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Master of Professional Communication

Master of Professional Communication

The Master of Professional Communication (MPC) is a full-time, one-year graduate program that blends theoretical knowledge with practical skills development. A key component of the program is the required internship where students are given the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals, build their professional networks, and gain hands-on experience. The MPC program concludes with a Major Research Paper, which allows students to follow their passion for communication and explore a diverse range of topics. After completing the program, MPC grads join an impressive network of ProCom alumni that they can tap into for career support, advice and opportunities.

Degree Earned

Master of Professional Communication

Program Format

Full Time / 1 year

Courses & Curriculum

Fall Semester

Courses Credits
PC8001 Library Research Colloquium (Non-credit)
PC8002 Professional Communication: History, Theory, Practice 1
PC8003 Research Methods 1
PC8006 Visual Communication and Design
One one-Credit Elective of Your Choice  1

Winter Semester

Courses  Credits 
PC8004 Internship 1
PC8005 The Virtual Organization 1
Two one-Credit Electives of Your Choice

Spring & Summer Semester

Courses Credits
Major Research Paper (MRP) and Presentation 2
Course Code Degree Requirements: Master of Professional Communication Credits


Master’s Research/ Paper



Library Research Colloquium



Professional Communication: History, Theory, Practice



Research Methods






The Virtual Organization



Visual Communication and Design



AND 3 elective credits



Course code Course name Credits


Topics in Cross-Cultural Communication



Media Languages



Audiences and the Public



Adv Speaking, Presentation Tech



Communication and Legal Issues



Communication and Technology



Crisis Communication



Proposals, Grants, Fundraising



Special Topics: Prof Communication



Strategic Media Relations



Visual Rhetoric: Public Context



Directed Studies


Major Research Paper
The Major Research Paper is a sustained exploration of a specialized topic supported by material from scholarly sources and a theoretical framework. It may take the form of a critical review of literature or an empirical exploration, and may include research conducted during the MPC internship. The MRP is evaluated by a supervisor and second reader and requires a presentation and a knowledge translation product (e.g. a research poster or a digital representation of the project). Pass/Fail

PC8001 Library Research Colloquium
The Library Research Colloquium will introduce students to the complexities of contemporary library research at the graduate level including the quality of information sources, searching strategies, Boolean nesting and hierarchies, the metrology of information transfer, the journal impact factor, citation styles and bibliographic citation managers. Non-credit course. Pass/Fail

PC8002 Professional Communication: History, Theory, Practice
This course examines how diverse practices of professional communication have evolved and merged into a defined discipline supported by a body of interdisciplinary research. Moving from past to present, we will investigate how the recent shift from traditional to digital and from local to global communication practices and processes has transformed the foundations of professional practice including strategic planning, ethics, and interpersonal, organizational and public communication. Looking towards the future within a media ecology framework, we will theorize the ways current and imagined techno-global communication practices may impact sustainability on social, economic, political, ethical, and environmental levels. Throughout the course, we will consider how the shift from mechanistic to systems thinking provides new research methods and theoretical models to study these complex and dynamic processes. 1 Credit

PC8003 Research Methods
Students will be introduced to the theories, methodologies and methods that take into account creative, humanities- based and social scientific perspectives. A second goal of the course will be to familiarize students with the research and information gathering process, with the use of library and library resources, electronic and online research, and creative and unusual research strategies. The third goal is to provide an introduction to the art of project design and the writing of proposals. 1 Credit

PC8004 Internship
The internship allows students to participate in organizational placements that relate to their professional interests and takes place in the second (winter) semester of the MPC program. Students are responsible for identifying potential host institutions and securing their own placements subject to approval by the School of Professional Communication. The internship is approximately 150 hours in duration spread over 8 to10 weeks. The institutional mentor and the intern establish a mutually agreed upon schedule. Students provide the School with regular journal submissions. The institutional supervisor completes an interim and a final report. 1 Credit. Pass/Fail

