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College of Arts and Sciences

MA in Integrated Communication

If you want to take your advertising, public relations, or strategic communication career to the next level, our 100% online master’s in integrated communication program will give you the ability to expand your job opportunities and enhance your strategic messaging skills. The program connects you with cutting edge industry-standard resources and professionals and provides a launching pad for your success in a wide variety of businesses and organizations.

Quick Facts
  • 33 Credits
  • 100% Online
  • Part Time or Full Time
  • Rolling Admission
  • Learn from industry and academic experts in the field
  • Apply Now!
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Questions? Contact Program Director Kristin Comeforo

About the Program

Integrated Communication Student

The 100% online MA in Integrated Communication program is focused on helping you become a skilled communicator and leader across all organization levels and media platforms. You build a strong portfolio as you learn to produce fully integrated campaigns that achieve your company’s/client’s objectives and goals. 
 
You develop critical thinking skills and creative solutions as you master the fundamentals of integrated communication and create a vision for applying them in an ever-changing media, technological, and demographic landscape.
 
Our integrated communication program, and UHart, are committed to getting you career ready, and helping you achieve your career goals. You produce campaigns for real clients in our student-run agency Crested Communications and gain real-world experience in a “classroom” setting. You also work with our School of Communication internship program director to gain experience in the field, and/or with the University’s Career Studio to explore career paths, produce a compelling career portfolio, and develop networking and interview skills.

Overview of Courses

Integrated Communication Students

You take courses in integrated communication research methods, media, and public relations strategies and practices. Examples of electives include courses in creative concepts and campaigns, multimedia production, media metrics and analytics, organizational communication, and visual communication and branding.
 
These courses make the program a virtual “boot camp” that covers all the key areas in the field.  Graduates will be well-rounded and poised to take on upper-level managerial roles across a variety of organizations and contexts.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Integrated Communication requires 33 credit hours of approved graduate courses. You and your faculty advisor will design a  program of study based on your experiences and plans.

Core Courses

You will take six required core courses, for a total of 18 credits.  These courses do not need to be taken in any specific order. 

Integrated Communication
This course provides a foundation for the continued study of communication tools such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, etc.  Students will learn to integrate messages across the tools to plan for, and produce, effective communication campaigns in a variety of contexts.

Integrated Communication Seminar
A survey of prevailing best practices, trends, and developments in the field of integrated communication.  Through trend analysis and real-time, current events-based industry study, students will locate the pulse of industry, and begin charting their career path. As a seminar, students can expect to hear from working professionals, building both relevant contemporary knowledge, and important connections within the field.

Integrated Communication Research Methods
An introduction to research methods and analysis in which students gain proficiency in the most relevant qualitative and quantitative methods for the fields of advertising and public relations.  Through analysis, students will learn how to transform data into insights that will drive effective campaigns and messaging.  

Media Touchpoints
This course explores the touchpoints and methods for delivering messages to audiences.  Provides in-depth study of traditional, digital, and other emerging platforms and emphasizes evaluating touchpoints in terms of audience reach and ability to achieve communication objectives.  Focusing on effectiveness and efficiency, students will practice building media plans for a variety of real-world applications.

PR Strategies and Practices
Students will be introduced to strategies that identify internal and external stakeholders along with methods to improve public relations communication practices with them. An emphasis will be on assessment, tactical development, and execution.

Choose between:

Creative Concepts & Campaigns
This course is a guide to creative ideas and campaigns. It focuses on concepts and concepting as the keys to creating great, timeless messaging. Students will engage the creative process, learn how to write copy, and work from creative briefs to plan powerful, integrated campaigns across various media platforms. 

Or

Multimedia Production
In this class, students will be introduced to the basic concepts, design, programming, and production skills necessary for the creation of multimedia products for use in the field of communication. The lab projects will be in relevant software used for presentations, digital image and video manipulation, animation and Web design.

Capstone Course

Students who have completed at least 27 credits in the program and have maintained a 3.0 grade point average are qualified to complete their 3-credit capstone course. You may choose between completing a Graduate Project or producing a Portfolio.

Integrated Communication Graduate Project
Students will engage in in-depth research, analysis, and application around an emerging topic in integrated communication. Students will select a faculty project advisor who will work with them to determine project scope and deliverables. The graduate project requires a substantial contribution to knowledge around, and practice of, integrated communication. It requires 20-30 written pages or equivalent multimedia presentation as agreed upon with the project advisor.  A final defense of the project is required.

Integrated Communication Portfolio
Students create a professional quality portfolio that showcases their learning across the program and focuses on content relevant to their career goals. Portfolios must show mastery of integrated communication concepts, effective use of tools and touchpoints, be grounded in research, and include production of creative work that delivers a consistent message and solves real-world problems. Portfolios will be facilitated by an assigned or chosen faculty/administrator who will guide the student and oversee the evaluation process. A final defense of the portfolio is required.

Elective Courses

In addition to your core and capstone courses, you will choose four elective courses to satisfy your credit requirement for the Master of Arts degree in Integrated Communication. 

Visual Communication & Branding
This class provides students with the critical and creative tools necessary for creating brand identity. Students will practice key activities such as defining an audience, performing visual analyses, naming brands, and producing visual communication elements such as logos and straplines, to tell a compelling brand story.

Organizational Communication
This course covers the major approaches to the study of organizational communication. The course also covers relevant aspects of organizational theory, the sociology of complex organizations, and organizational psychology as they apply to communicative behavior. Topics include conflict communication, ethical communication, information and communication technologies, organizational culture, and communication of organizational change.

Creative Concepts & Campaigns (if not taken as a core course)
This course is a guide to creative ideas, strategies, and campaigns. It focuses on concepts and concepting as the keys to creating great, timeless messaging. Students will engage the creative process, learn how to write copy, and work from creative briefs to plan powerful, integrated campaigns across various media platforms. 

Multimedia Production (if not taken as a core course)
In this class students will be introduced to the basic concepts, design, programming, and production skills necessary for the creation of multimedia products for use in the field of communication. The lab projects will be in relevant software used for presentations, digital image and video manipulation, animation and Web design.

Media Metrics & Analytics
In this course students will be introduced to audience measurement concepts, sources, and methods, learning how to analyze data and implement communication strategies based on media analytic insights. The class will focus on how to use the prevailing industry-standard data tools to effectively measure audience behavior.  Students may use this course as a jumping off point for completing industry-recognized certification exams on their own. 

The Agency
Crested Communications, is the student-run communications firm at the University of Hartford. The course functions as an experiential learning opportunity whereby students work with real world clients on various integrated communication campaigns. Students are assigned professional roles throughout the semester and are accountable for the client work submitted. Students will engage in analysis to identify client issues, and practice communicating directly with clients, pitching ideas, and executing campaigns. All students will be responsible for client work and will sign a Client Services Agreement as part of the program.

Special Studies in Integrated Communication
A variable topic seminar focusing on new topics and issues in the fields of advertising and public relations. Students may take this course more than once.

Learning Outcomes

MA in Integrated Communication students will be able to:

  • Identify integrated communication tools and trends to develop a demonstrable set of best practices.
  • Identify, assess, and leverage traditional, digital, and emerging media touchpoints.
  • Develop qualitative, quantitative, along with secondary research skills to identify communication challenges and opportunities.
  • Translate research findings into powerful creative messaging materials and campaign plans that meet communication objectives.
  • Become effective communicators across multiple contexts, organizational levels, and media platforms.
  • Produce a fully integrated campaign that tells compelling brand stories, engages audiences, and achieves communication objectives.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.