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Graduation and Retention Network

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Strategic Thinking and Communications

A certificate in Strategic Thinking and Communications provides you with the skills needed to think ahead, anticipate outcomes, and communicate those outcomes effectively in the workplace.

Certificate Benefits

Have you ever struggled with a problem and asked for help, only for the solution to be so simple that you think, “Why didn’t I come up with that?” Or perhaps you find it difficult to get the thoughts and ideas in your mind to translate accurately into written or verbal communications that are easy for others to understand? These two situations are very common, and the solutions are part of a unique skill set. The Strategic Thinking and Communication Certificate is designed to help you organize your thought processes and communication tactics in ways that make you more efficient and easier to work with. The aim of this program is to build an internal framework, transforming students’ ability to communicate effectively and to be more strategic leaders. 

Learn More About Certificate Certificate Interest Form


Course Options

ANTH 273 - Cross-Cultural Communication
       or LING 273 - Cross-Cultural Communication
ENGL 363 - Introduction to Professional Writing
FORL 360 - Introduction to Intercultural Communication
ISCI 415 - Social Issues in Information and Communications Technologies
ISCI 420 - Information and Communication Needs and Assessment
ITEC 242* - Business Communications
JOUR 201 - Principles of Public Relations
JOUR 285 - Social Media and Society
JOUR 291 - Writing for Mass Communications
JOUR 303* - Law and Ethics of Mass Communications
JOUR 304 - Internet and Social Media Law
JOUR 333* - Public Relations for Nonprofit Organizations
PHIL 213 - Communicating Moral Issues
PHIL 321* - Medical Ethics
      or PHIL 324* - Business Ethics
      or PHIL 325* - Engineering Ethics
POLI 240 - Language Conflict and Language Rights
      or LING 240 - Language Conflict and Language Rights
PSYC 430* - Survey of Social Psychology
RETL 487 - Retail Management Strategies
SAEL 200* - Social Advocacy and Ethical Life
SPCH 140* - Public Communication
      or SPCH 145 - Online Public Communication
SPCH 213 - Communicating Moral Issues
SPCH 230* - Business and Professional Speaking
SPCH 260 - Argumentation and Debate
SPCH 380* - Persuasive Communication

*Also applicable to Graduation with Leadership Distinction.


* Academic Bulletin Course Listings


Summer 2024 Offerings

Certificate Requirements
Select Four Courses from the Following

Full Summer Session (3S0)

May 6 - July 25

Exams: July 26 and 27


6 Week Session I (3S1)

May 6 - June 13

Exams: June 14 and 15

JOUR 201, JOUR 285, PHIL 213, PHIL 325, SPCH 145

6 Week Session II (3S2)

June 17 - July 25

Exams: July 26 and 27

JOUR 291

3 Week Session I (3S3)

May 6 - May 22

Exams: May 24

PHIL 321, RETL 487

3 Week Session II (3S4)

May 28 - June 13

Exams: June 14

JOUR 291, PSYC 430

3 Week Session III (3S5)

June 17 - July 3

Exams: July 5

JOUR 333, PSYC 430

9 Week Session I (3S6)

May 28 - July 25

Exams: July 26 and 27



How It Works

  1. Let us know you're interested by completing a Strategic Thinking and Communications Interest Form.
  2. After reviewing with your academic advisor, we'll add the Certificate to your curriculum in Banner.
  3. Complete 12 credit hours from the course list above. We'll keep track of your progress in DegreeWorks.
  4. Complete a Certificate Application along with your degree application during your final semester.
  5. Be recognized on your transcript, your commencement program, and by official certificate. Be all the more prepared for the career you want!


  • The certificate must be completed concurrently with your undergraduate degree and it cannot delay graduation. 
  • A minimum institutional GPA of 2.0 must be maintained.
  • Two of the four required courses must be taken at the USC Columbia campus.
  • All coursework that applies to the certificate must be earned with a grade of C or better.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.