Program Overview

How can you benefit from an online social media degree?

The professional field of media and communication is growing at a steady pace of 4% per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is expected to create more than 27,000 new positions by 2028, making now the perfect time to develop essential skills for the field and become an expert in the dynamic world of social media with Point Park University’s online social media degree. Combining management techniques with innovative social media marketing concepts, this social media degree program delivers the professional knowledge you need for career success. To enroll in this degree completion program, you must transfer 42 to 90 previous credits to Point Park.

Curriculum Overview

Through Point Park University’s online learning platform, the online social media degree delivers a curriculum taught by a faculty of educators with extensive field experience. Courses for the social media degree will prepare you to apply effective management methods and innovative marketing skills in a variety of careers. In addition, the curriculum also features real-world projects that can be completed within the online classroom and through your current employer, along with social media training that can lead to specific credentials upon completion.

Transform Your Experience into College Credit

Point Park University is proud to introduce a new Prior Learning Assessment and Advanced Standing/Experiential Learning Credit opportunities. Students can transfer credits from qualifying experiences, including other college institutions, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST exams or UEXCEL exams, Advanced Placement (AP) credit and experiential learning assessment portfolio submissions. Experiential learning credits are not considered current coursework for financial aid and they do not fulfill any of the minimum 30 credits that must be completed at Point Park University to graduate. In addition, experiential learning credits through portfolio submissions are capped at 18 credits.

Contact an enrollment counselor to learn more.

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  • Next Start Date:August 29, 2020
  • Est. Program Length:2-4 Years
  • Credit Hours:120
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$499
  • Transfer Credits Accepted:42 to 90

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University Core Courses (42 credits)
  • COMM 101 – Oral Comm. and Pres.
  • ENGL 101 – College Composition
  • UNIV 102 – University and Community Life
  • Senior Capstone: JOUR 433 or 497
  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Investigate Mathematics
  • Interpret Creative Works
  • Understand People
  • Succeed in Business
  • Appreciate & Apply the Arts
  • Discover Technology GRID 103
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Course Description
This course included communication theory as well as speech preparation, delivery, and communication technology. Student learning focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and impromptu speeches and presentations. Topics include research, analyzing and adapting audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages and effective use of visual aids and technology. This course will develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively with respect to audience and purpose. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of presentations ranging from one-on-one pitches and small group discussion to large audience speeches.
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Course Description
Students will write argument-based assignments leading to an independently researched project based on academic and professional goals. Students will be required to 1.) find and integrate a variety of sources, 2.) read and analyze these sources, 3.) develop strong thesis statements that reflect perspectives on topics or issues, and 4.) construct persuasive arguments that engage with the viewpoints of experts and commentators. As the term progresses, students will have the opportunity to re-think or revise the ideas and perspectives they explored in earlier writing assignments by engaging with peer feedback and revising earlier drafts. Placement recommendations will require students to take ENGL 101 as a three credit course OR in conjunction with an additional credit of lab or studio instruction. Students who earn F or NP grades in ENGL 101 will be required to re-take the course in conjunction with a one-credit Writing Studio course.**One Writing Intensive course in addition to ENGL 101 is required for graduation.
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Course Description
This course introduces students to the different kinds of communities that people construct for themselves (e.g. social, political, artistic, etc.) and the values and dynamics that define such communities (e.g. cooperation, civility, tolerance, responsibility, etc.). The notion of what it means to be a responsible member of the community will actively be explored and discussed by engagement and analysis of multiple communities: the classroom community, the Point Park University community, and the Pittsburgh community. Students will also examine the responsibilities they have to their personal academic development.
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • GCS/MLNG – 205 Languages of the World
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210/POLS 204 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions
  • SOC/MLNG 260 – Japanese Culture
  • THEA 225 – History Theatre I
  • THEA 226 – History Theatre II
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • CHEM 101 – General Chemistry I
  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II
  • NSET 120 – Environmental Science
  • NSET 122 – The Science of Light
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • MATH 150 -The Mathematical Experience
  • MATH 175 – Elementary Statistics
  • MATH 180 – College Algebra
  • MATH 190 – Calculus I

*Math course level dependent on results of placement exam.

