Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership

Courtney H., Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership — 2019 Grad

Take Your Next Brave Step

Receive information about the benefits of our programs, the courses you'll take, and what you need to apply.

. What degree program are you interested in?
What degree program are you interested in?
We value your privacy.

Prepare for today’s industry.
Anticipate tomorrow’s.

Growing integration in marketing and PR campaigns. Ephemeral content in social channels. Voice search and search engine optimization (SEO). The world of strategic communications is constantly shifting. To be successful in this evolving field, you need to do more than keep up, you need to analyze current trends and anticipate what comes next. We can help you develop the expertise — and earn the relevant certifications — to build better communication plans, make stronger connections with your audience, and rise as a leader.

At Maryville, learning is doing. Choose our online master’s in strategic communication and leadership program, and you can earn an experience-driven degree that is designed to help you prepare for the future of the industry. Our program provides a background in theory, but the focus is on practical application. Study with us, and you’ll have the chance to complete immersive class projects that prepare you for the professional world, and earn industry certifications that allow you to apply what you learn dynamically.

Get Curriculum Details
No Experience Icon

Apply with no application fee and no entrance exams

Tuition Assistance Icon

Explore financial aid and eligible transfer credit options

Computer Monitor and Mobile Phone Icon

Access courses 100% online

Group of People Icon

Learn from industry-experienced faculty

Diploma Icon

Earn certifications from Google, Salesforce, and Hubspot

Early Access Icon

Build dynamic, practical skills for nonprofit and business careers

Why earn your online M.A. in Strategic Communication and Leadership?

In the digital world, strategy shifts fast. New tools, techniques, and platforms emerge constantly as best practices and new procedures redefine the digital landscape. To succeed at the highest level in this fast-paced profession, you need a future-focused education that gives you insight into the cutting edge of strategic communication. That’s exactly what Maryville’s master’s in strategic communication and leadership program provides.

In our program, you can take on immersive projects and coursework with real-world application to your career, and you can graduate with at least three in-demand professional certifications to bolster your communication and leadership skills — and your resume. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive assessment to validate the work you’ve completed and ensure you’re ready to compete and excel in the professional world.

With an online master’s in strategic communication and leadership degree, you can develop and enhance the skills to help you pursue a career in public relations, social media, marketing, community relations, event planning, fundraising, and much more.

Our program also gives you the flexibility through exciting electives or a concentration in emerging and digital media, so you can choose the courses most relevant to your interests and goals. Learn to create and run persuasive campaigns, lead teams within your organization, and become a strategic storyteller for the modern audience.

Flexible, affordable, and highly personalized.

100% online coursework. With no campus visits required.

Benefit from streamlined admissions. Apply with no entrance exams or fees, and choose from three start dates.

Gain practical, portable experience. Complete immersive projects and relevant coursework that can help you in your current and future employment.

Become certified. Earn professional certificates from Salesforce, Google AdWords, and Hubspot.

Learn from industry leaders. Study with experienced faculty from a wide range of professional backgrounds in fields like business, nonprofits, agencies, and more.

Get the support you need. Apply to be considered for financial aid and get transfer credits for eligible courses.

What Can You Do with an Online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership?

Business, politics, nonprofits, sports and entertainment, tech startups — in any field from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, expert storytellers are in demand. When you earn your online master’s in strategic communication and leadership from Maryville, you establish yourself not just as an authority in strategy, marketing, and communication, but also as a bold leader poised for advancement.

Our dynamic, professionally focused program gives you the chance to participate in immersive projects and coursework that can be applied in the professional world. You also can earn industry certifications in platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Google AdWords, to help you gain an edge as you move up in your current career or pursue your dream job.

You can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Fortune 500 companies
  • Tech firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Marketing agencies
  • Public relations firms
  • Small businesses
  • Political offices and campaigns
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government

Career opportunities for online strategic communication and leadership degree grads include:

  • Communications director
  • Social media manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Advertising account executive
  • Project manager
  • Digital strategist
  • Public relations specialist
  • Online media manager
  • Creative director
  • Communications specialist
  • SEO manager
  • Fundraising manager
  • Community relations specialist

What’s the market outlook for M.A. in Strategic Communication and Leadership graduates?

More job opportunities

Not only is the communications industry evolving — it’s growing. With your master’s in strategic communication and leadership, you can compete for opportunities in booming fields. Between 2016 and 2026, there is high growth projected for roles like technical writer (11%), public relations manager (10%), and advertising/promotions manager (10%).* Not only that, but your optional concentration in emerging and digital media can help you prepare for new and developing roles in social media, online marketing, and more.

Higher earning potential

Rise up as a leader with effective communication strategies, and you can advance in a variety of positions. While compensation varies based on factors like experience and location, a master’s in strategic communications and leadership can help you qualify for careers that come with high median salaries across industries, including public relations/fundraising manager ($111,280)*, advertising/marketing manager ($106,130)*, nonprofit fundraising director ($63,985)**, and political campaign manager ($54,265)**.

