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University of Illinois Creates Online Master’s Degree for Today’s Marketing and Branding Professional


University of Illinois Creates Online Master’s Degree for Today’s 
Marketing and Branding Professional 

Dual curriculum in business and media delivers powerful degree addressing communications challenges facing brands in a digital and data-driven marketplace

July 5, 2017 – This fall, the University of Illinois will launch a new fully online Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication (SBC), a joint program between the Urbana campus’ College of Business and College of Media.

“Strategic brand communication is about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time without breaks or gaps in communication. The digital marketplace is extremely competitive, which requires professionals to better fundamentally understand how to deliver an innovative, data-driven brand experience that translates to measurable ROI,” said Jacqueline Hitchon, Professor and Head, Department of Advertising. “This degree delivers an innovative combination of topics relevant to and necessary for today’s working marketing and communications professionals.”

The SBC degree, to be offered as a joint program between the Department of Business Administration in the College of Business and the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media, will allow students to gain deeper knowledge of how to strategically lead global brand communications across advertising, media and marketing channels to drive revenue growth.

“It is increasingly important for the world’s premier universities to enable students to earn advanced degrees while working full-time,” said Wojtek Chodko-Zajko, the dean of the Graduate College and the interim dean of the College of Media. “This initiative provides the working professional with a career-accelerating pathway to a highly respected master’s degree in just 15 months.”

The curriculum combines contemporary business management education with the latest in strategic integrated marketing, advertising and multimedia communications. Students will be prepared to:

  • Effectively reach and engage consumers through content and messaging.
  • Refine data analytics and integrative capabilities to maximize results.
  • Respond effectively to new technologies, emerging media and market trends.
  • Leverage digital, social media and mobile communications in a broader and more comprehensive business context.
  • Acquire senior leadership and management skills to execute strategic success across teams.

“This innovative collaboration taught by world-class faculty from business and media will prepare future brand leaders in the new digital age by offering courses in advertising focused on data analytics, interactive content and consumer insights, combined with business courses in management essentials, leadership and global consumer behavior,” said Dilip Chhajed, a professor of and the executive director of master’s programs in business administration. Students can complete their online degree in 15 months from anywhere in the world while working full time.

In addition to course collaboration in online classes, students will participate in industry workshops with leading executives presenting diverse topics including emerging technology, budgeting and financial management, revenue development, programmatic advertising, multicultural marketing, virtual and augmented reality, and consumer experience.

The preferred application deadline is July 15 to begin the program in August.

About Illinois Online

At the University of Illinois, we continue to lead and explore innovations in higher education that build on our academic reputation and proven strengths in online teaching and learning. Longevity and experience have made us a pioneer and leader in innovative distance and online education, and today, we continue to rethink how technology is integrated into education, regardless of the modality. Our world-renowned faculty and award-winning content developers have worked collaboratively to develop more than 73 online degree and certificate options and more than 800 online courses for learners across the globe.

 About Illinois

Founded in 1867, “Illinois,” the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus is among the nation’s top comprehensive public research universities. Illinois remains true to the land-grant mission – to enhance the lives of citizens in Illinois, across the nation, and around the world through leadership in learning, discovery, engagement, and economic development.