Public Diplomacy (MPD) Fall 2021

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the MPD program has been extended to February 15, 2021. Fall semester classes will start in August 2021.

The application deadline for the Mid-Career Program is February 1, 2021. Classes will begin in Summer 2021.

What content should be in my résumé?

List all employment (paid and unpaid) including the nature of work and dates of employment. Also, include academic and professional awards, honors, teaching experience, subject matter expertise, language(s) proficiency other than English, relevant international experience, and your familiarity with research or communications technologies.

What should I address in my personal statement?

This statement, which should convey your passion for the field, should be three to four pages long, typed and double-spaced. Care should be taken to submit a clear, concise and well‐written essay. The statement should address the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to pursue the Master of Public Diplomacy at USC?
  2. With whom do you want to study and why?
  3. How will you utilize your training in Public Diplomacy after receiving your Master’s degree?

What type of writing sample is required?

Submit an academic paper that you solely wrote for any college or university course. The writing sample should not exceed 10 pages.

How many letters of recommendation are needed and from whom?

Select two individuals familiar with you and your potential for success in graduate studies in public diplomacy.

  • For the two-year program, faculty recommendations are preferred.
  • For the one-year program, professional references from managers or supervisors are expected.

What test scores are required?

USC has suspended the GRE requirement for all graduate applicants for admission to the 2021 admission cycle. All international student applicants are expected to demonstrate adequate English-language proficiency. To learn more about how to satisfy this requirement, click here. Also, review the USC Graduate Admission video tutorial titled, “English Proficiency Requirements for International Students” for more details.

What financial support is available?

Departmental merit scholarships and fellowships are competitively awarded. All completed applications are considered for admission and departmental awards. 

All US citizens and permanent residents are urged to submit a FAFSA after the admission application deadline.

International student applicants will find critical information at

APSIA provides a valuable list of fellowships and scholarships that can be applied towards the USC Master of Public Diplomacy: Investigate these options early in your graduate admission application process.

Application Guidelines

Go to to apply.

The online USC Graduate Admission application will open on September 1, 2020.

Upload official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (including USC) to the Academic History section of the application.

  • Include the legend for domestic institutions and the grading scale for international institutions.
  • International transcripts should include the original language and the English translation as one document.
  • Do not upload transcripts from your student portal.

Upload the following documents before submitting your application:

  • CV/ Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Copy of your official passport (International Applicants only)
  • Proof of Financial Support (International Applicants Only)

Official Transcripts

After receiving your USC ID*, mail official transcripts (original language and English translation) from all colleges and universities attended and any study abroad programs to:

University of Southern California
Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower St., Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

*USC Graduate Admission will send your USC ID via email 2-3 days after you submit your online graduate admission application.

All program materials must be submitted online with the application in English. Once the application has been submitted, you may not upload or change any program materials. Once submitted, all materials and documents become the property of USC and will not be returned.


Create online profiles in the Program Materials section of the application by providing names and email addresses of your recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to submit a recommendation. USC Annenberg only accepts online recommendations.

Testing Requirements

GRE scores are waived for the 2021 admission application cycle. 

  • International applicants must submit valid TOEFL or IELTS scores; scores are valid if taken August 2019 or later. TOEFL scores must be reported electronically from ETS to USC (code 4852); for IELTS, select University of Southern California Graduate Programs. 
  • International applicants who completed their entire undergraduate degree in the United States or another Anglophone country where English is both the language of instruction and the only official language of the country are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Completing a graduate degree in an Anglophone county does not exempt you from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Complete all admission testing as early as possible and no later than one month prior to the application deadline. 

Application Fee

Pay the $90 non-refundable application fee with a credit card or request an application fee waiver prior to submitting an application. Fee waiver requirements may be found at USC Graduate Admission website: