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Graduate Certificate in Marketing Communication

Whether developing a brand for a product or service in a business, or for development of donors at a non-profit, the role of marketing communication will always be important.

This certificate has been fine-tuned over many years, with the help of industry experts, employers and alumni to deliver a robust foundation in the craft and strategy of marketing communication.  The curriculum includes immersion in: reputation management; integrated marketing communication strategy; and brand management - plus elective courses to customize your credential for maximum career impact.

If you are currently working in marketing communication, or wish to change lanes into that area, this certificate will allow you to gain knowledge and credibility through a stand-alone credential in Marketing Communication.  

Part-time graduate certificate program
  • Evening courses designed for working professionals
  • Complete at your own pace taking one or more courses per term

Graduate Certificate in Marketing Communication

The Graduate Certificate in Marketing Communication provides:
  • Coursework focused on influencing markets and consumers to drive business results 
  • Curriculum developed in partnership with industry experts and employers 
  • Elective offerings to further customize your learning 
  • Flexible scheduling designed for working professionals 
  • Option to apply graduate certificate credits to a St. Thomas Flex MBA degree 

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

15 credits total

Required Courses (9 credits)

Brand Management (MKTG 725*)

3 credits

This course expands upon basic marketing theory, focusing on strategic planning and decision making as it applies to the product/brand manager. It offers a practical, structured approach to developing product/brand management skills and emphasizes learning through hands-on application of the concepts covered. Develop your skills in the formulation, execution and evaluation of the effectiveness of product/brand strategies and tactics through the use of extensive case studies, applied exercises and, in some sections, a product management computer simulation of the role of the product/brand manager. Prerequisite: MKTG 600 or MKTG 625.


Integrated Marketing Communications (MKTG 780*)

3 credits

A broad overview of the role of marketing communications processes and the wide range of communications activities used in selling/promoting products and services. Specific topics include: advertising, public relations, sales promotions, direct marketing and the strategies that drive them.  A combination of readings, cases and application exercises will be used to develop a strategic perspective and an understanding of the need for an integrated communications plan. Prerequisite: MKTG 600 or MKTG 625.

Reputation Management (BCOM 661)

3 credits

A consideration of communication principles and practice necessary to manage the perceptions of corporations and products in the evolving landscape of traditional and social media. An exploration of how employee, investor, community, government and organization communication practices and engagement strategies differ from each other, yet are used together to communicate a consistent organizational message. Case histories focus on reputation management: issues and programs; how research, planning, communication and measurement are applied; and the roles of communication and management to successfully build and maintain positive reputations.

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Marketing Frameworks (MKTG 625)

1.5 credits

Marketing Frameworks is designed to build a practical understanding of the frameworks and tools that are frequently used to solve marketing problems. The course will examine strategy formulation and the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion) tied to a thorough assessment of the marketplace (company, competitors, customers, etc.). Students will develop essential skills related to using marketing research, performing quantitative and qualitative analysis, and critically thinking about marketing decisions related to strategy and tactics.  (Students without academic background in marketing may need this course as a prerequisite for other certificate courses.)

Creative Process (BCOM 620)

3 credits

Explores the literature of creativity, the study of creative persons and their contributions to society, and the process by which creative ideas are produced and communicated. Active participation in strategies for actualizing the creative potential of individuals and groups is an essential part of the course.

Emerging Social Media Technology (BCOM 714)

1.5 credits

This course will investigate emerging social media and engagement opportunities, considering how new communication technologies are being adopted by socially networked individuals, and how professionals can use these platforms appropriately to advance business communications objectives. In the process, students will discover principles of social networking theory and discuss how emerging technologies are gaining traction by being social, spreadable, and for communications professionals, measurable. These tools will not only assist in understanding and leveraging current technology, but assist in analysis and strategic implementation of future technologies useful to marketing and communication for business.

Persuasion (BCOM 635)

3 credits

A selected survey of theory and research on social influence and persuasion, drawing primarily from work in the social sciences. Students are provided with a conceptual foundation upon which to develop their own skills and techniques for increasing message persuasiveness, instigating behavioral and attitude change, and protecting oneself from unwanted persuasion. Topics covered have broad applicability both within and outside business contexts but relate particularly to issues in marketing, sales and management. The course utilizes a variety of approaches, including lecture, case analysis and both instructor- and student-led discussion.

Strategic Writing (BCOM 637)

3 credits

The mix of strategies available for integrated communication programs includes diverse writing styles and formats. Students will analyze and be exposed to writing across the strategic spectrum, focusing on various forms of corporate and marketing communication for both internal and external audiences.  Participants will gain extensive experience in strategic writing by preparing written materials based on actual organizational communication needs and realistic case histories.

Advertising Strategy (MKTG 671*)

3 credits

The course will emphasize the development of an advertising plan and message strategy as part of the overall marketing effort, including the development of creative and media planning.  Students will apply principles to actual practice in class projects.  Guest speakers supplement text content with actual cases. Prerequisite: MKTG 600 or 625

Digital Marketing Fundamentals (MKTG 774*)

1.5 credits

Digital marketing continues to rise and has become core to marketplace success. This course provides an overview of how digital marketing significantly contributes to the achievement of business goals and priorities. We will examine the concepts, strategies and applications related to websites, display advertising, search, email, social and mobile marketing with an explicit focus on how each area can be utilized to acquire and strengthen customer relationships across the customer life cycle.  Prerequisite: MKTG 600 or 625.

*course has MKTG 625 prerequisite; may be waived for those with appropriate academic background. Contact program advisor for more information.

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