The Master of Public Diplomacy is a two-year program 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 substantive paper or alternative project. One unit of credit for an internship is optional. The course requirements are as follows:

Public Diplomacy Requirements (20 Units)

  • PUBD 502 Historical and Comparative Approaches to Public Diplomacy (4 units)
  • PUBD 504 Global Issues and Public Diplomacy (4 units)
  • PUBD 522 Hard Power, Soft Power and Smart Power (4 units)
  • PUBD 526 Public Diplomacy Evaluation (4 units)
  • PUBD 596 Practicum in Public Diplomacy Research (4 units)

Electives (12 units)

Any three approved PUBD, IR, COMM, or CMGT courses, selected in consultation with an adviser.

Mid-Career Professional Degree

In addition to the two-year degree, there is also a mid-career professional Master of Public Diplomacy degree program taught over a single calendar year. Students begin in July with a summer course introducing the advanced study of public diplomacy and end in the middle of the following summer with the submission of a piece of research work.

This program is designed for students who already have at least five years of experience working in public diplomacy (engaged in international advocacy, international publicity/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.