Salt Lake City, Utah-based Westminster College is Utah's only accredited liberal arts post-secondary institution. Located in the Sugar House neighborhood, Westminster College features four schools and was founded as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute in 1875. The school now offers 34 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate degrees, some of which are available online for those seeking a distance learning education. In 2015, U.S. News and World Report ranked Westminster College on its lists for Best College for Veterans, A+ Schools for B Students, Best Value Schools and Best Regional Universities. In addition, the Princeton Review has recognized the school as one of the best colleges in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
Westminster College Accreditation Details
Westminster College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Westminster College Application Requirements
In order to be accepted into the online Master of Strategic Communication degree program at Westminster College, students must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited academic institution. The degree must be in a related field, and students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students must also submit a completed application, a $50 application fee, two letters of recommendation and a resume demonstrating professional experience in the field of communication. Applicants are required to show evidence of their ability to engage in self-directed learning and a strong desire to be a leader in strategic communication as shown through a personal statement of interest in the online degree program. Because the program is project-based, students seeking admission into the program are encouraged to demonstrate their motivation as well as show evidence of being a self-starter in their personal statements and resumes.
Tuition and Financial Aid
According to Westminster College, the online Master of Strategic Communication degree costs $10,000 less than the average MBA program in the state of Utah. Students can expect to pay $850 per credit hour or a total of $34,000 for the complete 40-credit-hour online MSC degree. Loans, alumni scholarships and merit scholarships are available for the online graduate degree. Westminster College offers $5,000 for the Master of Communication degree, and students may begin the financial aid process by contacting the Admission Office. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans and offers personalized academic advising for former military members. Westminster College also waives the $250 deposit and $50 application fee for all veterans and provides counseling support and Military Honor Cards to graduating student veterans.
Online Master of Strategic Communication Degree Available
The online Master of Strategic Communication (MSC) degree within the Westminster College School of Arts and Sciences, Center for Innovative Learning is an intensive, fast-paced program that allows students to work on communication projects and problems with real clients. As a competency-based, online-only program that requires one on-campus meet per semester, students have a significant amount of flexibility and can pursue their degree while maintaining their current jobs. The program is structured around project sequences, so students will benefit from hands-on learning, collaborating with other students to develop projects such as crisis communication evaluations, organizational strategy recommendation reports, training programs, branding strategies and integrated marketing communications plans.
The online Master of Strategic Communication program is designed for self-directed, dedicated students who are looking to improve their skills. Although many incoming students have worked beyond their baccalaureate degree and have professional experience, it is not required for the program. In order to successfully earn their degree, students must need to be a team player and show motivation, focus and organization.
Throughout the program, students will develop a number of skills, including the ability to apply expertise to a capstone project in their areas of interest, lead teams and projects in a coordinated effort to achieve organizational goals, create integrated marketing communication campaigns and analyze organizations to ensure maximum effectiveness of their communication strategies. Students will also plan, research, design, execute and manage large-scale writing projects for real clients and master the strategic practices and rhetorical principles needed to create ethical, effective and usable communications.
Students may complete the five-semester Master of Strategic Communication degree program over the course of 18 months and have the opportunity to earn the degree while advancing their current careers. Students work with a cohort, or a group of approximately 10 professionals from different backgrounds, and receive mentoring from experienced faculty with knowledge in branding, information design, professional writing and rhetoric. Communication between classmates and professors is done weekly via Skype, phone or other methods of the students' choosing.
Coursework for the online MSC degree is broken into five eight-credit-hour sequences for a total of 40 credit hours required for the degree. Each sequence provides direction and information about specific knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful high-level communication professional. Students will apply what they've learned by producing projects for clients they choose. Sequences include: strategic communication in action, communication design and visual branding, organizational strategy assessment, strategic marketing communications and a capstone project and corporate training. Each sequence consists of several projects and a final integrative project, and students must complete sequences in a specific order as each one builds upon the previous sequence. Each sequence includes a set of rubrics that students may use to self-assess their projects before they submit them for evaluation, and students are required to complete a one-day on-campus residence per sequence. During this time, students will take seminars and workshops designed to prepare them for the upcoming sequence and related projects.
The program also includes an all-inclusive international trip where students will put the knowledge and skills they developed throughout their courses to use. Past cohorts from Westminster College have traveled to South Africa and Peru. Students will work with their team to develop a project for a real-world client, taking advantage of the opportunity to provide communication expertise, including collateral and valuable recommendations, to the organization.
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Upon graduation, students have entered careers in a number of areas, including proposal writers, creative directors, marketing writers, project managers, directors of public relations, trade show directors, media supervisors and content developers. Other potential careers for graduates of the online Master of Strategic Communication degree from Westminster College include community engagement managers, product marketing directors, non-profit agency directors, web content specialists and organizational development consultants.