University of Washington - Communication Leadership
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Program Overview

The Communication Leadership program houses two degree emphases in digital media and creative engagement. The program guides professionals into transformative roles through the design of networking strategies, anchored in compelling storytelling and insightful analytics. Professionals build the necessary communication knowledge, strategies, and skills to manage content, information, systems, people, and change.

Our program is especially well suited for the Pacific Northwest and its reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship, enhanced by robust social and civic connectivity.

Industry leaders and Department of Communication faculty direct the program and teach its courses. Both the Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) and Master of Communication in Communities and Networks (MCCN) degrees maintain the rigorous academic standards of the University of Washington Graduate School. Courses are based on the theory and practice of the communication discipline and are taught in a highly collaborative environment.

Degree Requirements:

To earn a master’s degree, students must complete a minimum of 45 credits, including four core requirements totaling 20 credits:

  • COM 546: Communication Through Digital Media and Networks (5 credits)
  • COM 536: Leadership Through Story and Communities (5 credits)
  • Law and/or Ethics (5 credits)
  • Research Methods (5 credits)

Students have multiple choices to meet the Law & Ethics and Research Methods requirements. Classes meeting these requirements are indicated as such on the Comm Lead website list of courses.

25 Credits for 5 elective courses in chosen degree emphasis

  • 5 credits may be taken outside of emphasis
  • 5 credits may be taken outside of Communication Leadership program

Double Degree Option

  • Students may earn dual MCDM and MCCN degrees
  • In accordance with Graduate School policies, students do not have to retake core cohort seminars (10 credits) but are required to take 35 additional credits focused in their secondary area of interest, for a total of 80 credits for both degrees.
  • Students must submit a Graduate School application for the second degree.

Degree Emphasis Options:

The Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) teaches professionals to understand and utilize the fast changing world of online content and platforms. This is key intelligence for anyone looking to advance his or her career through the use of media innovation.

The MCDM instructs students to:

  • identify the importance of relationship building through content creation and distribution;
  • refine analytical and research skills; and
  • design intelligent communication strategies.

The Master of Communication in Communities and Networks (MCCN) helps professionals build a sophisticated understanding of communication processes and the ways to leverage that understanding to engage successfully with relevant constituencies — audiences, customers, co-workers, members, and supporters. This ability to shape communication strategies is essential to success as our professional environments constantly evolve.

The MCCN instructs students to:

  • build collaborative skills necessary to lead change within organizations, communities, and networks;
  • recognize and navigate cultural differences at play in and across communities; and
  • design effective and engaging communication strategies.

If you have any questions about the Communication Leadership program, please contact us:

Click here for a brief on how we framed the new program.