Master of Arts in the Field of Global Communication

Offered jointly by GW's Elliott School of International Affairs and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA), the master of arts in the field of global communication degree program combines the Elliott School's academic excellence in international affairs with SMPA's strengths as a school of communication and journalism. The graduate program trains students to understand the complex global information environment; its implications for governance, security, and business; and how to communicate effectively to global audiences.

A core curriculum focuses on communication, international politics, international economics, and research methods. Required skills courses cover topics such as developing communication strategies, cross-cultural communication, public speaking, and editing. Students also choose one of twelve specializations to build expertise on a major world region or global issue. In the final year, a capstone course tests students' ability to address a real-world problem using the skills and knowledge acquired during their course of study. The rigorous academic program prepares students both intellectually and professionally for exciting careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field, with introductory macro- and microeconomics and at least two years of a modern foreign language

The program requires 40 credits including: 

15 credits in core courses
9 credits in specialization
3 credits in skills courses
9 credits in electives
4 credits in capstone course sequence
Foreign language proficiency

All Elliott School master's degree students (except MIPP students) are required to complete the capstone. Those students who wish to complete a thesis must do so in addition to the capstone requirement. Students pursuing a thesis need a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and approval from the faculty member they wish to serve as their thesis director. Thesis students also need to complete at least one research methods course. Thesis credits will be counted as elective or specialization credits with Program Director approval.

Core Courses

15 credits in core courses

SMPA 6210Media and Foreign Policy
SMPA 6241Research Design
IAFF 6101International Affairs Cornerstone
ECON 6280Survey of International Economics
or ECON 6250 Survey of Economic Development
One of the following:
SMPA 6202Media Effects, Public Opinion, and Persuasion
SMPA 6204Strategic Political Communication
HIST 6030History and Its Uses in International Affairs

Global Issues Specializations

9 credits in specialization     

Specialization determined in consultation with director within either the global issues specialization or the regional focus specialization, all nine credits must taken in one subtopic; the exception is the international development (see below). The following course lists are meant as suggestions only and are not exhaustive.

Communication and Information Technology in International Affairs Specialization

Required
Nine credits from the following:
ECON 6255Economics of Technological Change
IAFF 6142Technology Creation/Diffusion
IAFF 6151Environmental Policy
IAFF 6153Science, Technology, and National Security
IAFF 6158Special Topics in International Science and Technology Policy
IAFF 6501Quant Analysis Int'l Aff Prac
LAW 6412Communications Law
LAW 6414Develpmnt in Telecomm Law
PPPA 6018Public Policy, Governance, and the Global Market
PSPR 6201Strategic Public Relations: Principles and Practice
PSPR 6204Media Relations in a Digital World
PSPR 6208Integrated Marketing Communications
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Information, Media and National Security)
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Changing Media Technology)
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (International Communication)
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Electronic Media Policy)
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Public Affairs and Government Information)

Conflict and Conflict Resolution Specialization

Required
Nine credits from the following:
ANTH 6507Nationalism and Ethnicity
GEOG 6224Seminar: Political Geography
HIST 6822Nationalism in the Middle East
IAFF 6118Special Topics in International Affairs (Ethics and International Politics)
IAFF 6118Special Topics in International Affairs (Nation Building: Theory and Practice)
IAFF 6118Special Topics in International Affairs (Religion and International Affairs)
IAFF 6118Special Topics in International Affairs (Reinventing the United Nations)
IAFF 6118Special Topics in International Affairs (Theory and Practice of International Negotiations)
IAFF 6186Special Topics in Security Policy Studies (Food, Globalization, and Conflict)
IAFF 6186Special Topics in Security Policy Studies (Military and Post-Conflict Intervention)
IAFF 6186Special Topics in Security Policy Studies (Responses to Terrorism)
IAFF 6186Special Topics in Security Policy Studies (War to Peace Transition)
MGT 6215Conflict Management and Negotiations
PPSY 6103Political Violence and Terrorism
PSC 6442Politics and Practice of International Institutions
PSC 6444Politics of International Law
PSC 6349International Security Politics
PSC 6351Civil-Military Relations
PSC 6476The Arab-Israeli Conflict
PSC 8388Selected Topics in Comparative Politics (Nationalism in Former Soviet Republics)
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Race, Media and Politics)

Global Gender Policy Specialization

Required
Nine credits from the following:
ANTH 6501Gender and Sexuality
IAFF 2190WSpecial Topics
IAFF 3183Special Topics in Development Policy (Human Trafficking)
IAFF 6102Global Gender Policy
IAFF 6122Development Policy and Practice
IAFF 6136Gender and Development
PHIL 6238Feminist Ethics and Policy Implications
PSYC 8275Women and Health
SMPA 6205Media, Development, and Globalization
SOC 6265Women, Welfare, and Poverty
SOC 6268Race, Gender, and Class
SOC 6271Gender and Society
SOC 6273The Sex Industry
WSTU 6225
WSTU 6230
WSTU 6240
WSTU 6257
WSTU 6265
WSTU 6266
WSTU 6268
WSTU 8275

Global Health Specialization

Required
Nine credits from the following:
ANTH 6302Issues in Development
ANTH 6505Medical Anthropology
ANTH 6591Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
ECON 6248Health Economics
GEOG 6223Seminar: Population and Health
PUBH 6430Theories for Global Health Communication Interventions
PUBH 6435Global Health Program Development and Implementation
PUBH 6437Global Health Program Evaluation
PUBH 6442Comparative Global Health Systems
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing

