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Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication

Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificate programs are designed for working professionals who already have earned bachelor's degrees but who would like to enhance or upgrade their skills. Students already enrolled in a master's program within the department may earn a certificate as part of or in addition to the coursework required for the degree.

Strategic Communication has been defined as the management function that entails planning, research, publicity, promotion and collaborative decision-making to help any organization's ability to listen to, appreciate and respond appropriately to those persons and groups whose mutually beneficial relationships the organization needs to foster as it strives to achieve its mission and vision. The Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication is designed to provide students with the principles and theories that guide the work of public relations practitioners in commercial, public and nonprofit contexts.

Non-degree students who enroll in the MA program following completion of the certificate may transfer up to 12 hours of credits earned for the certificate into credits for the MA degree. The certificate also is designed for students enrolled in a CU Denver’s master's program, including the Department of Communication's MA program. For such students, the certificate can be completed as part of or in addition to the coursework required for the master's degree.

Recipients of the Undergraduate Certificate in Public Relations are ineligible to complete this certificate. 

Certificate Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication requires 12 credit hours (four courses):

    • COMM 5051 Advanced Strategic Communication 
    • COMM 5240 Organizational Communication
    • COMM 5939 Internship
    • An elective at the graduate level from the College of Arts & Media, School of Business, the School of Public Affairs, or the Anschutz Medical Campus. The elective must be approved in consultation with the Department of Communication. 
Students may be permitted to take courses other than those listed above to fulfill the requirements for the certificate if those courses fit their professional goals better. Requests for approval for substitute courses, including an explanation for the substitution, must be made in writing to Dr. Hamilton Bean. 

Grade and Residency Requirements

A grade of B must be earned in each course completed as part of the certificate. All credit hours for the certificate must be earned at the University of Colorado Denver.

Application Procedures

Students who are intending to complete the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication should notify the Coordinator, Dr. Hamilton Bean, Department of Communication, ​

Students should apply for the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication only after the completion of the required courses. To apply, students must print and attach the completed Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication application to an unofficial transcript. These documents should be submitted to Professor Hamilton Bean. If the application is approved, a certificate will be mailed to the student at the end of the semester after final grades are posted.    

Non-Degree Seeking Application Process 

If you are a non-degree seeking student, you can apply by downloading and completing the Application for Non-Degree Admission form, and return it electronically or drop it off at the Office of Admissions located in the Annex Building of the CU Building at the corner of 14th and Larimer. After your application has been approved, you will be able to enroll for the certificate. 

Additional Information 

Additional information about the Undergraduate Certificate in Strategic Communication may be obtained from Dr. Hamilton Bean, Department of Communication, Student Commons Building, 1201 Larimer Street, Suite 3010, 303-315-1909,