Integrated Marketing Communications Degree Online

Program Overview

Program Overview

Brands no longer control how they engage with consumers; rather, consumers control how they engage with brands. An online master of arts in integrated marketing communications can help you build positive and lasting relationships with consumers in the participation age. It also helps you build your personal brand and professional network with thought leaders around the world. If you aspire to be an extraordinary communicator in a crowded media landscape, the Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications program at St. Bonaventure University Online is for you.

No GRE/GMAT Required

Admissions Requirements

  • A completed application
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Transcripts from all colleges attended
  • An essay describing what attracted you to the Integrated Marketing Communications field and why you want to pursue a degree at St. Bonaventure University (500-750 words)

Integrated Marketing Communications Degree Online

Online IMC Program Delivery

Gain the knowledge, experience and skills you need to be a successful communicator with an online marketing communications degree that finishes in 12 months if you’re a full-time online student  — just one, seven-week course at a time. The program takes approximately two years for part-time adult learners who have to balance professional and personal goals.

As part of your degree, you complete a comprehensive integrated marketing communication plan for an organization of your choice and present it to a mixed panel of faculty and professionals. This plan shows what you know to potential employers and includes an executive summary, market research, SWOT analysis, IMC strategy, IMC objectives, marketing strategy, audiences, creative brief, public relations, advertising, marketing and new media campaigns, campaign timeline and budget, ROI and campaign evaluation.

Careers and Outcomes

Online IMC Program - Average Salaries

Graduates with an online MA in Integrated Communications might consider work in public relations, journalism, communications and marketing communications. If you like reaching out to the media and managing reputations, a public communications professional make more than $50,000 annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you enjoy crafting complex content in a easy to understand way, a degree that emphasizes online communications or online marketing communications could be a gateway to a technical writing career that averages more than $70,000 annually. For individuals who enjoy breaking down the data and consumer research, work as a media analyst can pay more than $60,000 a year. In addition to a full-time career, you can also establish yourself and your own personal brand through the comprehensive plan you create that may help entrepreneurial endeavors.

Online IMC Cost and Financial Aid

Individuals may qualify for financial aid. To learn what financial aid is available to you via the government, on the basis of military benefits or other concerns, please visit our main financial aid page.

Online IMC Program Curriculum

Click on the course name to learn more.

IMC 500 IMC Principles and Practices

This is the foundational IMC course. It reviews the functional marketing communications areas such as advertising, PR, sales promotion, business communications and writing, and direct response in terms of their strengths and weaknesses in an integrated program. This course focuses on strategy and planning, with students concentrating on integrating targets, timing, and message strategies. It provides an overview of both U.S. and global marketing communication practices.

IMC 520 Marketing Communications Research

This is an introductory course in the field of marketing research designed to provide the student with an overview of the purposes, procedures, and applications of marketing research. Students will learn not only to use market research but to do market research, through a step-by-step marketing research process. Students will learn how to obtain and use secondary data and syndicated information services, and to design and conduct both qualitative and quantitative primary marketing research. Finally, basic statistics, data analysis, and reporting, as well as how to use statistical software, will be studied.

IMC 560 New Media: Digital Communications for IMC

The web has become an increasingly important communications tool. Not only must IMC professionals present their information in a credible fashion, they must also present it in an easy-to-use, well-organized fashion. This course will look specifically at digital  communication as it influences the IMC practitioner, ensuring students learn how to design and manage corporate websites in order to best meet an organization’s goals as well as the needs of various Web audiences. Students will be encouraged to incorporate animation and video into their final website project and to fully demonstrate their ability to utilize the latest technology in website design.

IMC 600 Strategic Marketing Management for IMC

This course is designed to develop decision-making skills by examining selected topics including marketing strategy, analysis of strategic marketing opportunities, dominant themes in strategic marketing planning, and the design, implementation, and control of strategic marketing plans. Also, this class examines segmentation procedures, competitive analyses, portfolio lectures, case analysis, and a computer-based simulation of strategic marketing management.

