Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter (excl F1 visa applicants)
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes

Overview

Northeastern’s MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication is designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and experiential learning opportunities required to succeed in a dynamic field.

Incorporating the case method, research into the latest communication trends, interactive learning formats, and experiential learning opportunities, this program addresses complex communication challenges—providing students with a distinct advantage in today’s competitive marketplace. The curriculum also reflects the transformational impact of social technologies on the communication patterns of employees, customers, investors, and other audiences.

Your instructors have ‘real-world’ communication experience in the private and nonprofit sectors – they have practiced what they teach.

The curriculum has three components: Core required courses, concentrations, and electives.

The curriculum’s core courses focus on foundational communication skills and knowledge, crafting impactful messages using a wide range of media, and a strategic perspective on the way communication supports organizational performance.

You will select a concentration – Social Media, Public Relations, Human Resource Management, Usability/User Experience, Project Management, Leadership – that aligns with skills in demand in the profession.

And whether you are a full-time or part-time student, on-campus or online, you will apply the knowledge and skills you gain in the program in an unparalleled variety of experiential learning opportunities – the hallmark of a Northeastern University educational experience. 

These experiential learning opportunities include: 

A choice of two 12-week experiential learning capstone courses: 

  • An online "co-op at work" experience in which you can design a project initiative in your own workplace. 
  • An opportunity to engage in a virtual consulting project with a sponsor in the private or nonprofit sectors and overseen by a faculty member. 

Two elective courses: A "traditional" Northeastern co-op placement for full-time students in the Boston area and an International field study course involving interdisciplinary teams collaborating on trans-national projects. 

Students also have the option to work virtually on 6-week projects through Northeastern's Experiential Network on a not-for-credit basis. 

Program Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, you should be able to:

  • Design a strategic approach to a wide range of communication challenges based on stakeholder analysis and a systematic planning methodology.
  • Craft and deliver messages – with a heavy emphasis on digital media -- that can influence the attitudes and behaviors of internal and external audiences in a wide range of organizational scenarios.
  • Measure and assess the impact of communication methods and channels to help achieve organizational performance objectives.
  • Apply key course concepts and communication skills gained through the curriculum to real-world projects. 

Career Outlook

According to the Burning Glass Labor Insight database, the value of a graduate degree in organizational communication is very clear: 37% of hiring employers prefer or require candidates for many communication roles to have a graduate degree. Additionally, there are over 345,000 open job listings related to corporate and organizational communications.

Interested in Learning More? Watch One of Our Webinars:

- MS in Corporate and Organizational Communications Overview

- Industry Trends and Career Outlook in Communications and Digital Media

- Communications with a Cutting Edge: Virtual Meetings

- Public and Media Relations Webinar


Curriculum

 

Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2016 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (18-22 q.h.)

CMN 6000/
INT 6000
Introduction to Organizational Communication/Writing Lab

This course is required for students who have less than two years of communication-related work experience. An online writing lab is an integral part of the course structure. CMN 6000 is a 12-week course and is a prerequisite for other CMN core and concentration courses. Students register for CMN 6000 and INT 6000 concurrently.

Students with two or more years of communication-related work experience begin the program with CMN 6010
3/1 q.h. 
CMN 6010 Strategic Communication Management
(prerequisite for CMN 6100 and CMN 6910)
3 q.h.
CMN 6020 Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6080 Intercultural Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6100 Communication Networks and Managing Information 3 q.h.
CMN 6090 Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6910 Organizational Communication Assessment 3 q.h.

 

Capstone Course Options (12 weeks, 3 q.h.)

It is required that students take either of the following courses in their final quarter of study: 

INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning ("Co-op at Work") 3 q.h.
CMN 6940 Experiential Learning Projects for Professionals 3 q.h.


Elective Courses (6-9 q.h.)

Students who take CMN 6000/INT 6000 should select two electives totaling 6 q.h. Other students select three of the following totaling 9 q.h.

CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media  3 q.h. 
CMN 6025 Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques  3 q.h. 
CMN 6061 Personal Branding 3 q.h.
CMN 6110 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management 3 q.h.
CMN 6060 Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation 3 q.h.
COP 6940 Personal and Career Development: Leadership in Practice (Enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program.) 3 q.h.
CMN 6050 Crisis Communication  3 q.h. 
INT 6900 International Field Study Experience 3 or 4 q.h. 


Concentrations (15 - 18 q.h.)

Choose one of the following concentrations.


Human Resources Management Concentration

HRM 6005 Creating a High-Performance Organization: Strategic Organizational and HRM Choices 3 q.h.
HRM 6010  Total Compensation  3 q.h.
HRM 6020 Strategic Recruitment, Training, and Performance Management 3 q.h.
HRM 6030 Employee Rights and Employer Obligations 3 q.h. 
HRM 6040  High-Performance Human Resources Systems and Development 3 q.h.

