The Master of Public Diplomacy is designed for students who have an interest in an international career at the intersection of communications and foreign affairs. Students typically come to the program with a substantial academic or professional background in social sciences, communications, film and media studies, journalism, political science, public relations and international relations. Graduates have found employment in a variety of fields encompassing public service, the private sector or in a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working in an 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)

  • 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)

In consultation with their academic advisor, students may choose electives from a range of other PUBD courses, the full suite of courses offered within the Annenberg School as a whole, or up to 8 units from outside Annenberg.

Mid-Career Professional Degree

In addition to the MPD degree, there is also a mid-career professional Master of Public Diplomacy degree program. Students begin in July with a summer course introducing the advanced study of public diplomacy and end with the submission of research paper or project.  This program is designed for students who already have at least five years of experience working in public diplomacy (engaged in international advocacy, international public relations, international broadcasting, cultural and/or exchange work or other work which the faculty admissions committee deems applicable). A valid GRE score is required to complete the graduate admission application.

This page is based on the USC Catalogue for the 2021-2022 school year. This Catalogue will become available in Summer 2021. View the current 2020-2021 USC Catalogue entry for this program here.