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2021 Applying to Graduate School in International Affairs

Temple University, Klein College of Media and Communication

Boutique Program Seeks Activists to Harness Media for Social Change

Individuals who have worked as social activists, on public information campaigns, or with community media are the ideal candidates for the MS in Communication for Development and Social Change at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication.

“What they have in common is curiosity about how to use the power of communications and media toward human rights, environmental issues, and gender equity,” says Professor Clemencia Rodríguez, who will become the program director next year. “This master’s program is about putting digital platforms and media in the hands of social movements.”

The boutique, interdisciplinary master’s program is specifically designed to train students to do communications for social change and economic development, by working with governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or local communities. It requires capstone field experience that can include internships, research projects, or participation in community development initiatives or media productions for social change.

“The statement of goals plays a very large part in admissions, so applicants should be sure to provide a strong, purposeful statement that frames why they want to pursue this degree and why they are a good candidate for an incoming cohort.” –Clemencia Rodríguez, incoming Program Director, MS in Communication for Development and Social Change, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University

Elements of a successful application to the program include:

• Work or volunteer experience with media, communications, or social media used for social change and economic development. One example is using a digital platform to energize a cause such as a labor movement or LGBTQ+ group and to spread its message. Another example is working with the government of a low-income country to design a campaign to persuade residents to use mosquito netting over their beds to avoid malaria. A third example is training people not typically featured in mainstream media—such as indigenous women or transgender individuals—in video production, so they can express themselves in their own terms.

• A personal statement that demonstrates that something in the applicant’s life experience connects them with the power of media to improve the world.


Students Apply Studies in Capstone Field Experiences
At the end of the program, each student completes a summer field experience, then writes a paper about it. They can either design an initiative or participate in an ongoing one. Recent capstone projects include a student from Nigeria who worked with a radio station in Barranquilla, Colombia, that is committing to empowering the local Afro-Colombian community, and a U.S. student who worked for a Philadelphia-based after-school arts collective for queer youth of color.

Graduate Degree Program Options
• MS in Communication for Development and Social Change

Deadlines for Fall 2022
Application and Financial Aid/Scholarships:
March 1, 2022

Standardized Exam Scores: Applicants who have not already taken the GRE are encouraged to submit a writing sample instead. If the GRE is provided, scores at or above the 65th percentile are expected. Applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from an institution where the language of instruction was not English (except those who afterward earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution) must report scores for a standardized test of English.

Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into an applicant’s potential for professional achievement and aptitude for graduate study.

Application Checklist: https://www.temple.edu/academics/degree-programs/communication-for-development-and-social-change-ms-co-cdsc-ms