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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.

M.S. IMC + Military Public Affairs

A fully online, asynchronous graduate degree is the perfect option for military public affairs and communications personnel that are on the move and need to balance pursuing their education with the demands of active duty service.

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Military Rate

West Virginia University has worked hard to make its programs affordable for military personnel and veterans. Military Public Affairs service members can receive a special discounted rate of $250 per credit.

Course Deadlines and Commitments

Learn from Leaders

Experienced instructors bring decades of marketing communications experience (many with prior service as well) into the virtual classroom, ensuring that your studies prepare you to excel in your current public affairs role and position you for a successful future transition from the military to your civilian career.

Meet the Faculty

Online Courses

All 10 courses are asynchronous, enabling you to balance your graduate studies with your military lifestyle, as well as family and work obligations. And there are no required on-campus residencies or weekend commitments to complicate life.

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DINFOS + WVU Partnership

We've partnered with the Defense Information School to accept your completed DINFOS coursework for transfer based on ACE recommendations, requiring only 8 courses to earn your M.S. in IMC from WVU.

Learn About the Partnership

A Unique Partnership

The WVU Reed College of Media has an established partnership with the Defense Information School that enables DINFOS alumni to transfer select credits earned in their Department of Defense training into our Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program.

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Alumni salary

56%

of alumni reported receiving more than a 25% increase in their salary

Gain a Competitive Advantage

98% of alumni said they felt more competitive and/or received a promotion upon completing their master's degree. WVU's M.S. IMC degree will not only give you the skills needed. As a nationally-recognized program, you'll stand out against the competition.


Ian Carver

“I appreciate the program and one of my main factors for applying to the program was how it was in partnership with the Defense Information School where I attended my Navy A-School training.”

— Ian Carver (DINFOS 2010, IMC 2019)

The Integrated Marketing Communications master’s program at WVU was developed in 2003, the nation’s first online IMC master’s program. Since its development, it has grown with the industry and remains in a class of its own. In our program, you'll gain a full omni-channel view that you can specialize to fit your interests or the needs of your company. It’s a learn-it-today, apply-it-tomorrow program philosophy. Our 2,500+ network hold elite positions all over the world. Don't believe us? Meet them here.

Now Accepting Fall 2024 Applications for the M.S. IMC Military Public Affairs (DINFOS) Cohort

Our Military Public Affairs (DINFOS) M.S. IMC Cohort is highly competitive with limited seats available per entry term. Due to increasing demand, we're no longer admitting students on a rolling basis or able to defer students to future entry terms once admitted and assigned a seat in an introductory course (rare exceptions apply for military orders and medical emergencies). Military Public Affairs IMC cohort applicants need to submit their application by the deadlines below for their preferred entry term and be prepared to start if accepted. We'll review all applications after the deadline, admit qualified applicants and implement a waitlist as needed. Admission decisions for this special cohort are based on qualifications and capacity.

Within weeks of your admission, you'll meet with our advisor to discuss your course schedule and individual options. We recommend you submit your Federal Tuition Assistance as soon as you are notified of admission. Make sure you review the Federal Tuition Assistance information and plan accordingly. If an admitted student is unable to start courses for reasons other than military orders or medical emergency, they must reapply and recompete for a seat in a future entry term.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must indicate qualification for the Military Public Affairs (DINFOS) cohort in your application to be considered and receive the partnership rate. You can also waive the application fee by confirming your military service.


Spring Cohort

  • NOV 1 Application Deadline
  • JAN
    13
    Classes Start

SUMMER Cohort

    • MAR 31 Application Deadline
    • MAY
      13
      Classes Start

FALL Cohort

  • Jun
    1
    Application Deadline
  • AUG
    21
    Classes Start

Military Public Affairs + WVU IMC

About the Cohort

Servicemembers and veterans who enter the IMC program with qualified transfer credits from their DINFOS training can follow a prescribed cohort schedule (outlined below) and graduate in one year. Don't worry though, if your bandwidth changes because of deployment, PCS, work or world events, we can adjust your course schedule. Additionally, some courses in the sequence will be taught by instructors with prior military experience, ensuring relevance to our students that continue to serve.

Program Starts

Special Military Public Affairs IMC cohorts begin each spring (January), summer (May) and fall (August). If you are interested in learning more about the cohort and future offerings, please submit the Inquiry Form (below). Please note that there are a limited number of seats available.

Special Military Rate in IMC DINFOS Cohort

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media offers a discounted rate of $250 per credit hour for active duty military personnel and veterans, a 70% discount! Plus, depending on your specific DINFOS training, up to the equivalent of two courses may be transferred in to the IMC program, bringing your 8-course IMC master of science degree cost to $6,000. Applicants MUST apply through the IMC DINFOS applications process in order to receive the transfer credit - it will not automatically be assigned based on prior military service. 

