Master of Professional Communication (MPC)

Program Goals | Objectives | Admission | Program Requirements | Graduation Requirements | MPC Course Overview | Degree Requirements | Certificates | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Scott Gust, James Hedges, Helen Hodgson (Program Director), Curtis Newbold, Christine Seifert, Tamara Stevenson, Rulon Wood, Kim Zarkin

Program Goals

Objectives

The Master of Professional Communication (MPC) degree program is designed to prepare students as writers and communication experts for positions in business, industry, government, nonprofits, and other organizations where communication skills are essential. Program participants have an opportunity to enhance their professional communication skills without interrupting their careers. People with undergraduate degrees in a variety of areas can develop important communication skills that can be applied to their current career path or that can prepare them for new careers. Some students will decide to pursue doctoral degrees after completing the MPC program.

Building upon a core that provides a conceptual and historical framework in communication ethics, visual communication, rhetoric, traditional and new-media writing, editing, web design, and oral presentation, the MPC program offers 11 two-course sequences that focus on particular aspects of communication. These sequences are grouped into four specialty areas—professional writing, communication and culture, multimedia and management, and strategic communication—and students may elect four courses in one specialty area or two courses from two areas.

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 40 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 31 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 or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

MPC Course Overview

Because of the program’s orientation toward the practical, most courses incorporate some kind of field experience or contact with outside professionals. This might take the form of papers or projects based on existing situations in businesses, or it might involve working with clients in the community. Another possibility is the participation of speakers and communication practitioners from the local community in classroom situations.

Master of Professional Communication Courses

MPC 600 Communication Ethics and the Mass Media (3)
MPC 601 Visual Communication (3)
MPC 602 Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
MPC 603 Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
MPC 605 Communication Theory (3)
MPC 609 Basic Editing Principles (3)
MPC 610 Professional and Technical Writing (3)
MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)
MPC 619 Grant Research and Writing (3)
MPC 620 Organizational Communication (3)
MPC 621 Leadership Communication (3)
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication (3)
MPC 623 International Communication (3)
MPC 633 Writing for New Media (3)
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)
MPC 636 Multimedia Systems (1)
MPC 637 Web Design and Production (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 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communication (3)
MPC 645 International Public Relations (3)
MPC 646 Health Communication (3)
MPC 652 Effective Presentations (3)
MPC 656 Communication Law (3)
MPC 660 Publication Design (1)
MPC 661 Introduction to 2D Computer Illustration (1)
MPC 662 Introduction to Web Multimedia Production (1)
MPC 664 Field Project Proposal Writing (1)
MPC 665 Public Relations Writing for Broadcast (1)
MPC 666 Business Aspects of Freelance Writing and Editing (1)
MPC 668 Directed Studies (1–4)
MPC 670 Managing Issues and Crises in the Organization (1)
MPC 674 Electronic Information Retrieval (1)
MPC 675 Writing Public Science (1)
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (1–3)
MPC 681 Special Topics in Communication and Culture (1–3)
MPC 682 Special Topics in Multimedia and Management (1–3)
MPC 683 Special Topics in Strategic Communication (1–3)
MPC 690 Field Project (3)
MPC 699 Continuing Registration (0)

Approved MBA Elective Courses

MBA 510E International Marketing (3)
MBA 610C Data Analysis for Decision Making (2)
MBA 645C Value Creation and Delivery (2)
MBA 650C Leading Dynamic Organizations (2)
MBA 659E Special Topics in Management Information Systems (3)
MBA 664E Organizational Development and Change (3)
MBA 665E Strategic Marketing (2)
MBA 670E Training and Development (3)
MBA 672E Marketing Research (3)
MBA 673E Marketing Mistakes and Strategic Successes (2)
MBA 674E Special Topics in Marketing (3)
MBA 674EG Marketing of Innovative Products (2)
MTECH 631 Industry and Market Dynamics in Technology (2)
MTECH 641 Organizations, Technology, and Society (2)

Degree Requirements

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 25  
MPC       600     Communication Ethics and the Mass Media (3)         
MPC       601     Visual Communication (3)                  
MPC       602     Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)          
MPC       609     Basic Editing Principles (3)          
MPC       610     Professional and Technical Writing (3)       MPC 609
MPC       637     Web Design and Production (3)      
MPC       652     Effective Presentations (3)                 
MPC       664     Field Project Proposal Writing (3)       MPC 610
MPC      690      Field Project (3)         see course description
II. Sequences 12  
Choose four courses from one of the following sequences or two courses from two of the following sequences:    
Professional Writing Sequence    
Technical Writing    
MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)   MPC 610
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)   MPC 609, 610
     
Writing    
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)   MPC 610
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)   MPC 610
     
Specialized Writing   MPC 610
MPC 619 Grant Research and Writing (3)    
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (3)    
Communication and Culture Sequence    
Persuasion and Argumentation    
MPC 603 Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)   MPC 602
MPC 605 Communication Theory (3)    
     
Organizational Communication    
MPC 620 Organizational Communication (3)    
MPC 621 Leadership Communication (3)    
     
Diversity Communication    
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication (3)    
MPC 623 International Communication (3)    

Multimedia and Management Sequence

   
Graphic Design    
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)    
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing (3)    
New Media    
MPC 633 Writing for New Media (3)    
MPC 639 Advanced Website Design (3)   MPC 637
Project Management    
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)    
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)    

Strategic Communication Sequence

   
Public Relations    
MPC 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)    
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communication (3)    
Specialized Public Relations    
MPC 645 International Public Relations (3)    
MPC 646 Health Communication (3)    
Project Management    
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)    
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)    
III. Electives 3  
Additional approved courses (3)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MPC DEGREE 40  

 

Graduate Communication Certificates

Graduate certificates are provided as an alternative program of graduate communication study for individuals who meet the following criteria:

Certificate in Professional Writing

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18  
MPC       615     Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)               MPC 610
MPC       616     Writing for Popular Publications (3)             MPC 610
MPC       617     Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)      MPC 610
MPC       618     Advanced Professional Editing (3)       MPC 609, 610
MPC       619     Grant Research and Writing (3)      MPC 610
MPC      680      Special Topics in Professional Writing (3)         
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING

18
Plus relevant prerequisite

 


Certificate in Communication and Culture

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18  
MPC       603     Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)           MPC 602
MPC       605     Communication Theory (3)         
MPC       620     Organizational Communication (3)       
MPC       621     Leadership Communication (3)    
MPC       622     Intercultural Communication (3)     
MPC      623      International Communication (3)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE

18
Plus relevant prerequisite

 


Certificate in Multimedia and Management

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18  
MPC       633     Writing for New Media (3)               
MPC       635     Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)       
MPC       638     Digital Image Editing (3)         
MPC       639     Advanced Website Design (3)         MPC637
MPC       640     Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)           
MPC      642      Project Planning and Management (3)            
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN MULTIMEDIA AND MANAGEMENT

18

 


Certificate in Strategic Communication

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18  
MPC       640     Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)            
MPC       642     Project Planning and Management (3)          
MPC       643     Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)       
MPC       644     Integrated Marketing Communication (3)              
MPC       645     International Public Relations (3)           
MPC      646         Health Communication (3)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

18