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USC Launches Inter-Disciplinary Master's with Wired Magazine

The University of Southern California (USC) is teaming up with a publishing company to launch its next online master's degree program. The interdisciplinary program will mix design, business and technology and will be part of USC's Roski School of Art and Design. The university is working with Condé Nast and its popular technology and culture magazine Wired to develop a degree that focuses on helping "creative thinkers and technologists" learn how to "transform the world of industry and enterprise," as USC explained in a statement.

Students will have opportunities to serve in residencies at the Wired headquarters in San Francisco, meet with the media company's executives and conference speakers, gain access to its editors and writers and become embedded in the magazine's editorial and design teams to learn how its staff operates to uncover breakthroughs in business, science, technology, design and culture.

The program will take between 18 and 24 months to complete. Its first cohort will start in the 2015-2016 academic year.

"The pace of technology development requires higher education to continue to respond with programs that are flexible and adaptable, and that meet the needs of future cultural and business leaders," said Erica Muhl, dean of the Roski School.

Wired Editor in Chief Scott Dadic added, "Taking the best from USC and Wired, we can teach discipline and disruption, business fundamentals and the very latest innovation models from Silicon Valley. This is going to be thrilling."

The partnership is a first effort by Qubed, a startup focused on connecting"global brands" with institutions of higher education. Qubed's managing director is Daniel Pianko, who also serves as a managing director for University Ventures, an investment firm that capitalizes companies in the higher education sector. One of its investments is Synergis Education, which works with colleges and universities to launch new educational programs that may be on campus, fully online or blended. Synergis is working with USC on the launch of this new master's degree.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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