Master of Arts in Diplomacy

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Program Director: Lasha Tchantouridzé
Associate Program Director of Academics: Charles Lerche

The Master of Arts in Diplomacy degree is designed for government, military, non- governmental, and business professionals who must operate within a challenging international environment. The curriculum offers a unique combination of seminars that provide students with an effective understanding of the international system. This includes a substantial grounding in the theories behind that system, the structural constraints of the system (international law), and knowledge of the prime motivator to interact within the system (international economics). The degree then moves into its concentrations. There are three concentrations within the program; International Conflict Management, International Terrorism, and International Commerce.

With the increase in globalization, there is a growing need to demonstrate a mastery of the international environment and the challenges it presents. The Diplomacy program gives students the tools by which to more effectively operate within this increasingly complex international system. All students will complete a 36 credit-hour program (a maximum of 12 credits can be transferred into the program with the approval of the Program Director) that culminates in a June residency at the Norwich University campus. The program is divided between a core of 18 credit hours and a concentration of 18 credit hours. All students must complete the core before moving on to their chosen concentration. In addition, in order to graduate all students must complete the comprehensive examination or its equivalent offering, and an exit portfolio.

Curriculum Map 

Semester 1CreditsSemester 2CreditsSemester 3Credits
GD 510 Theory and the International System or 511 The History of Diplomacy in the International System6GD 530 Economics and the International System6Select one concentration course6
GD 520 Law and the International System6Select one concentration course6GD 555 Comprehensive Exam10
  Select one concentration course6
  GD 595 Residency20
 12 12 12
Total Credits: 36

Students must complete the comprehensive exam prior to enrollment in their final course.


Students are required to attend a one-week, on campus Residency Conference in the June following or concurrent with their final course.

Curriculum Requirements

Core Curriculum

The core seminars are designed to give students a solid understand of central concepts within the international system. Like many other academic disciplines, the field of International Relations does not have a single unifying theory as to why things happen within the global system. Therefore, it is essential to acquire a firm grounding in the contending theories as to why the system works the way it does. This will give students a firm foundation when building their own views as to which theory more effectively explains the international system.

Once this foundation is established, students then go on to look at the constraints or lack of constraints on the “actors” within the internationals system (such as states, multi-national organizations, non- governmental organizations, etc.) These constraints are established by international norms delineated in the international legal system. Once the basics of the system are understood, students explore what makes the system “go” or work. Here the international political economy is explored. What motivates “actors” to interact is their desire to exchange goods or services or dominate those goods or services. The very fact that the world is now talking in terms of increasing “globalization” is reflective of the fact that almost all “actors” are thinking in terms of a global impact. Insights into this phenomenon are essential to a student’s understanding of the international system.

All students start with either the Theory seminar (GD 510) or the History seminar (GD 511), and then move to GD 520 and GD 530, both of which must be completed before moving into a concentration, unless specific exceptions are approved by the Program Director. Concentration seminars are to be taken in sequence unless specific exceptions are approved by the Program Director. 

Core Courses
GD 510Theory and the International System6
or GD 511 The History of Diplomacy in the International System
GD 520Law and the International System6
GD 530Economics and the International System6
Culminating Academic Requirement
GD 595Residency0
Total Credits18


All concentrations follow the same format; 18 credit hours composed of three, six-credit, eleven-week seminars. The Diplomacy degree consists of two distinct parts: core and concentration. Within the first three seminars students are exposed to the core concepts while the final three seminars comprise the concentration, wherein students conduct in-depth study related to the concentration’s topic. This in-depth analysis of a subfield within international relations gives the student the expertise and understanding to be more effective in dealing with the challenges the concentration presents.

International Conflict Management Concentration (18 Credits)

This concentration is designed to allow students to further study all aspects of conflict within the international arena. The first seminar explores the various methods by which “actors” (be they states, corporations or individuals) in the international system can avoid getting embroiled in conflict. This seminar further explores the various methods actors have used to contain the impact and spread of the conflict, if they could not avoid it. The second seminar deals with the very important task of resolving a conflict. This approach is coupled to the aspect that actors must consider in terms of a post-conflict cleanup. A successful reconstruction is a vital aspect of post-conflict reconciliation. Finally, the Conflict Management concentration ends with a choice for students: in one elective the student delves further into the nature of international conflict; or alternatively, a student can explore the growing field of human rights within conflict studies. The idea motivating human rights research is to promote peace by defusing the problems that are seen to cause conflict.