PC8005 The Virtual Organization
This course addresses the Internet's increasing impact as a dynamic platform of professional communication practices. Students will examine how a knowledge environment fused with social networking capabilities creates unprecedented opportunities, challenges and risks for the contemporary organization and its members. Drawing on case-grounded theory and hands-on investigation, students will explore the organizational revolution implicit in present and emergent technological innovations and virtual networking trends in order to develop the strategic knowledge and critical practices necessary to communicate in the workplace of today while anticipating the workplace of tomorrow. 1 Credit

PC8006 Visual Communication and Design
This course focuses on the processes, products and purposes of visual communication and design. Students will learn about the ways design is used to reach a range of audiences and communication objectives. Students will apply visual communication concepts, strategies and techniques to critique and develop visual design solutions to today’s communication problems. Assignments will require that students examine the ways theory and practice intersect and the ways design principles can be used in the planning, production and evaluation of the visual communication. 1 Credit

PC8101 Advanced Speaking and Presentation Technology
This course builds upon fundamental informative and persuasive speaking techniques by introducing students to their advocacy role as professional communicators. Students learn how to adapt high-level messages for a variety of internal and external audiences and effective audience-response strategies. They will learn the use of presentation technology such as PowerPoint, podcasting, and webcasting to transmit their messages effectively. Theories of self-presentation, presentation protocol, medium and message, and cognitive perception underlie the course. Students will deliver presentations to their peers and have the opportunity to use new media facilities to create and broadcast audio podcasts and videocasts for feedback and evaluation. Spoken voice training to achieve clarity and confidence in oral communications is a part of this course. 1 Credit

PC8102 Communication and Legal Issues
This course introduces students to the legal dimensions of professional communication through a variety of practical and theoretical approaches with a strong emphasis on semiotics, especially semantics and syntactics. Students will study the Canadian legal system as it applies to ethical responsibility and legal risk in the written and oral messages exchanged within and between organizations and will consider the degree to which legal formalism and legal realism operate in the determination of judicial decisions. Using detailed case analyses of documents such as briefs, letters, proposals, contracts, and reports, students will examine legal formats and structures, evidence and argumentation, copyright and intellectual property, and “plain language” writing. Students will learn to identify potential risks, and to prepare and manage communications that are clear, accessible, ethical and legal. 1 Credit

PC8103 Communication and Technology
Communication theorist, Lance Strate, writes that “as environments, media do not determine our actions, but they define the range of possible actions we can take, and facilitate certain actions while discouraging others.” Using media ecology, convergence culture and media studies as a broad theoretical framework, students will explore the relationships between past and emergent technologies, as well as the relationships that ensue amongst our current technologies. In particular, we will apply different schools of thought to different contexts of professional communication by examining the ways that this web of medial relationships both enables and hinders our professional communication practices. 1 Credit

PC8104 Crisis Communication
Crises can weaken an organization's reputation, diminish employee commitment, and, as numerous historical examples have shown, destroy companies. Communication professionals must know how to predict, prevent, and manage crises. This course explores the theory and practice of crisis communication in a variety of sectors. Using case studies, students examine and analyze the natures of crises; the roles of employees, the media (traditional and electronic), and the public; theories of crisis management and crisis communication; and the role of the communication professional. The stakeholder dialectic and deliberative rhetoric theories are two frameworks that govern the course's investigation into crisis communication modes. 1 Credit

PC8105 Proposal Writing, Grant Seeking and Fundraising
This course provides a detailed introduction to the multidimensional processes of grant-seeking and the strategic principles of writing proposals for research funding and non-profit fundraising. Through a theoretical framework grounded in classical and modern rhetoric, meta-rhetoric, and narratology, students will explore how professional communicators construct polished arguments to generate support. From the perspective of both grant seekers and multidisciplinary peer-review audiences, students will learn how to identify and target government, foundation, and corporate funding sources/opportunities, to translate project goals and problem statements into clear objectives and hypotheses reflective of societal need, and to coordinate activities in the planning, development, structuring, and articulation of feasible, methodologically rigorous, and conceptually innovative research projects/proposals. Students will also gain practice in applying these techniques to fundraising initiatives and tasks including outreach and the cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors. 1 Credit

