Media Relations and Strategic Communication (Certificate)

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The Certificate in Media Relations and Strategic Communication is a new 9-hour graduate level sequence of courses designed to provide you the essential content and methods for managing crisis communication, creating public events, mobilizing public opinions, communicating with elected and government officials, and developing workshops to help your clients attain goals.

  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at  The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's  degree  from  a  regionally  accredited  institution  in  the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Three  letters  of  recommendation  from  professional  or  academic sources.
    • 500-word essay answering: “How will this certificate program benefit your professional development?”

    Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.


    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Aje-Ori Agbese

    Phone: (956)665-2543

    Office: Edinburg Campus, ELABS 147


  • Deadlines


    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


    • This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.
    • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.
  • Course Requirements

    Required Courses 6
    COMM 6332: Mass Media Campaigns 3
    COMM 6356: Seminar in Persuasion 3
    Elective 3
    Chosen from the following:
    COMM 6327: Seminar in Health Communication 3
    COMM 6351: Communication Technology 3
    COMM 6352: Media, Race, and Ethnicity 3
    COMM 6360: Historical Studies in Mass Media 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication: Crisis Communication 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication: Political Communication 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication: Marketing 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication: Advertising Strategies in Education 3
    Total graduate hours for certificate: 9

    Course Descriptions:

    COMM 6327: Seminar in Health Communication               [3‐0]
    Provides an overview of theoretical and applied approaches to health communication. Students will be exposed to topics including delivery systems of formal care, health information sources, mediators and moderators of care and understanding, communication outcomes, research methods, and overarching issues in health communication.

    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication              [3‐0]
    Course will focus on current communication theory and research in specialized areas of the discipline. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    COMM 6332: Mass Media Campaigns              [3‐0]
    This course will examine the elements of effective campaigns and will analyze the role of the mass media in a variety of social, health and political settings.

    COMM 6351: Communication Technology              [3‐0]
    This course surveys emerging communication technologies and examines their social and behavioral impact on human interaction.

    COMM 6352: Media, Race, and Ethnicity              [3‐0]
    This course examines the historical and philosophical roots of the concepts of race and ethnicity, and their relation both to migration/immigration and personal/collective identity construction. It also examines the impact of mass media on racial and ethnic identity, using mass communication theory to understand the political and social dimensions of the concepts in question. Topics Particular attention is given to racial and ethnic identity in the U.S.‐Mexican border, and the media’s influence on conceptions and perceptions.

    COMM 6356: Seminar in Persuasion              [3‐0]
    This course examines the theories, principles, models and research related to attitude change and social influence. The course takes a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to persuasion.

    COMM 6360: Historical Studies in Mass Media              [3‐0]
    Historical study of cultural, legal and technical movements in print, broadcasting and recorded mass media. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.