The School of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Social Media, which is an intensive program focused on leadership, development and management of social media platforms, apps and communities. Students learn to be executives, leaders, and entrepreneurs through a sequence of classes that teach conceptualization, management of development and analytics, creation of content, and implementation of digital products. Students take 32 units over the course of three semesters, including a final project capstone in which students produce a working, dynamic site, app, or embedded social platform project with digital/multimedia elements. Development includes pitching, conceptualizing, building, and launching of the final project capstone. An internship is highly recommended as students are expected to gain relevant, professional experience while enrolled in the program. No engineering skills are required, but the program provides instruction in collaborating with and managing developers.

The program begins in the fall semester and includes courses during the following spring and summer semesters. It is a full-time program.

Core courses are taught in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Viterbi School of Engineering. With approval of the program director, students may select electives from the entire USC graduate curriculum.

Below are the required courses for this degree program:

Required Courses (20 units)

  • COMM 502 - Theoretical Approaches to Multidisciplinary Design Projects (4 units)
  • INF 549 - Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science (4 units) or DSM 510 - Introduction to Digital Social Media (4 units)
  • DSM 520 - Managing Technologies for Digital Media (4 units)
  • DSM 560 - Digital Media Policy, Law, Practices, and Regulation (4 units)
  • DSM 596 - Final Project Capstone (4 units)

Electives (12 units)

  • Choose 12 units of approved graduate coursework from within the Annenberg School, or across the University.