×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 252 – Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 120 – Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • ENGL 255 – Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature
  • JOUR 225 – Deconstructing the Story
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • EDUC 220 – Family and Community Diversity
  • EDUC 228 – Educational Psychology
  • HIST 206 – Foundations in Feminism: Women’s History in Western World
  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations
  • PSYC 203 – Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • PSYC 230 – Characterological and Psychotic in Film and Fiction
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BUS 404 – Business Ethics
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • CINE 170 – Intro to Screenwriting for Non-Majors
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts
  • EDUC 251 – Art and Music in Teaching
  • ENGL 200 – Creative Writing
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • MLNG 220 – French Literature in Translation
  • PHOT 101 – Photography for Non-Majors
  • THEA 230 – Introduction to Theatre
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Course Description
This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of visual communication design for print and screen-based media. Emphasis is placed on visual communication of ideas, information and messages. Students learn the fundamentals of digital imaging, page layout and web design. Upon completion of this course, students will produce a series of visual communication artifacts to add to their portfolios.
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Choose one of the following courses:
JOUR 433 – Advertising Competition
Students prepare an IMC campaign and present it at the National Student Advertising Competition of the American Advertising Federation. Campaigns have been for a car, credit card company, airline and a magazine publisher, all of which sponsored the annual competition. Students assume job titles and descriptions and produce a comprehensive IMC plan, involving research and all forms of the Integrated Marketing Communications process, including media. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.
OR
JOUR 497 – IMC Capstone
Students will work in a student-run agency model to plan, research and construct integrated communications campaigns for local nonprofit, business or civic organizations utilizing advertising, public relations, direct communications and promotions. Students will assume agency job titles and descriptions and will demonstrate mastery of communications theory/practice, processes and techniques, and agency management. The course will also serve as a valuable portfolio for employment. The major goal of the course is to put to work learned advertising, public relations and marketing principles and theories with an emphasis on researching, writing and producing solid integrated marketing communications plans and tactics. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.

×*Math course level dependent on results of placement exam.

**One Writing Intensive course in addition to ENGL 101 is required for graduation.

Major Requirements (36 credits)
  • BMGT 205 – Principles of Marketing
  • COMM 412 – Media Ethics and Responsibilities
  • COMM 418 – Communication Law and Regulation
  • MKTS 210 – Digital Marketing
  • MULT 280 – Introduction to Multimedia
  • PHOT 205 – Digital Photography
  • PRAD 206 – Introduction to Ad & PR
  • PRAD 321 – PR Writing
  • PRAD 306 – Social Media Practices (teaches platforms, includes Hootsuite certification)
  • PRAD 453 – Social Media Crisis Communication
  • PRAD 463 – Social Media Analytics
  • PRAD 473 – Social Media Campaigns
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Course Description
Students explore the background and fundamentals of how organizations use persuasive communication to reach target audiences. A study of successful case studies and exercises in program writing will build the foundation and basic understanding of how advertising and public relations can advance the mission and growth of organizations in our contemporary society.
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Course Description
This is a practical course that will cover the techniques of message-based writing strategies used by public relations practitioners in various communication functions. The course will involve a variety of intensive public relations writing assignments based on strategies spanning major functional areas of professional public relations work. This course will concentrate on intensive work in the preparation of information for newspapers, radio, television, magazines, speech writing, brochures, newsletters, electronic media, and planning publicity campaigns. Dual Listed with JOUR 521. Prerequisite: JOUR 206 or permission.
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Course Description
This course will provide an introduction to multimedia production, writing and theory. Students will learn the industry from a historical perspective, as well as learn the basics of blogging and promoting content, video and audio for the Web, slide shows, podcasting, RSS feeds, creating interactive quizzes and timelines, mobile publishing, and other relevant topics. Upon completion of this course students will have a comprehensive technical knowledge of the many opportunities for multimedia production. Prerequisite: JOUR 103.
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Course Description
This course will provide students the conceptual and technical understanding of the power and philosophy of social media. The course will specifically focus on how social media is changing media, business, journalism and government in fundamental ways. Upon completion of this course, students will have practical knowledge in the use of social media tools and building and maintaining an online community as well as a solid foundation in writing and reporting for social media. Prerequisite: 30+ credits.
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Course Description
The purpose of this course is to examine strategic communication practices throughout the stages of a crisis event. Special emphasis is placed on crisis planning, media relationships, image restoration, legal and ethical responses, and the use of social media in news reporting, especially during a crisis. Students will examine recent crises and the proper management of information flow. The course will also cover communications impact of crises on employees, communities, shareholders, donors and government publics. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively handle a social media crisis and use social media to report on a crisis. Students will also learn how to write and implement social media policies, both for employees and users. Dual listed with JOUR 522. Prerequisite: JOUR 306
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Course Description
This course will teach students how to prove return on investment (ROI) to clients by understanding and evaluating analytics. In addition, students will learn search engine optimization best practices to further increase a brand’s social media ROI. Students will have a deeper understanding of the principles and how to measure and prove the ROI of social media and a working knowledge of various industry-standard analytics tools. Students will write social media reports for clients based on ROI and analytics results. Dual listed with JOUR 564. Prerequisite: JOUR 306.
×
Course Description
Students will research, write and implement advanced social media concepts including analytics, advertising, activism, influencers and budgets. Social media for journalists will be emphasized. Students will either work directly with business or nonprofit clients to plan and execute a social media campaign or publish an advanced social media journalism project. Dual listed with JOUR 573. Prerequisite; JOUR 306.
×
Course Description
A basic digital photography course designed to give photography and photojournalism students proficiency in digital image making and processing. It stresses the importance and uses of digital photography in the current media environment, including terminology, practical exercise, and presentation. Students utilize Adobe Lightroom for editing, and are encouraged to purchase the program and their own digital SLR cameras.
×
Course Description
This foundational marketing course introduces students to the principles and practices of marketing, including core marketing concepts, the marketing mix, the marketing environment, business and consumer markets, marketing research, marketing technology and marketing planning. Students will explore marketing careers and gain an understanding of the dynamic role of marketing in an organization and in society.
×
Course Description
The internet and related technology skills are required by most business today – particularly in the realm of marketing. You’ll learn the basic language of the online marketing ecosystem including advertising, search engine optimization/management, analytics, content development/deployment and social media. This is a hybrid course, combining online learning with in-person implementation of learning with real clients during our class time. Dual listed with SAEM 210.
×
Course Description
Examines the ethical issues presented in the modern media including their historical context and practical ramifications. The course compares and contrasts ethical standards and systems with professional processes and practices and legal principles. Students will write a position paper in which they defend an ethical choice they make and a longer term paper. Prerequisite: 75+ credits.
×
Course Description
Study of contemporary and classic cases related to state and federal law of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Problems caused by efforts by government to control mass media and freedom of government/public information are also addressed. Students will write a term paper. Prerequisites: JOUR 101, JOUR 150 and 75+ credits. Dual listed with JOUR 518.
General Electives (42 credits)