 

Public and Media Relations Concentration

PBR 6100 Introduction to Public Relations
(This course can be waived for experienced public relations professionals.)
3 q.h.
PBR 6710 Public Relations Research: Understanding External Audiences (Prerequisite PBR 6100) 3 q.h. 
PBR 6130 Public Relations Writing Seminar 1 (Prerequisite PBR 6710) 3 q.h.
PBR 6140 Public Relations Writing Seminar 2 3 q.h.

Complete one of the following courses. (If PBR 6100 is waived, complete two of the following courses.) 

CMN 6025 Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques 3 q.h.
CMN 6035 Legal, Policy, and Ethical Issues in the Digital Era 3 q.h.
CMN 6045 Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance 3 q.h.
DGM 6290 Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation 4 q.h. 

 

Leadership Concentration

LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h. 
LDR 6110 Leading Teams 3 q.h. 
LDR 6120 Organizational Leadership 3 q.h. 
LDR 6140 Strategic Leadership 3 q.h. 

Choose one of the following courses:

LDR 6135 Ethical Leadership 3 q.h. 
LDR 6125 Managing Organizational Culture 3 q.h.

 

Project Management Concentration

PJM 5900 Foundations of Project Management* 4 q.h. 
PJM 6000 Project Management Practices 3 q.h.  
PJM 6025 Project Scheduling and Cost Planning 3 q.h. 
PJM 6015 Project Risk Management 3 q.h. 

Choose two** of the following courses. Please contact your advisor when trying to register for PJM 6125, 6135, 6140, and/or 6705 as you will receive a prereq error. Before registering for any of those courses, you need to have completed two of the following courses: PJM 5900, 6000, 6025, and/or 6015.

PJM 6125 Project Evaluation and Assessment 3 q.h. 
PJM 6135 Project Quality Management 3 q.h. 
PJM 6140 Managing Troubled Projects 3 q.h.
PJM 6705 Portfolio Management 3 q.h. 

*This course is required for students who do not have at least two years of professional experience working on projects. This course is only intended for those who are not familiar with professional project work. Students with two years or more of professional project experience should not take this course.

**Students who take PJM 5900 are only required to take one course within this section.


Social Media and Online Communities Concentration

Choose five of the following courses:

CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media
(Students may waive CMN6015 if they have digital media experience. Please consult with your academic adviser.)
3 q.h.
CMN 6025 Digital Era Skills: Platforms, Tools, and Techniques 3 q.h.
CMN 6035 Legal, Policy, and Ethical Issues in the Digital Era 3 q.h. 
CMN 6045 Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance 3 q.h.
CMN 6065 Implementation and Management of Social Media Channels and Online Communities 3 q.h.
DGM 6285 Interactive Marketing Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6290 Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation 4 q.h.
TCC 6710 Content Strategy  4 q.h. 

 

Usability/User Experience Concentration

Choose a combination of the following courses to complete 16 q.h.:

TCC 6710 Content Strategy 4 q.h.
TCC 6470
Web Accessibility for Technical Communicators 4 q.h.
TCC 6490 Usability Testing for Technical Communicators 4 q.h. 
DGM 6268 Usable Design for Mobile Digital Media 4 q.h.
TCC 6610 Prototyping 2 q.h.
TCC 6620 Collecting User Data 2 q.h.

 

Required minimum credit hours: between 45 - 49 q.h., depending on the selected concentration.


Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Tuition

Estimated total tuition for this program is $29,070.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2016-17 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.


Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

The organizational communication master’s program attracts students with a wide range of experience and cultural backgrounds.

Many students are early and mid-career communication professionals in public relations, human resources, employee communications, web content management, social media, marcom, and other communication-related disciplines.

The program is also designed for individuals seeking to enter the communications field, or working professionals in other fields who consider communication a core competency.

Amelia R.

Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication, Class of 2011

Amelia R

About her classmates: "I learned more from my Northeastern classmates than I did during my entire undergraduate experience. At Northeastern, diversity is among one of the most wonderful attributes of the classroom. I learned from adult professionals in the field who arrived to class fresh from a long day at work and from students who had arrived to live temporarily in Boston to study from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, South Africa etc. I learned patience, intercultural communication techniques, and the power of dialog inside and outside the classroom."

About her favorite class: "Organizational Communication and Assessment was the most amazing course of my entire experience at Northeastern. The application of real world theories and skills and one-on-one attention from my professor made the class even more enjoyable."

