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 towards the design, incubation, and execution of a rigorous, portfolio-building, capstone project.

Students may pursue the MS on either a full- or part-time basis. Full time, the degree can be finished in one year and four months (across four terms, including the summer session); part-time, all course work can be finished in two to three years.

Course Requirements

DSM is a 32-unit degree program, typically requiring two to three courses per semester, but can be adjusted to a student’s professional needs.

Mandatory DSM courses include two courses in research and methods (4 units each) and the 4-unit capstone course. Students must take either DSM 510 Introduction to Digital Social Media or INF 549 Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science, as well as DSM 596 Final Project Capstone.

Among the remaining courses, at least 12 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.

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