A STEM-designated degree program, the Master of Science in Digital Social Media (DSM) aims to equip students with the practical skills, critical knowledge and state-of-the-art strategies to succeed in a cutting-edge career in the digital and social media sectors. Beyond learning the fundamentals of digital and social media industries theories and methods, students pursue a customized curriculum toward the design, incubation, and execution of a rigorous, portfolio-building capstone project.

The 32-unit degree program may be completed in three consecutive semesters (fall/spring/summer) or over two academic years (fall/spring/fall/spring). 

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program to graduate. 

All master’s degree candidates in the Annenberg School of Communication are required to complete the Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations training during their enrollment at USC. This non-credit, professional skills training is offered online by USC Annenberg every fall, spring and summer term and is designed to foster students’ ability to create, sustain and thrive within diverse work environments. Modules include: fostering connection and inclusive cultures; managing implicit biases and power; understanding the impact of technology on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA); creating representative and inclusive content; and developing habits and strategies to effect lasting change. To learn more about this training please visit our website.

More information about STEM designation can be found here

Graduate admissions requirements for the Annenberg School of Communication can be found here

Course Requirements

Mandatory Courses:

  • DSM 510 Introduction to Digital Social Media (4 Units) 
  • DSM 520 Managing Technologies for Digital Media (4 Units)
  • DSM 550 Analytics and Research Methodology (4 Units)
  • DSM 596 Final Project Capstone (4 Units)


Among the remaining courses, at least 8 units must be from a list of approved electives across the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Up to 8 units may be taken at USC outside the Annenberg School; these courses must be approved by the DSM program director and may be selected from a variety of disciplines.

This page is based on the current 2023-2024 USC Catalogue. The 2024-2025 USC Catalogue will be published in summer 2024.