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Strategic Social Media

Today’s most rapidly expanding media platform is social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and many other sites. As people become increasingly dependent on social media for news, current events, products, goods and services, businesses and other organizations need employees with the ability to communicate with the digital audience.

WVU graduates with a minor in Strategic Social Media will be in high demand by a wide range of organizations that need to communicate to and engage with their audiences via social media channels. A minor in Strategic Social Media will prepare students across a variety of majors who are interested in working in media communications positions in industries such as healthcare, government, professional sports and hospitality.

Strategic Social Media Minor Requirements

The Strategic Social Media minor* requires five courses. The majority of courses for the minor are offered exclusively online and may require summer enrollment (additional online course fees may apply). Students should also consult the WVU Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions and information.

1) MDIA 101 – Media & Society, 3 hours
Can be taken on campus or online. Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.

2) ONE of the following:

  • ADV 201 – Advertising & Society, 3 hours
    Must be taken online. As a social institution, advertising plays a critical role in our daily lives. This course examines the social, economic and legal aspects of advertising.
  • ADV 215 – Principles of Advertising, 3 hours
    Can be taken on campus or online. An introduction to all sides of the advertising field and to the process, quantitative, strategic and aesthetic, by which the sales message is planned, produced and delivered.
  • PR 215 – Introduction to Public Relations, 3 hours
    Can be taken on campus or online. Introduces the principles of public relations. Examines the definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges and techniques and management of public relations.

3) JRL 432 – Social Media Strategy, 3 hours
Pre-requisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215, ADV 201, or ADV 215
Must be taken online. Examines how social media channels can be utilized to meet the goals of corporate, non-profit, political and issue based outreach messaging.

4) JRL 433 – Social Media Applications, 3 hours
Pre-requisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215, ADV 201, or ADV 215
Must be taken online. Examines how messages can be crafted for maximum success and reach in the social media landscape.

5) JRL 434 – Social Media Campaigns, 3 hours
Pre-requisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215, ADV 201, or ADV 215
Must be taken online. Looks at case studies where social media was used successfully in instances of promotion, outreach and crisis communication.


To earn a minor in Strategic Social Media, a student must earn a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in all courses required for the minor and have 9 distinct credit hours in the minor not shared with other degree requirements. However, College of Media MDS students must earn a C- in every course in the minor and all 15 credit hours must be distinct to the minor and not shared with other degree requirements.

To register for these courses or to pursue a a double-minor, triple-minor or the College’s Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major, contact Aaron Hawley at 304-293-3133 or aaron.hawley@mail.wvu.edu.

Online courses are taught completely via eCampus. Students need to plan on logging into eCampus daily during the week but can do so at the time of their own choosing. Students should budget the same amount of time for an online course as they do for on campus courses.