Strategic Communication and Public Relations (M.A.)
Washington runs on 24/7 news cycles, spin control and strategic social media. Get the skills you need to be a communications pro! From national and global media outlets to public relations firms, from Capitol Hill to nonprofit organizations, the nation’s capital is the place to work in communications. At Trinity, you will gain the skills for success in today’s fast-paced communications field – and be ready for the next wave of new media!
Trinity’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Public Relations program trains the next generation of communication experts to think critically, strategically and creatively. The program’s unique blend of technical and tactical course work prepares graduates to practice the craft of communication ethically and equitably. Significant individual study and guided independent learning enhance the academic experience and sharpen practical skills.
Career-focused: For those seeking to advance in their current communication role or seek a career change, this program positions graduates to be effective communicators and leaders in corporate, nonprofit, government, and private sector organizations. Students learn key communication skills – from content creation to digital strategy – to give them a competitive edge in the marketplace, for careers in strategic communication management, public relations, public affairs and digital media.
Affordable: The Master of Arts program is affordable – with one of the lowest tuition rates in the Washington region.
Convenient: Evening courses are offered in an accelerated format with eight-week terms, making it convenient to complete the 36-credit program (12 courses). Students generally take three courses per semester and complete their degree in two academic calendar years (21 months). Students may choose to complete the degree in three academic calendar years by taking two courses per semester.
Featured CoursesSCPR 520 Multicultural Media HistoryThis course will examine the history and development of media images in public relations, mass media, journalism and advertising. Students will examine the ways that minority groups have been underrepresent, stereotyped, and typecast. The course will provide students with a historical, multicultural and gender sensitive overview of the development and social role of public relations, journalism and mass media in society. Students will study how media owned and produced by diverse groups cover themselves and the rest of society and analyze the powerful social role of multicultural perspectives in shaping public discussion and driving public discourse. At the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications; discuss and analyze the role that news coverage plays in the social construction of race, class and gender. Students will additionally demonstrate an understanding of the importance of diversity in strategic communication and public relations in a global society.
Prerequisites: None SCPR 530 Olivia Pope in the Real World: Rep & CrisisIn the age of "Olivia Pope" and the Trump Russia investigation almost everyone is familiar with how much rapid response and crisis management TV President Fitz Grant and real life President Donald Trump need almost daily. Crisis management has become a much needed tool in the PR portfolio. A reputation, whether for a business, an organization, a political candidate or an academic institution can take years to build and be ruined in a matter of days or even hours. In this course, students will learn what it takes to build, manage and protect a reputation. Reviewing real life case studies, students will examine the consequences of verbal and financial mistakes and misdeeds, product failures and organization crises, and the tactical and ethical challenges facing PR practitioners seeking solutions.
Prerequisites: None SCPR 540 Journalism and Public Relations WritingWriting for news and public relations introduces students to the foundational principles of journalism and public relations. Students learn the fundamentals of news writing and news media expectations; learn the difference between writing objectively and subjectively for audiences; and learn to write for style, tone, angle and messaging.
Prerequisites: None SCPR 600 Media LawThis course is designed to give students an understanding of pertinent constitutional, equity and regulatory laws as they relate to mass media, and provide students with a basic understanding of how existing laws control the operation of mass media. Students will use case studies to look at the wide range of media law and policy issues from First Amendment rights and Fair Use of media images to how to navigate copyright issues within the digital media landscape. Students will explore the issues affecting the First Amendment, free press, free speech, religion and assembly and other legal issues that affect the media including intellectual property and technology. Upon taking this course students will understand and apply the First Amendment principles and the law appropriate to professional practice; understand the role of history and the role of professionals and institutions in shaping communication practices.
Prerequisites: None SCPR 605 Media Ethics Case StudiesGiven the ubiquitous headlines and media coverage of political corruption and ethical dilemmas facing individuals, professional organizations and corporations', students need to understand how ethical standards are developed and applied in professional practices. This course will explore the ethical practices and challenges in the closely connected areas of public relations and journalism. Students will compare their personal ethical concepts and values with professional codes of ethics and best practices and will examine problems and opportunities caused by changing audience habits.
Prerequisites: None SCPR 632 Political Communications and CampaignsStudents will explore the strategic communications planning used in political campaigns including opposition research, messaging, image creation, crisis management, audience analysis, f ocus gro ups and get-out-the vote efforts. The course will include guest speakers who have worked extensively on a variety of national and local political campaigns.
Social Media Manager and Analyst
Senior Editorial Manager & Content Specialist
Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications
Community Relations Specialist
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Public Policy Associate
Dr. Peggy Lewis, Executive Dean, School of Business and Graduate Studies and School of Professional Studies