Master of Professional Communication (MPC)

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Lance Newman, Interim Dean
Scott Gust, Associate Dean
Ashley Seitz Kramer, Assistant Dean

Faculty: Matt Baker, Danielle Caldwell, James Hedges, Helen Hodgson (Chair), Curtis Newbold, Tamara Stevenson, Christine Seifert, Rulon Wood, Kim Zarkin

Program Goals

  • Identify and apply appropriate communication theories to professional contexts
  • Develop advanced oral and written communication skills
  • Apply principles of information design to professional contexts
  • Identify and apply appropriate communication technologies to address the needs of a specific audience
  • Demonstrate the ethical and social responsibilities of professional communicators in diverse and global contexts.

Objectives

The Master of Professional Communication (MPC) program is designed to help recent graduates and those seeking new career directions to enhance their communication skills and gain expertise in a specialized communication field. People with undergraduate degrees in a variety of areas can develop important communication skills that prepare them for diverse communication positions in business, industry, government, or any other organization where communication skills are essential. Students will also have the preparation needed to pursue doctoral degrees after completing the MPC program. Throughout the program, students work closely with faculty in developing a portfolio of professional communication projects.

Program participants have an opportunity to enhance their professional communication skills without interrupting their careers. To accommodate work schedules, MPC classes are held during evenings and on weekends, and students may enroll in as many or as few courses as their other commitments permit. While the program can be completed in 2 years, the flexibility of course offerings allows students to determine the pace at which they move through the program.

Students begin with a core of required classes that provide a theoretical framework in rhetoric and persuasion, professional writing, emergent media, and communication ethics. They then choose four of eight 3-credit classes that apply the theory to practice and six hours of electives that focus on cutting-edge topics in communication. For the capstone project, students prepare a professional portfolio and complete an internship or a client-based project as the culmination to the program.

Admission to the Program

See Admission to the College section for admission requirements.

Program Requirements for the MPC Degree

Students are required to take a total of 36 credit hours. A grade of C is the lowest passing grade for all courses taken in the MPC program. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and students are required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to graduate. A minimum of 30 hours must be taken at Westminster College. Courses completed at other graduate institutions must carry a grade of B or better to be eligible for transfer credit.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

See Grading and Academic Standards for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.

Appeals for Readmission

See Grading and Academic Standards for information on appeals for readmission.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in March, and applications for May and August graduation are due in September. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.
To be eligible for a master’s degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit-hour and other course requirements.
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Earn a grade of C or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree requirements. The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual.

MPC Course Overview

The MPC program begins with five required classes (Foundation Core), constituting 13 credit hours, that provide a theoretical foundation in the field. A series of eight classes (Application Core) apply this theoretical knowledge to specific aspects of communication, and students elect four of these eight classes. Elective classes reflect current trends in the communication field; students can choose to take 6 credit hours from elective classes, 3 hours of elective classes and an additional class from the Application Core, or two additional classes from the Application Core. The capstone project is a 5-credit-hour block consisting of a 2-credit class in planning and designing the project and a 3-credit class in which the project is implemented. This can be a client-based project or an internship, but in both cases students also develop a portfolio of professional work.

Master of Professional Communication Courses

MPC 646 Rhetoric and Persuasion
MPC 647 Professional Writing Theories
MPC 648 Emergent Media
MPC 649 Communication Ethics
MPC 650 Introduction to the MPC Program
MPC 651 Writing Style and Structure
MPC 652 Advanced Oral Communication
MPC 653 Technical and Professional Technical Writing
MPC 654 Organizational and Leadership Communication
MPC 655 Intercultural and Global Communication
MPC 656 Integrated Marketing Communication
MPC 657 Information Design
MPC 658 Web Design and Multimedia Production
MPC 664 Field Project Planning and Design
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (1–3)
MPC 681 Special Topics in Rhetoric and Culture (1–3)
MPC 682 Special Topics in Emergent Media (1–3)
MPC 683 Special Topics in Strategic Communication (1–3)
MPC 690 Field Project (3)
MPC 699 Continuing Registration (0)

Approved Elective Courses

MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Publications (3)
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)
MPC 619 Grant Research and Writing (3)
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing (3)
MPC 639 Advanced Website Design (3)
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)
MPC 660 Publication Design (1)
MPC 661 Introduction to 2D Computer Illustration (1)
MPC 662 Introduction to Web Multimedia Production (1)
MPC 665 Public Relations Writing for Broadcast (1)
MPC 666 Business Aspects of Freelance Writing and Editing (1)
MPC 670 Managing Issues and Crises in the Organization (1)
MBA 560E Entrepreneurship
MBA 610C Data Analysis for Decision Making (2)
MBA 645C Value Creation and Delivery (2)
MBA 650C Leading Dynamic Organizations (2)
MBA 665E Strategic Marketing (2)
MBA 672E Marketing Research (3)
MBATC 631 Industry and Market Dynamics in Technology (2)
MBATC 641 Organizations, Technology, and Society (2)
MBATC 647 Marketing of Innovative Products (2)

Degree Requirements

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Foundation Core Courses 18
MPC 646 Rhetoric and Persuasion (3)
MPC 647 Professional Writing Theories (3)
MPC 648 Emergent Media (3)
MPC 649 Communication Ethics (3)
MPC 650 Introduction to the MPC Program (1)
MPC 664 Field Project Planning and Design (2)
MPC 690 Field Project (3)
II. Application Core Classes 12
Choose four courses of the following eight  classes:
MPC 651 Writing Style and Structure (3) MPC 647
MPC 652 Advanced Oral Communication (3)
MPC 653 Professional and Technical Writing (3) MPC 647
MPC 654 Organizational and Leadership Communication (3)
MPC 655 Intercultural and Global Communication (3)
MPC 656 Integrated Marketing Communication (3)
MPC 657 Information Design (3) MPC 648
MPC 658 Web Design and Multimedia Production (3) MPC 648
III. Electives 6
Choose additional approved courses totaling six credit hours (6).
Total Hours for the MPC Degree 36