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International Communication, Master of Science

Mass Communication


The Master of Science in International Communication has enjoyed a respectable national standing since its inception. Our student body comes from a variety of disciplines, including architecture, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science and others, along with the traditional students, who move from undergraduate to graduate studies. They bring rich interdisciplinary perspectives and professional experience.

The unique focus of international relations, communication as diplomacy, and political economy of media makes this program attractive to those who want to apply communicative dimension to their professional field in an increasingly multi-sector global systems.

Our nationally diversified student body along with the international students adds intellectual vibrancy to this graduate program in International Communication. The teaching philosophy is rooted in advanced models of problem-solving such as design thinking, case studies, and other high impact educational practices. The program is designed to bridge high-level theoretical modeling of complex problems with real-world experience developing solutions in the communication and media space.

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Students with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline are encouraged to apply. Admission to the program is contingent upon an assessment of your ability to successfully pursue graduate study; ability is demonstrated by previous academic performance, letters of recommendation, and other factors that suggest academic potential and motivation.

You must provide

  • evidence of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, including official transcripts from each institution attended.
  • two letters of recommendation from instructors/professors (preferred) or other qualified individuals.

International students from non-English speaking countries are required to have a minimum score of 90 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students with a TOEFL score below 90 are accepted conditionally and are required to take English remediation classes.

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The M.S. degree in International Communication focuses on the role the media and communications field plays in international relations.

Focus on Theory and Praxis
The curriculum, grounded in both humanities and social sciences, encompasses a broad range of theoretical approaches to give you tools for analytical, strategic, and visionary thinking about the development of international communication structures and the evolving global communication and information order. In addition, you engage in empirical and practical analyses of cases in global media governance, public relations and marketing, advocacy and activism, public policy and diplomacy, as well as human rights.


The degree consists of total 36 credits that full-time students usually complete in four semesters.

Required Courses (18 credits)

  1. Theories and Processes of Communication
  2. Media and Communication Research Methods
  3. Media, Culture and Society
  4. International Communication
  5. International Communication and Global development
  6. Media, Communication and Public Policy

Electives  - 18 credits

  1. Communication and New Media: Building Communities (online course)
  2. International Public Relations
  3. International Advertising
  4. Crisis Communication
  5. Political Communication
  6. Media Governance
  7. Media, Communication and Human Rights
  8. Global Feminism and Media
  9. Media, Communication and Public Diplomacy
  10. Special Topics: Media Strategies and the Politics of Peacebuilding
  11. Special Topics: Transnational Advocacy Campaigns
  12. Thesis I
  13. Thesis II
  14. Internship I
  15. Internship II
  16. Independent Study 


    ICM 800 Theories and Processes of Communication
    This course is designed to give the students a working map of important theories in communication. It will take a close, critical look at some of the most important contemporary theories of human communication, emphasizing their practical applications for society and our everyday lives. The course addresses general issues concerning the nature of theory and communication, the relationship between theory and practice, the ways in which theories are constructed and have been broadly applied to human communication, and then considers specific theories about particular communicative activities and enterprises. These general themes will help us to take a critical perspective on the theories we study throughout the course. The course also takes up a series of theories through which we explore how the communication process produces information and meaning, selfhood, interpersonal relationships, social influence, and culture. The course has the additional pedagogic intention of contributing to the experience and training as students will be preparing for thesis work and scholarly investigation.

    ICM 801 International Communication
    This course will focus on ideological-humanistic, economic and political aspects of communication in selected European and developing countries. An emphasis will be on the impact it has had on the mass media and on information exchange, economics and national identity. It will also examine various aspects of world telecommunication and media systems from historical, political and legal points of view. The international communications networks are far from homogeneous; they are full of contradictions and they are subject to powerful social, political, and cultural forces. We will examine some of these issues as they affect international communication.

    ICM 802Media and Communication Research Methods
    Research in communication is a necessary tool in the search for answers. This course in mass media and communication research will investigate methods used in collecting and analyzing information and communication data, and study scientific methods of qualitative and quantitative research. The approach will be towards applied research. Students will study research processes, research approaches, data and statistical analysis, research applications, and become proficient in analyzing and reporting data. Students will learn to critically evaluate published research, design instruments for research and exercise them within the classroom set up.

    ICM 810 Media, Communication, and Public Policy
    This course will explore the role of media in influencing domestic and foreign policy. We will particularly examine the role of elite media in initiating and shaping public discourse and public policy. We will study the processes of public policy and how media mediate the outcomes of policy. We will closely examine the processes and theories of public opinion and persuasion.

    ICM 811 Media, Culture, and Society
    This course is an exploration of the role of media in popular culture and society. The media's role in reflecting society and, in turn, the role of society in shaping of media practice will be explored.

    ICM 812 International Communication and Global Development
    This course will explore, teach, and propose communication as a vehicle for promoting justice and human rights in a pluralistic society. The course will encompass a broad range of theoretical and historical studies of communication and media, their role in shaping and effecting public policy, and understanding development of global communication structures and world order; a particular focus will be paid to development media and the inter-relationship between communication and development, advocacy communication, communication as an instrument of integration, and to the issues of peace, war, and communication.

    ICM 820 Communication and New Media: Building Community
    This course will teach students to master the application of new and converging  media, and demonstrate through various class projects their proficiency in using them comfortably and effectively. This course will focus on the theories of a new media applications, and on the creative and developmental dimensions of new media and building community within various cultural contexts.

    ICM 821 International Public Relations
    An interdisciplinary approach will draw case studies from a range of study, including international public relations, integrated marketing communication (international advertising), international social marketing, development and participatory communication, public diplomacy and propaganda, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international responses to humanitarian crisis.

