Curriculum

The Master of Public Diplomacy is designed for students who already have a substantial undergraduate background in social sciences or relevant professional experience in subjects such as communications, film and media studies, journalism, political science, public relations and international relations. Students in the program may decide to emphasize public diplomacy training most appropriate for a career in public service, the corporate world or in a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working in the ever-expanding global civil society. USC is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).

For admission requirements, refer to the admissions requirements section in the School of Communication

Requirements for the completion of this degree program are 32 units, including the required capstone paper or alternative project.  The course requirements are as follows:

Public Diplomacy Requirements (16 Units)

Master of Public Diplomacy is a 32-unit degree program, typically requiring two to three courses per semester.

  • PUBD 502 Historical and Comparative Approaches to Public Diplomacy (4 units)
  • PUBD 504 Global Issues and Public Diplomacy (4 units)
  • PUBD 526 Public Diplomacy Evaluation (4 units)
  • PUBD 596 Practicum in Public Diplomacy Research (4 units)

Electives (16 units)

Students must choose at least 8 elective units of PUBD or other Annenberg School graduate courses. A maximum of 8 units may be taken at USC outside the Annenberg School; these courses must be approved by the program director and may be selected from a variety of disciplines.


This page is based on the current 2022-2023 USC Catalogue. The 2023-2024 USC Catalogue will be published in Summer 2023.

An additional requirement for Public Diplomacy (MPD) students will be to take the Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations program during their time at USC Annenberg. MCDO is a professional skills-building program that addresses the ability to create, sustain and thrive within diverse work environments. More information here