Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication


New MS Program to Give Students Global Perspective, International Communication Skills

New MS Program to Give Students Global Perspective, International Communication Skills

By Lauren Di Vito, SOC Website Reporter

An innovative new master’s program preparing students to do work globally will be launched next fall by Loyola’s School of Communication.

Starting in fall 2015, a new program in global strategic communication will get underway. This is a hybrid advertising, public relations, communication and social media program designed to give students a broader global perspective and prepare them to work internationally.

Faculty in the advertising and public relations program worked together to create the proposal for the program. When the SOC first started up six years ago, there was interest in launching a master’s program; now that interest comes to life in this new program which will have strong international connections.

Associate Professor Marjorie Kruvand said that including the option to take two-week-long, intensive study abroad courses will help immerse students in new cultures. Kruvand said that the program will have courses available in Beijing, and London or important cities for international business.

Why the international focus?  “It’s a recognition that times are changing, and these professions have to change along with the times,” Kruvand said.

Still, Chicago is a perfect setting for learning about communicating globally, as many Chicagoland-based corporations are known worldwide.

“Think about Boeing, Kraft Foods or Leo Burnett: these are all companies and agencies headquartered here that do business around the world,” Kruvand said. “There are people working in Oak Brook, Ill. who have to deal with McDonald’s franchises globally.”

Kruvand said that this M.S. degree is especially appealing because it is unique to the Chicagoland area. No other university here can give students the same curriculum to prepare them to work for globally-oriented organizations like the ones we have here in Chicago. The global strategic communication program is also unique to Jesuit Universities, according to Kruvand.

The program’s courses will focus on “multinational issues, crises, opportunities and problem solving” to give its students a strong global perspective, according to Kruvand. Whether students choose to work in Chicago or internationally, there is a strong chance that they will have to communicate with people worldwide, especially in senior positions.

In fact, professional-in-residence and director of the advertising and public relations program Herb Ritchell said that communicators in high positions helped shape the program.

“We’ve worked with alumni and very senior communication professionals to get their thoughts, opinions and ideas on what should go into this program,” Ritchell said.

Additionally, Ritchell said that most of the advertising and public relations faculty has had “some significant international experience.”

Courses within the program include Foundations of Global Strategic Communication, Organizational Leadership and Change Management, Strategic Communication Research Methods, Strategic Communication Ethics and Law, Communication Content Mining and Analytics, and Campaign Development. These classes are specially tailored to get students thinking about how corporations and agencies function internationally.

There is, however, always a possibility for change in an age of constant development, so the M.S. in global strategic communications program leaves room for change, too.

“We’ll continue to adapt and add classes as needed and as the world changes,” Ritchell said. “If we would have launched this program six years ago, social media would not have been part of our curriculum.”

For more information on the M.S in Global Strategic Communication program, click here.