The Master of Science in Digital and Social Media Communication seeks to provide aspiring practitioners and current working professionals with the tools necessary to advance their career or pursue further graduate studies. At the same time, the program emphasizes the kinds of advanced critical thinking skills and theoretical foundations that will serve students beyond existing digital platforms or skill sets. With courses that cut across content creation, analytics, strategic communication, and more, students will leave the program with a better understanding of how to adapt to the evolving emerging media marketplace and adopt the kind of entrepreneurial spirit necessary to stand out in today’s crowded digital/social media environment.

A program sheet, which provides a required coursework sequence, is available for download in the Courses tab below.

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Credit Hours: 30

The MS in Digital and Social Media Communication program is one of the first of its kind in the University System of Georgia because it emphasizes digital and social media communication via an online delivery mode. 

This program seeks to provide aspiring practitioners and current working professionals with the tools necessary to advance their career. At the same time, the program emphasizes the kinds of advanced critical thinking skills and theoretical foundations that will serve students beyond existing digital platforms or skill sets. With courses that cut across content creation, analytics, strategic communication, and more, students will leave the program with a better understanding of how to adapt to the evolving emerging media marketplace and adopt the kind of entrepreneurial spirit necessary to stand out in today’s crowded digital/social media environment.

Program Location

Carrollton Campus, Online

Method of Delivery

Fully Online Only

Accreditation

The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Credit and transfer

Total semester hours required: 30

Graduate students may be able to reduce their cost through prior learning, previous degrees earned at UWG, or transfer credits. We have created a tool to help students estimate their tuition costs.                

This program is offered entirely online. Though a student may choose to sign-up for a face-to-face elective or core course, one can earn this degree completely online.

Save money

UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.

Details

  • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
  • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
  • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
  • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
  • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
  • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
  • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website

There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

Downloads

General

A seminar class with specific titles announced at time of offering. Special topics and current issues in digital and social media communication will be examined. An exchange of scholarly thinking and research will be the hallmark of classroom interactions and assignments. Seminars will vary according to topic and the specialty of the professor offering the course. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.

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This course is designed to teach students advanced storytelling techniques to not only create quality digital content, but to simultaneously leverage the affordances of social platforms to engage users online. Students will be tasked with creating both audio/visual content and written copy, as well as posting it across a wide variety of social channels. In part, the course will also focus on understanding how best to use contemporary digital platforms for disseminating content, while at the same time internalizing foundational principles associated with the online environment that will be adaptable to social channels that emerge in the future.

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Digital and Social Media Communication Strategies provides students with a framework for creating communication strategies and prepares them to become strategic communicators for digital and social media. Students will learn how to integrate digital, social and mobile platforms into a strategic communications plan through practical application. Course content will help students identify challenges, develop solutions, and use appropriate communication strategies to solve organizational problems. Key concepts include identifying social media communication objectives, defining target audiences, communication audits, basic protocol for social and digital communication and evaluation methods. Sessions include lectures, discussions, practical instruction, group projects and online analysis.

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In this course, students will examine digital and social media analytics strategies, identify key metrics used for measuring communication performance, compare and implement native and third-party analytics tools, and practice evaluating and reporting analytics results.

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A survey course that explores a variety of communication theories to understand how communication, technology, and ideology work interconnectedly to shape our perceptions of reality, politics, the self and the other in the context of digital and social media. Consideration is given to how ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions guide theory development.

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This course examines the legal context that applies to digital and social media communication. You will explore how digital and social media communication technologies have transformed the legal framework in areas such as freedom of speech and press, libel, privacy, copyright, and obscenity.

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The capstone course requires students to develop a digital strategy and/or social media campaign and content calendar project demonstrating the synthesis and application of the learnings from the Master of Science in Digital & Social Media Communication program. The project will incorporate skills such as branding, layouts, strategic communication, digital strategy, research methods, and/or web design. Under the guidance of an instructor, the student will investigate a real-world digital and social media communication issue, formulate solutions, develop strategies, and produce a research-based portfolio that bridges the gap between theory and practice.

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This course examines common research methods and strategies used when evaluating online communication tools. Emphasis will be on digital and social media applications and their implications for content, user-creators, and user-audiences.

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LeQuinta (Taylor) Bryant

LeQuinta (Taylor) Bryant

Clinical Associate Professor

Hazel Cole

Hazel Cole

Associate Professor & Public Relations Head

Melanie Conrad

Melanie Conrad

Senior Lecturer & Assistant Dean

Patrick Hadley

Patrick Hadley

Associate Professor & Graduate Studies Coordinator

Michael D. Hester

Michael D. Hester

Lecturer / Debate Director & CDO Special Assistant

Deon Kay

Deon Kay

Professor & Associate Dean

Kyle Lorenzano

Kyle Lorenzano

Assistant Professor & Digital Media & Entertainment Head

Christopher Renaud

Christopher Renaud

Associate Professor

John Sewell

John Sewell

Associate Professor, Journalism Head & The West Georgian Advisor

Andrew Will

Andrew Will

Lecturer

Kelly Williams

Kelly Williams

Clinical Associate Professor

Misty Wilson

Misty Wilson

Senior Lecturer

Bradford Yates

Bradford Yates

Dean & Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

All graduate applicants must complete the online Graduate Application.

See Graduate Studies Application Process International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students

Official transcripts from all schools attended are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Graduate Admissions Office.

Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

  • Resume/CV (two pages)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Earned baccalaureate degree; 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA or higher preferred
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for advanced professional growth through graduate studies in digital and social media communication (electronic recommendation requests will be available in your application after it has been submitted)
  • Personal Statement: 500-word statement of educational or professional goals
  • Portfolio/sample work which demonstrates evidence of professional competence
  • Admission is restricted to fall and spring terms

Application Deadlines

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School Deadlines Page                     

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here.

Contact

Graduate School
graduate@westga.edu
678-839-1394

School of Communication, Film, and Media
Dr. Patrick Hadley, Graduate Studies Coordinator
phadley@westga.edu 
678-839-4931

Dean's Office
scfm@westga.edu
678-839-6518

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School Deadlines Page                

  1. Create engaging digital and social media content within ethical and legal parameters
  2. Apply foundational theories in digital and social media communication
  3. Apply effective digital and social media campaign strategies
  4. Evaluate metrics and interpret digital and social media analytics
  5. Design and execute a rigorous, portfolio-building, capstone project