International Conflict Management Courses
GD 540Conflict Avoidance, Prevention & Containment in the International System6
GD 550Conflict Resolution & Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the International System6
GD 555Comprehensive Exam0
Select one of the following 6-credit seminars:
International Security6
Military Intervention & Conflict Management in the International System6
Human Rights and Conflict in the International System6
Diplomacy and Communication6
Total Credits18

International Terrorism Concentration (18 Credits)

This concentration explores the multifaceted concept of terrorism in both the 20th and 21st centuries. The first seminar provides an historical introduction and explores the more “traditional” state supported or sponsored forms of terrorism. The second seminar of the concentration delves into the emerging concept of terrorism that is conducted internationally, primarily by non-state actors, terrorist organizations. Such groups would include those engaged in narco- terrorism, religiously motivated violence, and so forth. Finally, the last seminar of this concentration explores various mechanisms developed in the international system to address the threat of international terrorism.

International Terrorism Courses
GD 542Terrorism: Introduction and State Sponsored Terrorism6
GD 552International Terrorism by Non-State Actors6
GD 555Comprehensive Exam0
Select one of the following 6-credit seminars:
International Security6
International Response to Transnational Terrorism6
Diplomacy and Communication6
Total Credits18

International Commerce Concentration (18 Credits)

This concentration is for students of international commerce and business who would like to enhance their understanding of conducting business in the global economy. In the first seminar students examine private sector business and, in particular, focus on exploring internal and external environmental conditions when conducting business in a global environment. The second seminar of the concentration turns toward the idea of a multi-national workforce and the unique set of challenges such a workforce presents. This involves human resource management on an international scale. The final seminar of the concentration deals with the need for international business actors to build their diplomatic or public relations image. This effort is analogous to countries having ministries for foreign affairs or state departments -- a good international public image is increasingly seen as a need in the business world, as well.

International Commerce Courses
GD 544Global Commerce and the International System6
GD 554Cross Cultural Management in the International System6
GD 555Comprehensive Exam0
GD 564Global Corporate Diplomacy6
or GD 567 Diplomacy and Communication
Total Credits18

Additional Program Requirements

In addition to the degree requirements for each concentration there are a few other program elements that students are required to complete in order to qualify for the Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy. Each requirement is graded on a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.  

Comprehensive Exam

All students will take a written exam where, typically, they will be given eight questions in four groups of two questions per group (the format may vary slightly). Students must chose one of the two questions in each group, thus answering four questions. The questions will be devised by program faculty and will not be given to students in advance. The test will be proctored and four hours in length. The exam is typically administered during the break between GD 55X and GD 56X or at the beginning of GD 56X. It is a closed book exam; in other words, no sources other than what is in a student’s mind can be used or consulted. The exam will be graded by a minimum of two faculty members. A grade of pass, fail one question (immediate re-sit), or fail will be awarded. Students who publish an article in a peer-reviewed academic journal may be exempt from the Comprehensive Exam requirement. Students may either publish or defend a thesis in lieu of the comprehensive exam.

Exit Portfolio

All students will be required to maintain and present to their final seminar instructor an Exit Portfolio. This requirement will consist of electronic copies of all FINAL research papers in each preceding seminar. The portfolio is to be divided up by seminar with each paper written under that seminar listed separately. Therefore, from the outset, a student must retain a MARKED readable copy of all his or her FINAL research papers throughout the degree program. If a seminar does not have a "final paper" assignment, the written assignment with the biggest grade weight will be submitted. Instructors in the final seminar will examine each portfolio and report a grade of satisfactory/unsatisfactory or pass/fail to the Program Director. If a student fails the exit portfolio requirement, the Program Director will identify a further course of action to meet program graduation requirements. The final seminar instructors report will be part of the graduation criteria and a grade of satisfactory/pass will be required in order for the student to graduate from the program.

One-Week Residency 

All degree candidates of the Master of Arts in Diplomacy are required to attend a one-week Residency Conference on the Norwich University campus, during which they may attend professional presentations, participate in roundtable discussions with faculty, and present papers. The one-week residency is a degree requirement.

Thesis Track

Students may submit a proposal to pursue a thesis on a topic of their choosing in addition to all other requirements for the degree. Students may apply to the thesis track at the conclusion of their second seminar and propose a topic. Students should also present the endorsements of the instructors from their first two seminars. Students accepted into the Thesis Track must enter the thesis seminar either by the beginning of the fifth seminar of the program or at the end of the student’s seminar work. A student in the Thesis Track will have a thesis supervisor, a faculty member specializing in the chosen area of research. All students will follow the established rules and procedures identified in Norwich University's Thesis Handbook for Diplomacy students. Upon completion of the thesis seminar, the student must defend the work before a committee comprised of the thesis advisor, two additional readers, and a chair. A grade of Pass, Pass with Minor Revisions, Pass with Major Revisions, or Fail will be identified by the committee. 

