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Master of Communication Leadership (MCL)

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Master of Communication Leadership (MCL)

Drake University’s Master’s of Communication Leadership program is a unique program that prepares communications professionals for leadership positions in an ever-changing media and communications environment.  It combines the study of communications with coursework in business and public administration to create a broad-based and practical preparation for a challenging future. It is a 36-hour program and is designed for part-time study; it can be completed in two years, including summers.  At present, all classes are offered on campus, at night and on weekends, and are not available online.

Admission Requirements:

Students must have a minimum of five years of professional experience or a waiver of this requirement from the graduate committee.

Application materials for Drake University’s Master’s of Communication Leadership must include all elements below:

  • Drake Graduate Admission Application — Apply online, .
  • $25 U.S. application fee — waived for students who have previously applied to Drake.
  • Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, including summer terms.
  • A copy of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
  • 3-5-page essay*.
  • A minimum test score of 389 from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). We will also accept a minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 450 each for verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, with the written section evaluated as needed, or a minimum score of 500 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional contacts.
  • Interview with the Graduate Chair.

* The essay should answer the question: Who is today’s most effective leader and what makes her or him successful? Use a specific example and explain what he or she did to demonstrate effectiveness as a leader. This should be no longer than five pages double-spaced, with no endnotes or footnotes.

Application deadlines:  The MCL is a cohort program, with students admitted for the fall semester only. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduate Committee will begin reviewing applications March 1. Consideration will continue until July 1 on a space-available basis.

Graduation Requirements:

Students must complete 18 hours of MCL courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and 12 hours in the College of Business and Public Administration. The remaining six credit hours can be completed with either approved MCL or business electives.

Journalism and Mass Communication (MCL): Required Courses


MCL 201: Communication Leadership Strategies (3 credits)
MCL 202: Communications Social Responsibility (3 credits)
MCL 203: Applied Communication Theory and Research (3 credits)
MCL 204: Innovation and Change in Contemporary Communication (3 credits)
MCL 205: Financial Literacy for Communication Leaders (1.5 credits)
MCL 206: Emerging Media Strategies (1.5 credits)
MCL 207: Communication Leadership Capstone (3 credits) — Students can also apply to write a thesis. Offered summer semester.

Additional courses in Journalism and Mass Communication

MCL 299: Special Topics (1.5 credits each) — A mix of courses offered on a revolving schedule, on topics such as Women and Leadership; Translating Leadership Into the Written Word; Crisis Communication; Organizational Management; The Mentor Gap; Reinvention Strategies; Employee Communications; Leading Diverse Populations; Creativity Seminar; Small Group Dynamics; Leading Technological Change; Preparing Written Reports and Oral Presentations.

College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA): Required Courses

MBA 240: Sustainable Decision-Making

Students can choose between MBA 254 or PADM 221. Students can also take both courses, as part of their electives in CBPA.

MBA 254: Leadership and Human Capital Development
PADM 221 Organizational Process and Administrative Systems — Offered occasionally, not more than every other year

Recommended courses from the College of Business and Public Administration

BUS 212: Executive Leadership
BUS 298: Creativity in Business
MBA 242: Evaluating Organizational Performance
MBA 251: Creating Customer Value
MPA 215: Changing Environment and Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations
MKTG 291: Services Marketing
MKTG 275: Sales Management
MGMT 286: Project Management
PADM 282: Comparative Management in a Global Environment
Other CBPA courses with advisor approval

Optional workshop (no credit hours and not required for degree program):

BUS 205: Dardis Communications’ Leadership Essentials Workshop Dardis Communications is a recognized leader in providing individuals with the communication skills needed to lead, influence, and inform others. Their highly interactive workshops involve one-on-one coaching in the core competencies of presentation skills, selling skills, and professional image in a results-oriented atmosphere. These concrete skills offer a competitive edge by providing you with the skills to consistently lead, influence and inform others. The workshop meets over two days, Friday 1-8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Admission Calendar

Apply Now - Application for Fall 2016 & Fall 2017

Visit Now - Campus visits offered Monday-Friday

August 29 - First day of Fall 2016 semester

October 1 - FAFSA available for Fall 2017

October 10 - Campus Preview Day

Mid-October - Application & scholarship review begins for Fall 2017 students

November 14 - Campus Preview Day