Electives provide students with the opportunity to study content areas that meet personal, professional, or vocational interests. Students may use general electives to transfer in more credits from other institutions and thus finish their degree faster. General electives can also be used to complete a double major or one or more minors.

Students applying for entry into Point Park University’s online social media degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. Degree admission requires a satisfactory transcript from a postsecondary institution and completion of a minimum 42 credits. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. Students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission by the program director based on additional information in support of the application.
  2. The university reserves the right to require an interview or supplementary materials for any applicant (degree or non-degree) and use these as a means for making an admission decision.

Career Outcomes

The professional field of media and communication is expanding at a rate of 4% per year. With Point Park University's online social media degree, you'll graduate with the skills for diverse careers in this field, including:
Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists promote their company’s reputation and products or services through diverse social media platforms. Through social media, these professionals can interact with customers and spread awareness about their company’s offerings while building a positive image of the overall brand. Professionals in this position must have extensive knowledge of social media platforms, along with expert marketing and communication skills.

Media Buyer

Media buyers are responsible for purchasing media space in print, radio, television, film and internet outlets. They are responsible for researching effective channels, targeting appropriate customer demographics, working within budgets, maintaining relationships with media sales agencies and more. Media buyers must possess excellent analytical skills and be effective in interpersonal communication as well as negotiating.

Advertising Manager

Professionals in this role are responsible for developing, planning and executing methods of promoting interest in their company’s products or services. They work closely with diverse members of their company’s marketing team to oversee the production of effective advertising campaigns. Advertising managers must have a strong understanding of effective marketing techniques, along with social media expertise to explore all advertisement platforms.

Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialists conduct research to determine the best methods for marketing their company’s products and services. They compile and present research regarding consumer behavior, advertisement platforms and competitors to plan and execute successful marketing campaigns. To be successful in this position, these professionals must have extensive knowledge of marketing concepts, along with expert communication skills.

Public Relations Coordinator

Public relations coordinators work to ensure that their clients gain and retain a positive reputation with the public. They may develop and implement PR strategies; analyze media coverage; serve as a client liaison to various partners, media outlets and the public; and manage PR during crises, among other responsibilities. Public relations managers must possess flexibility and solid communication skills and must be able to work well under pressure.

Next Steps

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