About the Program
USC's pioneering Charles Annenberg Weingarten Program on Online Communities (APOC) is the first master’s program in the world to recognize that online communities are the future of our economic, political, and social lives. They are the most successful application of “Web 2.0” concepts, and are increasingly popular as well as critical to the success of a wide array of industries. According to Alexa rankings, more than half of the top ten most frequently visited websites revolve around social networking or media sharing: YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Hi5, and Orkut. Additionally, many traditional mass media, such as newspapers and television, are incorporating new media and social networking features as part of media convergence. Online communities also hold the promise of new forms of social communication, increased political involvement, better support networks, cutting-edge advertising, and new economic models for news, video, and music. It is in this world that APOC students learn, gain firsthand experience, and then create an online community, attaining a master’s degree in just a single year.
At APOC you will join a select group of graduate students to focus on the effective management, production, and power of online communities. Students spend a fast-paced year working with and learning from a diverse student population, world class faculty, industry professionals and acclaimed "gurus". Classes address a range of topics, from design and management to emerging technologies, industry innovations and science of persuasion and affiliation. As a student, you will gain the knowledge, insights, and technical experience to gain the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to take your place among leaders in this quickly evolving professional discipline. To achieve this, you will intern at some of the most distinguished and innovative companies in the nation, such as MySpace, the LA Times, Yahoo, and PBS New Media, as well as exciting new start-ups and nonprofits.
Your final project at APOC challenges you, in a small team of fellow students, to create a working online community that reflects your own unique skills and interests. These teams are advised one-on-one with an industry expert who is creative, visionary, technically adept, dedicated, and knowledgeable about the substance and process of online communities. USC Annenberg finances these projects, while students retain ownership of the final product. Students are encouraged to use this working product for research or to enter industry.
How to Apply
APOC is offered through USC’s Annenberg School as an online communities track in the communication management master's degree program. Applications are being accepted until December 1st, 2007 for the Spring 2008 semester. The program is full-time and designed to be completed in two semesters and one summer session. Recent college/university graduates and professionals with considerable work experience are encouraged to apply. Students are welcome from the many disciplines related to online communities, including:
•Computer Science / Engineering
•Film & Media Studies
•Mass Communication / Journalism
For more information or to register, please visit www.annenbergonlinecommunities.com