PC8106 Special Topics in Professional Communication
Courses offered on an occasional one-time-only or very limited basis designed to address specific subjects of compelling current interest. Special topics courses will integrate visiting guest lecturers who are experts in the field. 1 Credit

PC8107 Strategic Media Relations
This course examines the theory and practice of effective media relations. Students will explore the geography of the modern media landscape – including both traditional and new media outlets – and learn how to navigate it on behalf of an organization or client. They will study the concepts underlying media relations, and how to employ them in strategic planning, image management, advocacy, and both proactive and reactive interaction with the press.
Through a critical analysis of what actually makes a story newsworthy and of how news organizations function, students will learn how to craft and deliver the kind of sharply defined messages that are effective in today’s 24/7 news cycle. 1 Credit

PC8108 Visual Rhetoric in Professional Contexts
John Berger tells us that “seeing comes before words.” Donis Dondis writes that “there is little rest in the process of seeing”. In all of our dealings with the world, we constantly use images to persuade others, but we also become used by the same images. Drawing on the field of visual social semiotics, this seminar course explores visual meaning-making. It investigates how visual texts can be rhetorical and persuasive within a professional communication context. How do images dominate or become dominated by the viewer/consumer? How do images and written text combine to persuade viewers? What is visual culture? We will draw on the theories of Rudolf Arnheim, Donis Dondis, Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen, amongst others. Objects of analysis will be drawn from print advertisements, organizational documents, digital media, and other multimodal texts in professional contexts.
1 Credit

PC8109 Directed Studies
This course is for students who wish to gain knowledge in a specific area for which no graduate level classes are available in the Winter 2016 semester. Students who are approved to take the course are assigned a suitable class advisor most familiar with the proposed content. A program of supervised, advanced study related to the student's area of concentration will be negotiated on an individual basis with the supervising faculty member. 1 Credit

Communication and Design Electives

The Creative School Electives

The Creative School offers graduate elective courses open to all students in the faculty. If you are interested in taking an elective outside of your program, please contact your program administrator for information on how to enroll and make sure the course can be used for credit in your program. Please note that spots for non-program students in graduate electives are limited.


Graduate Admission Requirements

  • A four-year undergraduate degree with a minimum B average (or equivalent) in the final half of the program.
  • Unofficial transcripts for all relevant post-secondary education. If you are admitted into the program, you will be required to submit official final transcript(s).
  • A letter of intent (approximately 500 words) outlining an area of focus and additional qualifications and/or professional experience. The letter also needs to: (1) explain why the Master of Professional Communication is an ideal choice for you, (2) talk about your research interest(s) and initial idea(s) for a Major Research Project (MRP), and (3) mention one or two Professional Communication professors who could serve as your MRP supervisor and explain why you chose them. There is no need to directly contact faculty members. Learn more about ProCom graduate faculty members.
  • A résumé that summarizes your (1) personal and professional experience, (2) awards and achievements, and (3) technology skills and experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably at least one academic reference who can comment on your academic capabilities (e.g., a previous course instructor or honors thesis supervisor); however, both letters may also come from professional acquaintances who are not relatives or close friends with the applicant.
  • A portfolio containing two examples of the applicant’s written communication. The applicant may choose either (1) two scholarly essays or (2) one scholarly essay plus one non-academic piece of writing (e.g., a memo, news article, press release, etc.). For the non-academic sample, a short explanation contextualizing the applicant's involvement and contribution to the piece is mandatory. The applicant also needs to add a cover page explaining why the two writing samples were selected for applying for the MPC program.
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement: Applicants whose language of instruction during their undergraduate studies was other than English are required to submit a test of English language proficiency.

Applications that are complete (including all documentation and Letters of Reference) will be given top priority and consideration.

Domestic Applications - OPEN

You should submit your application, including all supporting documents, via the online portal by the First Consideration Deadline: January 19, 2024.