International Development Specialization

Required
Nine credits from among any combination of the following subtopics:
Anthropology
ANTH 6301The Anthropology of Development
ANTH 6302Issues in Development
ANTH 6331Research Methods in Development Anthropology
ANTH 6391Anthropology and Contemporary Problems
ANTH 6505Medical Anthropology
ANTH 6507Nationalism and Ethnicity
ANTH 6591Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
ECON 6291Methods of Demographic Analysis
GEOG 6291Methods of Demographic Analysis
STAT 6291Methods of Demographic Analysis
PPPA 6006Policy Analysis
PPPA 6002Research Methods and Applied Statistics
PPPA 6016Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation
PSPR 6204Media Relations in a Digital World
PSPR 6208Integrated Marketing Communications
SOC 6230Sociological Research Methods
SOC 6232Qualitative Methodology: Doing Field Research
Environment
EMSE 6200Policy Factors in Environmental and Energy Management
IAFF 6151Environmental Policy
GEOG 6222Seminar: Resources and the Environment
GEOG 6223Seminar: Population and Health
GEOG 6230Seminar: Environmental Issues in Development
GEOG 6250Geographical Perspectives on Development
PPPA 6066U.S. Environmental Policy
PHIL 6281Environmental Philosophy and Policy
Humanitarian Assistance
EMSE 6305Crisis and Emergency Management
EMSE 6320International Disaster Management
GEOG 6224Seminar: Political Geography
PUBH 6430Theories for Global Health Communication Interventions
PUBH 6442Comparative Global Health Systems
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing
International Development Management
IBUS 6402Managing in Developing Countries
PPPA 6025Ethics and Public Values
PPPA 6057International Development Administration
PPPA 6058International Development NGO Management
PPPA 6059International Development Management Processes and Tools
PPPA 6016Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation
PPPA 6018Public Policy, Governance, and the Global Market
SMPA 6250Topics in Media Processes and Institutions (Media in the Developing World)
International Education
EDUC 6100Experimental Courses (Technology and Development in International Education)
EDUC 6601International and Comparative Education
EDUC 6602Regional Studies in International Education
EDUC 6610Programs and Policies in International Education
EDUC 6620Strategies and Analysis in International Education
EDUC 6640Selected Topics in International Education
EDUC 6650Education and National Development
Global Health
ANTH 6505Medical Anthropology
PUBH 6430Theories for Global Health Communication Interventions
PUBH 6442Comparative Global Health Systems
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing
Political Economy
ECON 6250Survey of Economic Development
ECON 6269Economy of China I
ECON 6285Economic Development of Latin America
ECON 6295Special Topics (Industrial and Technology Policy in Developing Countries)
IBUS 6404New Global Competitive Framework
IBUS 6403International Business Negotiations
PSC 6439International Political Economy
PSC 6442Politics and Practice of International Institutions
PSC 8388Selected Topics in Comparative Politics (Politics of Development)
PSPR 6208Integrated Marketing Communications
Women and Development
ANTH 6501Gender and Sexuality
GEOG 6223Seminar: Population and Health
SOC 6273The Sex Industry
WSTU 6230
WSTU 6270 (Global/Domestic Labor Studies)
WSTU 6270 (Global Islamic Feminisms)
WSTU 6270 (Women and Entrepreneurial Leadership)
WSTU 6270 (Women, Development, and Rights)

International Economic Affairs Specialization

Required
Nine credits from the following:
ECON 6250Survey of Economic Development
ECON 6255Economics of Technological Change
ECON 6269Economy of China I
ECON 6271Economy of Japan
ECON 6285Economic Development of Latin America
ECON 6295Special Topics (Economic Analysis of International Trade Law)
ECON 6295Special Topics (International Economic Integration)
ECON 6295Special Topics (Industrial and Technology Policy in Developing Countries)
ECON 6295Special Topics (Economics of the European Union)
ECON 6295Special Topics (Economics of U.S. Trade Policy)
ECON 6295Special Topics (Economics of U.S. Trade Law)
ECON 6295Special Topics (Emerging Market Financial Crises)
IAFF 6138Special Topics in International Development Studies (U.S Aid and Trade in the Developing World)
IAFF 6318Special Topics in Asian Studies (Political Economy of South Asia)
IAFF 6358Special Topics in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies (Political Economy of Latin America)
IBUS 6301International Business Finance
IBUS 6302Seminar: International Banking
IBUS 6303External Development Financing
IBUS 6306
IBUS 6404New Global Competitive Framework
IBUS 6405Legal Aspects of International and Multinational Business
PSC 6439International Political Economy

3 credits in skills courses

IAFF 6502Professional Skills I
or IAFF 6503 Professional Skills II

In one of the following topics:

Cross Cultural Communication
Developing Communication Strategies
Formal Briefing
Introduction to Editing 
Negotiating Skills
Op-Ed Writing Skills
Public Speaking 
Writing for International Affairs Professionals

9 credits in electives

Courses relating to international affairs or communication, with approval of the program director.

4 credits in capstone course sequence

IAFF 6898Capstone Workshop
IAFF 6899Capstone Course

Alternative solo capstone option

This alternative solo capstone for Global Communication students is completed over one semester through the development of a strategic communication plan for an external client. Students must take an additional professional skills course (total of 4 skills courses) to complete their degree through this option. Students enrolling in the solo capstone program must obtain written permission from the global communication program director during the semester before the intended capstone start date. In addition to this, an Registration Transaction Form (RTF) must be completed and approved by Academic Advising. If approved, these changes will automatically update your schedule in Gweb.

Foreign Language Proficiency

Completion of the M.A. in Global Communication requires a demonstrated oral and reading proficiency in a modern foreign language.

Fore more information on areas of specialization in global issues or regional fields, skills courses, or capstone options visit the program website