Additional Learning Opportunities

Members of the military public affairs community are encouraged to attend the in-person Integrate conference. These events enable current and future Military Public Affairs IMC students to meet their classmates, many of their instructors and other industry professionals, as well as experience WVU’s campus.

COURSES In The Military Public Affairs IMC COHORT

The courses listed below are the required courses, with the exception of students being able to choose between either the Crisis Communications and Executive Communications and Leadership courses.

This schedule is applicable for service members that enter the IMC program with the equivalent of two courses, 6 credits earned previously through DINFOS training. Servicemembers without the previously earned credit will take two additional courses.

Introduction to IMC

This is the required intro course for the IMC program. Learn and apply the IMC planning process and examine the role of integration to ensure consistency of creative strategy and complementary use of traditional and digital media.

Read More: Introduction to IMC

Audience Insight

Take an in-depth look at consumer behavior and its role in IMC. Examine consumer behavior in terms of internal influences, external influences, the consumer decision-making process and consumers and culture.

Read More: Audience Insight

Campaign Metrics and Assessment

Explore how data informs key performance indicators that define a campaign’s success. Students examine how metrics can rely on data for maximum benefit and survey available metrics and assessment platforms.

Read More: Campaign Metrics and Assessment

Brand Equity Management

Explore strategic and creative decisions in managing, building and measuring the equity of brands. Students will demonstrate mastery by conducting a comprehensive brand audit.

Read More: Brand Equity Management

Crisis Communication

Examine how IMC professionals address crises, both proactively and reactively. Explore case studies and current events to prepare to respond to the myriad of potential crisis situations that today's organizations and individuals encounter.

Read More: Crisis Communication

Emerging Media and the Market

Explore how modern industry uses novel technologies to enhance the integrated marketing communications process and examine the creative and ethical issues unique to emerging media.

Read More: Emerging Media and the Market

Executive Communications and Leadership

Explore implications for executive messaging in terms of an organization's media relations, crisis communication strategy and social media.

Read More: Executive Communications and Leadership

Marketing Research and Analysis

Students learn to identify research problems, craft research objectives, and select appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to develop an effective research strategy and analysis.

Read More: Marketing Research and Analysis

IMC Campaigns

This is the capstone experience for the integrated marketing communications master's degree program. Students produce a comprehensive campaign plan for a real-world client. This course must be completed in a student's final academic term.

Read More: IMC Campaigns

The proposed plan above is only applicable for service members that enter the IMC program with the equivalent of two courses (6 credits) earned previously through DINFOS training. Qualified military service members that have not earned DINFOS credits to transfer into the WVU IMC program will still be eligible to complete their IMC degree in the special DINFOS cohort. However, ALL DINFOS IMC applicants MUST be identified through the inquiry form below, and ideally referenced within their application statement of purpose or to the program recruiter that they are applying to the DINFOS cohort. All qualified applicants must compete for a seat within the limited DINFOS IMC cohort each admission term. Failure to identify their qualification for this cohort at application and/or application or admission to another program, including the regular IMC program, will result in not being assigned a seat in this cohort nor being admitted at the special IMC DINFOS tuition rate. Upon admission to the IMC DINFOS cohort, the program advisor will work to develop a customized degree plan on a case-by-case basis with accepted candidates that will enable these students to complete the coursework with the prescribed cohort, plus the additional degree requirements.

Designed to Fit Your Schedule

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

Weekly Time Commitment

The format of each course is consistent, with the same deadlines utilized in all courses you'll take in the program. 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 8-10 hours a week per class 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. Most students report being able to manage their coursework and still work full-time by following a dedicated time management strategy.

Assignments & Deadlines

Each week, you'll prepare a response for discussion, then 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. Especially for deployed servicemembers, submitting work prior to the communicated deadline is encouraged and supported.

My Marcom Story: Russ Scalf

In a world where communication is key, military service members face unique challenges in staying relevant and adaptable in the world of integrated marketing. Russ Scalf, an 18-year veteran of the Air Force, found that the WVU IMC program allowed him to stay on top of emerging IMC trends, but also stay committed to his military leadership.

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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Accreditation and Accolades

WVU Marketing Communications programs are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the U.S. by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is also recognized with the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.

In 2022, the WVU Reed College of Media was one of 35 institutions named to the 2022 PRNEWS Education A-List, which recognizes the best institutions of higher education for career advancement in public relations and marketing communications. It was named to the PRNEWS Education A-List again in 2023. Our Integrated Marketing Communications online graduate program was named a "Program of Excellence" by the WVU Board of Governors in 2020 and was a finalist in the PRWeek US Awards 2016 “Education Program of the Year” category. WVU IMC was also named the “Outstanding Online Program” for 2015 by the Online Learning Consortium, the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide.

Higher Learning Commission
OLC
PRNEWS A-List Seal
PR Week Logo
Program of Excellence