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The popularity and ubiquity of social media has created the need for specialists who can understand and elevate the social media presence of any organization. Businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and other organizations are seeking qualified practitioners to help develop strategies and introduce social media into public and internal operations.

Graduate students enrolled in our master's degree programs in either interactive media or public relations can choose a comprehensive social media track for their degree. A social media certificate also is available to those not pursuing a master's degree.

Social Media Track for the Master of Science in Interactive Media

Graduate students enrolled in the social media track in the interactive media program will study social media theory, analytics, community management and strategic planning, in addition to taking the core courses for the program in interactive media theory, writing, user centered design, ethics, project planning, and a master's capstone.

This course of study emphasizes professionalism and best practices in social media theories, strategies and tactics as it prepares students for careers applying social media expertise to a multitude of fields, including entertainment, government, business, telecommunications, marketing, health care, education, and more.

Students in the social media track are people who love being online. They want to understand what makes social media work beyond Facebook or Twitter. They will not be afraid to use analytical tools to understand what makes communities tick and how to get results. They understand the need for excellent writing skills and appreciate the ethical and policy issues confronting the use of social media. They know that with the growth and adoption of social media, the future of organizations lies in becoming social businesses.

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Social Media Track for the Master of Science in Public Relations

The evolution of social media is changing the practice of public relations: companies engage their customers on Facebook, tweet to their shareholders, and recruit on LinkedIn. Yet, managing a Facebook profile for an organization is not the same as logging onto Facebook for personal use.

The social media track for the public relations program focuses on the organizational use of social media. Students will learn the strategies and tactics for building and maintaining relationships between an organization and a variety of publics, such as customers, employees, investors, donors, volunteers, and traditional media.

This social media track addresses such differences with a focus on the strategic use of social media in the professional practice of public relations. Students will learn how to use the latest social media tools, read social media analytics, conduct social media campaigns, and manage an organization's social presence. In addition, students will learn about principles and theories of public relations, public relations research, law and ethics, public relations writing, and managing public relations programs.

Graduates of the program can apply what they have learned in their work for non-profit organizations, corporations, small businesses, government agencies, international organizations and public relations firms.

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Online Certificates in Social Media

We offer two certificates in social media designed primarily, but not exclusively, for two types of students. The first are professionals who realize that social media skills can successfully add value to their existing job function and growth path. The second are individuals tasked by their organizations to leadership roles within a new social media function. These individuals require an educational experience that is more substantial than a conference in order to get both a foundational underpinning and actionable tools and structures that they can deploy within their workplace.

There are two social media certificate opportunities:

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