A STEM-designated degree program, the Master of Science in Digital Social Media 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 towards the design, incubation, and execution of a rigorous, portfolio-building, capstone project.
DSM is a 32 unit degree program, typically requiring 2-3 courses per semester but can be adjusted to a student's professional needs, and at an accelerated pace, it can be completed over the course of 3 semesters.
Mandatory DSM courses include two courses in research and methods (4 credits each) and the two-semester capstone courses (2 credits each). Students must take either DSM 510 Introduction to Digital Social Media or INF 549 Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science. In their penultimate and ultimate semester, students are required to take the capstone courses, DSM 596a and DSM 596b. These capstone courses must be taken consecutively.
Among the remaining courses, at least 12 units must be from a list of approved electives across the School of Communication and Journalism. Up to 8 units may be taken at USC outside the School of Communication; these courses must be approved by the program director and may be selected from a variety of disciplines.
Students must maintain a 3.0 average in the program to graduate.