Global Communication Second-Year FAQ

The following page contains information for second-year Global Communication (MA) students, or students who have already completed their terms at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). For application information regarding the Global Communications (MA) program page, please see our Admissions pages here


Where can I find out more about USC tuition, financial aid, and scholarships?

Tuition, financial aid, and scholarships information for USC Annenberg programs can be found here

There are different opportunities for students to receive financial aid at USC. There are loan options, scholarships, fellowships and Graduate Research Associate positions. 

If you are a domestic student, or are a legal resident of the U.S., you may be eligible for federal financial aid. Visit FAFSA for deadlines and instructions and complete a FAFSA form at https://studentaid.gov/ and contact the USC Financial Aid office regarding loan coordination and administration. If you are applying for financial aid for the first year at the LSE, that application must be made through the USC Office of Financial Aid, NOT the LSE’s office or the student will be unable to apply for loans the second year of the program at USC — both years of funding have to be administered through USC. 

If you are an international student, please contact the USC Office of Financial Aid as some students will be able to apply for loans.

There may be other university or school-wide scholarships or funding opportunities that vary from year-to-year. Students should also check the USC Office of Financial Aid to see if they are eligible for other university-wide scholarships such as the Norman Topping Award.

Are there any Global Communication (MA) specific scholarships? 

The Global Communication (MA) also offers a number of Global Communication scholarships. These are merit-based, can be applied towards tuition only, and typically cover the cost of one and two courses, divided over both semesters. 

In addition, the Global Communications (MA) program offers two merit-based named fellowships, the Silverstone Fellowship and the Cowan Fellowship, that offer higher funding support. The Silverstone fellowship has no duties associated with it but the awardee is encouraged to volunteer with one of the centers or research groups. The Cowan fellowship has required activities at the CCLP. 

Similar to the Cowan fellowship, we typically offer Global Research Associate opportunities which are paid positions working for professors. These positions may also fulfill your mandatory internship requirement.  

The criteria for all the merit-based awards include prior performance in undergraduate programs, references from professors at the LSE, outside work, internships, or volunteer experience, and skill sets around practice and research, e.g., SPSS, Python, Premiere Pro, language proficiency.

Applying for Global Communication-specific scholarships: During your second term at the LSE, you will receive an application that is used for all USC Annenberg scholarships, fellowships and Global Research Associate (GRA) positions from your Academic Program Associate, Sarah Holterman (holterma@usc.edu). You will need to fill out the form completely, identify the two professors who will serve as your referees and send them the link to the recommendation form. You will be notified by the third term if you are receiving an award or GRA position.

What courses should I take? Where can I find the list? How do I register?

Please review the current course curriculum, including required courses, on the Global Communication (MA) curriculum page.

The USC Catalogue lists all the courses although not all of these courses may be available. To review courses from prior terms, visit the USC Schedule of Classes. You may also find some syllabi listed on the schedule of classes.

Advising and registration: Your Graduate Academic Advisor, Nicole Valdez (nicoleva@usc.edu) will contact you during the Lent term regarding the fall term at USC. The USC faculty will also offer an advising session in early March. Nicole will provide a list of courses available in the Fall semester. As USC Annenberg offers a high volume of courses across multiple programs within and outside of USC Annenberg, you will be expected to conduct your own research to identify the 500-level (and above) courses you are most interested in taking. Nicole will provide a form for you to list your preferences. You must receive D-clearance (departmental clearance) for any USC Annenberg courses you want and follow the directions that will be provided for courses in other schools. In April, you will be sent a date when you will be allowed to register for the classes; however, international students will need to have their passports verified by OIS before you can register. If you are waitlisted for a course, you should attend the first class and ask the professor if they are able to add you to the course. This process will repeat in October at USC for the Spring semester. If you have questions about advising and registration, please reach out to Nicole Valdez at nicoleva@usc.edu.

What is the Global Communication (MA) practicum (COMM 598 Practicum in Global Communication)?

At the LSE, you will be required to complete a research project called the dissertation. At USC, you will also complete a research project, which we refer to as the thesis. In your final semester, you will take COMM 598 Practicum in Global Communication, which is the only required course in the program at USC. In the practicum, you are to complete a thesis project and an internship.  Compared to the LSE dissertation, the USC thesis offers students some additional options: an enhanced, publishable version of the LSE dissertation, an original academic-style thesis project, a group-based research project, an industry-focused white paper (or a white-paper style case-study at your internship organization or another organization that will give you access to collect data). If you complete an internship prior to your last semester and would like to earn one credit in case you took a 3-unit class in another school or department), you should consult your USC Academic Advisor, Nicole Valdez (nicoleva@usc.edu) about CMGT 591, which is a 1-credit internship course.

Why is there a mandatory internship requirement and what does this entail?  

The program is designed to provide a well-rounded experience for students including academic and practical pedagogy and opportunities to apply their learning in real-world environments through research experiences. 

To complete the USC portion of the Global Communication (MA) program, students must complete an internship with a minimum of 8 hours a week for 9-10 weeks. The internship can be completed during either semester at USC but is commonly done during the second term. 

If a student has an internship during the first semester, to receive credit requires enrolling in a one-unit internship course (CMGT 591). 

During the final semester, the COMM 598 Global Practicum course includes credit for your internship taken in that semester so you do not need to take an additional internship class.

