Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication

Every business or nonprofit organization needs communicators who can identify and advance its goals, products or services using advertising and public relations techniques. This certificate degree provides the basic knowledge, skills and abilities that these modern professional communicators need to thrive in an increasingly connected and digital communication environment. We offer the essential skills for designing, implementing and managing strategic communication for entrepreneurs, professionals in corporate, non-profit, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and for scientists and others who have a need to strategically communicate information both internally and externally. This program builds on the Manship School’s nationally recognized expertise in media & public affairs, and allows for specializations such as health and science communication, politics and issue advocacy or sports communication.

Strategic Communication Certificate Curriculum

The Strategic Communication Certificate is 15-credit-hour graduate degree.  This is designed to allow students to complete the certificate in three semesters as a part-time student.  The cost of completing the certificate will vary, depending on how many hours the certificate-seeker enrolls in each semester, but you can learn more about the LSU fee schedule.

The core courses in the Strategic Communication Certificate develop skills and knowledge in the writing, research, ethics and professional application of strategic communication using traditional and new media. Students will learn the theoretical foundations of strategic communication while applying principles in hands-on work. Coursework develops and stresses effective writing and the application of research using a variety of tools. Understanding ethical practice is incorporated into every class. 

Students must take the following core courses (all courses are 3 credit hours):

MC 7019, Media Systems: Policy and Technology (Emerging Media). Think of this class as your primer on all things digital.  We will focus on studying emerging media effects on culture, economics, politics and the presentation of news.  Taught in the newly constructed Social Media Analysis & Creation (SMAC) Lab.

MC 7042, Foundations of Strategic Communication. Overview of strategic communication, concentrating on theory, research, planning, implementation and evaluation; how professionals use advertising, public relations, social media and marketing to develop integrated messages for a variety of audiences.

MC 7043, Strategic Communication Campaigns. Conceptualization and practice of strategic communication in a variety of settings; students use principles and contemporary practices to implement campaigns aimed at aligning and advancing organizational and stakeholder goals.

Students also complete two electives in order to focus their training within the certificate. For example, a returning professional who wants to develop political communication expertise could choose Political Communication Writing and Race & Gender in Political Communication as electives. A doctoral student in the sciences who wishes to better develop visual communication and presentation skills and connect the two disciplines of study may take Visual Communication and Health & Science Communication. Many of our electives have broad relevance, like Crisis Communication and Legal Problems of the Mass Media. 

Students also choose two courses from the following electives (all courses are 3 credit hours):

  • MC 7018 Legal Problems of the Mass Media
  • MC 7032 Health & Science Communication
  • MC 7033 Race & Gender in Political Communication
  • MC 7040 Crisis Communication
  • MC 7041 Political Communication Writing
  • MC 7044 Visual Communication
  • MC 7999 Special Topics in Mass Communication 

Certificate for Strategic Communication online application 

You need to submit:

All transcripts from prior universities/colleges attended, a statement of purpose, a resume, a writing sample, three recommendation letters and a TOEFL score if you are an international applicant. We technically require applicants to submit a GRE score, but the Manship School will consider waiving the GRE for Strategic Communication Certificate applicants.

Minimum requirements

You must have a cumulative 3.0 undergraduate GPA. 

When you complete the online application:

Make sure you choose Mass Communication as your degree program (NOT Communication Studies)
The LSU institution code for the GRE and TOEFL is 6373

Encourage your recommenders to submit letters to the online system. If they insist on paper, they can mail letters to: 

Attn: Graduate Program, Manship School of Mass Communication, Journalism Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.


We accept applications year round for either a fall or spring program start. For fall, we consider applications between January and July. For spring, we consider applications between July and November.

For further information contact:

Meghan Sanders, Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies at or