Majors & Programs

Strategic Marketing Communication (MA)

We are the marketing strategists and the brand storytellers.

Earn a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing Communication (MA) to learn how to build targeted marketing strategies to effectively communicate between consumers and the brands they choose. You will gain the tools to understand how consumers think, make decisions, and act on these decisions. 

In this program, you'll have a chance to:

  • Conduct research and analyze data to identify marketing challenges and opportunities;
  • Develop marketing and communication plans that connect to measurable business objectives and integrate elements of digital advertising, social media, PR, promotion, branding, direct marketing, and more;
  • Customize your program through electives based on your interests and experiences; and 
  • Collaborate and create persuasive presentations that demonstrate how your plans will positively influence an organization’s standing in the markets served.

Our Strategic Marketing Communication program prepares graduates for a diverse range of careers in marketing and communications on both the agency side and the client side, giving you the unique capacity to apply your marketing skills in virtually any industry worldwide. 

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Program Summary

Earn a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC), which prepares students for a diverse range of careers in marketing and communication. As a student in this program, you can customize your experience by selecting elective courses to match academic interests or career goals or follow a recommended Professional Path to gain a specific industry skill set. The Paths are: Strategic Planning, Digital Strategy, and Brand Strategy. 

The 40-credit program is perfect for working professionals, allowing for maximum flexibility related to time and structure; students can either complete the program in two years (full-time) or they can attend part-time. Courses are offered primarily in the evening, leaving time for students to participate in internship and networking opportunities.

5 + 5 Curriculum

  • 5 core courses: Through the required core courses of the 5 + 5 curriculum, students learn the foundational skills for success in industry careers. From courses such as Marketing and Brand Management to Creative Thinking and Problem Solving, students learn industry principles and how strategy and creativity are interwoven to form a customer-centric strategic marketing plan and integrated marketing communication.
  • 5 electives: The elective courses in the program allow students to either focus on a Professional Path in Strategic Planning, Digital Strategy, or Brand Strategy with recommended courses, or pick-and-choose electives that best meet personal career goals or academic interests. These electives complete the 5 + 5 curriculum.

Professional Paths

Students can choose between crafting an individualized program of study that draws from electives that satisfy professional pursuits or academic interests, or one of the following Professional Paths with recommended electives, allowing expertise to be developed, focused, and applied:

  • Strategic Planning
    Develop your skills and knowledge in planning and managing strategic marketing campaigns and communication initiatives from research through implementation and review. 
  • Digital Strategy
    Prepare yourself for a career focused on digital marketing with recommended courses that build your skills and knowledge in areas of digital design, analytics, and strategy. 
  • Brand Strategy
    Focus your industry skill set and knowledge on branding and brand strategy, creating the stories and strategies that develop both intangible and tangible assets for recognized—and soon to be recognized—brands.

Learn more about the professional paths and program curriculum.

Careers & Community

Emerson Community

The SMC community is filled with vibrant students, accomplished alumni, and award-winning faculty. We are the marketing strategists and brand storytellers on campus, and during your time at Emerson, you will find opportunities to connect across disciplines and meet students and faculty in industries that inspire and connect with the SMC program. Speaker series, meetups, and other opportunities allow you to learn, connect, and explore outside the classroom.

Boston Campus

Located in the heart of downtown Boston, the city itself becomes an extension of your SMC experience. In addition to offering a wealth of internship and networking opportunities, businesses and cultural institutions enrich and complement your learning.

Diverse and Inclusive

The SMC community is made up of diverse thinkers who bring a wealth of experiences to the classroom. Whether you are coming from the other side of the globe or just down the street, our program allows you to strengthen your career, or start it, preparing you for the global workforce.

Meet Your Graduate Program Director

Your graduate program director serves as your primary faculty advisor, guiding you on course selection to ensure that you are on the path toward achieving your learning objectives and on track to satisfy program requirements. Working with you one-on-one, your graduate program director will also inform you of on- and off-campus opportunities that might be of interest to you.

Brenna McCormick

A brand and marketing strategist who specializes in creativity, creative thinking, and collaboration, Brenna McCormick is the graduate program director of the Strategic Marketing Communication (SMC) program and a senior executive-in-residence in the Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE) program in the Department of Marketing Communication. She brings 10+ years of digital agency and consulting experience to her teaching and believes in applying academic best practices to real-world industry challenges.

Her agency and consulting experience includes such clients as: Sperry Top-Sider, Cisco Systems Inc., EMD Serono, Pioneer Investments, Procter & Gamble, Keds, Jones New York: L.e.i.; PVH: Calvin Klein, IZOD, and Reebok.

A graduate of Emerson College’s MA in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) program (2006), and with a BA in American Studies from Boston University (2000), her career path includes eight years in the luxury stationery industry, establishing a love of all things tactile and tangible when weaving together ideas, strategy, and storytelling.

Faculty Spotlight

Learn from award-winning academics and industry practitioners. Our diverse faculty offer unique insider perspectives, contribute new knowledge to the field, and are actively engaged in the content that they teach.