Information about Multicultural Undergraduate Certificate


Undergraduate education can benefit greatly from a better grasp of the cultural and demographic trends in U.S. society.  The 2010 U.S. Census found that the three main minorities in the United States — Hispanic, African-American and Asian — account for about 37 percent of the total U.S. population and in many major metropolitan areas, they are now the majority. Estimates vary but at some point between 2030 and 2050, these minorities will constitute the majority of the total U.S. population. Further, they currently account for almost three trillion dollars of buying power.  Other cultural groups, including Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people, further enrich our cultural and economic landscape.

These cultures, however, have not been well taken into consideration in advertising and marketing plans. There is a current vacuum of professionals that understand how to address U.S. culturally diverse markets, including basic areas skills of knowledge such as demographics, psychographics, consumer insights and behavior, segmentation, cultural archetypes, media behaviors, positioning and account planning.

This undergraduate certificate program has, as its target audience, undergraduate students at The Florida State University and other institutions and organizations. The certificate is designed to bridge the above-mentioned void by offering undergraduate students and professionals in industry the opportunity to learn about and work effectively with minorities.

Any student currently enrolled as an undergraduate at The Florida State University or affiliated institutions may apply to this program.  This certificate is offered also to anyone anywhere in the world who would like to complete the certificate online and participate in the distance education programs at FSU.  The courses in this certificate program can be used as part of any of the undergraduate majors and minors in communication. We anticipate starting to offer this certificate in the Summer of 2012. Courses are offered both online and as face-to-face classroom instruction, although not necessarily at the same time.

NOTE: Graduate students cannot participate in this certificate program and should consider a separate and parallel Graduate Certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication


Learning Objectives

Undergraduate students pursuing a certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication will:

  • Acquire the skills necessary to include multicultural marketing considerations in a marketing or advertising plan
  • Apply cultural knowledge in formulating strategies directed to a multicultural population
  • Conduct research geared to enhance their cultural skills for application to marketing, advertising, and diffusion of innovations
  • Practice the principles of account planning in a multicultural context
  • Apply multicultural marketing knowledge to their academic and/or professional lives


Application Procedure

Current FSU students

Students currently enrolled at FSU in undergraduate courses, whether in a degree-seeking program or as non-degree seeking, who are interested in obtaining the Undergraduate Certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication should apply to the director of the certificate program, Dr. Sindy Chapa, who is also the director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at FSU. The application requires the submission of:

a. A completed application form

NOTE: This Certificate is not intended as a diploma or degree.


Prospective students

Students at other institutions should apply to the University as Transient Students and non-degree earning professionals should apply to the university as non-degree seeking student. Contact the FSU Office of Admissions for more information. Online courses for non-degree students require an additional application to the distance-learning program. Contact the Office of Distance Learning for more information. Once all admissions requirements for the university and the distance-learning program have been met, students may then submit the certificate program application to Dr. Chapa. This last step may be completed after enrollment.


Program of Studies

This certificate program is composed of four (3 credit-hour) undergraduate courses offered by the School of Communication that can be taken in the classroom or online, depending on their availability. In addition, this certificate program requires each student to write a Capstone Experience paper, applying the course work with to his or her academic or professional experience.

The following are the required courses:

  • ADV 3410 — Hispanic Marketing Communication: This course looks at the largest and fastest-growing minority in the U.S. and examines appropriate ways to connect culturally.
  • ADV 4603 — Account Planning: Enables students to obtain cultural insights from consumers across different cultures and segments.
  • ADV 4411 — Multicultural Marketing Communication: Reviews cultural differences and similarities in consumer behavior and provides the context for research projects to connect better with these emerging groups.
  • MMC 4300 — Communication and Change: The Diffusion of Innovations. An analysis of the process of change in developing countries and across cultures, particularly from the standpoint of how communication is used in the introduction, spread and adoption of new ideas. The student must receive a C+ or higher in all four of these courses, and a passing evaluation (S) on the Capstone Experience paper.

In addition, a Capstone Experience paper will be required of all students. This paper will be a 10- to 15-page paper applying the knowledge acquired to the student’s current academic or professional work. It should not be a summary of the coursework for the certificate but an application paper that emphasizes the utilization of the knowledge acquired. This paper will be written while the student is taking the last course above and will be graded as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. It must be submitted two weeks before the end of that semester. The faculty member teaching that last course will grade the Capstone Experience paper. 

Students must complete and submit a  checklist of requirements. The signatures required ensure that all application materials were submitted and the coursework is finished.


Certificate Requirements

  • The director or administrator of the program may allow the transfer or “double-counting” of one course taken at another institution or another FSU program, either online or in the classroom. That course must be deemed of relevant content and level and allowed at the discretion of the director.  Under no circumstance will the student be allowed to transfer or “double count” more than one course.
  • The student must maintain a cumulative 2.5 (C+) grade-point average (GPA) or higher in all undergraduate certificate courses attempted in order for the undergraduate certificate to be granted.
  • Standardized Test Requirements: None. Non-degree seeking Students and Transient Students must meet whatever requirements the university imposes for admission in that classification.
  • Time limit for completion of the program: The certificate program must be completed within three years of its initiation.
  • Fee per course/credit hour: Fees parallel that of standard classroom and online courses, accordingly.

Undergraduate Certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication program description.

NOTE: The deadline to apply for the Certificate is before the completion of the first course. Students MUST apply before starting their second course.

To apply, click here.