Business Communication (M.A.)

Program Overview

Rider’s M.A. in Business Communication (MABC) focuses on the application of communication skills within a business context. Through face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses, students learn to better understand and leverage communication strategies to achieve organizational goals. The program introduces students to best practices in business communication, and engages them in real life current issues and scenarios faced by professionals on the job.

Students also benefit from Rider’s central location between New York City and Philadelphia, which connects them to the business, financial and cultural nexus of Princeton and the burgeoning Route 1 corridor.

Curriculum Overview

The MABC is a 33-credit program designed to advance communication knowledge and skills as they apply to the professional work setting. Communication is the common thread weaving throughout every working day in every workplace. Most employees are required to communicate orally or in writing to clients, colleagues, supervisors and/or the public on a daily basis.

Completion of this 33-credit program will prepare students for jobs in business communication and as professional communicators in a range of organizational settings. Strategic communication is a central activity in the professional world and requires knowledge, case analysis and skill refinement at a high level. Courses focus on understanding the business environment and on analysis of business communication challenges and development of appropriate solutions to them. Students will learn the theories that are the foundation for effective communication and apply this knowledge to class exercises and professional experiences.

The program includes graduate-level courses from Rider’s Norm Brodsky College of Business, which holds prestigious accreditation by AACSB International: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Among the skills participants in the MABC develop are learning how to manage crisis communication, internally and externally, with credibility and transparency; thinking and writing strategically for the effective  communication of business goals; being ethical and responsible communicators; functioning within the laws and regulations relative to workplace communication; and understanding organizational dynamics, including leadership and team building.

Degrees Offered

  • M.A. in Business Communication


Allison Weidhaas, Ph.D.
Fine Arts 225

Program Website:  Business Communication
Associated Department:  Department of Communication and Journalism

Related Programs

Course Requirements for the MA in Business Communication

(33 Credits)

COMM 503Corporate/Persuasive Discourse3
COMM 504Strategic Business Writing3
COMM 507Bus Presentation Strategies3
COMM 525Visual Communication3
COMM 531Legal/Ethical Iss for Prof Com3
COMM 545Info Gathering & Analysis3
COMM 552Communication in a Multicultural Workplace1.5
COMM 553Communication in a Global Market1.5
COMM 554Effective Group Communication1.5
COMM 555Communication and Organizational Culture1.5
COMM 599Capstone in Business Comm3
PMBA 8020Fundamentals of Accounting3
or PMBA 8030 Economic Analysis
PMBA 8313Electronic Commerce3
or PMBA 8314 Project Management
Total Credits33

M.A. in Business Communication 4+1 Option


The 4+1 Masters in Business Communication is designed for students who wish to combine undergraduate study in a major leading to a Bachelor’s degree with graduate study leading to a Masters of Arts in Business Communication.

The admission process for this program ensures that only capable students are enrolled.  Freshman and sophomore students are encouraged to seek advice about the program from their advisor and the program director. During the junior year, the student will formally apply to the MABC program through the Graduate Admissions Office.  The process involves the following:

  • A completed application form for admission to the Business Communication program, accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee;
  • Receipt of official transcripts from every college or university attended (including Rider University);
  • A statement of objectives prepared by the student that presents the student’s reasons for wanting to enter the Business Communication program;
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one from a college professor

Students accepted into the Business Communication program at the end of their junior year will complete one graduate level elective course during each semester of their senior year. 

Students will be awarded the B.A. or B.S. degree when they complete the requirements for that degree.  The M.A. will be awarded upon completion of the Business Communication requirements.

Academic Plan of Study

The Four-Plus-One MABC is designed to begin in the senior year of undergraduate study and is completed in one additional year by the student who plans to attend the program on a full-time basis.  The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Each student, with the guidance from the MABC/MAHC director, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
Senior Year  
COMM 503 Corporate/Persuasive Discourse 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Spring Semester
COMM 504 Strategic Business Writing 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Summer Semester
Summer I  
COMM 507 Business Presentation Strategies 3
PMBA Course 3
Summer II  
COMM 525 Visual Communication 3
PMBA course 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
Year 2
Fall Semester
Graduate Year  
COMM 552 Communication in a Multicultural Workplace 1.5
COMM 553 Communication in a Global Market 1.5
COMM 545 Information Gathering & Analysis 3
COMM 554 Effective Group Communication 1.5
COMM 555 Communication and Organizational Culture 1.5
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
COMM 531 Legal/Ethical Issues for Professional Communication 3
COMM 599 Capstone in Business Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours for Graduation33

 Courses and Descriptions

COMM 503 Corporate/Persuasive Discourse 3 Credits

Imparts advanced knowledge of crisis management, including theory, techniques and applications. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: changing opinion and behavior, crisis management principles, strategies, tactics and communication methods. Students will work in teams to develop the knowledge and skills to manage the messages surrounding crisis-related issues found in organizations.

