Online M.S. in Applied Communication, Social Media Concentration

Online M.S. in Applied Communication, Social Media Concentration

As a former HASTAC Scholar, I wanted to share this call for applications for a new program that I’ve developed with my colleagues at Fitchburg State University. We’re now accepting applications on a rolling basis for our second cohort in our M.S. in Applied Communication with a concentration in Social Media.I hope you’ll consider sharing it with undergraduate students who may be interested.

If you’re interested in a career in social media marketing or gaining the necessary skills for conceptualizing, designing and executing social media campaigns and community-impact projects, then the applied communication graduate program is for you.

apps-blur-cellphone-533446The new program is 100% online and designed to meet rigorous academic and career training goals in line with the employment outlook for careers requiring a master’s degree in communication and media studies, and related disciplines.

There are two flexible program concentration options to fit student schedules: the 24-month online program, and the part-time online program (up to 72 months). The details and highlights of this program are listed below:

  • Eligible applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in communication media, or a related discipline, GPA of 3.0 or higher, and must submit their academic transcript, a professional resume, and three professional references.
  • Applicants can submit the online application to the program prior to their completion of a bachelor’s degree program but the Registrar must confirm degree completion before considering the application.
  • Graduate and Continuing Education at Fitchburg State University has rolling admissions, which means that applicants can apply anytime. The online application can be accessed at
  • Accepted students will have the option to complete the program in 24 months, allowing for a steady transition to the communication media career field.
  • Accepted students will also have the option to complete the program within 72 months to accommodate their schedules.

The part-time online program option allows students maximum flexibility in course scheduling and requires program completion within six years of matriculation. Based on current demand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6-11% increase in employment opportunities within the communication media industry between 2016-2026.* Regional employer demand trends reveal the need for professionals with social media skills in leadership roles for common job title listings such as: Social Media Manager, Marketing Manager/Director, Communications Manager, Director of Media Relations, Communications Specialist, Brand Manager, and Public Relations Director.  Additionally, LinkedIn data identifies “analytical reasoning” as the number three most needed skill by companies in 2019.    

The master’s degree in applied communication social media concentration will effectively prepare students for the growing communication media career industry and advanced graduate study. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to pursue a variety of career positions that require: applied understanding of social media theories and practice; design and management of social media sites and applications; ability to design and execute a social media campaign; ability to apply quantitative and qualitative communication research methods and integrated social media marketing skills; effective data visualization and multimedia presentation skills, and the application of intercultural communication competency in the social media context.

Additionally, applicants to this program are no longer required to complete the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for admission.

The coursework consists of the following classes:

  • Social Media Theory
  • Communication Ethics
  • New and Emerging Media
  • Social Mobilities
  • Visual Communication and Design
  • Intercultural Communication Competence
  • Integrated Social Media
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Data and Analytics
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Capstone for Social Media

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the program. I can be reached at jsylvia3[at]