Create, Shape, and Manage Global Media

Please note: The MA in Global Media program is accepting applications for the spring 2019 semester. Beginning in January 2019, no new applications will be accepted while the program undergoes review.

For more information about other SOC degree programs that can help you achieve your academic and professional goals, contact

The Global Media program will enable you to combine your passion for international issues that change our world with cutting-edge media production skills to make a global impact.

Whether the great pyramids of Giza have inspired you to preserve ancient heritages, or a PR internship in Beijing showed you the power of global trends, or developed a love for culture while teaching in a small village in coastal Spain, the MA in Global Media could be the academic passport you need to pursue your global vision.

If you're seeking to build the knowledge and skills necessary to have global impact through shaping communication and media at the international, inter-organizational, and interpersonal levels, you'll find what you're looking for in our Master of Arts in Global Media.

A partnership between the School of Communication and the School of International Service, this unique, interdisciplinary degree (formerly known as the MA in International Media) integrates the study of global communication theory, research methods, and media production skills, equipping you to lead teams of communication practitioners in managing information and relations across global media platforms.

Our students take both conceptual and applied courses concurrently in the Schools of Communication and International Service. The broad-based course of study will hone your skills over a range of media and introduce you to filmmaking, news writing, digital imaging, web design, and photography.

Drawing on the research and professional expertise of faculty from the two separate schools, the program will give you a deep understanding of the economic, cultural, and geopolitical dimensions of global media environment. You'll graduate with the professional knowledge and ethical groundings to be an international journalist, media producer, visual media maker, campaign manager, or international communication strategist.

Demonstrate Your Commitment and Interest

You may apply either through the School of Communication or the School of International Service. Applications are reviewed jointly by both schools, and both need to agree on student admission.

The School of Communications operates on a rolling admissions basis for our graduate programs. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until programs reach capacity.

While previous academic or professional work in this field is not required, some background knowledge of communication studies, professional experience in media or journalism, or international studies or work experience is recommended. Your essay on your desire to and reasons for pursuing graduate study in global media will be essential in demonstrating your serious commitment to a career in this field, along with the other required application materials.

The Global Media program draws students who bring an international background and perspective. In your essay, we would like to hear about your global vision or passion. What impact do you wish to make on our world? How does learning more about media will help in your global journey?

The Global Media master's program is full-time, and students are generally expected to complete the 39-credit-hour program within 24 months.

Leaders in Global Media

School of Communication faculty are leaders in exploring how global media shapes the way we think and act today. The Global Media program director, Dr. R.S. Zaharna, is an internationally recognized scholar in public diplomacy and was recently named the Distinguished Scholar for 2018 by the International Communication section of the International Studies Association.

The faculty teaching in the Global Media program all bring an international background and perspective to their work. They are international journalists, award-winning media producers, and communication strategists and researchers who have an eye for culture. Their fields of focus encompass intercultural strategic and corporate communication; public diplomacy and global public relations; digital media activism; global media ethics and persuasion; and social learning and game design, among many other areas. Specific research areas have included the social and political implications of Internet technical architecture and governance; issues of copyright and fair use; how to advance social change through games; youth engagement with digital media; the impact of new media technologies on advocacy and activism; and the intersection of culture, law, and technology.

Their strong combination of communication theory and real-world experience, as well as their excellence in teaching and dedication to mentorship, will give you the foundation, skills, and knowledge to launch the next phase of your career as a global media communicator and innovator.

Financing Your Education

The MA in Global Media is a 39 credit program. To estimate the cost of tuition, please see the current cost per credit hour for graduate students.

The School of Communication offers graduate students both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Merit awards, named scholarships, and fellowships are administered by the SOC Graduate Admissions Office, while need-based awards are administered by the American University Office of Financial Aid. Several prestigious graduate fellowships are also available for students in the Political Communication program. Additional financial support is available for veterans.

All merit awards are based on academic merit and professional experience, specifically undergraduate grades and leadership activities as well as career-related accomplishments. Merit awards are valid for one year-they vary in amount, are typically divided evenly between the fall and spring semesters, and are not typically renewable.

Some merit awards come in the form of graduate assistantships, which consist of graduate tuition remission, a stipend, or both. Tuition remission will vary in the number of credits offered. If you are offered a stipend, you must be employed as a graduate assistant for a School of Communication faculty member for 10 hours per week.


The School of Communication offers prestigious merit-based fellowships in partnership with leading Washington, DC-based organizations. These fellowships provide varying amounts of tuition remission and stipend. Separate applications are required. The following fellows are available to Global Media master's candidates:

  • The Public Diplomacy Council (PDC) is a non-profit organization committed to fostering greater public recognition of public diplomacy in the conduct of foreign affairs. PDC serves as a resource and advocate for the teaching, training, and development of public diplomacy as an academic discipline, while promoting the importance of the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Its members believe that understanding, informing, and influencing foreign publics and dialogue between Americans and United States's institutions and their counterparts abroad are vital to the national interest and core elements of the 21st-century American diplomacy. PDC seeks graduate fellows who will promote the council's core mission, support ongoing activities, and develop individual learning and research objectives that will enhance their academic program at the School of Communication.
  • Research fellowships at academic centers within the School of Communication and throughout the university may also be available.
Hunter Martin of Perry visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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Global Media Student Gets an Insider's Look at Journalism in China

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Over 700 students have benefited from our alumni mentoring program since 2002.

Customizing programs for Latin American audiences

We are responsible for making our programs versioned for other countries.

I'm responsible for the coordination and delivery of Discovery television programs that are versioned to air across Latin America. I'm the middle man between the international media logistics team and other teams that localize the material by customizing language and content for Latin American audiences. I'm very grateful for my experience at SIS because the professors were willing to share their real-world expertise and provide training that would otherwise takes many years to learn on the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

The MA in Global Media is offered jointly by the School of Communication and the School of International Service. You may apply through either school—applications are reviewed jointly by both schools, and both need to agree on student admission.

Students generally complete more of their electives in their home school (the school through which they apply) and they receive their diplomas from their home school, but the core requirements for the program are identical in either case. You will take courses in both schools, which will help you develop a deep understanding of the economic, cultural, and geopolitical roles of global communication and how global media operates.

The School of Communication operates on a rolling admissions basis for our graduate programs. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until programs reach capacity.

Our new Global Media master's is a restructuring of our former MA in International Media. The new program better aligns with the trends in the field, capitalizing on expanded resources and new course offerings. At the same time, the curriculum has been streamlined from 45 credits to 39 credits. 

The redesigned degree takes into account global reach, audiences, and perspectives to take advantage of new communication technologies and platforms being used by producers and consumers of global media today. The program better responds to the needs and expectations of students with international backgrounds or those with a desire to work internationally.

The School of Communication has a distinct advantage over comparable institutions in the many experiential learning opportunities offered to students. Internships are a way of life here. Graduate students can receive course credit for one internship, but most students have two or three, thanks to faculty and alumni who share their professional contacts. 

We have an active and effective alumni mentoring program that will help you build your professional connections and networks. Through our Dean's Internships, we work with world-class partners to connect select, highly-qualified students with meaningful real-world assignments that create future pathways to jobs. 

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