Online Programs

MA in Strategic Communication: Frequently Asked Questions

What are your admissions requirements for the online Master’s of Arts in Strategic Communication?
Degree requirements for the online MA in Strategic Communication include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate work is recommended.

Do I have to have a background in communication to apply?
No. In fact, we have a combination of students with and without a background in communication.

How long does it take to complete the degree?
The program can be completed in as little as 20 months.

Why should I get a degree in Strategic Communication over a degree in PR or Marketing?
The well-rounded skills gained in the online Master’s in Strategic Communication will allow you to understand the foundational theories of effective communication with the practical application to make an impact in a constantly changing media landscape and will open doors throughout the PR and media industry.

Can I transfer credit for previous graduate work?
We may accept up to six hours of graduate work from another institution that applies directly to the degree.

Do you require submission of test scores?
We do not require a submission of GRE test scores.

What are the terms of provisional admission?
Students with a weak academic background may be admitted with provisional status. Students who are admitted provisionally must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 after the completion of the first nine credit hours of graduate study at American University or they will be academically dismissed.

What are the admission requirements for international students?
A TOEFL score of 600 (or 100 on the Internet-based test), a minimum score of 68 on the Pearson Test of English, or a minimum IELTS score of seven (7) is required. Additionally, applicants with international transcripts must have them evaluated course-by-course. For a list of acceptable evaluators, go to

What documents are required when applying?
The required application documents include:

  • A completed graduate application
  • A $55 application Fee
  • Phone Interview with Admissions Advisor
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation, which may be from former professors as well as current or former employers
  • Transcripts from all previous undergraduate and relevant graduate coursework (If a degree was earned outside the U.S., a course-by-course evaluated transcript is required.)

When is the deadline for application?
Our application deadline will change depending on which semester you are applying for. Please contact our online admissions staff for a specific timeline your application file needs to be fully submitted.

Is financial aid available?
Graduate students enrolled at least part time in a Master's program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What should I expect from the capstone course?
All of the capstone projects are online and you have an opportunity to focus on an area of your interest.  Some students have even published their capstone projects.

Where do alumni of the MA in Strategic Communications program find employment?
Graduates are prepared for a wide variety of positions, from business communication, marketing communication, political communication, organizational communication, and public relations communication. Learn more about our graduates’ success.

Will I be able to take advantage of the same resources as on-campus students do?
Yes, online students are encouraged to obtain a Student ID and take advantage of all of the same resources as our on-campus students.

Are there scholarships available for the program?
American University is pleased to offer the Online Merit Scholarship to students on the basis of an applicant's undergraduate GPA, graduate transcripts (if applicable), other relevant educational experiences and professional accomplishments.

Get more answers. Call 855-725-7614 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or request more information.