Communication and Development Studies (CommDev), a partnership between the School of Telecommunications and the Center for International Studies, is one of the few graduate programs in the world to focus on the role of communication in social development and change. The program grows out of Ohio University’s historical commitment to improving the quality of life in developing communities, both overseas and in the U.S. The 70- credit hour master’s program offers interdisciplinary education in the planning and administration of communication projects in areas such as health education and disease prevention, small and medium enterprise development, gender issues, distance education, environmental protection, conflict resolution, and social and political institution-building. As a specialized professional program, it prepares graduates for leadership roles in development organizations, government and international agencies, NGO’s, media and higher education. CommDev actively recruits students from varied backgrounds to provide a rich, multi-cultural and interdisciplinary learning environment. The program stresses team-building and active learning models, with students undertaking research, projects and campaigns for a range of development agencies and institutions, both in the U.S. and overseas.
The Communication and Development Studies program allows students to enroll in courses offered by a variety of disciplines across the University. The curriculum requires each student to select courses in: communications; development theory; a geographical area such as Africa, Latin America, or Southeast Asia; and an individual specialization. (See development specialization below)
Students can choose one of two coursework tracks—The Language Track (LT) including foreign language study or Non Language Track (NLT). The tracks do not differ significantly, but rather take into consideration the added coursework for those following the language track.
In the second year, students work in teams to design and execute a service-learning (capstone) project. Each student must also complete a field study or internship. For their final graduation requirement students could choose a thesis, comprehensive exam or the implementation of a project. Normally, five quarters are required to complete the 70 credit-hour minimum required for both coursework tracks.
Admission is in the fall quarter only (September).
- CommDev Colloquium: 5 credit hours
- Communication core: 5 courses (25 credits)
- Development Theory: 1 course (5 credits)
- Area Studies: 3 courses (15 credits)
- Development Specialization: 1 course (5 credits)
- Internship (up to 5 credits toward required 70)
- Service Learning Project (4 credits) [formally Capstone Project]
- Capstone Requirement: comprehensive exam, professional project or thesis
Development Theory Component
In addition to attending colloquium, students select courses that focus on theories of development and social change. Courses must be approved by the director before enrollment.
Regional area studies courses concentrating on Africa, Southeast Asia, or Latin America can be chosen from course lists available from each area studies program. Programs may also be developed in other geographical areas such as South Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, etc. in consultation with the director.
The development specialization is conceived as a professional skills component. Selection of courses depends upon individual goals and objectives. Examples of possible specialization areas include: public health, gender issues, environmental
conservation, economic development, social marketing, information and communication technologies, entertainment-education, journalism, electronic media production, and development administration. Students are encouraged to work with the director in planning their specialization.
Proficiency in a Second Language
Please see Center for International Studies criteria to meet this requirement.