Inaugural Class of Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s Students to Graduate

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

With more facets of life and work going online every day, digital savviness is becoming a necessity. UNCW’s Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication online program develops and sharpen digital media skills and expertise that are in high demand in ever-evolving job fields.

Jeanne M. Persuit, associate professor of communication studies, was hired in 2008 to build the IMC curriculum for undergraduates. In 2016, discussions for an online M.A. IMC program began. The first set of students were admitted in fall 2019 and are graduating this spring. There are 90 students currently enrolled in the program, with 14 in the graduating cohort.

“We honor and celebrate these graduates for their academic success and perseverance," said Christopher M. Finelli, professor and dean of the UNCW Graduate School. "We also celebrate the success of a new program - the first graduate program in the Department of Communication Studies and the first online accelerated program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Standing up any new program is a complex challenge, but breaking new ground for the department and the college in this way amplified those challenges and presented unexpected complications.”

According to Persuit, the undergraduate B.A. in communication studies is a generalist program that reflects a holistic approach to organizational communication, digital media, intercultural communication and more, as well as to IMC. The M.A. IMC program offers a different modality, but retains the core focus on praxis, research, communication and ethics that the undergraduate program emphasizes.

The online accelerated program offers courses that are asynchronous and completed in seven-week terms. Students take 10 courses (30 credits) and complete a culminating project and defense.

“While the OAP schedule and delivery mode did not change for our students during the current pandemic, our students are working professionals with families and full-time jobs, and so their lives were upended by the pandemic in different ways as they managed their coursework during a time of great uncertainty,” said Persuit. “We couldn't be prouder of our students and are grateful to many, including Chancellor Sartarelli, Provost Winebrake, Dean Finelli and Dean Ogle, for their support.”

-- Caroline Cropp