Advanced expertise

Today’s employers seek strategic leaders who can leverage digital communications to achieve company objectives. That’s why we designed our program with a dynamic, immersive professional focus. Embedded in your master’s degree, you can earn three or more professional certifications that demonstrate your skills using the latest digital tools, from Google AdWords to Salesforce and more.

*Salary and growth data based on data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
**From self-reported salary data compiled by

Why choose Maryville University’s online strategic communication and leadership degree?

Innovation is top of mind at Maryville.
For strategic leaders and communication professionals like you, innovation is everything. Our faculty regularly updates course materials to reflect the industry’s latest trends and digital tools. We stay focused on the future, so you can graduate with the skills and confidence to challenge the status quo — and lead the future of strategic communications.

Define your career. We’ll help.
At Maryville, we’re driven by outcomes. That’s why we designed our M.A. in Strategic Communications and Leadership program with a professional focus that helps you meet the challenges of today’s communications field — and prepare for tomorrow’s. Our relevant coursework and experiential projects help you build your knowledge of theory and your practical expertise, so you can apply what you learn dynamically as you move up in your career, or prepare for a new one. You’ll also have the opportunity to earn at least three industry certifications by the time you graduate, and pursue an optional concentration in emerging and digital media.

Put our reputation to work.
Maryville University has been empowering brave students like you since 1872. We’re proud of our reputation for quality academics and affordability, because it demonstrates our commitment to excellence and accessibility. Choose Maryville and know you’ll receive the highest possible standards in education — especially when it comes to a master’s in strategic communications and leadership.

We’re recognized for excellence so you can be, too.

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
Money's Best Colleges

Faculty Spotlight

Profile picture of Leilani Carver-Madalon

Leilani Carver-Madalon, PhD
Program Director and Associate Professor of Communication

Leilani Carver-Madalon, PhD, specializes in strategic communication, marketing communication, and leadership. Before entering academia, Dr. Carver-Madalon worked for eight years in technology training and development, project management and consulting.

As a professor, Dr. Carver-Madalon empowers students to become leaders through experiential learning opportunities such as short-term study abroad programs and practical assignments which include real clients. She developed and launched the women’s leadership mentorship program at Maryville University, a program involving approximately 200 mentors and mentees annually. The program teaches professional skills like strategic risk-taking, confidence building, salary negotiation, public speaking and career advancement.

Carver-Madalon strongly advocates for students to explore their interests and values during their studies, encouraging informational interviews, job shadowing and internships to learn more about creating a career — and a life — they love. She believes it is impossible to teach a student everything they need to know, but it is essential to teach them how to learn and to inspire a passion for lifelong learning. As Greek essayist Plutarch wrote, “the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lit.”

This is your moment. Your chance to learn from the best. Let’s be brave together.

Online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership Curriculum

At Maryville, we don’t succeed unless you do. That’s why our online master’s in strategic communication and leadership degree is career-based and future-focused. Choose this 36-credit-hour program, and you can personalize your studies to align with your professional goals. Whether you want to run a communications department or start your own consulting business, we offer the industry-relevant courses to match.

Strategic Leadership Core
4 courses – 12 credits total
Build your foundation in leadership as you complete courses in leadership, evidence-based research, organizational communication, and professional ethics.

Strategic Communication Core
4 courses – 12 credits total
Strengthen your foundational knowledge of communications theory, and learn how to apply what you learn in real-world business settings. You’ll study the latest trends, best practices, and global communications strategies, and you’ll round out your experience with a comprehensive exam.

Emerging and Digital Media Concentration (optional)
4 courses – 12 credits total
Study the skills to help you excel in an increasingly digital communications landscape. Choose from topics like integrated marketing communication, crisis management, digital media campaigns, digital analytics, and more.

Elective Courses
4 courses – 12 credits total
Personalize your educational experience by choosing elective courses that relate to your career goals and interests. Pick at least one strategic communication elective (3 credits) and three strategic communications or approved business electives (9 credits).

Complete immersive projects and earn industry-relevant certifications.

Much like you, we’re outcomes driven. And it shows in our curriculum. It’s the reason we partner with leading authorities like Google and Salesforce. Choose our online master’s in strategic communication and leadership program, and you can graduate with at least three industry-leading certifications:

  • Google Ad Words Certification (Comm 502)
  • HubSpot Content Marketing Certification (Comm 503)
  • Salesforce Certification (Comm 523)

This hands-on, practical experience allows you to see everything you’re learning in the classroom translate to the real world. It’s work you can add to your portfolio — and share with potential employers.

Get a head start with Early Access.

Are you a current Maryville undergraduate student? If you have a GPA of 3.25 or better and you’ve completed 90 credit hours or more, you may be eligible to get a head start on your M.A. in Strategic Communication and Leadership through Early Access.

During the last leg of your undergraduate degree, Early Access allows you to earn up to 12 credits toward your master’s degree. To learn more about Early Access, or to find out if you’re eligible, contact your academic advisor.