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Master of Communication Management

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Master of Communication Management Online

The online Master of Communication Management degree program is offered by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. The program prepares communication professionals for the modern landscape of the workplace, independent of industry.

Setting New Standards for Communication

Students learn to apply common language, tools and problem-solving techniques thanks to a multidisciplinary and interconnected program designed around evidence-based research and communication best practices. Graduates are equipped to gather, interpret, analyze and translate information — transforming complex ideas into actionable strategy.

World-class Education for Communication Professionals

USC Annenberg has worldwide recognition as the leader among communication schools, setting the standard for communication professionals. The faculty has deep academic expertise and extensive professional experience, uniting communication research and theory with their day-to-day implementation in organizations around the world.

Why Choose USC?

  • USC is ranked 23rd by U.S. News & World Report
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Over 15,000 USC Annenberg alumni worldwide
  • Faculty of leading experts in Marketing, New and Social Media, Change Management, Communication Research and Corporate Communication
  • 100% online—earn your degree without disrupting your professional life

Why Choose the USC
Master of Communication Management Online Program?

  • Interconnected and Comprehensive Curriculum

    The progressive curriculum of the USC Annenberg online Master of Communication program means each class is a building block for the next. Communication challenges in the workplace rarely occur in a vacuum; they’re multifaceted and far-reaching. The online MCM curriculum mirrors the interconnectivity, co-mingling theory, research and application of the classroom experience. Application assignments connect research and theory to daily practice, taking something from class and finding it in real-world settings, such as peer-reviewed academic literature, popular press or through interviews of their professional peers. And group-based learning means students are studying with talented peers across a diverse representation of organizations, allowing them to delve deeply into areas of communication previously unexplored. The online Master of Communication Management (MCM) consists of nine courses, for a total of 32 credit hours, including a capstone practicum divided into two 2-unit courses. Students will engage in a curriculum that is composed of the following course offerings:
    • CMGT 500 Managing Communication
    • CMGT 502 Strategic Corporate Communication
    • CMGT 505 Communication in Work Settings
    • CMGT 508 Communicating Strategy and Change
    • CMGT 510 Communication, Attitudes, Values and Behavior
    • CMGT 540 Uses of Communication Research
    • CMGT 541 Integrated Marketing Communication Strategies
    • CMGT 555 Online Marketing Comm. Development & Analysis
    • CMGT 556 Global Marketing Communication
    • CMGT 587 Audience Analysis
    • CMGT 597 Communication Research Practicum
  • Grounded in Evidence-based Decision Making

    USC Annenberg online Master of Communication Management is designed to teach students how to think, not just what to think, to help them thrive in a data-intensive and analytics-driven workplace. It pushes the learning experience beyond textbook examples of matching solutions to problems; theory is the foundation but not the destination. Smart decisions are born in knowing your objectives, asking the right questions of the right audience and understanding the results. The online MCM equips students with the skills to decipher, design and distribute communication measurement models that speak the language their principal audiences — managers, executives, stakeholders and customers — understand.
  • Diverse Professional and Academic Faculty

    The faculty is one of USC Annenberg’s richest sources of academic distinction. They are drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, and include distinguished scholars and researchers, editors of leading journals, officers in prestigious national and international professional associations, and highly respected consultants to government and private industry. This diversity is demonstrated in the classroom, adding a rich experiential perspective to data-driven teaching. The online MCM is taught by full-time USC faculty, all with a Ph.D., maintaining the education quality standard expected of a top-tier university. In fact, such is their expertise and distinction that USC Annenberg faculty members are frequently the authors of textbooks and publications other faculty uses to teach.

    Dr. Rebecca Weintraub

    Dr. Rebecca Weintraub is both the Director of the Communication Management Master's Degree Program and a faculty member—she’s taught CMGT 502, Strategic Corporate Communication, online since 2003. Strategic Corporate Communication a case-based class where students follow a fictional company through a variety of scenarios, examining the challenges facing a chief communication officer: for example, employee issues like a survey indicating employees are disengaged; a crisis surrounding an environmental issue; an investor communication issue. After the class, students are equipped to create effective, implementable, highly analytic, data-based, strategic communication plans.
  • The USC Annenberg Experience

    USC Annenberg is redefining the communication field for the 21st century and beyond, as a center for discussion among scholars and professionals in journalism, communication, public policy, media and education. The reputation of Annenberg faculty and the rigor of the programs are reason enough for such distinction. But at the heart of Annenberg’s renown is the breadth and depth of its research. Examinations of new media and technology, cultural communication, public interest and global leadership set new standards not only for education, but in application at organizations around the world. More than 15,000 Annenberg alumni contribute to a professional network of industry leaders and communication professionals who can attach “USC Annenberg” to their resumes — a powerful differentiator in a crowded and competitive marketplace.

