M.S.Ed. in Intercultural Communication (ICC)

Part of the Educational Linguistics Division

The M.S.Ed. specialization in Intercultural Communication (ICC) provides a solid foundation in linguistic and discursive approaches to the exploration of issues that arise in communication between cultural groups (including linguistic, social, racial, ethnic, national, gender, and other groupings).

Fast Facts


  • Entry terms: Summer and Fall
  • Transfer Courses Accepted: 2
  • Number of courses: 12 (6 required courses, 6 elective courses)
  • Typical course load: 
    • Fall: 3 courses; 
    • Spring: 3 courses; 
    • Summer: Internship (and/or up to 2 courses) 
    • Fall: 3 courses; 
    • Spring: 2-3 courses
  • Culminating Experience: Internship experience, followed by EDUC 567: Internship: ICC course. 


View Admissions Requirements



The M.S.Ed. specialization in Intercultural Communication (ICC), housed within the Educational Linguistics Division, provides a solid foundation in linguistic and discursive approaches to the study of communication between members of different cultural groups (including linguistic, social, racial, ethnic, national, gender, and other groupings). The core courses examine linguistic and social practices that occur in face-to-face interaction, the cultural expectations and ideologies that inform communicative practices, the cultural dynamics of power and identity, and the practical application of these principles in a variety of work environments.


A degree in intercultural communication can help prepare students for a broad range of careers, such as international student advising, educational/cultural exchange, refugee/resettlement program development and administration, and other social service fields. The program encourages students to take advantage of the many opportunities that the University of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia offer as they work with their advisors to design a course of study that best meets their academic and professional needs. Within GSE, electives in higher education, anthropology and education, TESOL, educational policy and management, counseling, and international education are available. Other schools at Penn offer courses in Anthropology, Communication Studies, Social Work, Linguistics, Policy, and Law, among others.

Program of Study

Core Courses


EDUC 676 Discursive Approaches in Intercultural Communication (Fall)
EDUC 537 Educational Linguistics (Fall)
EDUC 546 Sociolinguistics in Education (Spring)
EDUC 593 Experiential Learning Design for Intercultural Communication (Spring)


One Discourse Analysis Course - choose between:

  • EDUC 517 Classroom Discourse & Interaction (Spring/Summer)
  • EDUC 572 Language & Gender (Spring)
  • EDUC 577 Conversation Analysis for Second Language Teaching & Research (Summer, not every year)
  • EDUC 641 Language & the Professions (Summer, not every year)
  • EDUC 650 Communication & Culture in Context (Spring)
  • EDUC 710 Methods of Discourse Analysis (Fall, offered by ECS Division)
  • EDUC 806 Narrating the Self (Fall, offered by ECS Division)


EDUC 567 Internship: ICC, taken after completion of the ICC Internship (described below)

Elective Courses

6 Elective Courses: One Distribution course (outside of the Educational Linguistics & Reading/Writing/Literacy Divisions but within GSE); one course must be in the Educational Linguistics or Reading/Writing/Literacy Divisions; four additional courses (in or outside of the Graduate School of Education)

Examples include:


    • EDUC 679 Language for Specific Purposes (Fall -- required in first semester for international students)
    • EDUC 502 Citizen Sociolinguistics (Spring)
    • EDUC 505 Globalization & the University (Fall, offered by HED Division)
    • EDUC 514 Education in Developing Countries (Fall, offered by ECS Division)
    • EDUC 516 Teaching Second Language Writing (Fall)
    • EDUC 526 Technology for Educators (Summer, offered by TLL Division)
    • EDUC 527 Approaches to Teaching English & Other Modern Languages (Fall/Spring)
    • EDUC 535 Literature for Children & Adolescents (Summer/Fall, offered by RWL Division)
    • EDUC 539 Teaching Performance Arts for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) (Fall)
    • EDUC 544 School & Society (Fall/Spring, offered by ECS Division)
    • EDUC 547 Anthropology & Education (Fall/Spring, offered by ECS Division)
    • EDUC 566 Cross-Cultural Awareness (PACE) (Spring)
    • EDUC 577 Selected Topics in Educational Linguistics
      • Autism, Language, & Reasoning (Summer)
      • Indigenous Education & Language Revitalization (Spring)
      • Listening in a Second/Foreign Language (Summer)
      • The Sociolinguistics of Super Diversity (Summer)
    • EDUC 579 Intercultural Communication & Miscommunication (Summer)
    • EDUC 590 Gender & Education (Spring, offered by TLL Division)
    • EDUC 610 Cultural Perspectives on Human Development (Fall/Spring, offered by APHD Division)
    • EDUC 634 Language Assessment (Spring)
    • EDUC 661 Language Diversity & Education (Fall)
    • EDUC 670 Second Language Development (Fall/Spring)
    • EDUC 671 Adult Literacy (Fall, offered by RWL Division)
    • EDUC 674 Curriculum & Materials Design for English Language Teaching (Fall)
    • EDUC 675 Structure of English (Fall/Spring/Summer)
    • EDUC 911 Issues in Second Language Acquisition (Fall)
    • EDUC 927 Language Policy & Planning (Spring)
    • ANTH 603 Language in Culture & Society (Spring, offered by Anthropology Department)




Students arrange, under the guidance of the Fieldwork & Service-Learning Coordinator, to participate in an internship of at least 160 hours in one of a variety of settings that could include foreign-student advising offices, elementary and secondary schools, community outreach organizations, social-service agencies, educational or cultural exchange programs, or consulting firms.  Most full-time students complete the Internship in the Summer or Fall after completing their first year of coursework.  An Internship Prospectus must be approved prior to starting the Internship.


Betsy Rymes, Ph.D. Professor; Division Chair & ICC Director

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Yuko Butler, Ph.D. Associate Professor; TESOL Director

Stanford University

Nelson Flores, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Junko Hondo, Ph.D. Lecturer

Lancaster University (UK)

Nancy H. Hornberger, Ph.D. Professor; Educational Linguistics PhD Director

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Diane Larsen-Freeman, Ph.D. Senior Fellow

University of Michigan

Yumi Matsumoto, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

The Pennsylvania State University

Robert Moore, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer

University of Chicago

Anne Pomerantz, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer

University of Pennsylvania

Santoi Wagner, Ed.D. Senior Lecturer; TESOL Associate Director

Columbia University


Affiliated Faculty

Asif Agha, Ph.D. Penn Arts & Sciences, Department of Anthropology

University of Chicago

Christina Frei, Ph.D. Penn Arts & Sciences, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

University of California, Davis

Rebecca Freeman Field, Ph.D. Caslon Publishing, Director of Language Education

Georgetown University

Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, Ph.D. Arcadia University, School of Education

University of Pennsylvania



Educational Linguistics Division

University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education

3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Sarah Peyton Kaufman
Program Manager
(215) 898-5212

Jackie Lopez
Fieldwork & Service-Learning Coordinator
(215) 746-8237

Suzanne Oh
Program Assistant
(215) 898-6998


Katherine O'Morchoe
Program Assistant
(215) 898-7912