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Strategic Communications

The Strategic Communications major teaches students how to develop and produce persuasive and educational messages and integrated communications campaigns that employ both public relations and advertising tactics. Students in this major select an area of emphasis in either advertising or public relations to complement their integrated strategic communications course work.

Students build skills in writing, research, graphic design, event planning, direct marketing, media planning and campaign development and management. Students plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients, which include nonprofits, businesses, and special projects, gaining real-world experience that can lead to careers in advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits, government, education, entertainment, sports, healthcare and other public-sector fields.

The College boasts an active faculty-advised and student-run integrated communications agency, the Martin-Hall Agency, and an active, award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. These organizations offer students professional networking opportunities and application of advertising and public relations knowledge into campaign experience. Members participate in the national American Advertising Federation Competition and national Bateman campaign competition, among others.

The Reed College of Media also helps place students in internships that offer hands-on experience beyond the classroom. Students participate in internships everywhere from New York advertising agencies to Capitol Hill to professional sports teams and London-based communications firms.

Graduates have gone on to become successful advertising and public relations account executives, social media directors, art directors, creative directors, corporate and nonprofit communication specialists, government public information officers, community relations directors, advertising directors, media planners and more. They work with top advertising and public relations firms, and some own their own agencies.

Career Profile

Graduates find careers in advertising and public relations firms, corporate communication departments, direct marketing, integrated marketing communications, retail advertising, healthcare, nonprofits, government, special event planning, promotions and media advertising sales. Graduates also work as managers overseeing account, creative, public affairs, promotions, and media service departments at radio and television stations, newspapers and magazines. Graduates sometimes create and develop their own businesses or engage in consulting work.

The Reed College of Media offers a graduate degree in Journalism and the first totally online master’s degree program in Integrated Marketing Communications. Journalism graduates often use their undergraduate education as a superior training ground for entering law school or other highly specialized graduate programs.

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

JRL 101 Media & Society PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology ENGL 101 Composition And Rhetoric ULIB 101 Intro to Library Research WVUE 191 First Year Seminar

Senior Year

STCM 459 Strategic Comm Campaigns STCM 439 Strategic Social Media STCM 421 ADV/PR Audience Ins/Analysis SPA 270 Effective Public Speaking ADV 459 Campaigns Capstone

By the Numbers

Facts and figures that make this major unique:

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

In 2010 the Reed College of Media unanimously received full reaccreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The College is one of 109 in the nation with such a distinction.

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