Curriculum: Master of Arts in Communication


Courses

 

The Drake online communication master’s program consists of 33 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 1 year.


Brand Communication

Learn how to reach a target audience strategically, creatively, and effectively by building your digital media marketing skillset. Take foundational classes in research, professional ethics, advanced writing, innovation, digital strategies, and visual communication, then choose from a menu of electives to further specialize your degree in digital storytelling, business, law and public policy, leadership, or health and science.


MAC 202: Social Responsibility in Communication – 3 credits

In this course, you will explore the ethics, policies, and responsibilities associated with communication, including the philosophical and legal aspects. You will examine yourself, your organization, and your industry, all with a focus on the role of communications in leadership and social responsibility.

MAC 203:  Applied Communication Theory and Research – 3 credits

This course will help students apply communications theory and research to leadership problems. Communication theory is based on research and, in turn, leads to more research.  This process helps develop informed strategy, monitor communication programs, and evaluate overall communication effectiveness.

MAC 204:  Innovation and Change in Contemporary Communication – 3 credits

In today’s world, change is constant; innovation is essential for effectively leading change. The successful communications leader helps move an organization and its mission forward, but resists change for the sake of change. In this course, we take an applied approach to building innovation competencies that will help solve problems of the present and of an increasingly complex future. By analyzing the methods others use to address challenges and drive change, you will better understand the important role of innovation in communications leadership. You will also understand the skills and steps necessary to effectively lead change within your organization and industry, as well as your community.

MAC 206:  Digital Media Strategies – 3 credits

In this course, students will analyze and evaluate social media and web/mobile strategies and analytics.

MAC 207:  Advanced Writing and Strategic Message Design – 3 credits

In this course, students will learn the strengths and weaknesses of their writing; build their strengths and reduce their weaknesses through writing workshops; determine their unique message; research the best medium for that message; and develop unique market-appropriate content presented in a professional package that effectively communicates a meaningful message.

MAC 210: Visual Communication – 3 credits

This six-week class will provide students with an understanding of the principles of design as they apply to both print and digital delivery. Through individual work, discussion groups and one collaborative project, students will evaluate how a company or organization (ideally their own) applies the principles of design to existing materials to accomplish communication. The technological tools used to create such materials will be explored and, finally, students will propose and create a project to fill a communication need.

MAC 217:  Capstone – 3 credits

In this final course of the Master of Arts in Communication program, students will apply material from throughout the MAC program to a specific communications leadership, brand management, public policy or science and health-related problem through a comprehensive, in-depth, professional quality project that demonstrates leadership, including a publication launch, communications agency, response plan, department strategy redevelopment, or branch repositioning.

Digital Storytelling Electives – 9 credits

Additional Electives – 3 credits


Communication Leadership

This track sharpens your leadership and multimedia communication skills, while allowing you to tailor electives to suit your career goals.  Take foundational classes in research, professional ethics, advanced writing, innovation, digital strategies, and visual communication, then choose from a menu of electives to further specialize your degree in digital storytelling, business, law and public policy, leadership, or health and science.


MAC 201:  Communication Leadership Strategies – 3 credits

This course helps you develop and implement your own leadership models. Throughout the MAC program, we will take an applied approach to building communication leadership skills that will help solve the problems of the present and an increasingly complex future. This course revisits the distinction between management and leadership and analyzes the need for and role of leaders in society, specifically in the communication professions. Participants will enhance their knowledge in the areas of developing and maintaining trust and credibility, sharing leadership, expanding depth and breadth of perspective, and strategic planning. We will survey and build upon the rapidly growing body of knowledge regarding effective leadership.

MAC 202: Social Responsibility in Communication – 3 credits

In this course, you will explore the ethics, policies, and responsibilities associated with communication, including philosophical and legal aspects. You will examine yourself, your organization, and your industry, all with a focus on the role of communications in leadership and social responsibility.

MAC 203:  Applied Communication Theory and Research – 3 credits

This course will help students apply communication theory and research to leadership problems. Communication theory is based on research and, in turn, leads to more research. This process helps develop informed strategy, monitor communication programs, and evaluate overall communication effectiveness.

MAC 205:  Financial Literacy for Communication Leaders – 3 credits

This course explores the role of financial management in communication leadership, focusing on core skills and practical application. You will analyze and interpret financial reports and statements, examine and discuss impacts on budgeting and forecasting, and develop meaningful messages about financial metrics to help inform employees, executives, and the public.