International students are allowed to accept paid internships their first semester in the U.S., which is uncommon. You are eligible because you are considered a second-year student by the U.S. government and because the internship is required. If you do accept an internship that requires you to be registered for credit, please let your USC advisor Nicole Valdez (nicoleva@usc.edu) know so you can register for CMGT 591. 

The USC Annenberg Office of Career Development provides exhaustive lists of internships and job opportunities, along with other career advice through the job and internship portal Annenberg CareerLink

USC Annenberg also offers a graduate international internship program in major cities abroad like Berlin, Cape Town, and Hong Kong over the summer. If students want to participate, they need to register for only 8 units in the Spring semester so they will have 4 units remaining for the summer term. Note that this delays graduation at USC until August and until December at the LSE. 

What career services are available to me at USC?

Enrolled students are encouraged to contact USC Annenberg’s Office of Career Development by email, phone, or Zoom. The Office of Career Development provides lists of internships and job opportunities, along with career and alumni panels, one-on-one career counseling, and more services. In addition, USC has a campus-wide Career Center which hosts career fairs, on-campus recruitment, and more.

Does USC require health insurance? What health services do they offer?

USC requires health insurance which is included in your fees. You may request a waiver with proof of your own insurance (for example, if you are a domestic student will be covered on your parents’ health insurance). Visit the USC Health Center for more instructions.  

Pay close attention to the latest health requirements, including proof of immunization and medical records and how to use USC Trojan Check.  

The Health Center provides telehealth, COVID-19 guidance, testing, and vaccines, workshops and access to an array of physicians and counselors located at the Engemann Student Health Center, which is operated by USC’s Keck Medical School.

What should I know about USC residences and housing?

Students may apply via USC Housing to live on or near campus, particularly at the Annenberg house, a USC Housing-owned apartment complex for currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students of communication, journalism, and public relations. In addition, students may pursue other housing options in nearby apartments and house rentals, often coordinated with their colleagues from LSE.

What is transportation like in Los Angeles? Will I need a car? What about parking at USC?

Metro: Los Angeles has a public transportation system including buses and the new Metro light-rail system, which has two stops on the University Park campus. Dash busses are inexpensive and a fast way to get around downtown. Grad students can purchase a U-Pass which offers discounts through Metro. 

Shuttles and busses: Transportation Services also offers shuttles between the two main campuses and to Union Station downtown. There are also buses that pick up in the University Park neighborhood near campus. 

Rideshare: Los Angeles has multiple rideshare systems, such as Lyft and Uber, along with campus vans to and from housing and parking structures. There is a free USC service called Campus Cruiser that is free to students for trips in the USC vicinity and when they are not operating there is a USC account with Uber for students to use in the area. 

Transportation through internships: Students may also need to travel to/from internships around Los Angeles. Some employers may provide funding for ride share and/or public transportation and reimburse for parking if you have a car. Please check with your internship employer to see what options are available.

Parking and at USC: Permits for USC-owned parking structures can be purchased online or at the Transportation Services office in the McCarthy Way Parking Structure. There is a special rate for students who only come to campus for evening classes.

As an international student, what should I know about attending USC for my second year in the Global Communications (MA) program?

International students should follow the instructions from Graduate Admissions to apply for a visa. USC Graduate Admissions is responsible for processing your initial I-20.

The Office of International Services will advise you regarding all immigration-related issues once you arrive at USC. International students should consult USC’s Office of International Services to best understand the latest requirements to secure an I-20 visa to study in the U.S. and, if needed, an OPT or CPT visa to work or intern in the U.S. Please note these requirements may change, particularly in response to global conditions and political considerations. 

If you have an ALI 01 American Institute hold on your account, please contact Valerie Friday Jones (vfriday@usc.edu) in USC Annenberg Admissions to get it removed. 

How do I get access to USC resources and facilities, including the libraries and email, campus gyms and printer services, production equipment or editing suites?

Online services: In January, once your enrollment is certified by Admissions, you will be able to activate your USC NetID, which will allow you to log into your USC email account, the USC wireless network, myUSC, and Blackboard. This will take one to two business days after your enrollment is certified. Visit USC NetID for instructions. 

On-campus services: In addition to online resources through your NetID, once you are on campus, you should obtain a USC ID Card, which you will need to check out books from the library, use campus gyms, use printer services, etc. Card Services is located next to the Transportation Services office in the McCarthy Way Parking Structure.    

USC Annenberg-specific services: USC Annenberg provides additional resources through our Technical Services and Operations Office (TechOps). You should visit their site or their office located in ANN L103 and ASC 124. If you need access to printing services, assistance with getting on USC’s websites or blackboard, or production equipment (cameras, audio) for course-related projects, they will help you. 

In addition, USC Annenberg’s Digital Lounge offers numerous certification courses and workshops in digital service, e.g., Adobe, graphic design, photography, and video and more. Make sure to drop by the Lounge in ANN.  

In addition to the many USC libraries, we have our own librarian, Chimene Tucker, who is here to assist communications, journalism, and LGBTQ studies students. USC Annenberg provides a Graduate Writing Coach, who works with all our communication graduate programs, providing workshops, writing resources, and individual appointments. See the Graduate Writing site for more information.