M.A. in Communication, Culture & Technology


Program Description

Communication, Culture, and Technology is an interdisciplinary Master of Arts Program focusing on challenges posed by new technologies in a range of fields, including research, government, politics, arts, media, communication, business, health, and medicine.

By cutting across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, students explore fresh solutions to complex problems. CCTers are prepared to bring innovative thinking and multiple conceptual tools to leadership roles in an ever-expanding information society.

At CCT, students cut across institutional and disciplinary boundaries to explore how we use media and technology to communicate from social, economic, political, and cultural perspectives. Faculty and students apply theory to practice in real-world settings, keeping pace with a rapidly growing information society and engaging in digital innovation.

Backgrounds, skill sets, and academic focuses are diverse here: economists study theories of culture and communication, artists build robots, and journalists analyze the future of big data. CCT’s academic requirements are organized for expansive and self-driven learning, allowing students to define the M.A. degree by their own passions and intellectual purpose.

In building their individualized curricula, students choose among CCT courses from different thematic “clusters”, and may also consider courses offered outside of CCT. Check out the many options CCTers have to earn their degree credits.

CCT Learning Goals

The CCT Program grounds itself in structured and innovative learning goals, while also engaging vast disciplines and approaches.

  • Technology
    CCT students gain a grounding in the history and mechanics of technology. They assemble heterogeneous methods and theories to look into the development of technologies and examine how they are shaping our world. Students acquire practical knowledge of information and communication technologies so that they can work in technology-related fields.

    Students are required to take CCTP 506: Foundations of Technology. The course assesses their understanding of past, present and emerging technologies, and their success in applying this knowledge in real-world contexts.
  • Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving
    Technology interacts with communication and culture in complex ways that go beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines. CCT students learn to ask questions and address problems related to communications and technology that integrate disciplinary traditions, theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and styles of argument.

    Students are required to take CCTP 505: Introduction to Communication, Culture, and Technology. Students demonstrate growth in problem-solving by using concepts from multiple disciplines in the design of individual and group research projects. They make oral, written, multimedia and conference-style presentations. They choose material appropriate to interdisciplinary exploration, compare and contrast concepts, and make arguments incorporating insights from across fields.
  • Theory to Practice
    Students are challenged to study theoretical frameworks and apply them to puzzles in the way that new technologies interact with communication and culture. They move fluidly between theoretical models and real-world outcomes to use theory and evidence in problem-solving.

    Students must demonstrate competence in moving between theory and practice as they complete their individual and group projects. They use evidence to expose limits and explore new opportunities for the development of theories. The student journal gnovis regularly publishes this work.
  • Methodology
    Students learn to employ methods conducive to studying established and emerging communication technologies. They have the opportunity to learn a variety of quantitative and qualitative approaches that are applicable across disciplines. These include statistical methods, survey research, content analysis, interview techniques, focus groups, participant observation, archival research, social network analysis, case studies, discourse analysis, hermeneutics, semiotics, media sociology techniques, digital story-telling, ethnography, experimental design, new/digital media studies techniques, and more. They break new ground by exploring and developing new methodologies for analyzing communications phenomena that make use of digital technologies.

    Students are required to pass at least one methodology course that is consistent with their plan of study. Learning in methods is demonstrated by the ability to choose methods appropriate to a research problem and to conduct research according to the norms and practices of the particular methodological tradition.
  • Thematic Foci
    Students develop individual academic programs to provide structure for their interdisciplinary investigation of the effects of technology. They organize their studies around a thematic focus, or "cluster": technology and society; technology, information, and innovation policy; technology, business, and the economy; cultural studies; globalization studies; media and politics; or art, media, and representation. Students learn about the theories, methods, and substance associated with particular areas of concentration, always drawing on multiple disciplines.

    Students are assessed in individual courses based on the relevant criteria for the subject matter as well as their ability to draw cross-disciplinary inferences. Some students write an extended thesis concentrating on a specific topic; the thesis is evaluated on the importance of its scholarly contribution, the integrity of the research, its creative acumen, and its interdisciplinary perspective. Other students take CCTP 850: Digital Presence and Strategic Persuasion, where they develop a digital portfolio. They organize what they have learned from their CCT courses, projects, and internships in light of personal goals and the needs of industries they seek to enter; they are assessed on the connections they show between specific academic and professional objectives.

CCT M.A. Requirements

Students must complete 39 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for the Master of Arts degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology. In completing 39 credits, CCT students must:

  • Complete the core required course, CCTP-505, in the first Fall term.
  • Complete the core required course, CCTP-506, in the first Spring term.
  • Complete at least one core required courses in research methods, preferably in the first year.
  • Complete one of two-degree options, "thesis" or "coursework". See below for more details.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment at 9 credits minimum per semester. Full-time enrollment is required of international students and highly encouraged for all students. To complete 39 credits in two years, students might choose to take 12 credits in one semester or 3 credits in the summer term. Part-time students take 6 credits per semester and have three years to complete the 39 credits.

