Online Programs

The Application Process for the Master’s in Strategic Communication Program

Graduating Year: 
2017-01-01 00:00:00

The application process I experienced with American University for the online Master’s in Strategic Communication was very personalized. I later found out that not every students’ experience was like mine, as every student and experience is different, based on where you are coming from and what kind of path you are choosing to take.

My admissions advisor and I corresponded on a weekly basis. She was there to remind me what I needed to get done as far as the application process and to assign me deadlines for my enrollment. Since I did not have to take the GRE (that was a huge relief), I still had to submit my undergraduate transcripts, a few letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose essay, and my resume.

I was a bit undecided when researching AU if I was interested in a 100% online program or more of a hybrid. Based on my work schedule and the amount I traveled at the time for work (2-3 weeks of the month) I didn’t have many options and decided the all online degree would be the best choice for my schedule, as I couldn’t promise I would be home on certain weekends to get to the campus.

I’ll never forget the moment I was accepted into the program. As cheesy as it sounds. I was shopping, I think it was a weekend and I was in Bath and Body Works in my local mall. My admissions advisor called me on my cell phone, which by that time was an average occurrence. I didn’t think much of it. When she told me I was accepted into AU’s School of Communication MA in Strategic Communication program, I jumped up and down. I thanked her tremendously for all of her support and then called my parents to tell them the news. It’s one of those moments you remember.

Being an online student has its share of benefits and its share of challenges. I enjoy the collaboration of my classmates that I get to experience on a weekly basis through the discussion posts and assignments. This class I am in right now, COMM642: Strategic Communication Management is based on group work and working together as a team. The upside to that is that you get to pick the members you would like to be on a team with. Based on the other six classes I have been through already, I knew who I wanted on my team and who I worked well with.

The one piece of advice I have for a student who is considering this program and wondering if they will like an all-online program is this: what you get out of it is what you put into it. This means your motivation and organization on a weekly basis determines how well you do. Also, I recommend trying to meet up with classmates when you get the chance. I attended the American University MA in Strategic Communication social that the School of Communication had in April and thought it was fantastic to meet teachers I had in previous classes as well as classmates. I have also met up with classmates who were around visiting or working in DC. Don’t think you are alone, reach out to fellow classmates if you want to vent or ask questions about a class, we’re all in this together! Plus it is nice to meet the people you will spend 20 months with!

To learn more about American University's online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication, request more information or call toll free at 855-725-7614.

  • About the Author

    Sarah Bursey

    Sarah earned her BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations from Bridgewater College, Virginia (2010). While earning her undergraduate degree, Sarah wrote for the student newspaper, was the secretary for the Mass Communication Club, played on the women’s lacrosse team where she served as captain for two years and was a Deans list honoree. She has worked at JRC Integrated Systems, Inc. in Washington, DC. for three and half years as a Department of Defense (Navy) contractor where she is a Program Analyst, providing Project and Program Management support to the Technical Director and Vice Admiral of Strategic Systems Programs. Sarah writes and edits JRC’s internal company newsletter and press releases. She is from Westminster, Maryland originally and has lived in the DC/MD/VA area since returning from college. She is anticipated to graduate from AU with her MA in Strategic Communication in May of 2017 and looks forward to breaking into the PR and news media industry.