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Advisory Regarding Coronavirus COVID-19

In order to deliver the best and safest program for our students, all programs will move to online learning for Summer 2020. We are excited to deliver dynamic and engaging courses and cocurricular activities online. Applications remain open, and we encourage students to apply. Learn More.
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Curriculum & Courses

The Master’s Program in Strategic Communication embraces a scholar-practitioner approach to learning where you will learn both classical and modern approaches to communication and apply them through simulated and real-world scenarios.

The program’s wide and varied range of electives gives students the opportunity to take classes at the School of Professional Students outside of the program and elsewhere at Columbia. Through their elective selections, students can craft a path of study aligned with specific interests and objectives. Many electives bring together students from all formats of the Strategic Communication program, providing additional opportunities for networking and relationships.


Curriculum for Incoming Fall 2018 students


Curriculum for Incoming Fall 2018 students

Curriculum for Incoming Fall 2019 students

Part-Time On-Campus Option
Description On-Campus
Points Requirement

36 points for degree completion


On-campus instruction; online instruction possible for some courses


Fall intake only

Time Commitment

Up to 3 years

Capstone Project


International students are responsible for ensuring they have read and understand the University’s student visa application eligibility and requirements. Please note that it is not permissible to enroll while in B-1/B-2 status. In addition, if studying on a student visa, you must enroll full-time (12 credits per term) and study on campus.

Expectations and Time Demands

Typically students spend about 4-6 hours per class per week, in addition to time spent in the class itself.

Core courses take place during the evenings on campus, and are typically offered from 6 to 8 pm. Some courses may be offered as live online classes. Students typically take two courses together with their cohort in their first semester. Following that, students have the opportunity to take more or fewer courses each semester depending on professional and other obligations.

Part-time students are required to take 5 electives. Some courses with evening schedules may only be available online. Students have the opportunity to take up to two electives through other programs in the School of Professional Studies or other schools at Columbia, subject to the approval of the Program Director. Electives may be offered as semester-long courses in Spring, Summer and Fall, online, or through a select number of one-week block intensive courses. Not all electives are available in every semester and registration is based upon availability.

In order to receive the master's degree in Strategic Communication through this program format, you must complete all requirements of the degree within 3 years with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better.

Hybrid Intensive Study Dates

Fall 2019

For students who are returning to the program this semester.
8/22 - 8/25 in San Francisco

Spring 2020

For students who returned to the program in fall 2019.
No required intensives.

Summer 2020

For students who returned to the program in fall 2019. 
5/14 - 5/15 in New York City 
8/28 - 8/29 in San Francisco

Part-Time On-Campus Sequence (Sample)

Students take two classes their first Fall and Spring terms. During subsequent terms, students will have the ability to scale-up or scale-down their course load, provided they take the remaining required core courses during their program and complete within three years.

To accommodate working professionals, one section of every core course is available during a weeknight evening, typically 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This evening section will be held either face-to-face or online.

The sequence below is an example of how a student may complete the program in two years.

First Term: Fall (6 Points)

Second Term: Spring (6 Points)

Third Term: Summer (6 Points)

Fourth Term: Fall (6 Points)

Fifth Term: Spring (6 Points)

Sixth Term: Summer (6 Points)

Elective Courses

Note: Electives are not always offered in the same modality each year. Please double check the current modality before enrolling. Not all electives are available in every semester and registration is based upon availability.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.