Shape Your Message and Find Your Audience
Next start date
September 28, 2017
Note: This program was previously titled Certificate in Public Relations & Strategic Communications.
In the multichannel, 24-hour information cycle that is the modern communications landscape, how can your company or organization successfully craft and disseminate its story? How do you develop a complete strategic communications plan that positions your brand and connects with your target audience?
In this four-course certificate program, we’ll examine how to define the narrative and persuade audiences with authentic, engaging content. You’ll explore how to distribute your message through various channels, including media organizations, social networks, corporate communications, and events. Gain the latest knowledge and abilities to help you navigate this complex role with confidence and skill.
Communications and public relations professionals, along with those looking to enter the field.
Students should have one of the following:
If you're not a native English speaker, you’ll need to have at least basic English language skills to enroll. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.
To enroll, international students must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.
You must have access to a computer, and we recommend a high-speed internet connection.
You earn the certificate by successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Completing Your Program.
Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.
Social Media & Digital Content Strategy
Strategic Communications Planning
Writing for the Communications Professional
Media Relations & Crisis Communications
Certificate in Strategic Communications & Public Relations
Approved by the UW Department of Communication and endorsed by the Public Relations Society of America Puget Sound Chapter.
View this program's advisory board.
Each of our programs uses an advisory board to review content, guide design and recommend updates to ensure the program remains current as the field of study evolves. By tapping the minds of the top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field, we offer a transformational learning experience. The following individuals serve as the advisory board for this program.
Wayne Barringer, Director of Creative Services, Boeing
Megan Behrbaum, APR - Manager, Strategic Communications and Programs for New Ventures, REI
J. Paul Blake, Director of Communications & External Relations, UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
Rovy Branon, Vice Provost, University of Washington Continuum College
Craig Cincotta, Director of Communications - Windows & Devices Group, Microsoft
Kathleen Fearn-Banks, Associate Professor, UW Department of Communication
Dale Gluck, ABC, Principal Strategist, Strategy Speaks
Laird Harris, Founder and CEO, Harris & Smith Public Affairs
Andrew Hoover, Senior Director, UW Professional & Continuing Education
Randy Hurlow, Director, Public Relations & Consumer Engagement, 206 Inc.
Heidi Hutchinson, Senior Vice President, Edelman Seattle
Cal McAllister, CEO, Wexley School for Girls
Malia Morrison, Professional Programs Director, UW Professional & Continuing Education
Todd Pietzsch, Public Relations Manager, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) (Program alumnus)
Jessica Piha, Media Relations Lead, Porch.com
Erika Schmidt, Principal, Sappington
Sarah Shahrabani, Account Supervisor, Porter Novelli
William H. Southern, Jr., Principal, Southern Communications
Teri Thomas, PR & Strategic Communications Consultant, TT Communications
John H. Williams, Jr., President, Scoville Public Relations (Program alumnus)
Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Time: 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Download the application form (PDF)
Apply online, or submit an application packet that includes:
We’re currently accepting applications and will be reviewing them in the order they’re received. We’ll accept applications until the program closes.
We’ll contact you within two weeks of receiving your application materials to let you know if you’ve been accepted to the program.
If you’re accepted, we’ll send you details about your first-term course, including information on paying your course fee. Your course fee is due four weeks before the first class.
With the exception of the one-time application fee, certificate program fees are charged on a quarterly basis. Payment is due when you register.
Course fees do not include any costs for class materials such as textbooks and software.
Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds
Attend class in person at one of our convenient locations. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. An online learning management system may be required to access some course materials and assignments.
Our special blended programs combine the convenience of online study with the vibrancy of in-person classes for a unique learning experience.
Not available for this program
Enjoy the flexibility of online learning, which allows you to participate in class activities, assignments and discussions on your schedule, from anywhere. Experience cutting-edge technology and a supportive, diverse learning community.
Engagement Manager, Bridge Partners Consulting
Director of Public Relations, Chihuly Garden and Glass
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, T-Mobile
Communications Director Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)
Vice President, Assembly Inc.
While many of our programs appeal to mid-career professionals, some certificates are growing in popularity with another demographic: recent college grads. Hear how four UW alumni used certificate programs to get a boost in today’s job market.
If you’re thinking about heading back to school, you’re probably also wondering how you’ll pay for it. To help you figure that out, we’ve put together a list of ways to help fund your education.
When Lorie Tais moved to the U.S., she already had a strong background in PR. Still, she knew landing a good job in a new country could be tough. See how taking the Certificate in Strategic Communications & Public Relations helped her make the transition.
Discover how to leverage various digital marketing channels to produce measurable results. Explore fundamental concepts for creating and managing impactful digital content.
Hone your marketing skills and tactics as you dig into specific channels and tools for developing integrated marketing campaigns and measuring their performance.
Discover storytelling principles that will help you engage your target audience, and learn how to develop a powerful cross-channel content strategy with measurable goals.
Build practical skills in developmental editing, copy editing and collaborating with writers, and develop the expertise to transform a rough draft into a polished work.
Develop your craft and boost your writing abilities with courses in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, children’s literature, screenwriting, and publishing and promotion.