COMM 504 Strategic Business Writing 3 Credits

Provides students with the tools to think and write strategically. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: identifying challenges and communicating to different workplace audiences; developing content for daily, routine and specific workplace requirements; focusing on strategic, outcomes-based writing; and cultivating interpersonal relationships for successful communication. These skills are particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.

COMM 507 Business Presentation Strategies 3 Credits

Develops the ability to create purposeful presentations with targeted messages relating to audience needs. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: messaging, writing for the visual media, using current visual presentation tools, delivering an impactful presentation and taking advantage of social media channels. They will develop the knowledge and skills to influence and inspire internal and external constituencies, a key part of communication practitioners’ jobs, especially those in managerial/senior staff roles.

COMM 525 Visual Communication 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of visual communication design. Students will learn how to critique, design, and edit visual communications with specific audiences in mind. Topics include the elements and principles of design, color theory, visual perception theories, typography, symbols, brand identity, logos, propaganda, and information design in both current and historical contexts. Readings and viewings of relevant films are a required component of the course. Assignments will afford students opportunities to apply current visual communication software to produce visual communications for various professional environments, but command of such software is neither required nor expected.

COMM 531 Legal/Ethical Issues for Professional Communication 3 Credits

Provides students with the knowledge to understand and apply ethical guidelines and current laws and regulations relative to workplace communication, as well as the legal limits impacting professional communications. This knowledge is particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.

COMM 545 Information Gathering & Analysis 3 Credits

Develops the knowledge and skills to use various research methods and analysis techniques to provide critical information for, and assist with, business decisions. It will cover developing research tools, gathering and verifying information, analyzing, and reporting results. These skills are particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.

COMM 552 Communication in a Multicultural Workplace 1.5 Credits

Instructs in the use of diversity and cultural communication principles and strategies to effectively manage a culturally diverse workforce. This course will help organizational leaders understand how gender, ethnic, religious, and other differences affect the workplace, and how to effectively harness those differences towards maintaining a workplace that promotes good employee relations, and ultimately, good productivity for the organization.

COMM 553 Communication in a Global Market 1.5 Credits

Examines communication between and among businesses in a global context. The course presents communication as an essential pivot around which revolve the social and institutional relationships within and among nations. Hence, exploring global communication structures and tendencies is an important means to understanding social, cultural, economic and political impositions on global business. The emerging role of technologies of communication, such as social media, will be a particular focus of this course.

COMM 554 Effective Group Communication 1.5 Credits

Encompasses the study of individual and group behavior in the workplace. Emphasis is placed on individual behavior and group dynamics, application of current group theories, effective group communication, and effective leadership/followership skills. A comprehensive review of these processes, as well as others, will allow students to examine their role in groups as well as teams.

COMM 555 Communication and Organizational Culture 1.5 Credits

Examines communication and culture in organized settings. Emphasis is placed on managing organizational culture, communication and the relationship between organizational performance and organizational culture. A review of research and analysis as it relates to organizations will allow students to apply what they have learned about organizational culture to real life situations.

COMM 599 Capstone in Business Communication 3 Credits

Provides students with the opportunity to explore, research and discuss practical and theoretical topics in business communication. This capstone course gives students an opportunity to apply skills and knowledge they have learned throughout the Master of Arts in Business Communication curriculum. Under faculty supervision, students will complete a major project using a variety of research methods.

PMBA 8020 Fundamentals of Accounting 3 Credits

For those students having no previous knowledge of accounting. Subject is approached from the point of view of the user of accounting information rather than that of the accountant who supplies the information. Surveys mechanics of accounting as a means to an end, emphasizing accounting as a tool of management and the language of business. Problems and cases bring out the managerial implications of accounting.

PMBA 8030 Economic Analysis 3 Credits

An intensive exposition of the essentials of price theory and income and employment theory. For students with less than a year of introductory economics at the undergraduate level. Topics include an analysis of markets, the nature and characteristics of producer behavior, the theory of pricing in competitive and non competitive markets, and their welfare effects. At the macro level, coverage of the economy in the short run deals with economic fluxuations, fiscal policy, and monetary policy. An examination of the ecomony in the long run covers factors effecting economic growth.

PMBA 8313 Electronic Commerce 3 Credits

Electronic commerce involves the use of information technology to improve, enhance, simplify or enable business transactions. This course examines such business, social, and technical issues of electronic commerce as the technology of the Internet, effective system strategies to attract and maintain customers, security, and electronic payment systems.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of MBA pre-program courses.

PMBA 8314 Project Management 3 Credits

in our complex world of global economies and pervasive technology, change is constant. It is a persistent challenge to manage this change. It is the body of knowledge that is project management that helps managers address this change. This course will introduce students to project management for a variety of disciplines. The methods and techniques taught will be applicable not only to software development, but to any series of tasks that could constitute a project. The course content will cover the identification, approval, and management of complex projects. Various project management tools, techniques, and approaches will be covered.