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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

The Creative Strategy Cohort is limited to 20 seats. Priority application deadline is June 15, 2023, but applications will be accepted until the cohort is filled. Connect with our enrollment coach and start your application today!

Creative Strategy

Whether you love content creation, visual art or both, the Creative Strategy Industry Focused Cohort helps you develop the skills needed to deliver great content to a variety of consumers. Get a well-rounded IMC education with an emphasis in creative strategy alongside like-minded classmates and faculty. Classes begin August 16, 2023.

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Pictured, Mel Wilson, M.S. IMC 2014, is Marketing Manager at Disney Photo Imaging Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

11 Online Courses

You'll take 11 fully online asynchronous courses and there are zero in-person commitments. Your courses include courses focused on creative strategy, as well as the intro, core and capstone classes.

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Learn from Marcom Pros

Among our faculty are CEOs, CMOs and industry leaders from across the country who have contributed their expertise to develop courses and programs. You can benefit from their real-world experience in marketing communications in your virtual classroom.

Meet the Faculty

Flexible Format

Since all courses are asynchronous, you can schedule your studies around your schedule and balance work, life, and family. Learn more about the formatting of the courses and the time commitment.

Course Deadlines and Commitments

$24,750 Total Tuition

You'll also earn your Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and have the knowledge and new skills to apply professional creative direction and art direction techniques across print, digital and social media.

Learn About the Application Process

Become a Design Director

Whether you’re a graphic designer, a creative services manager or a marketing professional who wants to develop stronger creative skills, the Creative Strategy cohort will give you the knowledge and skills needed to lead the creative direction for a company or brand.

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Designed to Fit Your Schedule

In our 8-week online, asynchronous courses, you can work while completing classes.

Time Commitment

The format of each course is consistent, with the same due dates. That's because we want you to focus on the content, not on trying to keep track of changing deadline schedules. Generally, the workload is projected to be around 10-20 hours a week in this cohort. In each course, you'll read lessons and case studies. You'll participate in discussion on a topic relevant to that week and assignment to reinforce your learning. And there are no required on-campus residencies or weekend commitments to complicate life.

Assignments & Deadlines

Each week, you'll prepare a response for discussion and respond to the posts of your colleagues in the course. You'll also complete an assignment based on that week's topic. Your initial discussion board posts are due by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET, with responses to classmates due Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET. Discussions are in APA format, with an expectation of 3-4 paragraphs and cited sources. Assignments are due Mondays at 11:59 p.m. ET and are generally a few pages, but vary depending on the assignment. All courses follow the same deadline schedule.

Course Schedule

Fall 2023

Early Fall IMC 410:
Introduction to IMC
Late Fall

IMC 513:
Brand Equity Management

IMC 515:
Creative Strategy and Execution

Spring 2024

Early Spring

IMC 511:
Marketing Research and Analysis

IMC 525:
Advanced Creative Concepts

Late Spring

IMC 539:
Content Marketing

Summer 2024

Choose 1 Specialty Course

IMC 516:
Direct and Digital Marketing

IMC 518:
PR Concepts and Strategy

or IMC 519:
Emerging Media and the Market


IMC 534:
Digital Storytelling

Fall 2024

Early Fall

IMC 512:
Audience Insight

IMC 535:
Visual Information Design

Late Fall

IMC 536:

Additional Program Features


With this cohort, you'll progress through the program with the same creative classmates, including those who are new to the industry and those seeking advancement. That makes for a good support system. Plus, you'll join a global network of 2,500+ marcom pros.


Not only are you joining the 2,500+ network, you'll have the opportunity to learn from them. From mentorship to continuing education opportunities, our alumni are a close-knit group with a lot of expertise. And they are passionate about supporting each other. Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer!


We purposely keep class sizes small (20 students), so you can interact as much as you would like with like-minded faculty and classmates. Plus, our support staff is here for you. Need tech support? Need help adjusting your schedule? Reach out to us at any point in your decision-making process, while you’re enrolled, or after you graduate.


Within the curriculum, you'll benefit from an emphasis on creative concepts, digital storytelling and content marketing, tied into a full understanding of unifying all pieces of marketing communications, including advertising, public relations, direct marketing and social media.

The Creative Strategy Cohort prepares you to:

Design marketing and communications branding to create a visual identification for an IMC brand strategy

Conceive, develop and express complex visual ideas and concepts, creating a visual identity that builds a brand

Convey and learn to express complex visual ideas and concepts

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Meet The Faculty

Our faculty are CEOs, CMOs and industry leaders from across the country who have contributed their expertise to help develop programs and courses. They bring their real marketing communications experience into your virtual classroom.

David Hazelton

David Hazelton

Design Director for ProShares Teaches Introduction to IMC and Current Topics in IMC

David Hazelton has over 30 years of professional experience in design, branding, and marketing.

View Profile: Hazelton
Justin Hoot

Justin Hoot

Director, Client Services at Someoddpilot Teaches Influencer MarketingDigital Storytelling and Digital Marketing Communications Campaigns 

Justin Hoot is a seasoned and award-winning marketing executive, specializing in innovative brand, digital, and interactive experiences with lifestyle, music, and consumer brands.

View Profile: Hoot
Kristin Meeks

Kristin Meeks

Owner at WV Social Media Consultants Teaches Content Marketing and Emerging Media and the Market

Kristin Meeks is a consultant that specializes in the integration of digital and traditional marketing practices.

View Profile: Meeks
Nathan Pieratt

Nathan Pieratt

Award-Winning Designer and Creative Director Teaches Introduction to IMC, Creative Strategy and Execution and Advanced Creative Concepts

Nathan Pieratt is an award-winning designer and creative director. He has over 15 years of industry experience developing creative strategy for Fortune 500 brands, such as Frito-Lays, Walmart, and AT&T.

View Profile: Pieratt
Larry Stultz

Larry Stultz

Operated Design and Advertising Firms in New Orleans and Atlanta Teaches Creative Strategy and Execution

Dr. Larry Stultz has been on the IMC faculty since 2007.

View Profile: Stultz

View the full Faculty Directory.

Let's Chat

We're here for you every step of the way ... we'll answer your questions, help with your applications for graduate school and financial support, schedule your classes, provide tech support, welcome you for graduation and keep in touch once you cross the finish line.

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