Who Should Choose the USC
Master of Communication Management Online Program?

Students in the USC Annenberg Master’s degree of Communication Management online come from many demographic groups and professional backgrounds and cut across all communication-related disciplines — public relations, marketing, and corporate and strategic communications. Regardless of circumstances or credentials, our students share common goals — understand the role of communication; develop an appreciation for diverse perspectives and solutions; cultivate their critical thinking, writing, presentation and oral advocacy skills; and remain competitive in a shifting workplace that is still recovering from economic challenges.

Some are communication professionals with extensive experience, 10-20 years in the field, with established methodology for research, analysis, problem solving and information distribution — methodologies that may or may not be the most efficient or effective. Another audience can be found in communicators who are still building their expertise in the field and have a thirst and drive to know more, to be more experimental and exploratory. A third segment of communication professionals wants to teach, and recognizes a graduate degree in communications is required.

  • Communication Veteran

    The Communication Veteran has worked for a number of years in the communication field and has established a personal set of best practices. They know that there are intellectual, technological and experiential resources available that are outside of their current experience but highly relevant and influential to their future success and competitiveness. They are motivated to learn what they don’t know and remain competitive. The key outcomes of the USC Annenberg Master of Communication Management online program are building fundamental skills necessary for long-term success, and learning about new, innovative subject areas. Building fundamental skills appeals to the Communication Veterans who want cutting-edge knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable in their own fields. The USC Annenberg online Communications Master's degree is attractive to a Communication Veteran because it offers exposure to modern communication models and research. Veterans do need guidance through the tangle of information and data available to them, to understand what brings value and how to measure quality in addition to quantity. The program is distance learning in the space of new technology, and that has two distinct advantages. First, Veterans need to be comfortable with new technology and new methodology to navigate in the modern interconnected world. They know they “need to be on” Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and Foursquare. The Master's degree in Communication Online will teach them to ask — and answer — what are you hoping to accomplish with social media? Who is your audience? How will you define success, and how will you measure it? What resources do you need to make it happen? It provides the curricular exposure and training to intelligently participate in today’s digital tools. Second, the most evident demonstration of new technology is found in the experience itself — students work within one of the most advanced learning management systems (LMS) available today. Simply put, they’re learning new technology through daily participation — their success in the program requires skillful management of this technologically advanced environment. With the USC Annenberg online Master of Communication Management degree, students will be immersed in a culture of measurement, interpretation and analysis that can transform project managers to strategists. The online MCM prepares students to “speak the language” that matters most to stakeholders, reinforcing that their professional contribution is much greater than a “service provider” for the organization.
  • Communication Pioneer

    Communication Pioneers are technologically advanced, digitally connected, team oriented and success driven. Pioneers are curious about what is happening in other places and what others are thinking and doing — explorers. With diverse backgrounds, they seek a diverse learning environment, are comfortable with ambiguity and willing to take risks — and use them as learning opportunities. The idea of “community” is familiar to Communication Pioneers; they’re active and enthusiastic participants in modern social and professional circles — online and in person. A Pioneer would participate in the campus program to have the opportunity to see and participate in the flesh, but work responsibilities or geography stand in the way. Communication Pioneers want to participate in the Master of Communication Management online program because it offers the innovative coursework they see as a means of climbing the ladder and jumpstarting, or updating, their learning. The USC Annenberg online MCM program operates in a space that Pioneers understand and embrace. It connects them with professionals in other organizations who have their own understanding of theory and how to use it. It’s not, “Here’s what we did, so you should too,” but instead, “Here is what our data suggested, so this is how you should proceed.” The Master of Communication Management online degree program includes the opportunity for live, synchronous sessions with classmates, and a Communication Pioneer takes every opportunity to participate. A blend of individual and group assignments means students aren’t just accountable for themselves, but to others. The opportunity to collaborate and leverage relationships — with classmates, faculty and more than 15,000 USC Annenberg alumni — is a key motivator for Communication Pioneers. USC Annenberg online MCM students learn how to find, understand and apply research directly related to their work; analyze complex business and communication problems; and develop critical thinking, writing, presentation and oral advocacy skills. For a Communication Pioneer these skills open doors to areas of communication previously hidden, unexplored or unattainable.
  • Communication Coaches

