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The MS in Communications degree from Bay Path University consists of 12 required courses that are offered 100% online. Most students complete the degree in 12 to 24 months while continuing to work full-time. The degree positions you to assess the quality and consistency of communication, capturing brand on social media, developing multi-media campaigns and utilizing analytic tools to demonstrate efficiency in campaigns.

Students may enroll in either a full-time or part-time schedule. Courses will be offered in eight-week modules, with six modules scheduled per year.

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
CIM501 Principles of Communications 3

In the spirit of understanding that sound theoretical foundations lead to good professional practices, this course studies the theories of human communications and information systems. It provides frameworks defining both the scope and history of both fields, the former dating back almost 3000 years and the latter an emerging field with roots stemming to the 1950s. Through a series of frameworks and traditions in human communications and information systems, students engage in the analysis and evaluation of the nature and role of the communications and information management theories, the myriad approaches to understanding language and communication, and the relationship between human and technological channels of communications. Students pay special attention to theories of communications and information management as related to systems theory and the relationships among and between communications, information management, business, and other professional organizations such as health, education, and government.

CIM503 Targeted Communications 3

Writing, speaking, listening, reading, and presenting well are the keys to advancement in any profession. Thus, this course pushes students to hone these communications skills in business and professional contexts for both professional/technical and non-specific professional audiences. Students analyze their audiences, determine the appropriate medium oral or written they require, and compose, edit, proofread, and present communications in professional settings. By participating in peer reviews, students hone their skills in analyzing, critiquing, and revising communications. Class members also learn to collaborate on projects, working as part of a professional team. Throughout the course, students develop problem-solving strategies for communicating in both national and international contexts.

CIM507 Applied Research Strategies 3

Applied Research provides students with strategies for designing, conducting and evaluating research so that they can solve problems and recommend solutions pertaining to communications and information science. Students acquire the knowledge and skills to formulate research problems; plan studies; gather, organize, analyze and interpret results; prepare research reports; and present findings and recommendations in professional contexts. Specific areas include: qualitative and quantitative research, sampling, measurement techniques, data collection, observational methods, and general principles of research design. Students use bibliographies and other print and computerized databases in conducting research. Throughout the course, students broaden and deepen their understanding of the relationships between research and theory.

CIM510 Competitive Threats & Challenges 3

Modern organizations are faced with a variety of rapidly changing communication and information technologies that can threaten the very core competencies upon which the organization had been built. Add to this the rise in global competition and a persuasive argument could be made that todays managers are facing bigger threats and challenges than ever before. Drawing from relevant conceptual frameworks this course will examine business and information techniques for implementing effective strategies in todays global environment. Several of the topics covered in this course are: Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, industry analysis, the Value Chain and SWOT analysis techniques.

CIM605 Decision Support Systems 3

Business Intelligence is a process that helps managers make evidence-based, rational decisions by applying an analytic approach to decision making. Good business decisions should lead to efficient operations, effective utilization of scarce resources, satisfied customers, and increased profits. The course examines two logical components of management information system: the structured decision system which lends itself to providing actual computer-generated decisions, and decision support systems, in which computer-based systems aid decision makers in confronting problems through direct interaction with data and analytic models. Several of the topics covered in this course include: decision theory, data warehousing and data mining, business analytics (i.e., descriptive and predictive statistics), rational and behavioral economic theories of decision-making.

CIM640 Strategic Innovation 3

The major impact of growing information technology, whose core is innovation, has resulted in the great change it has caused in the way the world now conducts business. Students in this course study and apply three different strategic approaches to innovation: From a historical perspective, students learn about the major issues and developments in technology and their various effects in the market on individuals, organizations, society, and culture. From the analytical perspective of the innovators dilemma, students learn about both incremental and radical innovation in both service and manufacturing industries. And finally, from a creative perspective, students learn how to bring to market a revolutionary new business concept that forces most organizations to change their ways of seeing and conducting their businesses. Information technologys impact upon organizational and societal structures sits at the heart of strategic innovation, and students emerge from this course knowing how to identify, analyze, and apply it to both historical and contemporary ventures while maintaining legal and ethical values.

COM600 Emerging Media 3

Web 2.0 technology has enabled the development of a wide variety of social media; including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Linked-In and a myriad of topical blog sites. Communications professionals must understand the nature and scope of these media as well as the strong likelihood that these media will soon morph into new forms as the Internet continues to evolve. This course allows students to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all forms of emerging media as well as the need for next generation capabilities.

COM620 Media Preferences 3

Marketing campaigns have always focused on target markets and the media preferences of the membership of these markets. But as Web 2.0 technology based media become user-friendlier, their usage is becoming more pervasive. That said, the rate of adoption of the various forms of media is not as predictable as one might imagine. This course informs participants of the current media preferences of selected target markets as well as the factors that are impinging upon these preferences and initiatives underway to influence these preferences.

COM645 Social Media Campaigns 3

Marketing campaigns have generally focused on the problems, interests and needs of customers in a given target market. And the goal of MARCOM has always been to persuade customers to make an increasingly stronger commitment to a brand and its related offerings. Social Media is disrupting this paradigm; perhaps best exemplified by the strong likelihood today that many customers will check out what others are saying about a brand or its offerings before making further commitments/purchases. Campaigns must be designed to capitalize on this trend in order to be successful. This course provides case studies that demonstrate the successful incorporation of early adopters and thought leaders into campaign development strategies.

COM650 Integrated Marketing Communications 3

While social media has become an increasingly significant factor in the buying process, perhaps to the point of being a dominant influence in some target markets, it is less significant in others. Traditional media (TV, Radio and Newspapers) still accounts for upwards of 65% of all media advertising. It follows that marketing managers must carefully coordinate their campaigns across all forms of media in accordance with the media preference of their sometimes diverse target markets. Communications professionals must understand the language of all forms of media as well as the preferences of their target markets in order to optimize the MARCOM strategy.

COM660 Social Media Analytics 3

Traditional marketing campaigns continue to be measured by the degree to which they are able to call customers to action (i.e., shop for the product or service being promoted). But where do customers shop today? Certainly in retail stores; but are those brick and mortar stores or online stores? Or both? And what process do they go through before they make a decision to buy. Google was only the first to provide data about the decision-making processes of consumers. Now, virtually all social media sites provide data about the behavioral preferences of their followers. This course informs students of the range of analytical tools available and the degree to which they can be utilized, often collectively, to determine the type of experience that a consumer is having with a brand and the primary sources of influence (including campaigns of all kinds) on that experience.

COM670 Case Analysis Capstone 3

At the end of the program, students synthesize what the COM program is about from a management and leadership perspective and refine strategies for applying the degree in a range of contexts. They use the theory and practice learned throughout the program, applying these to their current work or to their aspired field of work. The means for achieving the course outcomes includes students analyzing, summarizing, and synthesizing cases relevant to communication and information problem solving in professional and business settings, and demonstrating their competence in communications, information management, and business as managers and leaders. The course requires a major project relevant to students' experience and/or current work situation and a final essay with a portfolio in which students reflect upon the goals of the program and their personal goals, demonstrate how they met these goals, and what work supports their arguments. Prerequisite: Completion of 10 graduate courses (seven required COM core courses and three electives) and an overall 3.0 GPA