Why she chose to study at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies: "I chose the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication because the curriculum was broad enough where I could choose classes based on my specific needs in public relations and human resources. In addition, Northeastern's flexible classes allowed me to work during the day and learn at night."

Denzil M.

Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication, Class of 2011

DENZIL MOHAMMED 

About his classmates: "From places as close as Brookline and as far as Burma, my classmates were my competition, challenging me to do better every semester, and my partners in crime, sneaking in cookies in class. They also taught me unparalleled lessons in cultural competence. Given our increasingly connected world, these were lessons in life from friends for life."

About his classes: "Argh! The 'c-word.' If it's one thing I learned from CPS is that teaching and learning can come in a plethora of forms: creative, team-based, presentations, online media, skits. We even sang once. And it was worth it! Multi-tasking, opening up our minds and thinking outside the box were some of the things not listed on the syllabus but which we learned anyway."

Why he chose to study at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies: "The College of Professional Studies gave me flexibility. I could, and did, finish my degree faster if I wanted to. I could, and did, create an innovative "global communications" program for myself. I could, and did, take classes at the main campus, online or even downtown. I could, and did, intern during my studies. All of this gave rise to a creative, holistic educational experience that I could not have acquired elsewhere."

 

 



 


Faculty Spotlight

Image of Carl Zangerl, Communications Faculty Dr. Carl Zangerl, PhD, MA
Academic Specialist

Dr. Carl Zangerl is an academic specialist for programs in Corporate and Organizational Communication at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois and MPA from New York University.

Dr. Zangerl, a certified e-learning instructor, teaches a number of courses for the College of Professional Studies and holds an Excellence in Teaching Award from the College. He is actively involved in the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication alumni group, the Communications Alumni Network, and the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Prior to coming to Northeastern, Dr. Zangerl was the director of executive and field communication for New England Financial, a subsidiary of MetLife. During a 23-year career at New England Financial, he was responsible for a wide range of communication activities, from webmaster to executive speechwriter to brand manager in support of a nationwide sales force of financial advisors. In 2003, he received the inaugural ‘Field Partner of the Year’ award from the company’s managing partners.

Related: Dr. Carl Zangerl and the Social Media Revolution


Jeffrey Brooke, MS

Faculty Image of Jeffrey Brooke, Communications Faculty

Jeffrey Brooke, a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies since 2009, teaches courses in organizational culture and communication and organizational communication assessment.

Mr. Brooke has a 22-year career in organizational communication and is currently a principal with MITRE Corps., a strategic communication and organizational change management consulting practice in McLean, VA. Previously, he led internal communication programs in a number of federal agencies, most recently as director of internal communication for the United States Government Printing Office, an agency of Congress. He has also consulted independently to many corporations, offering communication assessments and strategic counsel.

He is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators, serving many years on the board of the DC Metro chapter where he is currently director of the senior communicators council. He helped found and recently chaired the Federal Communicators Network, and is a member of the Communication Leadership Exchange.

Mr. Brooke holds an MS in Organization Development from Johns Hopkins University, a BS in Finance from Virginia Tech, a graduate certificate in Senior Executive Leadership from Georgetown, and he is accredited in business communication by IABC.


Kristen Lee Costa, EdD, LICSWImage of Kristen Lee Costa, Communications Faculty
Faculty

Kristen Lee Costa, is a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies, teaching courses in group dynamics, transforming human systems, personal branding, professional speaking, and grant and report writing.

Prior to joining the College, Costa was an instructor at the University of Massachusetts where she taught courses in fundamentals of teaching and learning and managing inclusive classrooms. As a dual practitioner in social work and education, she is interested in building bridges across disciplines, focusing upon the inherent strengths of individuals, communities and systems to promote needed change.

Dr. Costa maintains a private psychotherapy practice where she specializes in preventing and treating professional burnout. She also provides community education, consulting, and web-based resources. Dr. Costa is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and serves as a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration.

Dr. Costa holds an EdD from Northeastern University, a MS in Social Work from Boston University, and a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Worcester State University.


E. Edward Klotzbier, JD Image of E. Edward Klotzbier, Communications Faculty

Faculty

E. Edward Klotzbier is a faculty member with the College of Arts, Media and Design and the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in crisis communications, image management, organizational culture, and dealing with the media.

For ten years, he was a senior administrator at Northeastern serving as the University's director of communications and as vice president for student affairs. Prior to joining Northeastern, Edward was vice president and deputy director of corporate affairs at Mellon Financial Corporation and a lawyer and public affairs professional with the Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge.

Edward has worked on several federal, state and local political campaigns and was an aide to former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Active in civic and community affairs, he has served on the boards of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and as a member of the government relations committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, he was the recipient of the Boston Business Journal's "40 under 40" award, a listing of 40 of Boston's "best and brightest young business leaders" under the age of forty.

