Understand communication across cultures & contexts for careers in study abroad, community organizations, and global business. 

The master's in Intercultural Communication puts you on the path to a variety of careers and academic pursuits—including international student advising, study abroad programming, and refugee and immigrant support. You gain the skills and knowledge to understand linguistic and social practices between people with differing cultural and organizational backgrounds.

What Sets Us Apart

160 hours 160 hours of internship training closely tied to your career interests
#1 Penn GSE is ranked #1 Graduate School of Education by U.S. News & World Report
  In-service learning partnerships with Philadelphia community organizations

About the Program

As a student in the Intercultural Communication program, you’ll participate in a broad range of course work and field experiences in the ethnographic study of communication between members of different cultural groups—including linguistic, social, racial, ethnic, national, and gender groupings—and within different organizational contexts.

Application deadline
Priority Deadline - February 1, 2023; rolling admission thereafter as space permits
Entry term(s)
Course requirements
12 (8 required, 4 electives)
Typical course load
  • Fall: 3 courses 
  • Spring: 3 courses 
  • Summer: Internship
  • Fall: 3 courses 
  • Spring: 3 courses (including EDUC 567 - Internship: ICC)

Culminating experienceEDUC 567 - Internship: ICC (final paper or portfolio required)

Transfer courses accepted2 (as electives only)

  • Full-Time
  • Part-Time

A degree in Intercultural Communication prepares you for careers such as cultural exchange advising and administration, study-abroad programming, refugee and immigrant support, curriculum development, and consulting around organizational and cultural complexities. The program also provides a solid foundation in ethnographic and discourse analysis research methods for students considering a career in intercultural research and/or doctoral study. Although specific interests and career goals vary, all students learn to analyze the many linguistic, discursive, social, and cultural issues encountered in interaction.

The master’s degree program in Intercultural Communication offers a campus-wide interdisciplinary experience. In addition to 8 required courses, you choose four electives from across Penn GSE and the University of Pennsylvania. A key component of the program is the summer internship, in which you can put into practice skills and theories you learn the classroom.


For more information on courses and requirements, visit the Intercultural Communication M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog.

Suggested Plan of Study

Year 1
Fall 1
  • EDUC 537
  • EDUC 676
  • EDUC 679
Spring 1
  • EDUC 546
  • EDUC 593
  • EDUC 845

For more information, see description below

Year 2
Fall 2
  • EDUC 655
  • Elective
  • Elective
Spring 2
  • EDUC 567
  • Elective within ELX
  • Distribution

Note: This suggested plan of study is for full-time students; students enrolled part-time will work with the program manager and faculty to determine the best plan of study for their situation.

Sample Elective Courses

  • EDUC 502 Citizen Sociolinguistics
  • EDUC 505 Globalization & the University
  • EDUC 514 Education in Developing Countries
  • EDUC 527 Approaches to Teaching English & Other Modern Languages 
  • EDUC 536 Indigenous Education & Language Revitalization
  • EDUC 539 Teaching Performance Arts for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE
  • EDUC 544 School & Society in America
  • EDUC 566 Cross-Cultural Awareness (PACE
  • EDUC 577 Selected Topics in Educational Linguistics
  • EDUC 579 Intercultural Communication & Miscommunication 
  • EDUC 590 Gender & Education
  • EDUC 610 Cultural Perspectives on Human Development
  • EDUC 661 Language Diversity & Education 
  • EDUC 670 Second Language Development
  • EDUC 671 Adult Literacy
  • EDUC 911 Issues in Second Language Acquisition 
  • EDUC 927 Language Policy & Planning 
  • ANTH 603 Language in Culture & Society


All Intercultural Communication students must complete a supervised internship that reflects their interests and goals and allows them to use the skills and theories learned in the core courses. Potential internship sites include international-student advising offices, elementary and secondary schools, community outreach organizations, social-service agencies, educational or cultural exchange programs, and consulting firms. Students complete the 160-hour internship in the summer following their first year of coursework. An Internship Proposal must be approved by the faculty prior to starting the Internship.

A screenshot of an interactive map of Philadelphia with different regions color-coded

Community Impact: Intercultural Communication in Philadelphia

Community engagement and service-learning are integral to the Intercultural Communication M.S.Ed. program. Service-learning fieldwork allows students to bridge the theoretical concepts learned in coursework with practical skills and experiences gained outside of the classroom. Our interactive map showcases student teaching and fieldwork sites in Philadelphia. To learn more about our work in the community, contact Jackie Lopez, our Fieldwork and Service-Learning Coordinator. 



Our Faculty

Penn GSE Faculty María Cioè-Peña
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., The Graduate Center-CUNY
Penn GSE Faculty Santoi Wagner
Senior Lecturer
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Yumi Matsumoto
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Penn GSE Faculty Timothy M. Hall
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Robert Moore
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Penn GSE Faculty Yuko Goto Butler
Ph.D., Stanford University
Penn GSE Faculty Nelson Flores
Associate Professor
Ph.D., The Graduate Center of the City of New York
Penn GSE Faculty Iryna Kozlova
Lecturer of Educational Practice
Ph.D., Georgia State University
Penn GSE Faculty Nancy H. Hornberger
Professor Emeritus of Education
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Penn GSE Faculty Christina Frei
Executive Director, Language Instruction, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of California at Davis
Penn GSE Faculty Catherine DiFelice Box
Lecturer of Educational Practice
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Asif Agha
Professor of Anthropology, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Penn GSE Faculty Betsy R. Rymes
Penn GSE Faculty Anne Pomerantz
Professor of Practice
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Program Staff

Katherine O'Morchoe  
Program Manager  
(215) 898-5212  

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

Suzanne Oh
Program Assistant
(215) 898-6998

Kia Marie Lor

"I bring together students from different backgrounds and experiences to help them learn from one another and build a richer community. I would not be able to succeed without the foundation I received from Penn GSE."

Kia Marie Lor

Intercultural Communication M.S.Ed., 2016

Our Graduates

With a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication from Penn GSE, you’ll be prepared for careers in cultural exchange advising and administration, study-abroad programming, refugee and immigrant support, and curriculum development training and facilitation. A number of our graduates enroll in doctoral programs to pursue in-depth research in fields such applied linguistics and education.

Alumni Careers

  • Adult Education Coordinator, Lutheran Children & Family Services
  • Assistant Director of Language and Intercultural Learning, Wesleyan University
  • Associate Education Analyst, NYC Department of Education
  • Associate Professor, Yunnan Nationalities University
  • Deputy Head of Admissions Counseling, The Edge Learning Center
  • Media Campaign Manager, Google, Inc.
  • Doctoral Student in Multicultural Education, University of Washington
  • Education Abroad Program Coordinator, Kennesaw State University
  • English Teacher, Upper Merion High School
  • Immigration Advisor and Cultural Consultant, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Education Programs Manager, Asian Arts Initiative

Admissions & Financial Aid

Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements, as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.

Contact Information

Contact us if you have any questions about the program.

Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6415

Program Contact

Hannah Brenneman
Program Assistant
(215) 898-7912

Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.

Penn GSE is committed to making your graduate education affordable, and we offer generous scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.