About the Globalization and Development Communication Master of Science Program

Drawing from a long history and vast body of theory and research on the practice of development communication, this program is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century in areas such as public health, peace and conflict, food security, human rights, gender equality, and sustainability. This Master of Science program provides a rigorous, forward-thinking curriculum grounded in the promotion of responsible and ethical change in these and related areas.

The Master of Science in Globalization and Development Communication will be offered beginning fall 2014.

Why study Globalization and Development Communication?

© UNESCO

There is an urgent need for development communication experts–specialists in communicating within local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and in civil society organizations. Many specific skills are required but the key, and common, goal is practically-oriented social and behavioral change. Trying to change knowledge and attitudes is not enough to successfully implement development projects. This has   been learned over the last fifty years from many unsuccessful development initiatives. It is now understood that well-conceived development projects—ones that accomplish meaningful development objectives for social, political, or economic change—require insight into the influence of culture on the way ideas and information circulate through communication channels and are comprehended by distinct audiences. It is necessary to understand the complex relationships between information dissemination, reception, and cultural as well as political contexts. Based on this understanding, development communication specialists can help raise public understanding, build consensus, and generate change by effectively using the range of communication alternatives available, whether through facilitating processes of dialogue among stakeholders or through media campaigns.

Despite the central place of development communication in governmental (UNESCO, World Bank, USAID, CIDA, IDRC, DANIDA) and non-governmental institutions (Save the Children, Development Alternatives, IIED), and despite the urgent need for qualified and well-prepared development communication practitioners, only a few places provide education and training required to be an effective communicator in development settings. Temple University is one of those places.

We anticipate that the program will be highly attractive to the following people:

  • Early to mid-career practitioners of communication and development in the U.S. and abroad who wish to earn a graduate degree while deepening their knowledge of the field.
  • Students in the U.S. with undergraduate degrees in disciplines such as communication, journalism, media studies, political science, geography, anthropology, sociology, and public health, who wish to move into the field of development communication by earning a graduate degree.
  • Students from around the world, particularly in areas with developing regions, such as Africa, Latin America, and Asia, where development communication is an ongoing practice but where qualified practitioners are scarce.
  • Returning veterans and Peace Corp volunteers who are seeking to further develop their experience by earning a graduate degree in development communication.