MA in Professional Communication

University of San Francisco - College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description

MA in Professional Communication

University of San Francisco - College of Arts & Sciences

The MA in Professional Communication (MAPC) provides the knowledge and training for superior oral, written, and visual communication skills. USF’s program is designed for people who seek the techniques and knowledge required to be communication specialists in a wide range of fields in an ever-shifting 21st-century workplace.

Located in the heart of San Francisco and close to Silicon Valley — one of the most vibrant and innovative regions in the world — MAPC students have access to collegial and professional networks at Bay Area organizations and companies.

The program’s convenient schedule of evening courses appeals to full-time graduate students and enables professionals to work while completing their degree.

The MAPC includes courses that meet both on-campus and online for flexibility and convenience while providing engagement with cutting-edge technology.

In the second year, some courses are offered entirely online.

With three concentrations from which to choose, the program creates a community of professional communicators who have varied career interests.

The program uniquely combines residential and online graduate seminars with applied research and professional engagement.

Graduates from the program bring a thorough knowledge and skill set of advanced communication to careers in a range of sectors — including technology, government, finance, health services, academic, and many other sectors where communications skills are highly valued.

Program Details

The MA in Professional Communication is a 30-unit program that can be completed in two years. Students complete four core courses and six elective courses. All courses are three units. Full-time students enroll in courses each fall and spring semester. Courses are also available in the summer. The degree culminates in either a capstone course or a directed study and culminating project, such as a reflective portfolio, internship-related project, analytical paper, or academic research project.

Students can enroll in the general track in professional communication, which combines courses in strategic and technical communication for a blended specialty in the industry and organizational communication. This broader focus gives students valuable knowledge toward launching or furthering successful communications careers in a variety of fields and organizations.



Strategic communicators work as planners, designers, and leaders to develop and disseminate messages both within and outside of organizations. Students enrolled in this concentration analyze how organizations interact internally and externally with the public, industry, and media. Students also gain practical communication skills that give them a competitive edge in the workplace.


Technical communicators use communication skills to translate complex scientific, engineering or technical information into content that users can understand and utilize. Students enrolled in this concentration learn how to communicate to the user while ensuring that the product or service has a competitive advantage. As technology grows in a variety of fields, the demand for such skilled, user-centered and agile technical communicators has never been greater.


We are a brand new program, so applicants today could become our alumni of tomorrow, helping to build and add value to our degree. We expect that graduates of the Master of Arts in Professional Communication from USF will be:

Communication designers, able to take specialized information and compose and design this information in multiple formats to diverse audiences using multiple technologies. They facilitate information between the experts (software designers, policymakers, etc.) and the public sphere, working within varied workforces, including distributive ones.

Technical communicators and strategic advocates, working to ensure the usability of products and services in all phases of the design process. They act as the voice of the users, advocating design features to ensure that the users’ needs are met as well as working to ensure that the product or service has a strategic, competitive advantage in the market.

Ethical communicators within organizations, bringing a thorough understanding of ethical issues to the workplace, including organizational communication and industrial communication between organizations and their customers.

Advocates of their industry within the community, communicating with the media and community, strategically crafting succinct messages and longer arguments as spokespersons and leaders.

Prepared for further graduate work if they so choose. Given the program’s theoretical training and applied concepts, students would be prepared for doctoral work in communications.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Professional Communication from USF work in many fields, including:

  • Public Relations.
  • Communications and Marketing.
  • Media Management.
  • Risk Management.
  • Crisis Response.
  • Business Operations.
  • Human Resources.
  • Strategic Planning.
  • Technology.
  • Information Design.
  • Technical Writing and Communication.
  • New Media and Creative Services.
  • Editing.
  • Nonprofit.
  • Development and Fundraising.
  • Health Care Communication.

The estimated tuition costs for Professional Communication are:

  • First year - $20,100.
  • Second year - $20,804.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 7, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
2 years
Full time
20,100 USD
USA - San Francisco, California
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
USA - San Francisco, California
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info