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Fisher to Offer Online Graduate Degree in Strategic Communication

February 21, 2019

This fall, St. John Fisher College will offer a new online Master of Science in Strategic Communication degree program, providing advanced knowledge in public relations, advertising, and marketing for individuals seeking leadership positions in agencies, corporations, and non-profits. Applications are currently being accepted for the inaugural fall 2019 cohort.

Students listening to a lecture.

Designed to be completed online in just two years of study, the 30 credit-hour, cohort-based program will be housed in Fisher’s Department of Media and Communication in the School of Arts and Sciences.

 “The M.S. in Strategic Communication will prepare students with the skills needed to communicate on behalf of a client or organization in today’s complex media environment,” said Arien Rozelle, public relations professor in the Department of Media and Communication. “We are excited to offer a program that includes innovative instruction in an online format to serve students in the Rochester area and beyond.”

The program includes candidates with opportunities to get to know professors and fellow students through a three-weekend residency at the start of the program. In addition to core classes in public relations, advertising, and marketing, courses will cover concepts including social media, strategy, content creation, media analytics, brand storytelling, and leadership development.

A highlight of the program includes a two-credit practicum for candidates either through a 10-day trip abroad focused on building insights into global communications or an executive-level immersion experience at an organization in the student’s city of residence. Each experience allows for the hands-on application of strategic communication skills and leadership concepts in an agency or corporate communications setting.

“Strategic communications represents a growing need for practitioners who can effectively tell the stories of people, companies, and institutions across broad and diverse platforms,” said Dr. Ann Marie Fallon, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “Our faculty have trained generations of students in critically and authentically sharing other peoples’ stories. This new degree represents an opportunity to broaden that entrepreneurial reach.”

Faculty members from the Department of Media and Communication and School of Business, including Professor Arien Rozelle, Professor Jonathan M. Mertel, Dr. Lauren Vicker, Dr. Jack Rosenberry, Dr. Jason Berman, and Dr. Isar Kiani, will teach the program courses.

The chair of Media and Communication, Professor Jeremy Sarachan said entry into graduate offerings is a natural evolution for the Department of Media and Communication, which began at Fisher as a communication/journalism major and now boasts three majors and four minors. The department has graduated more than 1,300 students since its formation in 1974, and alumni of its programs have found success working for local, regional, and national media outlets, advertising agencies, and nonprofit and corporate companies.

Learn more about the new program at an upcoming Transfer and Graduate Information Session at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in the Integrated Science and Health Sciences Building on Fisher’s campus. Attendees can register online or visit the program’s webpage for details. For general program questions, call the Office of Transfer and Graduate Admissions at (585) 385-8064.