Interested professionals can earn a graduate degree in integrated marketing communication completely online through the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi starting in August.
This program is designed to give mid-career professionals an opportunity to learn how to use communication to connect people and organizations, without having to uproot their lives to become full-time students on a college campus. It also is opening the school’s programs to students around the world.
The master’s program in integrated marketing communication allows online students to take the same courses as residential students, with the only differences being the flexibility of delivery and the sequence of the courses.
“Demand is high for advanced study in how to integrate communication efforts to influence people’s behavior, but moving to Oxford to complete a graduate degree is quite difficult for people who are working full time and have other obligations,” said Robert Magee, program director and assistant professor of IMC.
Students can complete the 36-credit-hour degree program in two years by taking courses throughout the fall, spring and summer semesters.
“Because the online program is designed for people who are working full time, courses will be offered one at a time in the half-semesters and summer sessions,” Magee said. “This will enable a student to focus energy on each course and advance in a systematic way.”
The curriculum combines theory, insight and real-world application in the areas of audience research, analytics, creative production and brand strategy.
The demand for more education in the constantly changing industry of IMC is national and international, and this is the most effective way for professionals to pursue this degree, said Will Norton, UM journalism dean.
“We have partnerships in other nations with universities and schools that would like their graduates and students to be able to pursue our graduate degree program in integrated marketing communication,” Norton said.
Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, media, nonprofit organizations, health care, political communication and sports.
The university’s IMC program was introduced in 2012 for undergraduate and graduate studies. Ole Miss is one of just a few institutions to offer this type of specialized degree, which has resulted in tremendous increase in student enrollment within the journalism school during the last six years.
Faculty members hope this program will offer unique opportunities for students, no matter where they live.
“People around the world will gain access to the knowledge and skills they need to influence behavior,” Magee said.
By Christina Steube