Master of Arts in Communication, MA in Communication

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication



  • Emphasis in technical design training
  • Strong international/intercultural component
  • Accepts transfer credits
  • Approved for VA benefits


Implement expert communication strategies that advance organizational goals and missions and learn how to capture target audiences with dynamic and effective communication skills! HPU’s MASCOM program will empower you to understand and use strategic techniques and insights that give you a powerful advantage in the world of media. With the program’s wide selection of electives, you will learn how to use your innovation and creativity to maximize your potential in communication strategies.

Length of program: 
2 years (21 months) 

Entry terms: Fall 

Program delivery: on-campus 

Cost of program: $26,154 or $699/credit 

  • Understand and be able to apply the central cannon of communication theory.

  • Understand and be able to employ quantitiative and qualitative research techniques in order to analyze, interpret, and present data effectively.

  • Have developed the ability to apply strategic communication principles in the context of professional work.
  • Demonstrate dynamic, effective, and persuasive oral communication skills.
  • Write clearly, concisely, correctly, and in an appropriate style for the strategic communication objective.
  • Have developed essential familiarity with technical skills used in producing digital images.

  • Understand and be able to apply principles of global/international communication.


One important communication consideration is recognizing cultural diversity. Not only does the MASCOM program take a global view, the learning environment at HPU is also multi-cultural. Located in the center of the Pacific Rim, Honolulu is a cosmopolitan city with a busy, international business community. This attracts a wide range of learners. In fact, HPU students come from all 50 states and nearly 65 countries.

  • Because Honolulu is a uniquely international city, MASCOM students have opportunities for jobs and internships with many multinational companies. Classrooms are centrally located in the downtown financial district of Honolulu, near the state legislature, print and television news organizations, media production companies, public relations firms, and advertising agencies.

  • Faculty in HPU’s MASCOM program are excellent teachers and involved mentors for all students. Their awards and experiences include a Fulbright Senior Fellow Nomination, the Walt Disney-Hollywood Pictures Fellowship Writer’s Award, the Lawrence A. Frost Literary Award, the HPU Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence,  the CLIO Award for Advertising, KHON2 media commentator, and Peace Corps volunteer.

  • Students may take up to two electives from other related programs, such as Master of Business Administration, Master of the Arts in Sustainability, and others, to count toward their MASCOM degree.

  • HPU's MASCOM program offers two elements not commonly offered by other programs:
    • Emphasis in technical design training (courses in Digital Graphic Design and Web Design).
    • Strong international/intercultural component (courses in International Communication and Media and Globalization).
  • The MA in Strategic Communication is a professionally oriented curriculum; however, students planning to continue studies toward the Ph.D will find the program’s intellectual breadth and depth, academic rigor, and emphasis upon integrating theory with practical application perfectly aligned with their future plans.

  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • $55 Application Fee
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume

(Revised June 3, 2020.  Disclaimer: Classes may be cancelled due to low enrollment.)

FALL  2020 SPRING 2021

COM 6000 - Communication Theory
COM 6050 - Research Methods
COM 6650 - Intellectual Property and Media Ethics

COM 6020 - Communication Campaigns

COM 6085 Speechmaking and Presentations
COM 6460 -  Digital Graphic Design
COM 7150 - Capstone I

Tech & Intercultural Requirements:

COM 6510 - Web Design

COM 6770 - Media and Globalization

COM 6010 - Organizational Communication
COM 6030 - Writing for Communication Professionals
COM 6580 - Social Media Strategy

COM 7250 - Capstone II



FALL  2021 SPRING  2022

COM 6000 - Communication Theory
COM 6050 - Research Methods
COM 6650 - Intellectual Property and Media Ethics

COM 6305 - Crisis Communication
COM 6350 - Events Planning
COM 6440 - Digital Photography, Videography and Post-production

COM 7150 - Capstone I

Tech & Intercultural Requirements:

COM 6310 - International Communication

COM 6460 -  Digital Graphic Design


COM 6020 - Communication Campaigns
COM 6030 - Writing for Communication Professionals

COM 6085 Speechmaking and Presentations
COM 7250 - Capstone II


Undergraduate students advancing to a Master Degree in Strategic Communication can now earn the MASCOM in less time under its concurrent program. Students who meet the eligibility requirements of the Concurrent Program--current undergrad student with 90 credit hours (including current term and transfer credit), at least 15 credit hours earned at HPU  and a GPA of at least 3.0-- may use this form to request to take up to 12 credits (4 courses) of the graduate courses in the table below. These courses will serve as substitutes for the corresponding undergraduate course and are counted toward both the completion of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Request must be approved by both undergraduate and graduate advisors.




COM 6000 Communication Theory

COM 3900 Communication Theory

COM 6305 Crisis Communication

MC 3740 Crisis Communication

COM 6350 Events Planning

MC 3750 Special Events Planning

COM 6440 Digital Photography, Videography and Postproduction

MULT 3600 Cinematic Narrative Production

COM 6510 Web Design

MULT 3475 Web Interface and Design

COM 6580 Social Media: Theory and Practice

MC 3300  Social Media


Effective communication and the ability to express ideas clearly in both the written and spoken word is a critical skill for everyone, both personally and professionally. Nearly every profession requires successful communication. Graduates of the MASCOM program at HPU are uniquely prepared for thriving careers across a wide spectrum of industries.

  • HPU's unique focus on applied technology and global contexts provides MASCOM graduates with the skill sets for careers in marketing, advertising, mass media, social media, digital communication, public relations, entertainment, education, and other fields. Other opportunities for some HPU MASCOM students include advanced doctoral study in communication or other fields. 

  • By their choice of electives and capstone projects, MASCOM students can elect to focus their studies in areas such as strategic communication, social media strategies, public/media relations,integrated communication and more.

What Type of jobs can you get with a mascom degree?

  • Public Relations
  • Mass Media Communications
  • Multi Media Communications
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Social Media Communications
  • Advertising
  • Technical Writing


MACOM graduates, such as those listed below, have used their Final Capstone Projects as the genesis for launching sucessful media companies:

  • Olena Heu ('13), Founder/CEO Lilikoi Ladies LLC, a Marketing Communications Agency specializing in social media, Honolulu, Hawaii.  Ms. Heu is a former news anchor,  FOX KHON2, and recipient of the Edward R Murrow Award.
  • Jason Cutinella ('06), CEO & Founder, Nella Media Group, Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Naomi  Giamrone ('05) Owner and Co-publisher, Element Media, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other notable alumni have established successful careers in Public Relations, Social Media, Project Management, Marketing, and more:

  • Reed Pasatiempo (‘19 Graduate Valedictorian), Project Manager at the Audio Visual Company (AVCO); former E-Sports Arena Manager (HPU), Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Thitikarn Simreewong (‘19), Marketing Coordinator at Next Design, LLC. Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Kawena Lei Carvalho-Mattos ('16), Special Projects Manager at CNHA: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
  • Edyta Tudruj (‘10), Account Executive, Primum Public Relations, Warsaw, Poland.

  • Katie Vanes (’09), Public Relations and Social Media Manager at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Request Info