The Communication and Development Studies master's degree program emphasizes the use of communication to promote positive social change. The 'Comm Dev' curriculum includes core courses focusing on various topical areas in communication and social change, media production techniques, research methods, and key theories related to the field. As an interdisciplinary program, Comm Dev students then build upon these core courses by devising a curriculum that suits their individual objectives, drawing upon courses in graduate programs from across Ohio University. Over the past few years, Comm Dev students have specialized in areas that include, among others, health communication, participatory video, ICTs for development, gender and development, conflict resolution, and the political economy of media. The program is a model of interdisciplinary effectiveness and success.
The Communication and Development Studies program is a unique and internationally recognized program. It has been identified by major development organizations as one of the few world centers for education in communication for development and social change, and the Comm Dev program is one of only two stand-alone master's degree programs in the United States that exclusively focuses on communication for social change. The program offers financial assistance to competitive applicants. Incoming cohorts average around 15 students, yet the program has an exceptionally diverse international student population. Currently, approximately three-quarters of the students have come from outside the United States - from more than 20 countries throughout the world.
Comm Dev graduates tend to pursue professional careers working for international NGOs, non-profit organizations in the U.S., government agencies, and as consultants. Many also seek careers as teachers and in higher education. Recently, approximately half of any given graduating class has gone on to enroll in a PhD program. Further questions about the Communication and Development Studies program can be directed to the program's director, Dr. Lawrence Wood via WoodL@ohio.edu.