IMC 610 Financial Tools for IMC and the International Economy

This course provides expert training on the financial tools with which the IMC executive must work while processing the translation of cold numbers into skilled communication. By offering a background in economics, time value of money, capital budgeting, financial markets and quantitative analysis, this course will prepare the IMC executive to oversee and make informed financial and budgetary decisions regarding an organization’s IMC plan on the national and/or international scale.

IMC 620 IMC Creative Message Strategy

This class focuses on strategic thinking and critical skills in the development of a variety of marketing communications messages. Students will learn to develop strategy, to evaluate creative work, and to maintain strategic continuity across media. Students will also position products in terms of the competitive situation, the circumstances of use, and the cultural environment.

IMC 700 Fieldwork

An on-site analysis of the marketing communications program of an organization. Students will do field research from within an organization to determine marketing communications practices and procedures, analyze the current marketing communications and organizational situation, and then make recommendations as to how the total marketing communications program can be improved.

IMC 740 The Practice of Public Relations

This course places the IMC student in a PR decision-making role in which the primary requirement is to think in planning and program-execution terms. Further, this course examines researching and assessing the public relations environment, establishing goals and objectives, selecting appropriate courses of communications action, implementing those communications programs, and evaluating performance. Finally, the course examines the use of computer technology as it applies to the PR executive and the IMC practitioner.

IMC 800 IMC Cases and Campaigns

A course in IMC management that uses the case method to analyze and evaluate IMC strategy and planning. The course will use real-life examples, both domestic and international, from service marketing, industrial marketing, consumer products, and non-profit organizations to give graduate students an opportunity to analyze and critique the use of IMC strategies and practices from a global perspective.

IMC 830 IMC Campaign Project

This IMC campaign project is a fully developed integrated marketing campaign with strategy and tactics based on primary and secondary research conducted by the student. A plans book including creative executions is formally presented to a faculty committee in fulfillment of the final requirement for graduation.

Electives (Choose two of the following):

Integrated marketing communications degree students may also take up to two courses offered through the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program as Integrated Marketing electives. The specific MBA courses that qualify as integrated marketing communications degree electives are determined and approved by the Integrated Marketing Communications program Director and the Director of the MBA program.

IMC 570 Traditional and Online Research for IMC

This is the foundational IMC course. It reviews the functional marketing communications areas such as advertising, PR, sales promotion, business communications and writing, and direct response in terms of their strengths and weaknesses in an integrated program. This course focuses on strategy and planning, with students concentrating on integrating targets, timing, and message strategies. It provides an overview of both U.S. and global marketing communication practices.

IMC 580 Internet Advertising and Social Media

Consumer adaptation of new communication applications and technologies (social platforms, consumer-generated-content, remarketing, mobile) is changing the advertising landscape. This course will focus on applying strategic and creative thinking to marketing messages in the digital space. The course will review current research on consumer perception of digital advertising and explore case studies from companies making headway in online communication. Students will develop a fundamental understanding of how consumers use the digital space to enhance their lives, work and relationships. This course will expand upon the concepts of website creation and copywriting best practices, user experience, website analytics, online advertising campaigns, social media and search engine optimization presented in IMC 560: New Media

IMC 590 The Mobile Web

The Web is no longer a place we visit solely through a PC. Consumers worldwide now expect to access the Internet in motion on their mobile phones and tablets. This course will explore the mobile Web ecosystem, mobile consumers, key principles and distinctions of mobile marketing and best practices in integrated mobile campaigns. By course end, students will be capable of not only offering a strategic integrated mobile campaign, but will have a fundamental understanding of the global mobile marketplace and why the mobile web is the new marketing imperative.

IMC 625 The U.S. Health Care System

This is an introductory course preparing students for the challenges and variety of issues related to working in healthcare. The US Healthcare System course describes, explains and analyzes the structure and function of the US healthcare system, including population health, epidemiology, government and commercial insurance, health professions, delivery systems, regulation, safety and quality, the experience of care, cost and outcomes.

IMC 635 Technology and Health Communication

eHealth, telemedicine, and cybermedicine are quickly becoming the new 'face' of medicine in today's world. Patients and consumers are looking for ease of access to healthcare information and are met with an abundance of electronic resources. This course provides an introduction to the role of electronically-mediated communication in health communication and campaigns and asks students to engage with how technology can improve, hinder, and/or evolve health literacy and health communication practices.

