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New Communication Leadership Certificate and Master’s Degree Programs
New Communication Leadership Certificate and Master’s Degree Programs

When our news feeds incorporate the terms “unprecedented” and “uncharted territory” on a daily basis, we must acknowledge that this is a transformative time. A global crisis has only accelerated the adoption of emergent technologies — telemedicine, sensors, tracking apps, artificial intelligence — even as its aftershocks accelerate greater societal trends.

Managing these advancements demands a new kind of agile, far-sighted leadership that is also responsive to its stakeholders in unprecedented ways. Communication lies at the heart of this new form of relational power, as we listen, engage and illuminate the path forward.

The University of Washington is addressing the need for leaders with two new Communication Leadership programs. If you’re a professional already navigating your career, there’s an affiliated Certificate in Leadership in Emerging Technologies & Trends, a nine-month program that teaches professionals how to harness technology to create purposeful change.

And if you’re interested in starting or pivoting your career, there’s a Master of Communication in Communication Leadership (MCCL), a 24-month program that provides graduates with a broad foundation in communication theory, practice and methods.  

A New Certificate for a New Era of Communication

When developing the Certificate in Leadership in Emerging Technologies & Trends, UW Communication Leadership graduate program co-founder Hanson Hosein says they thought about what life would be like two or three years in the future to be relevant to students.

According to Hosein, the certificate’s underlying intent is to create a framework for leaders to respond to current events and then communicate trustfully to their constituents about their decisions. “To be conversant in the emerging technologies and issues buffeting our world right now and to be able to bring that to an organization, either in a communication or leadership position is highly valuable,” he says.

Hosein explains all three courses in the certificate program are practical and immediately applicable to what you might be doing within your organization or even in a master’s degree program. The first course provides a baseline literacy in technologies and trends and thinking about how to align an organization's culture and needs around them. The second course covers making decisions around those technologies and trends within the organization. And the third course focuses on storytelling, such as how you provide credibility to your stakeholders, employees and constituents.

In Their Own Words

Hear from instructor Hanson Hosein about the UW Certificate in Leadership in Emerging Technologies & Trends and how it can teach you how to harness technology to create purposeful change.


By completing the Certificate in Leadership in Emerging Technologies & Trends, you can earn up to 12 college credits. If you’re later accepted into the Communication Leadership program’s new Master of Communication in Communication Leadership, Master of Communication in Digital Media, Master of Communication in Communities & Networks, or possibly another UW master’s, you could apply those 12 credits as electives.

“If a student pursues the certificate, that could be an amazing way of also introducing themselves to the program and saving time,” says Ekin Yasin, the director of UW Communication Leadership graduate program. "They would start with 12 credits towards their degree and have explored a particular area in the program intensely, and then transitioned into the full experience.”

A Comprehensive Graduate Experience

The Communication Leadership’s newest graduate program, the Master of Communication in Communication Leadership (MCCL), is designed to provide graduates with multiple responsive opportunities to make sense of all the challenges around them.

“The degree is a response to a number of our students wanting to have a comprehensive experience and understand what communication and leadership mean,” explains Ekin. “So, we crafted a new 60-credit version of our existing master's degree programs that add several novel requirements, such as professional writing, internship and capstone project,” she says.

Our program offers a breadth of options so students are well-versed and have variety of opportunities across communication contexts. 

Ekin Yasin, Director, UW Communication Leadership graduate program

Yasin notes about 80% of the program’s faculty are digital media and communications practitioners who work at very large companies and have leadership roles in various sectors, providing rich expertise for students.

The UW’s MCCL degree is the only program that brings together the eight specialization areas that comprise communication leadership. Designed to provide the necessary foundations for multiple careers, Yasin says, “The program allows our students to familiarize themselves in areas that are important for a global professional world and then specialize in one of them toward the end of their experience.”

Whether students enroll in the certificate or the master’s degree program, they can expect to have a meaningful learning experience. "There are many other leadership programs out there, there are many other communication programs out there, but there's nothing quite like our program that specifically looks at leadership from a point of view of storytelling and trust to help you make decisions better, especially in this time of acceleration,” says Hosein.

Learn More

Applications for the affiliated Certificate in Leadership in Emerging Technologies & Trends are now open with classes starting in September 2021. Visit the certificate program page for more details and learn how you can secure your spot.

For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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