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Creative Graduate Degrees for High-Impact Communication

A boy yelling into a microphone.

Social impact careers require excellent communication skills. Changing your world requires the ability to collaborate with others, communicate your ideas effectively, and understand various forms of information. Earning a graduate degree in Communication is not the only academic route to build your skills - you can find a program that combines your interests, aligns with your career goals, and challenges your interpersonal skills. Below are a sample of creative graduate degrees that will help you cultivate high-impact communication skills. In addition to researching their programs online, you can meet with the schools at our Idealist Grad Fairs in Washington DC, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, or our other events.

Digital Social Media (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California)

What it is: skills for leadership and management of social media, digital media, and online communities. Topics include game development and theory, innovative uses of emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship.

What you can do with it: Create your own platform or work in areas such as communications, public relations, marketing, programming, and related digital media positions, particularly leadership and management roles.

Admission faculty nominate candidates for merit-based funding. For the capstone experience, students receive $10,000 to develop and launch a fully functioning digital media site or app. Meet representatives from this school at the Houston Idealist Grad Fair or any of the other nine events.

Cultural Sustainability (Goucher College Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies)

What it is: interdisciplinary program where students learn skills to work with individuals and communities to identify, protect, and enhance their traditions and cherished spaces. Studies include business and management, communications, linguistic, anthropology, and activism. Each year, two 9-day residencies are offered for site visits and the experience to work intensively with faculty and guest lecturers.

What you can do with it: careers in community organizing, cultural tourism, policymaking, nonprofit administration, and more.

The limited-residency format gives students the option to work full-time. Maryland residents are eligible for scholarships offered through Maryland State and the school provides information about outside funding options. Introduce yourself to representatives from this school at the Idealist Grad Fair in Washington DC.

Urban Teacher Education Program (University of Chicago)

What it is: a two year Master of Arts in Teaching program that has an additional three years of free programming to support alumni. Learn skills for effective dialogue, taking purposeful action against structural inequalities, and using inquiry to direct lifelong learning and growth.

What you can do with it: effectively teach in an urban environment. Around 90% of graduates are still teaching in urban school districts after five years, exceeding the national retention average of about 50% for urban school teachers.

A $6,000 grant is available for students committed to teaching full-time in high-need fields and information is provided for partnering funding programs, work study, and outside opportunities. Learn more from program representatives at the Idealist Grad Fairs in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Social Justice and Ethics (Iliff School of Theology)

What it is: master’s program to develop an inclusive approach to social change leadership, build the skills for civic efficacy in diverse political and educational contexts, and learn from an interdisciplinary analysis of social change movements.

What you can do with it: alumni take on leadership roles at domestic and international religious organizations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and in the media.

Merit-based and need-based aid is available. Speak directly with this school’s representatives at Idealist Grad Fairs in Houston, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.

Personal Health Informatics (Northeastern University)

What it is: doctoral program focusing on human-computer interface technology, experimental design in health sciences, and transforming healthcare delivery with technology designed with a patient/person-facing perspective. Students engage with Boston’s leading medical research institutions for practical experience.

What you can do with it: lead transdisciplinary teams in the design and validation of new health technologies in academia, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations.

The program’s goal is to admit all students with funding, including tuition and a monthly stipend. Connect with representatives at the Idealist Grad Fairs in Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change (Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy)

What it is: master’s program developing effective communications and interventions for creating behavioral changes in nutritional and physical activities. Includes coursework and practical experiences to translate science into practice and policy.

What you can do with it: work in the private or public sector, especially in the areas of public relations, media, dietetics, teaching, public health, and government.

Scholarships, teaching assistantships, stipends, and research assistantships are available.

By Jhia Jackson

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