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Drexel’s Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication Provides an Outstanding Foundation for Communication Careers in the 21st Century

By Lauren Rose

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February 8, 2023

Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences is home to one of the most rapidly changing professional fields—communication. In order to keep students on the cutting edge of this highly sought-after field, Drexel’s Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication (MS-SDC) program has reinvented its curriculum to accommodate the needs and desires of today’s communication industry. 

Julia May, PhD, director of the MS-SDC program, explained that “this well-rounded program immediately offers students skills and expertise that they can bring to the workforce.” With focuses on public relations, nonprofit communication, and other areas of communication in digital settings, the program applies strategic communication theories that are useful in today’s fast-paced, technology-focused marketplace.

The flexibility of the MS-SDC program is quite attractive to both full-time students and working professionals who are looking to advance their careers. Students may take classes online, in person or a combination of both. With fieldwork such as a co-op or an internship required for graduation, the program places an emphasis on experiential learning and job-readiness. For students like Dana Good, an MS-SDC student planning to graduate during the 202324 academic year, this requirement has been beneficial.

The MS-SDC internship requirement ensures that students are exposed to real-life applications of their coursework. The requirement pushed me to get my foot in the door of the professional communication industry and ultimately landed me my dream job-- all before graduation,” said Good. Of course, the program recognizes that many of its students are already in the workforce and applies that time towards the field requirement.

Our students enter the program with a variety of different interests, backgrounds and career. What they all have in common is that they find themselves in need of the skills that our program offers,” said May. “For instance, during the height of the pandemic, professionals working in pharmaceuticals were suddenly faced with the task of communicating compilated information related to disease and vaccinations to the public in a way they never had before. This is a prime example of the program’s relevance.”

The core curriculum of the MS-SDC program consists of seven courses grounded in the theoretical approach to communication research, ethics, and media/communication policy. In addition, students participate in communication-focused electives which range from social media to crisis communication. Lastly, students are encouraged to use their free electives built into the program to pursue a graduate minor or a graduate certificate to further enhance their resumes. This type of interdisciplinary approach to learning is exactly what the College of Arts and Sciences’ philosophy is meant to accomplish.

Students have expressed the importance of a current, relevant curriculum developed to meet the needs of today’s communicators. When I started my journey with the school a year ago, the program had been completely redesigned to reflect today's real-world fields of communication, explained MS-SDC student Abigail Stryker, who currently works in Public Relations. “I use what I have learned from my time here at Drexel on a daily basis in my professional career.

“What’s so exciting about this field of work is also what challenges us,” said May. “We are teaching our students the application of complex communication theories that can be applied to platforms that likely do not even exist yet. If we can understand the basic philosophies behind this technology, it can be relevant regardless of where it is applied.”

Additional information about Drexel’s Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication (MS-SDC) program can be found here.