Admission Requirements

    1. Complete the online application
    2. Submit current resumé
      Include as part of online application, or after application submission from your application status page.
    3. Submit two professional recommendations
      Provide contact information for recommenders as part of online application. Recommenders will submit recommendations directly to Calvin.
    4. Optional: Submit a demo reel, portfolio, or work sample
      Include links or files as part of online application, or after application submission from your application status page.
    5. Submit the following additional deliverables by email, or mail to Calvin University admissions (see contact information below):
      • Official transcripts from each college or university attended

    Email mmsc@calvin.edu
    Mail Calvin University Admissions, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

    Request Information

    If you're not ready to apply, let us know you're interested and we'll keep you in the loop.

    I'm Interested

    You're also encouraged to email us if you want to discuss this program further. We look forward to meeting you soon.
    Email mmsc@calvin.edu

Advisor

Gregory Braun's staff picture
Gregory Braun
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