MAC 204:  Innovation and Change in Contemporary Communication – 3 credits

In today’s world, change is constant; innovation is essential for effectively leading change. In this course, we take an applied approach to building innovation competencies that will help solve problems in an increasingly complex environment. By analyzing the methods others use to address challenges and drive change, you will better understand the important role of innovation in communications leadership. You will also understand the skills and steps necessary to effectively lead change within your organization and industry, as well as your community.

MAC 206:  Digital Media Strategies – 3 credits

In this course, students will analyze and evaluate social media and web/mobile strategies and analytics.

MAC 217:  Capstone – 3 credits

In this final course of the Master of Arts in Communication program, students will apply material from throughout the MAC program to a specific communications leadership, brand management, public policy, or science and health-related problem through a comprehensive, in-depth, professional quality project that demonstrates leadership, including a publication launch, communications agency, response plan, department strategy redevelopment, or branch repositioning.

Business Electives – 9 credits

Additional Electives – 3 credits


Public Affairs & Advocacy

Prepare yourself for professional leadership by learning how to navigate the world of politics, legislation, public policy, and advocacy.  Take foundational classes in research, professional ethics, advanced writing, innovation, digital strategies, and visual communication, then choose from a menu of electives to further specialize your degree in digital storytelling, business, law and public policy, leadership, or health and science.


MAC 202: Social Responsibility in Communication – 3 credits

In this course, you will explore the ethics, policies, and responsibilities associated with communication, including the philosophical and legal aspects. You will examine yourself, your organization, and your industry, all with a focus on the role of communications in leadership and social responsibility.

MAC 203:  Applied Communication Theory and Research – 3 credits

This course will help students apply communications theory and research to leadership problems. Communication theory is based on research and, in turn, leads to more research. This process helps develop informed strategy, monitor communication programs, and evaluate overall communication effectiveness.

MAC 207:  Advanced Writing and Strategic Message Design – 3 credits

In this course, students will learn the strengths and weaknesses of their writing; build their strengths and reduce their weaknesses through writing workshops; determine their unique message; research the best medium for that message; and develop unique market-appropriate content presented in a professional package that effectively communicates a meaningful message.

MAC 208:  Public Affairs and Advocacy – 3 credits

This course examines the key skills required for work in government relations or public affairs in corporate and nonprofit settings at the local, state, and national levels. This includes: the fundamentals of the lobbyist/client/legislator relationship and how professionals can effectively communicate with the many audiences involved in the process; the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies and campaigns in the public policy arena; and ways to affect regulatory/policy changes on behalf of organizations.

MAC 209:  Persuasive Speechwriting Strategy – 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of the strategy and practice of professional speechwriting. Through evaluation and practice, students will learn to apply sound communication strategy to speeches written to be delivered by the writer or by a third party. Students will analyze examples of textual speeches and delivered prepared remarks to evaluate effectiveness, and then will apply this learning to writing speeches within the context of students’ employers/work or interests.

MAC 211:  Navigating the Legislative Process – 3 credits

This course will provide students with an understanding of the legislative process – particularly the U.S. Congress – with emphases on the organization and structure that facilitate policymaking. We will examine the role legislatures play in society, and the electoral and government structures that support this important branch of government. This course focuses on practical application of a robust understanding of the legislative process for use in advocacy and governing.

MAC 218:  Capstone – 3 credits

In this final course of the Master of Arts in Communication program, students will apply material from throughout the MAC program to a specific communications leadership, brand management, public policy, or science and health-related problem through a comprehensive, in-depth, professional quality project that demonstrates leadership, including a publication launch, communications agency, response plan, department strategy redevelopment, or branch repositioning.

Policy Electives – 9 credits

Additional Electives – 3 credits


Electives


MAC 220: Digital Storytelling Special Topics – 3 credit hours

These courses are Digital Storytelling Electives offered on a temporary basis or before being added permanently to the curriculum.

MAC 221: Digital Storytelling – 3 credit hours

This class will introduce students to the concepts of storytelling and digital storytelling.  Students will both evaluate and create projects using digital storytelling tools.

MAC: 222 Emerging Media – 3 credit hours

This workshop examines the challenges associated with emerging technologies, balancing the idealism of long-term strategy with the reality of day-to-day operations. You will think about how you can introduce emerging technologies in your business organization. And you’ll create two plans to do just that – one as part of a team and one on your own. You will also share and examine insights about tackling roadblocks to technological innovation and implementation.

