The International Communication Program in the School of International Service is the oldest specialized degree program in this field in the United States. The program was established in 1968, and the first M.A. degree in International Communication was offered in 1970. Since its inception, the program has pioneered professional curricula in international communication and remains a leader in the field. In 2007, it created another Masters degree option, the M.A. in International Media (joint degree with the School of Communication).
The distinctive mission of the IC Program is a focus on the role of communications in the international system, and analysis of the relation between international communication and international relations.With cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary depth and breath, the IC Program explores the cultural, geopolitical, economic and technological dimensions of international communication. The program links theory to practice in building ideas that shape research, policy and professional practice.
The program preceded the great majority of institutions with international communication courses by creating a program of study, new directions in research, and cutting edge professional training. Located within the School of International Service, the IC Program is able to draw upon strong expertise across the spectrum of international studies, including international relations and international politics, international development, regional studies, foreign policy, international economic policy, international environmental policy, international peace and conflict studies, and international law and organizations. The integration within the context of international relations in SIS contributes to the historical role played by the IC Program in the growth of the field.
The objective of the program is to encourage students to make specialized academic and professional contributions to the field and to prepare for a variety of professions at both the national and international levels in diverse arenas of private industry, consultancy, government, media and information sectors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and educational and cultural organizations. Increasingly, international communication is at the core of the debate on issues such as the global knowledge economy, information technology and international development, culture and global communication, international journalism, human rights of information and expression, global communication and democracy, economics of information, international negotiation, cross-cultural communication, and global conflict and cooperation.
The IC Program draws on relevant research and thinking from the humanities and social sciences, including political science, economics, social psychology, sociology, cultural studies and information sciences. The program’s interdisciplinary approach is grounded in the assumption that global society in general and international relations in particular can be better understood through analysis of the information and communication systems that shape the evolving global geopolitical environment---and that the new international relations is comprised of geopolitical, technological, economic and cultural relations among peoples, societies, nations and communities.