MS IN COMMUNICATION
Strengthen your leadership skills and advance your career in the hybrid leadership program at Northwestern University.
Develop applicable skills and frameworks to take your career to the next level. Academic content is delivered online through our innovative learning platform.
Discover how the hybrid leadership program at Northwestern gives students a competitive workplace advantage.
Ivan Jaime ’20 believes in putting in hard work, no matter the situation. As he earned his diploma and went on to study marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, he was also working his way up at supermarket chain H-E-B. Starting out as a bagger, he had risen through the ranks to central checkout manager by the time he received his undergraduate degree in 2005.
In the Hybrid Leadership Program, MS in Communication students take one pre-set course every 5 weeks with four in-residence seminars.
The affordances of new technologies and changes in the modern business landscape have fundamentally transformed strategic communication. Where previous research and practice has separated public relations from organizational communication, the modern environment makes such a distinction not only meaningless, but dangerous. This course explores the new foundations of strategic communication, beginning with stakeholder identification and assessment. It then explores cases that demonstrate the ways the ways that external stakeholders can and should influence organizational processes and practices. Next it turns to cases that demonstrate how internal organizational processes and practices impinge on traditional public relations strategy. Finally, this class uses authentic corporate social responsibility communication as an ideal case that unites both of these forces.
This action-oriented course builds participants’ collaborative leadership skills. Through a series of case studies, activities, and projects, students learn how to effectively lead diverse and often distributed teams. The course explores the specific challenges associated with leading teams, some of which include: building and designing teams, managing information exchange within and across teams, structuring effective group decision processes, igniting creative thinking, enabling complex problem solving, and managing team conflict.
In this course, students study the use, collection, analysis and application of information in organizational planning and decision-making. Particular attention is given to sampling methods, survey methodology, social media/website analytics, and focus groups. The goal is to produce students who make informed decisions when presented with organizational and market research.
As we enter into the age of big data, we increasingly need ways to present that data to persuade, inform, educate, and understand large volumes of information. Information design is an emerging discipline that tells us the stories of data, helping us to understand and elegantly communicate our increasingly complex world and share our conclusions with others. While information design borrows from diverse fields like psychology, statistics, cartography, cognitive science, visual design and human machine interaction, there are a series of basic principles that make up the foundations of the field. At the conclusion of the class, students will have a solid understanding of how to secure and prepare data for visualization, how to choose a relevant visual framework to represent that data, and how to use principles of visual design to maximize comprehension, retention and appeal of those designs.
Decision-making in organizations is increasingly delegated to formal models, algorithms, and big data. These information resources are dangerously close to replacing the dialogue between human beings. This course defines dialogue in an organizational context and examines the interactions that bring about effective, satisfying collaboration. Students will study the “Conversational Firm” and find connections between dialogue and the modern organization, as well as develop dialogic skills and learn to recognize the threats to dialogic unity.
This course provides students with the concepts, insights, and techniques that will give them a competitive edge as they discover, diagnose and design these networks. The course offers a set of strategic principles for students to create, maintain and dissolve network ties. These principles vary depending on a student’s desire to explore innovations, engage in entrepreneurship, exploit existing resources, implement change, or mobilize for strategic partnerships. The course will identify the optimal principles in these diverse contexts using a set of case studies, review articles, and computer-based visual-analytic demonstrations. By the end of the course, students will have the conceptual tools and techniques to assess an existing network and specify how it should be rewired to achieve any desired individual or organizational goal.
This course is an exploration of the ways in which communication can be more effectively used to exert influence and to exercise power — bringing together a variety of disciplines including rhetorical analysis, leadership theory, composition, speechwriting, and public speaking. The goal is to help students understand how the beliefs and behaviors of decision-makers and publics can be influenced by effective communication.
Elegant communication is one of the three foundational areas of the MSC program. In this hybrid class, students are trained in key communication skills necessary for effective leadership: cultural intelligence and managing inclusion, crisis communication management, informative and persuasive public speaking, facilitating open dialogue, mindful listening, and executive presence. In this full credit course that is spread throughout the year in both online and in residence sessions, students work closely with some of the world’s leading academics and industry experts to accelerate advancing their personal expertise through deliberate praxis.
Embrace diversity and gain new cultural intelligence by collaborating with a diverse cohort committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
Learn to respond confidently with strategic crisis communication management skills in our crisis simulations and seminars that develop proactive leadership.
Discover the power of collaborative decision-making and learn to leverage the diversity of your teams to identify, form and implement better strategies and policies.
Find out how to craft and deliver messages that resonate and prompt action. Create an executive presence that leads with empathy and resilience — and guide yourself and your organization to new heights.
The CAPSTONE PROJECT
Over the course of the program, you’ll create a three-part cumulative deliverable that integrates academic discoveries, a skills-based project, and the design and implementation of your own personal brand.
“This degree gave me a real confidence boost in the workforce, which left a positive impact on my day-to-day interactions inside and outside of work.”
Stephanie Santos ’19
The Hybrid Leadership Program is tailored to those with management experience.
Take your classroom learnings and immediately apply them in your workplace. You’ll see the transformative power of your degree program in real-time.