MAC 223: Multimedia Communication – 3 credit hours

Students in this workshop will learn how to tell stories using multimedia (photos and videos). They will evaluate how a company (ideally their own) uses multimedia, and they will create a plan for how that company should use multimedia in the future. Finally, students will get hands-on and create a video using tools they already own.

MAC 224: Content Marketing and Digital Landscape – 3 credit hours

This online class will teach students current best practices for creating content for digital delivery. Students will be able to use best practices for creating content on social media, websites, and blogs. Students will create both sample and real content.

MAC 231: Policies on Aging in the United States – 3 credit hours

This course explores the ways in which policies related to aging – retirement security, long-term care, healthcare, housing, and community support – have evolved and examines the direction of these policies going forward. We will review the policy process and discuss the different roles played by elected officials, lobbyists, the general public, private industry, and government. The course will also focus on advocacy, including how aging policy issues are framed, different perspectives on controversial issues, and potential for collaboration. This course is not an elder law course; while we will review regulation and some court decisions, the focus will remain on policy and advocacy.

MAC 232: US Education Policy – 3 credit hours

This course explores the ways in which policies related to education in the United States have evolved and examines the direction of these policies going forward. There will be particular emphasis on K-12 public education policy. We will review the policy process and discuss the different roles played by elected officials, lobbyists, the general public, private industry, and government. The course will also focus on advocacy, including how educational policy issues are framed, different perspectives on controversial issues, and potential for collaboration. This course is not an education law course; while we will review regulation and some court decisions, the focus will remain on policy and advocacy.

MAC 233: Environmental Policy – 3 credit hours

This course explores the ways in which policies related to the environment – natural resources, energy, climate, conservation, and regulation – have evolved and examines the direction of these policies going forward. We will review the policy process and discuss the different roles played by elected officials, lobbyists, the general public, private industry, and government. The course will also focus on advocacy, including how environmental issues are framed, different perspectives on controversial issues, and potential for collaboration. We’ll examine the concept and application of environmental justice, and discuss its policy implications. This course is not an environmental law course; while we will review regulation and some course decisions, the focus will remain on policy and advocacy. This course is also not about taking sides or “solving” the political controversy surrounding issues related to the environment. Rather, we will discuss, debate, explore, and try to synthesize issues in ways that can affect policy change – whatever change that may be.

MAC 234: U.S. Labor Policy – 3 credit hours

This course explores the ways in which policies related to working and labor in the United States have evolved and examines the direction of these policies going forward. We will review the policy process and discuss the different roles played by elected officials, lobbyists, the general public, private industry, and government. The course will also focus on advocacy, including how labor policy issues are framed, different perspectives on controversial issues, and potential for collaboration. This course is not a labor law course; while we will review regulation and some court decisions, the focus will remain on policy and advocacy.

BLAW 250: The Law of Business Organizations – 3 credit hours

This course is a study of agency law, securities law, and the legal issues involved in the formation of partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies. The course also includes an additional discussion of legal liabilities pertinent to accountants. Prereq: Permission of the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, College of Business and Public Administration.

BLAW 240: Commercial Law – 3 credit hours

This course provides a foundation in contract law and torts, as well as coverage of Articles II, III and IX of the Uniform Commercial Code (Sales, Negotiable Instruments, and Secured Transactions). The course will examine the basic principles of contract law as applied in the business environment, as well as examining the commercial issues of bankruptcy, debtor/creditor relationships, secured transactions and suretyship. Prereq.: Graduate standing or consent of the Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs, College of Business and Public Administration.

 

Sequence of Courses

 

Year Term Course
2018 Summer Term 1 MAC 204 or MAC 206 or MAC 211 or Elective
2018 Summer Term 2 MAC 202 or MAC 223 or MAC 209 or MAC 231
2018 Fall Term 1 MAC 205 or MAC 203 or MAC 220 or MAC 232
2018 Fall Term 2 MAC 222 or MAC 217 or MAC 218
2019 Spring Term 1 MAC 210 or MAC 207
2019 Spring Term 2 MAC 201 or MAC 208 or Elective
2019 Summer Term 1 MAC 204 or MAC 206 or MAC 211 or Elective
2019 Summer Term 2 MAC 202 or MAC 223 or MAC 209 or MAC 231
2019 Fall Term 1 MAC 205 or MAC 203 or MAC 220 or MAC 232
2019 Fall Term 2 MAC 222 or MAC 217 or MAC 218
2020 Spring Term 1 MAC 210 or MAC 207
2020 Spring Term 2 MAC 201 or MAC 208 or Elective

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