Research Centers and Programs

Learn from our accomplished scholars, contribute to cutting-edge research, and participate in unique projects with one of our many research centers and programs.

Research Centers

Annenberg Center for Collaborative Communication (ANNCCC)

The Annenberg Center for Collaborative Communication (ANNCCC) enables scholars to think and work across institutional, geographic and disciplinary divides. Jointly established by USC Annenberg and the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, the center’s faculty and doctoral students seek to address emerging global issues broadly across the field of communication and media.

Annenberg Game Lab

The Annenberg Game Lab empowers graduate students studying games and their players to conduct research with tools such as large-scale data analysis, surveys, interviews, participant observation, content analyses, and more in partnership with game developers.

Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII)

Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII) is a leading think tank dedicated to addressing issues of inequality in entertainment in order to define areas within the industry where diversity is needed.

Annenberg Innovation Lab

The Annenberg Innovation Lab is a space where students, faculty, researchers and business entrepreneurs can collaborate on projects that have practical application and social impact.

Annenberg Networks Network

ANN supports a variety of efforts designed to develop social network theory, undertakes empirical research projects to test network theories, and sponsors advanced workshops focused on network theory development as well as a seminar series featuring distinguished network scholars from around the world.

Annenberg Research Network on International Communication

ARNIC studies the emergence of communication innovation, examines the attendant transformation of government policies and communication patterns, and analyzes the social and economic consequences.

Center for Climate Journalism and Communication

The Center for Climate Journalism and Communication empowers professionals across media, public relations, and strategic and corporate communications to be climate storytellers who advance a deeper understanding of the consequences of climate change — from the global to the local and from the collective to the individual.

Center on Communication Leadership and Policy

The Center on Communication Leadership and Policy sponsors research and organizes courses, programs, and symposia for scholars, students, and working professionals to prepare the next generation of leaders in a rapidly evolving media environment.

Center for the Digital Future

The CDF is a research and policy institute committed to doing work that has a real and beneficial effect on people’s lives, while seeking to maximize the positive potential of the mass media and our rapidly evolving communication technologies.

Center for Health Journalism

The Center for Health Journalism partners with newsrooms across America and helps journalists and community storytellers innovate, investigate and illuminate health challenges in their communities, serving as a catalyst for change.

Center for Public Relations (CPR)

The USC Center for Public Relations (CPR) is truly at the center of the fast-growing PR industry — connecting businesses, agencies, academics, and students. Their mission is to advance both the study and practice of public relations through research, education, and innovation.

Center for Third Space Thinking

The Center for Third Space Thinking has developed a new, communications-driven methodology to frame and solve problems that helps organizations become more successful in today’s complex world. The center offers a variety of custom leadership development, student education, and community engagement programs.

Center on Public Diplomacy

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, operated in partnership with the USC College’s School of International Relations, examines how government, corporate, and non-state actors engage foreign audiences to facilitate intercultural dialogue and understanding worldwide.

Charlotta Bass Journalism and Justice Lab

The Charlotta Bass Journalism and Justice Lab is the West Coast’s first Black media activism archive and social justice storytelling laboratory. They save, study and share news stories and oral histories about Black social justice trailblazers on the West Coast while also connecting USC Annenberg students to trusted media outlets that value Black storytelling.

Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA)

The Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA) furthers the USC Annenberg legacy of diversity and empowerment studies by framing an impressive cohort of acclaimed scholars, leading research, compelling courses, and impactful programs that allow students to examine the vast complexities of diversity, identity, and culture – across both the School of Communication and the School of Journalism.

Institute of Sports, Media & Society

The USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media, & Society studies the intersection of sports and society in the media.

The Norman Lear Center

The Norman Lear Center is a hub of research and innovation studying and shaping narratives in entertainment, news media, social media, and other public discourse. The center is also a source of no-cost nonpartisan services to storytellers driven by the purpose of social good.  

Pacific Council on International Policy

The Pacific Council on International Policy inspires commitment to global engagement across Los Angeles and California.

USC U.S.-China Institute

The USC U.S.-China Institute aims to enhance understanding of the 21st century’s definitive and multidimensional relationship through research, training, public events, and professional development efforts.

Research Programs and Initiatives

Civic Paths

Civic Paths explores continuities between online participatory culture and civic engagement. Premised on a dynamic understanding of citizenship, we analyze how participatory culture interactions encourage young people to create, discuss and organize to engage with specific civic issues and events.

Critical Media Project

Critical Media Project (CMP) is a free media literacy web resource for educators and students (ages 8-21) that enhances young people’s critical thinking and empathy, and builds on their capacities to advocate for change around questions of identity and representation.


Crosstown collects data from a variety of publicly available sources, including law enforcement, transportation and environmental agencies, to deliver community-level data and analyses to the people of Los Angeles who want to make their neighborhoods and city safer, healthier and more connected.

Health Equity and Media Collaborative

The Health Equity and Media Collaborative conducts community-engaged research, leverages communication science, new media and technology to address pernicious public health challenges.


JOVRNALISM, a hackathon-style course where students from different backgrounds collaborate to decide how to apply an emerging technology to a story or theme, was created by USC Annenberg Professor Robert Hernandez in Summer 2015.

Media As SocioTechnical Systems (MASTS)

Defining “media” as the intersections of technical knowledge, humanistic investments, social relations, economic models, political stakes, and aesthetic expression that people use to understand and shape their lives, MASTS is an interdisciplinary community of knowledge and action that aims to rigorously and playfully build better media infrastructures, strengthen public life, and advance social justice. 

Media, Economics & Entrepreneurship (M{2e})

The M{2e} program examines the evolution of business models in industries such as journalism, music, and television as they are reshaped by technology. Through courses, research, and collaboration with firms at the vanguard of this new wave of disruption, students receive hands-on experience in the communications field that pushes them to innovate and lead.

The New Normal

Mobile devices are rewiring daily life for teens and their parents. The New Normal: Parents, Teens, and Mobile Devices Around the World is a comparative global mapping project designed to advance cross-cultural exploration of family digital media engagement.