Edward earned a JD from New England School of Law and a BS degree from Northeastern University.


Ed Powers, MBA

FacultyImage of Ed Powers, Communications Faculty

Ed Powers, a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies since 2008, teaches course in crisis communication, organizational culture, and intercultural communication. Prior to joining the College, Ed taught Public Relations at Emerson College.

Ed brings 25 years of industry experience in corporate and organizational communication to his teaching role. He has served as the vice president of corporate communications for billion dollar-plus companies in three different industries: Raytheon Engineers & Constructors, Sappi Fine Paper North America, and National Grid USA. In these positions, Powers was responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of the companies' communications programs.

Currently, Ed serves as department head for Company News and Information at The MITRE Corporation, where he oversees the team responsible for developing content and managing channels for the company's major internal and external communications products.

During his career, Ed has led groups that have received professional awards from such organizations as the Publicity Club of Boston and the League of American Communications Professionals. He is a longstanding member of the International Association of Business Communicators and has published work on effective employee engagement strategies.

Ed holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a BA in English from Brown University. Presently, he is a student in the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern.


Maureen Tschirhart, MA

FacultyImage of Maureen Tschirhart, Communications Faculty

Maureen Tschirhart is a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies, teaching courses in organizational culture, climate, and communication as well as intercultural communication. In 2011, she received an International Association of Business Communicators/Atlanta award for her online lectures and excellence in bridging communication theory and practice.

In addition to teaching, she provides consulting services through Tschirhart Communications, a metropolitan Atlanta-based business launched in 2008. Maureen has over 25 years of diverse experience servicing information solutions, financial services, healthcare, automotive, education, and retail industries as well as global audiences. Major clients have included Equifax, Nestlé Waters, Bankers Capital Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ford Motor, Michigan National Bank, Little Caesar's, American College Testing, and Sinai Hospital, among others.

Prior to consulting, she served as assistant vice president of Internal Communications for Equifax in Atlanta from 2000-2008. Maureen also worked as a senior communications specialist for R.L. Polk in metropolitan Detroit from 1998-2000. She began her communications career in Michigan as a newspaper reporter and editorial assistant. Maureen also taught English courses at Wayne State University and College for Creative Studies in Detroit from 1986-1998.

She is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators, serves on the editorial board of empart magazine for the Atlanta chapter, and has published articles and case studies on communication best practices.

Maureen earned a MA in English from Wayne State University and a BA in Industrial Design from Michigan State University.


Patricia Goodman, EdD

FacultyImage of Maureen Tschirhart, Communications Faculty

Dr. Patricia Goodman is a faculty member with the College of Professional Studies, teaching courses in crisis communication, intercultural communications, leading teams, organizational communications, and professional speaking. 

Dr. Goodman's career has been filled with various leadership roles within the social service field from correction and judicial services, mental health, secondary education, higher education, and executive education. She has over six years of experience as an adjunct instructor at Northeastern University and Webster University. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Goodman has over eight years experience in communications, development, and executive operations at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences Research Computing. Dr. Goodman is a certified e-learning instructor and holds a CQ Certified Facilitator through Cultural Intelligence Center.

Dr. Goodman idealizes learning as a journey, where her role is the facilitator and guide along this journey. Each learner has an opportunity to join the trip while being accountable for their well-being and participating in experiences along the way. Her greatest joy is motivating participants to be inquisitive and reflective as they gain new experiences, understandings, and skills along this learning journey. It may be no surprise that she views herself as a lifelong learner.   

Dr. Goodman holds a Doctorate in Education from George Washington University through the Executive Leadership Program with a concentration in adult learning. Her Master of Liberal Arts is from Harvard University with a concentration in information management systems. Her research focus has been in adult learning and communications, specifically: intercultural communication, cultural intelligence, cross-generational communication, self-directed learning, team learning, and transformative learning. 


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes


  1. Conduct audience assessments of both internal and external stakeholders that reflect communication preferences.

  2. Demonstrate an acceptable level of writing proficiency in order to craft compelling strategic and tactical messages and strengthen personal communication skills.

  3. Demonstrate the value of effective communication and establish credibility with organizational leaders by designing and implementing communication programs that have a positive impact on organizational performance and are based on the highest ethical standards.

  4. Analyze and diagnose communication strengths and weaknesses in a wide range of organizational contexts using the case method.

  5. Measure the linkages between effective communication practices and the achievement of organizational objectives, including employee engagement and customer loyalty.

  6. Develop, implement, and evaluate communication plans to support organizational initiatives in a variety of situations (e.g., crisis communication, organizational change process, intercultural communication, etc.).

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