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Undergraduate Certificate in Strategic Communication

Public Relations


In keeping with worldwide transformations in journalistic practices, information technology, media production, image consumption, message distribution, and norms of citizen engagement, the Department offers a Certificate in Strategic Communication (CSC). The certificate requires students to complete 6 classes (18 credits) in a structured manner.

Certificate Requirements  
  1. The Undergraduate Certificate in Strategic Communication requires 18 semester hours (six courses).

  2. A grade of B must be earned in each course completed as part of the certificate (a grade of B- is not acceptable).

  3. All of the credit hours for the certificate must be earned at the University of Colorado Denver.  

Phase One
To build on a shared set of foundational theories, norms, and skills, all CSC-seeking students take three required courses from COMM:

  • COMM 1071 Introduction to Journalism
  • COMM 2051 Introduction to Strategic Communication
  • COMM 2071 Media Writing Skills 
Phase Two  
CSC-seeking students will then burnish their production skills by taking two electives from chosen areas of content expertise via electives from a wide range of CU Denver partners. Phase Two therefore includes taking one elective chosen from the following courses: 
  • COMM 2081 New Media Production and Management
  • COMM 4620 Media Production
  • FINE 2155 Introduction to Digital Photography
  • FINE 3405 Introduction to Digital Video

Students must also take a second elective chosen from classes offered by Communication, the College of Arts and Media, the School of Business, the School of Public Affairs, or the Anschutz Medical Campus. The elective must be approved for the CSC in consultation with a Department of Communication Advisor.  

** Note: For Phase 2, ICB students in China who are earning the CSC must take either Advanced Media Writing Skills or New Media -AND- a second elective chosen from classes offered in Communication. The elective must be approved for the CSC in consultation with Dr. Hamilton Bean. 

Phase Three 

CSC-seeking students will complete their certificate by undertaking a semester-long capstone project conducted in conjunction with an appointment with the community partner of their choosing (selected via consultation with the Department of Communication’s Internship Director or Advanced Strategic Communication Instructor). All capstone/internships or course projects will conclude with students producing professional-grade portfolios and making formal presentation of work in a public forum. This requirement will be satisfied by taking: 

  • COMM 3939 Internship OR 
  • COMM 4051 Advanced Strategic Communication

Application Process 

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

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

Non-Degree Seeking Application Process 

If you are a non-degree seeking student, you must first download and complete the Application for Non-Degree Admission and return it to the Office of Admissions. Once your application for admission is approved, you will be able to enroll in the required courses.  

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,​