    Communication Coaches are a subset of our communication veterans; they have experience and personal best practices, but they understand there are untapped resources available. They recognize that enhancing their problem-solving and qualitative skills and learning modern communication models puts them in a better position to give back to the profession and create new experts. The USC Annenberg Master of Communication Management online program appeals to the Communication Coach because it realigns their professional experience to a modern model. The learning community — classmates, faculty and alumni — offers access to a diverse cross section of experiences in the application of communication theory and research. Communication Coaches value a prestige brand, and understand the impact a graduate degree from USC Annenberg can have on their applications for teaching jobs.

Why a Master of Communication Management Online Program?

The Universal Language of Communication

It’s no surprise that organizations with a cohesive, comprehensive approach to communication strategy are among the most profitable. From the mailroom to the boardroom, successful communication is the linchpin to successful operation. The workplace, especially rivals, are taking notice and effecting change to stay competitive.

Everyone communicates, but not everyone communicates well. “Strong communication skills” are ubiquitous to today’s job postings, regardless of function or industry. So what does this mean for communication professionals? How do communication professionals set themselves apart in a field of résumés peddling “strong communication skills?” Communication is more than just art or just science; it’s a strategic balance of both. Understanding the balance is a key differentiator for professionals in a competitive marketplace.

  • The Art of Communication

    A communicator’s job is to translate — explain, describe, host, speak and write; make the unknown known; cut through clutter and capture attention; transform complex ideas, research and data to bring them to life. But the landscape of communication has changed, as organizations that rely on it have adapted to the needs of their communities. One of the biggest changes is how they communicate. Communication has gone digital, and with digital communication comes the associated challenges — it is instant, global and archival. What you “say” can be distributed quickly across the world and is easily retrieved. For communication professionals, the implications are huge; yesterday’s methodology no longer applies. They need supplemental skills to complement the basics of “how” to send a message, and they need training that can keep up with the pace of the digital world.
  • The Science of Communication

    The digital world demands substantiation. Tens of thousands of resources exist to prove or disprove, support or refute, and it’s imperative for communication professionals to be able to separate the good from the bad. They need guidance to ground their strategy in reliable evidence. How to communicate may have serious considerations, but they all become secondary to the message itself — the “what.” Defining communication strategy with measurable outcomes is among the biggest obstacles facing today’s communication professional. What do you want to accomplish? How will you identify success? Too often communicators don’t have the data to back up what they think needs to be done, or the effect of what has been done. And without those analytics, they lose the ear of the people who matter — front-line managers, C-suite executives, cross-departmental stakeholders and customers. Data-driven measurement provides the foundation for effective communication management, regardless of the speed of “how.”
  • The Evolving Landscape

    The dichotomy of communication pits theory and research against the need for actionable strategy. And two factors make communication even more complex. First, the need for flexibility and personalization — seldom does a “best practices” approach, applied to the letter, yield appropriate results from one organization to another. Second, the answer to yesterday’s problem rarely fits today’s needs, let alone those of the future. To be successful, communication professionals require specialized training to productively and adroitly apply theory and research to modern needs. More and more, they recognize that the value of a graduate degree is found in its ability to marry the two. Communicators need a graduate degree with more focus on creativity, technology, conflict management and the interconnectivity of personal relationships. They want to design communication strategy and elevate their execution, striving to gain knowledge and develop skills that keep them at the leading edge of communication best practices. Business models are changing, as are the demands on communication professionals.
  • Bringing It All Together

    The USC Annenberg Master of Communication Management online degree program trains communication professionals with the skills they need to satisfy those demands. It specifically addresses the goals of those who want to bring the most value in a modern, interconnected landscape. More importantly, the online MCM equips communicators to provide that value from within their organizations, empowering them to be key contributors with a voice in strategy.
  • Communication Master’s Career Growth

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that from 2008 to 2018 primary communication-related occupations will grow by more than 16 percent, but that in itself is an incomplete perspective. The need for smart, analytical, aggressive and responsible communicators is independent of title and occupation. In the more recently released (February 2012) Employment Projections: 2010-2020 Summary, the BLS notes that occupations that typically need some type of postsecondary education for entry are projected to grow the fastest during the 2010-20 decade. Occupations classified as needing a master’s degree are projected to grow by 21.7 percent. The growth in the labor market and the evolution of communication job requirements are driving a few distinct segments.