IMC 650 Public Relations Seminar

This course provides a comprehensive analysis of public relations practices for the IMC practitioner in a global society. Topics include how to research, define, develop, and deliver an effective public relations campaign; use social media platforms for brands, work with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; and manage and mitigate crisis communications situations on the local, regional, national and/or international levels. Course pedagogies include case studies, guest speakers, simulations, and live-client consulting. Finally, the course examines the use of computer technology and dialogue through social media as they apply to the public relations executive and the IMC practitioner.

IMC 660 Advertising, Internet Marketing and Publicity Management

This course introduces the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications as applied to the specific marketing elements of advertising and broadcast media, consumer and trade promotions, direct marketing, public relations and packaging/point-of-purchase tactics. Students learn to research, establish, and manage advertising campaigns, including evaluating those campaigns. In addition, students investigate how to use sales promotion to bring behavioral change in the contexts of consumer and trade promotion. Students learn how to generate and manage publicity.

IMC 675 Health Care Communication

This course focuses on methods of communication within medical teams and units, across an organization, and among health care organizations. Techniques for communicating highly technical medical information to patients, families, and differently trained providers are examined. Foundational technical language of medicine and the basic terminology associated with common disorders and treatments, new technologies, and regulations will be reviewed. Basic principles involved in leadership skills and change management will be introduced.

IMC 680 Advertising Copywriting and Design Direction

The purpose of the course is to prepare students to the creative process, with an emphasis on copywriting and managing the visual arts aspects of creative marketing communications. The primary focus of this course will be the executional phase of the creative process: the concepting, the trial-and-error, the intense executional discipline, the reworking, polishing and refinement, and the final presentation of ideas to either a creative director or a client.

IMC 685 Health Care Ethics

Certainly ethics is important in every branch of communication. But when conveying messages about subject matter as sensitive, high-stakes, and emotionally-charged as health care, ethics takes on a new level of significance. In this course, students will examine general principles of responsible communication in the new context of health communication. Through investigation of relevant case studies, students will logically extend and add definition to their existing moral frameworks. The course will emphasize the nuance and complexity of health-related ethical issues, including the impacts of technology on health privacy, stigma surrounding controversial health issues, illnesses, and treatment options, and one’s moral responsibility to ensure accuracy in disseminating public health information.

IMC 720 Advertising Design

This course is designed to examine the world of international and national advertising as it pertains to the IMC practitioner. Particular emphasis is placed on the creative and functional aspects of advertising, including, but not limited to, account management, media planning, budget analysis, and consumer research. This course offers a detailed examination of the advertising industry and builds upon the foundational course, IMC 660: Advertising, Sales Promotion and Publicity Management. A secondary objective of the course is to increase the level of advertising competence and professionalism by students. Specifically, the course is designed to help students sharpen the following skills: written and verbal communication; organization and planning; time management; and interpersonal/teamwork.

IMC 760 Ethical Issues in Mass Communication and Business

This course examines manipulative techniques beyond appropriate persuasion related to integrated marketing communications activities. Students will study ethical theories, apply theories to communications and marketing decision-making, and develop frameworks to support ethical decision-making. Students will study case histories, analyze the ethical problems, and make decisions based on solid, ethical principles. Students will examine the professional choices requiring the IMC practitioner to have well established decision-making skills, moral reasoning capability, and a strong sense of economic and political awareness. Through a close analysis of contemporary case studies and current thought on business choices, attitudes, behaviors, and professional and public accountability, students will be able to establish their personal professional code of ethical conduct.

IMC 820 Organizational Structure and Behavior

This course explores ways to change organizations, ranging from startup companies to established institutions, to meet the demands of ever-changing environments. Areas of in-depth discussion include the theoretical framework of organizational development and change, models of planned organizational change, barriers to implementing change and ways to overcome them, and the roles of the change agent and/or consultant. Students will gain skills in organizational entry and contracting, and will gain a better understanding of the challenge of change through analysis of the theory, research, and practice of IMC development.