The Communication and Media Department at Merrimack College continues to expand its degree offerings with a new M.A. in Communication to start in the fall of 2021.
The program is currently admitting students and providing several Provost and Presidential Fellowship opportunities that cover the cost of tuition between 50 and 100 percent. Students who receive fellowships will work on campus in Communications, Athletic Communications, Marketing, and in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
“Through fellowship opportunities, students will be able to advance their professional experiences by applying what they are learning in the classroom to jobs across communication positions on campus,” said Andrew Tollison, who is an Associate Professor and the new program’s director.
The Communication M.A. has emphases in digital media and strategic communication, which are two in-demand and growing career areas. The program, like many other graduate programs at Merrimack, is accelerated and takes a year to complete. Students who want to pursue a master’s degree in communication do not necessarily need to have studied communication or a related area as an undergraduate, but it definitely helps.
“Grounded in communication theory, this graduate program has been designed to prepare students for careers and career advancements in strategic and digital communication, such as public relations, social media marketing, and work in nonprofits,” Tollison said. The program will teach students to “produce compelling and persuasive messages across varied relationships, organization types, and modalities,” he added.
The Department of Communication and Media hopes to enroll around 13 people for its first cohort of graduate students, which is smaller and more selective than the number of students who typically complete a B.A. each year in Communication Studies.
“I applied to the new program because of how much I loved my time as an undergraduate student at Merrimack,” said Colleen Mearon, who is currently a senior at Merrimack College. “I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences offered to me over these four years and the connections I made with the faculty and staff, and I am hopeful to continue my studies even further.”
In addition to the new graduate program, the department is growing in other areas. They recently launched a new minor in Digital Media Production and are planning to launch another new minor in Public Relations. Unlike the graduate degree program, students do not need to go through a separate application process to add or change minors.