Degree Options: Thesis or Coursework

To reach 39 credits, students may choose between an all-coursework option and a coursework-plus-thesis option.

Students opting to do a master's thesis must:

  • Complete 33 credits of coursework and 6 credits of Thesis Colloquium.
  • Earn a grade of A-minus or above in at least one research methods course.
  • Receive approval from CCT Faculty of your master's thesis proposal. Deadlines for submitting proposals are October 31 to complete the thesis in the spring semester, and March 31 to complete the thesis in the fall semester.

Example of Thesis Option

Semester 1

  • 505 (Fall) or 506 (Spring): 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 2

  • 505 (Fall) or 506 (Spring): 3 credits
  • Research Methods: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 3

  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 4

  • Thesis: 6 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Example of Coursework Option

Semester 1

  • 505 (Fall) or 506 (Spring): 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 2

  • 505 (Fall) or 506 (Spring): 3 credits
  • Research Methods: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 3

  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Semester 4

  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits
  • Elective: 3 credits

Internships and Independent Study

Besides classes, CCT students may explore additional ways to earn credits toward their degree.


If the internship meets CCT Learning Goals, the student may earn academic credit by taking the course, CCTP-533: CCT Internship. Students should consult with the Director of Academic Programs.

Independent Study

Students may consider doing an independent study if they have a specific research need that cannot be fulfilled in a regularly scheduled course. Once they have found a professor to supervise the project, students make a formal request to the Director of Academic Programs.


CCT produces creative, forward-thinking and technologically-minded graduates who go on to contribute innovative leadership in the professions of their choice.

Because each CCTer builds an individual curriculum out of a wide array of electives, the careers that graduates pursue vary according to each person’s goals. Our alumni take their degree into diverse fields: consulting, non-profit management, public administration, media relations, information sciences, product design, education, journalism, among many others. Some graduates continue on to top Ph.D. programs and careers in academia.

Despite their differences, all CCTers offer these aptitudes that are high-demand qualities in a rapidly changing world:

  • applying creative thinking, critical empathy and analytical focus to solving problems.
  • communicating easily with people who don’t share jargon or assumptions.
  • providing sound perspectives on how technology impacts social behavior.

These are skills that work wherever CCTers choose to apply them, giving them the ability to adapt and adjust to career opportunities in ways that suit them. Rather than training for one established industry, our students are preparing for leadership roles in new burgeoning fields.

Post-CCT Careers

Our alumni not only make their mark in a wide range of fields but with the skills they developed at CCT, they are able to continue growing and exploring new paths. Here are just a few examples of positions held by CCT grads:

  • Field: Information Technology & Policy
    • Google+ at Alphabet, User Experience Researcher
    • Microsoft, Senior Project Manager
    • Q-Industries, Design Technologist
  • Field: Arts, Entertainment & Design
    • National Gallery of Art, Chief of Web and New Media
    • NPR, Research, and Data Marketing Specialist
    • The Smithsonian Institution, Curator

Field: Research, Policy & Education

  • The Aspen Institute, Project Manager
  • Pew Research Center, Senior Researcher
  • U.S. Department of State, Senior New Media Advisor

Field: International Affairs, NGOs & Development

  • Inter-American Development Bank, Senior Analyst
  • The World Bank Group, Global Operations Officer
  • Field: Journalism & Media
    • CNN, Senior Digital Political Producer
    • NPR, Talk of the Nation, Associate Producer
    • PBS, Associate Director
    • WashingtonPost.com, News Designer
  • Field: Communications & Consulting
    • Booz Allen Hamilton, Director of Brand
    • CHIEF marketing agency, Senior Strategist
    • Capital One, Senior Digital Brand Associate
    • Excella Consulting, Technology Consultant

How to Apply:

  1. Complete an Apply Yourself online application.
    a. Provide email addresses of three recommenders.
    b. Upload these documents:
    Statement of Purpose
    Resume or CV
    Academic Writing Sample
    CCT Supplementary Form
    c. Pay the application fee.
  2. Make arrangements for these documents to be sent to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:
    a. University transcripts
    b. GRE test scores
    c. TOEFL/IELTS test scores
  3. Create and submit a video statement (optional) to supplement your application.
Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Georgetown is a major international research university with nine schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly ranked academic programs. Today the university has more than 12,000 undergraduate and ... Read More

Georgetown is a major international research university with nine schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly ranked academic programs. Today the university has more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who take classes at five locations. Georgetown has a large and diverse workforce that employs more than 5,000 faculty and staff members. Georgetown continues to move forward as one of the world’s leading universities, building upon its distinctive history, unique values and commitment to justice and the common good. Read less