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The MPD Program and Travel Opportunities

The USC Master of Public Diplomacy (MPD) Program focuses on the nexus of communication and foreign affairs, incorporating study of the role of state and non-state actors, global public opinion, and the media ecosystem in the public diplomacy process. It trains students for careers in international public service, business and non-governmental organizations, strategic communications, and cultural and media diplomacy. The MPD program offers courses in cultural diplomacy, international exchanges, soft and hard power, evaluation, city diplomacy, global security, regional studies, and the impact of race on US foreign policy and PD.  


In 2010 a legacy began. A group of 10 Master of Public Diplomacy (MPD) graduate students at the Annenberg School traveled to Dubai to attend a weeklong conference as a form of student exchange with the American University in Dubai. Since then, a delegation of USC Master of Public Diplomacy students has traveled abroad each year to research public diplomacy efforts of a chosen country. To date, the program’s international experience has included the UAE, Vietnam, India, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Cuba and most recently Türkiye.


This year a group of fifteen MPD students traveled to Istanbul, Ankara, and Cappadocia in Türkiye from March 11th-19th, to learn, analyze, and report on the public diplomacy landscape of the culturally and historically diverse country of Türkiye. The research focus of each individual group member rwas wide-ranging, including such themes as gastro-diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, digital diplomacy, exchange diplomacy, faith diplomacy, international broadcasting, and refugee policy. Students also explored how current United States-Turkish relations are shaped and how the two nations are working to boost international collaboration. Through meetings with government and non-government organizations in Türkiye, the group gained valuable insights into Türkiye’s public diplomacy landscape. Visits to leading news agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Directorate of Communications gave the research group a stronger understanding of the institutions and media agencies that shape the country’s foreign agenda. A deeper understanding of the country’s religious history was also a feature of the visit, as the students visited some of Türkiye’s most prominent mosques, synagogues, and churches. 

Please help continue the MPD international research legacy by supporting our social media posts, exploring our website, and connecting with the current research group on our socials. 

Special thanks for the support in making this unique experience possible goes to the Dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Willow Bay, Master of Public Diplomacy Program Director Professor Robert Banks, the Yunus Emre Institute and its Washington DC Director Gokhan Coskun, the Center on Public Diplomacy, and CPD contributing scholar Senem Cevik.

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