    ICM 822 International Advertising
    This course focuses on the basic principles of international marketing communication in the 21st century with an emphasis on global advertising. These principles will include global versus local creative strategies and executions, international media opportunities, and global research methods. The course does not provide a country-by-country analysis of the global marketplace. Given how quickly our world changes, this would be a futile effort. Rather, it equips the student with an understanding of the basic principles of global marketing and advertising, including the  differing cultural, economic, and political factors that have an impact on international marketing communications.

    ICM 830 Crisis Communication
    Crisis communication is an  advanced level of public relations course. In view of the fact that crises are becoming more and more frequent, there is a need to understand crisis communication from an academic and practitioner point-of­view. The purpose of this course is to develop a theoretical conceptualization of the process of crisis communication and an understanding of crisis communication practices. It focuses on the issues relevant to the planning, development and execution of crisis communications programs for businesses, governments, organizations and with stakeholders during a crisis. A particular emphasis will be placed on covering the advent of new media technology, the rise of consumer power, the growing development ofinternational public relations, and the need for an audience orientation to studying and practicing crisis communication.

    ICM 833 Political Communication
    This course reviews major areas of research in political communication, connecting this scholarly work to understand how political communication and various forms of media shape civic life, elections, and policy decisions, and what this means for the health of democratic institutions and decision-making. It will also study how citizens, journalists, and elected officials make sense of and use political messages. It will also examine how news, advertising, and entertainment media shape political perceptions, emotions, and behavior and what this means for effective communication strategy, how micro-targeting and “on the ground” recruitment strategies are either complementing or replacing traditional campaign activities and mobilization efforts, and how soft news and late night comedy along with blogs and social networking sites have shaped campaign strategy and news coverage; how citizens use this political information, and what it means for both campaign strategy but also civic life.

    ICM 834 Transnational Advocacy Campaigns
    This course will study the specific communication strategies that transnational activists have utilized to achieve such global policy change, and how these processes are today transforming global politics and norms.
    As the speed of globalization intensifies, global corporations are also using new and increasingly sophisticated strategies and technologies to market their products to local audiences. This course will therefore also consider how corporations are implementing integrated global communications campaigns tailored to regional and domestic audiences.
    Students will critically assess the current environment, analyze global campaigns implemented by international advocacy groups and corporations, and learn how to design and execute their own transnational advocacy campaigns.

    ICM 835   Media Governance
    This course is designed to give the students a thorough understanding of the concept, stakeholders in, and international practices of, media governance. A concept that used to refer to media and communication policies, as well as to self ‐regulation of media organizations, is in the digital era used   to discuss a variety of contested issues regarding media technologies, media and communication s businesses, and consumption practices. In addition, questions of governance are increasingly international and even global. Challenges such as privacy, intellectual property rights, cross--‐media ownership and freedom of expression no longer pertain to individual governments, but re--‐define business practices, challenge marketing and PR efforts, transform the nature of journalism, and impact everyday lives of citizens all around the world. In our increasingly mediated societies, media governance challenges are constantly being debated among stand between media industries, networks and service provides, journalists, policymakers, and the civil society. Hence, understanding media governance is essential to media professionals, especially to those seeking to work in international contexts.

    ICM 836 Global Feminism and Media
    An examination of the various ways feminism is defined and used in the construction of media representations of women.  Contemporary cultural theories of representation and tools for creating critical cultural analysis are reviewed with the focus not only on how women have been represented by others across cultures, but also on how women, in more recent years, have been choosing to influence the means of representation.

    ICM 837 Communication, Media, and Public Diplomacy
    In the mass media-centric world public diplomacy is gaining greater significance. In this course students will examine, and study very closely the role of transnational news in media diplomacy. We will study how media channels are used and the outcomes in matters of public diplomacy, and how this in turn affects the nation-state’s efforts in diplomacy. We will examine media as vehicles for public and cultural diplomacy, or soft power, in world of politics. We will also examine how media can be tools for development; how the line between state-diplomacy and public diplomacy is increasingly blurred. We will examine how media are increasingly shaping global affairs.

    ICM 838 Media, Communication and Human Rights
    This course will provide a thorough background for understanding how “human rights” can be used as an objective conceptual framework regardless of one’s political or social persuasions, and closely examine the critical role in shaping the internationalization of human rights. The focus will be on the successful and unsuccessful combinations to provoke and sustain tangible respect for human rights.

    ICM 840 Special Topics in International Communication
    This course will address topical issues and will be organized in seminar form. Guest speakers with expertise in various areas of international communication may be invited to address the students.

    ICM 865 Independent Study
    In the last semester prior to graduation students may choose to do an independent study in consultation with the Director of the prgram, and under the supervision of the faculty.

    ICM 850 Thesis I and ICM 852 Thesis II – Students in the third semester may choose to do thesis (equivalent of 6 credits); however, it must be done sequentialy. Consult the Director of the program for details.

    ICM 860 Internship I and ICM 861 Internship II –Students in the third semester may opt to do internship upto 6 credits.

      1. Maintain a minimum overall average of 3.0.
      2. If you select the thesis option, consult the program director early in your studies.
      3. Pass the Comprehensive Examination.

      Global Approach to Education

      Engaged Conversation on Sustainable Development

      International Communication students from St. John’s and graduate students from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai explore sustainable issues on Divar Island in Goa, India.

      Digital Ecology and Mobilization of People

      St. John’s International Communication students explore Beijing and the Hainan Province in China