Applications will be accepted until the program has filled all available spots in the program and the waitlist.

International Applications - OPEN

You should submit your application, including all supporting documents, via the online portal by the Preferred Dealine: December 10, 2023

Applications will be accepted until the First Consideration Deadline: January 19, 2024, at which point the program will review applications received and may close admissions.

International admissions will close March 31, 2024.

Admissions Timeline

Generally, the program will begin reviewing applications after the first consideration deadline in January. Offers of admission will begin mid-to-late-March and continue throughout the spring and summer until the program is full.

Check if the program is accepting applications in the application deadlines page.

For further information about Master of Professional Communication (MPC) admission, please email us at

Tonisha Boyd, Graduate Program Administrator

Tonisha Boyd

Graduate Program Administrator

Mauro Chiera

Mauro Chiera

Graduate Program Administrator

Emily Hall

Emily Hall

Graduate Program Administrator

Elaine Nie

Elaine Nie

Graduate Program Administrator

Marnie Gilbert

Marnie Gilbert

Finance and Administation Coordinator

Daniel Garcia, Manager Graduate Programs Administration

Daniel Garcia

Manager, Graduate Programs Administration

Information Sessions

Admissions Q&A - Graduate Studies at The Creative School

Admissions Q&A session

Do you have questions about applying to one of The Creative School graduate programs? Join our graduate program administration team to get answers.

Join us at the next session:

  • May 22 at 4 pm 
  • June 5 at 12 pm (noon)
  • June 27 at 2 pm
  • July 17 at 12 pm (noon)

MPC Internship

The MPC internship gives students the opportunity to gain exposure to the workplace and insight into professional communication practices. By working directly with industry sponsors, MPC students can grow their professional network while exploring new career paths.

A few of Our Recent Internship Sponsors

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • University of Toronto
  • Scholastic Canada Ltd.
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE)
  • Sony Music Canada
  • St Michael's Hospital
  • The University of Toronto (U of T)

To learn more about the internship program, contact Danielle Taylor, Internship Coordinator at The Creative School.

Fees & Funding

Tuition for the Master of Professional Communication program is a yearly charge, which is broken into three equivalent payments due at the start of each term. 

Tuition is assessed based on the yearly fee, it is not dependent on the number of courses you take per term.  For more information, see Graduate Studies fees.

Admissions Awards 

No application required, awarded based on your admissions application.

  • Toronto Metropolitan Graduate Fellowship (TMGF)
    Value ranges from $2,000 to $6,000.
  • Toronto Metropolitan Graduate Development Award (TMGDA)
    Value ranges from $2,000 to $6,000.
  • Ontario Graduate Fellowship (OGF)  
    Value is $12,000 for one year.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) / Toronto Met Graduate Scholarship (TMGS)

  • $15,000 award for one year.
  • Eligible applicants will be notified by the program to submit an application around February/March. 
  • For students with an A- in each of the last two years of completed study.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC CGS-M)

  • $17,500 award for one year.
  • For Domestic applicants with an A- avg. in each of the last two years of completed study.
  • Application deadline is Dec 1; award is granted for the following Fall term.

Teaching/Graduate Assistantships

Opportunities for Graduate (teaching) Assistantships (GA) are available each year. MPC students work as graduate teaching assistants in numerous undergraduate ProCom courses.

Dean’s Award for Best Overall Performance

This award is given to the graduate student with the highest overall GPA, upon completion of the MPC program.

Associate Dean, SRC Award for Outstanding Major Research Paper

This award is given to the student with the MRP that is judged to be exceptional in both content and expression.

For more information about graduate scholarships external to ProCom, visit Scholarships & Awards (opens in new window)  under the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

You belong at
The Creative School

As a Professional Communication student, you'll be part of The Creative School, a dynamic faculty offering 27 degree programs in media, design and creative industries. Through global experiences and transdisciplinary opportunities, our students emerge as some of the most in demand and employable graduates anywhere.

Ready to apply?