Drawing from a long history and extensive research on the practice of development communication, this program is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century in areas such as food security, human rights, gender equality, peace and conflict, public health, and sustainability. Our master’s degree program focuses on teaching students how to use digital and traditional communications to promote social change with an emphasis on communication for development, participatory research methods, and strategic communication.

There is a pressing need for development communication experts—specialists in communicating within local communities and governments, and nongovernmental and civil society organizations. Many specific skills are required, but the key and common goal is practically oriented social and behavioral change. Development communication specialists can help build consensus, raise public understanding and generate change by effectively using the range of communication alternatives available, whether through facilitating dialogue or producing media campaigns.

Temple University’s Master of Science in Communication for Development and Social Change is one of only two such master’s programs in the U.S. As a full-time student in Communication for Development and Social Change, you’ll have the opportunity to complete your studies within one year, get hands-on experience through fieldwork and put advanced communication knowledge into practice.

Launched in 2014, Temple’s Master of Science in Communication for Development and Social Change is one of only two such programs in the U.S.

Earn your master’s degree in only one year at one of the nation’s leading research institutions.

As a student, our renowned faculty will help you gain access to a diverse community of companies, organizations, and professionals to get you started in a career in the industry or on the path to an advanced degree.

Typical Careers

Whether you’re a mid-career practitioner who wants to enhance your professional experience, a college graduate who wants to move into the field of development communication, or a returning veteran or Peace Corps volunteer, the Communication for Development and Social Change program prepares you for success in a number of different fields. Both governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations urgently need qualified and well-prepared development communication practitioners, yet only a few places provide the education and training required to be an effective communicator in development settings. Temple University is one of them.

Communication for Development and Social Change Classes

Immerse yourself in a rigorous, forward-thinking curriculum while gaining knowledge and experience in the promotion of responsible and ethical change. The Master of Science in Communication for Development and Social Change prepares you to help meet the challenges of the 21st century: food security, gender equality, human rights, peace and conflict, public health, sustainability, and others.

In addition to 18 credits of core courses, you’ll have the opportunity to design a specialization using customized course selections of your choice. The list below includes possible specialization topics, but it isn’t definitive: Specialization topics and course composites are up to you.

  • Community Development
  • Conflict, Peace and Human Rights
  • Media Development and Advocacy
  • Policy, Planning and Governance
  • Public Health
  • Sustainability and the Environment

Additional courses in other disciplines may also be employed in student-designed specializations.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses

Year I Summer II

  • GDC 8001 Seminar in Media, Communication, and Development

Year I Fall

  • GDC 8003 Research Approaches in Communication, Development and Social Change
  • MSP 8254 Public Information Media Campaigns
  • MSP 8275 #ourmedia: Community, Activist, Citizens' and Radical Media
  • Specialization Course

Year I Spring

  • GDC 8002 Communication for Social Change Project Design
  • JRN 5213 Solutions Journalism
  • Two Specialization Courses


  • GDC 8089 Field Experience

Admission Requirements

Letters of Reference: Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who are able to provide insight into the applicant's potential for professional achievement and aptitude for graduate study.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals: Include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores: GRE: Required. Scores at or above the 65th percentile are expected.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 105
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 72

Resume: Current resume or curriculum vitae is required.

Writing Sample: Submission of writing or research samples is optional.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated October 8, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2020
1 year
1,051 USD
- Pennsylvania Resident per credit; 1,406 USD - Out-of-State Resident per credit
Mar 1, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Aug 2020
End Date
Aug 2021
Application deadline
Mar 1, 2020

Aug 2020

Application deadline
Mar 1, 2020
End Date
Aug 2021