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Where international affairs meets media

The Master of Arts (MA) in Global Media offers students a unique opportunity to pursue advanced study in international affairs while simultaneously building media production skills. Jointly offered by the School of International Service and the School of Communication, the GM program provides students the theoretical and practical tools to master strategic communication and media production techniques grounded in the cultural and geopolitical dimensions of the global media environment. Students also learn writing skills over a broad range of media and take production classes in filmmaking, newswriting, digital imaging, web design, photography, game design, and strategic communication. Students build the intercultural communication skills, knowledge, and ethical groundings to be professionally competent international journalists, NGO project managers, global media producers, visual media makers, and international communication strategists.

The Global Media (GM) degree requires 39 credit hours of graduate coursework, including a capstone, that can be completed in two years (full-time) or up to six years (part-time). Global Media's innovative curriculum prepares students to work in strategic communication, media production, and program management for organizations in the US and across the globe. This rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum is jointly taught in both the School of International Service and the School of Communication, which means that students graduate with a specialized skills needed to create and shape international media.

Explore degree flexibility options

Full degree and admission requirements

As top scholar-practitioners, Global Media faculty understand the extraordinary role that media plays in international affairs. Because the GM faculty includes professors from two distinct schools within American University, students have access to a wide range of experts across the international affairs and communications fields. GM faculty don’t just impart academic theories to students; instead, they encourage students to understand and employ media as a means for bettering the world. Faculty work closely with students to advance research and promote professional development through publications, professional associations, and skills-based course work.

Meet the GM faculty

Global Media offers an MA program located in one of the world’s leading centers of globally-focused media production and interaction.

Consistently ranked as one of the best cities for job seekers, Washington, DC, offers students unique internships, mentoring, and networking opportunities with a wide-range of individuals and organizations. This unparalleled access allows students to put their skillsets to use from the moment they arrive at SIS.

Global Media students choose to enter the program either through the School of International Service or the School of Communication. Regardless of what “home school” a student chooses, they are part of a single cohort comprised of students from both schools. Members of each Global Media cohort take classes together and collaborate throughout the duration of their degree.

One program, two pathways 

Internship Highlights

  • Vox.com
  • The Atlantic
  • The Washington Post
  • Public Diplomacy Council
  • C-SPAN
  • NPR

Global solidarity means we’re all responsible, no matter where we live.

I manage digital media and communications for Catholic Relief Services’ Rice Bowl initiative. This program reaches nearly 14,000 faith communities across the country and aims to educate folks on global solidarity, global poverty, and global injustices. I share empowering stories of people whom CRS works with around the world in an effort to move Catholics and others in the US to reflection and action in ways that news stories or statistics often do not. By sharing these stories, I help Catholics across the US realize that their faith calls them to engage in social justice globally.

I wanted to take a deeper dive into international communities.

POLITICO Pro gives policy professionals detailed, wonky information about policies that lawmakers are working on. The web production team provides editorial support to our reporters and editors. This involves managing the POLITICO Pro website, in addition to writing, editing, and publishing content. My degree has absolutely helped build my career. I especially like the hybrid nature of this degree. As a student, I learned advanced media production skills in my SOC courses and further developed my analytical skills and understanding of international affairs in my SIS courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you should apply to the program depends on what semester you want to start taking classes in and whether you are a domestic or international student.

Application deadlines for an MA in Global Media are as follows:

  • Fall semester (all applicants): January 15
  • Spring semester (domestic applicants): October 1
  • Spring semester (international applicants): September 15

View required application materials

Missed a deadline but still interested in applying? Email the SIS Graduate Admissions office.

Global Media graduates develop a deep understanding of communication platforms, global economic and political issues, and technical writing and production skills. GM prepares students for diverse careers as journalists, media producers, visual media makers, campaign managers, and communication strategists around the globe.

Recent graduates have gone on to careers at organizations including the US State Department, StoryCorps, Al Jazeera, CNN, and the Bosch Foundation.

Looking for more information or help? SIS has a dedicated career development center to assist current students and alumni.

The MA in Global Media is offered jointly by the School of International Service (SIS) and the School of Communication (SOC). Students apply to either SIS or SOC; applications are reviewed jointly by SIS and SOC, with both schools agreeing on student admission.

Students should apply to the school they want to be their "home school" for the duration of the degree. Students follow the Global Media course requirements for their home school and will receive their diploma from that school.

Both SIS and SOC students have the same required core and professional courses totaling 15 credit hours, but will take different research methods, capstone, and concentration courses based on their home school. SIS students choose between three different capstone options during their final year and take 9 credits of concentration courses in SIS and 6 credits of concentration courses in SOC. Alternatively, SOC students complete a capstone seminar during their final year and take 9 credits of concentration courses in SOC and 6 credits of concentration courses in SIS.

The School of International Service offers merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and fellowships at the time of admission. SIS also has partnerships with a number of organizations like the Peace Corps and Pickering Fellowship that provide qualified individuals with funding.

Financial aid information for prospective students

Need-based aid is available through AU Central Office and generally takes the form of a federal low-interest loan package.

Federal loan and work study information for graduate students

Still have questions? Send us an email at icsis@american.edu