Program Overview

The University of New Mexico is pleased to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communication as an Accelerated Online Program. The Strategic Communication program is offered through the Department of Communication and Journalism (C&J) in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Strategic Communication concentration helps to prepare students for a variety of careers in such fields as public information, marketing, information management, event planning, advertising, and public relations. Students will acquire effective communication knowledge, strategies, and skills that will allow them to offer strategic leadership to any organization. In the course of this program, students will learn about the theories, history, and ethical and legal considerations underlying strategic communication. They will become familiar with a complete range of current communication tools (research, writing, design), including traditional broadcast and print media, as well as digital media, and how to use them in an integrated, strategic way. 

Possible Careers

This program in Strategic Communication will help prepare students to enter the following academic pathways or careers, among others: 

  • Public Information Officer
  • Organizational Information Officer
  • Marketing and Communication Manager
  • Media Buyer
  • Creative Director
  • Account Executive/Advertising
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Account Executive/Public Relations
  • Social Media Manager
  • Event Planner

Learning Goals

The Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) unit of the Department of Communication and Journalism (C&J) adapted the following values and competencies into its “Goals for Learning.” These learning objectives form the basis for subsequent assessments of all JMC students.

The JMC faculty are committed to using competencies to organize its concentrations and to develop learning assessments to measure these competencies, thus ensuring that graduates acquire the skills and knowledge critical to career success and to life-long learning.

The Goals for Learning for JMC students focus on the following professional values and competencies. Students shall be aware of, understand, and apply these core values and competencies.


  • Truth, accuracy, and fairness 
  • The First Amendment and freedoms of speech and press 
  • Ethical ways of thinking and acting 
  • The history and roles of the media
  • The diversity of audiences


  • Write and edit clearly and accurately
  • Use the tools of technology
  • Apply theories in presenting information
  • Engage in research and critical evaluation
  • Understand data and statistics
  • Think creatively and analytically


Tuition and Fees

The total cost per credit hour is $442.18 and is comprised of $394.80 base tuition + $10.52 college differential + $36.86 upper division course premium. There is a student technology fee charged each semester. It is $150 in the Fall, $150 in the Spring, and $20 in the Summer. There may be additional costs, depending on the class. Additional costs are often for textbooks, supplemental course materials, and proctoring fees.

To complete an undergraduate degree, students are required to fulfill general education and college-specific requirements.

About the Program

To graduate with a BA degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, a student must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. UNM requires 31 credit hours distributed across seven areas to complete the UNM General Education requirements. The university also requires completion of a 3 credit hour U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion requirement. Students may transfer coursework from other accredited institutions to fulfill these requirements.   The Strategic Communication Accelerated Online Program is designed for students who have completed an associate's degree or have at least 60-70 transferable college-level credit hours.  See program details for more information.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires a minimum of 90 credit hours taught within its departments. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences must declare either a major and a minor, or two majors, or special curricula approved by the College. As a so-called “extended major,” the Strategic Communication program is considered one of these special curricula; therefore Strategic Communication Accelerated Online Program students do not need to declare a minor or a second major. Half of the major must be completed at the University of New Mexico. 

For individuals seeking a second bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, the coursework will focus on fulfilling the major requirements.  UNM requires a minimum of 30 new hours for a second award.  

To earn an undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico, the following requirements must be met: 

  • A minimum of 30 hours of coursework completed at UNM (UNM Residency Requirement)
  • 50% of the Major completed at UNM

Once admitted all students seeking to declare a major within the College of Arts and Sciences will first be admitted as a Pre-major.  Pre-major status applies to students who must satisfy prerequisites or meet department conditions before transitioning to Major status. The following are the general requirements to transition:

  • A minimum of 26 credit hours; 23 credit hours must be in courses acceptable toward graduation
  • A UNM GPA of 2.0 or better
  • Demonstrated academic achievement by satisfying the completion of the following University General Education areas:
    • Communication
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Second Language
  • Completion of introductory coursework specified by each department. See the department section of the university catalog for details.

To be admitted and graduate from the Strategic Communication program, the following requirements must be met:

  • Students must have a minimum 2.50 grade-point-average prior to program admission
  • Students must maintain a 2.50 grade-point-average in all Communication and Journalism courses to graduate with BA in Mass Communication and Journalism

For more information on degree and admission requirements, please refer to the UNM Catalog.

To begin the application process for any Accelerated Online Program, use the Albuquerque Campus Application. In the Academics section, you will be prompted to select your Intended Field of Study. For this program, select Journalism and Mass Comm – Online (not available to freshmen).

Degree Requirements


The Strategic Communication Accelerated Online Program offers all courses associated with the major requirements needed to complete the BA in Journalism and Mass Communication in an online, eight-week format.  To qualify, students must have already completed a majority of the UNM general education requirements, as well as college requirements. These hours can be completed at UNM and/or transferred from another institution.  A student with an associate's degree or at least 60-70 transferable college-level credit hours is ideally positioned for admission consideration. Please see the information provided in the Degree Requirements tab. 

The major requirements for completing the Strategic Communication program total 48 credit hours. This includes 39 credit hours of required courses and 9 credit hours of electives.  There are no minor requirements.  Special course sections are scheduled for Accelerated Online Program students and offered on a cyclical basis.  Look for the courses in the current schedule of classes with a course comment that reads "Limited to Accelerated Online Program students only."  

Required Courses (39 credit hours)

List of core courses required for degree.
Course NameCredit Hours
COMM 1140Writing for the Mass Media I/Introduction to Media Writing3
COMM 2135Media Ethics and Law3
COMM 2185Multimedia and Visual Communication3
CJ 327Quality Matters EndorsementPersuasive Communication3
CJ 350Data Tools for Media Professionals3
CJ 365History of Media3
CJ 374 Design and Visual Presentation I3
CJ 387 Quality Matters Program LogoIntroduction to Strategic Communication3
CJ 389Creative Concepts3
CJ 390Strategic Writing3
CJ 391Strategic Social Media3
CJ 478Media Theory and Research3
CJ 488Strategic Planning and Campaign Development3

Elective Courses (9 credit hours*)

List of elective courses for degree
Course NameCredit Hours
COMM 2190 Quality Matters Program LogoWriting and Editing for Multimedia Journalism3
CJ 333Professional Communication3
CJ 367Social Media for Journalism3
CJ 340Communication in Organizations3
CJ 490Undergraduate Problems3
CJ 492Internship in Communication3

*Note:  only three elective courses are required

Quality Matters Program Logo  Courses with this insignia have received the National Quality Matters Certification.

Additional Course Information

UNM operates on a semester calendar of Summer, Fall, and Spring.  Course schedules are available during each semester's registration period.  Registration opens in early April for the Summer and Fall Semesters and early November for the Spring Semester.   

View information for the current schedule of registration dates.

If you are interested in learning more about other online course offerings, in addition to the ones associated with the Strategic Communication Accelerated Online Program, see the current schedule of all online classes.  Please note that the special tuition rate is applied only to courses associated with accelerated online programs.

 Accelerated Online Program

At a Glance

Major Requirements: 48 Credit Hours*
Cost Per Credit Hour: $442.18
Length of Classes: 8 Weeks

College/School: College of Arts and Sciences

Tuition: Program Details and Tuition & Fee Information

*General education and other courses are required to complete this degree. Visit the Degree Requirements tab.


Website: Department of Communication and Journalism
Phone: Rick Robb or Olivia Torres-Jojola: (505) 277-9000