  • For those students who complete the Thesis Track outside the degree process, the thesis is not a degree requirement. This allows students to complete a thesis after graduation.
  • For those students who request to have the Thesis Track counted as part of their degree requirements and in lieu of the comprehensive exam requirement, the thesis is a degree requirement. If this comprehensive exam exemption is granted, the student will not graduate from the program until successful defense of the thesis.

Thesis Seminar (12 Credits)

GD 570Thesis Seminar12


Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
Lasha Tchantouridze, PhD (Program Director)Queens University
Charles Lerche, PhD (Associate Program Director of Academics)University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
Clifford Bates, PhDNorthern Illinois University
Narain Batra, PhDGujarat University
John Becker, PhDDenver University
Najiba Benabess, PhDUniversity of Wisconsin
Bond Benton, PhDUniversity of Vienna
Stefan Brooks, PhDUniversity of Houston
Rowland Brucken, PhDOhio State University
Eric Bush, PhDWidener University
Anthony Cain, PhDOhio State University
Stanley Carpenter, PhDFlorida State University
Emily Copeland, PhDThe Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Paula Doherty, PhDNova Southeastern University
Robert Farkasch, PhDYork University
David Gray, PhDUniversity of Southern California
Don Harrington, PhDUniversity of Connecticut
Michael Jackson, PhDBrandeis University
David Jones, PhDState University of New York at Albany
William Jong-Ebot, PhDUniversity of Wisconsin
Seung-Ho Joo, PhDPennsylvania State University
Angela Kachuyevski, PhDFletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts)
James Kraska, PhDIndiana University
Brian Kupfer, PhDClaremont Graduate University
Jonathan Levy, PhDWilliam Howard Taft Law School
James Miskel, PhDState University of New York
Darryl Mitry, PhDUniversity of Southern California
Amit Mukherjee, PhDSyracuse University
Eric Nelson, PhDUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Scott Nelson, PhDArizona State University
Alex Norsworthy, PhDAmerican University
Robert Pauly, PhDOld Dominion
Daniela Peterka-Benton
Russell Ramsey, PhDUniversity of Florida
Tim Riesen, PhDClaremont Graduate University
Eileen Scully. PhDGeorgetown University
Steven, Shirley, PhDOld Dominion
Vlad Suchan, PhDCarleton University
Eugene Tadie, PhDNorthern Illinois University
Stephen Twing, PhDUniversity of South Carolina
Shelton L. Williams, PhDJohns Hopkins


GD 510 Theory and the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will review the basic theories that govern the international relations discipline. As no one theory fully explains the international system, a firm grasp of the leading paradigms gives a student a solid foundation on which to build the degree. This seminar will also trace the historical evolution of diplomacy within the international system giving the student a sense of its progression and an awareness of the milestones of diplomatic interaction within that system.

GD 511 The History of Diplomacy in the International System 6 Credits

This seminar is a comprehensive overview of diplomacy, international relations, and world order in the context of the modern state system, from 1648 to the present. The seminar provides an introduction to the international political environment through studies in foreign policy decision-making. The seminar combines the fields of history and political science by using an analytical framework of historiography and International Relations methodology.

GD 520 Law and the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will explore some of the important principles, norms, customs, laws, and transactions in international relations. Student will be introduced to international law terminology, history, and dominant theories. The laws surrounding conflict, war and war crimes will be explored. Of special interest will be the laws and norms pertaining to international organizations. Finally, the more up and coming areas of international law will be explored, such as, environmental law and the growing body of law concerning humanitarian intervention.

GD 530 Economics and the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will explore the international economic system. The impact of modernization and economic development within the system will be examined. The controversy over the concept of globalization will be explored. The seminar will address the dominant theories of international political economy. Students will become familiar with institutions of international finance and trade. Special attention will be given to Third World development issues. Also, the idea of economics as a tool of diplomacy and military power will be raised.

GD 540 Conflict Avoidance, Prevention & Containment in the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will address a number of schools of thought and debates concerning the causes of inter and intra-state conflicts. The increasingly controversial topics of peacekeeping, peace-making and peace enforcement will be reviewed with an eye toward lessons learned. Transnational forces, including non-governmental organizations will be investigated. Finally, the important concept of multilateral diplomacy as a tool used to avoid conflict in the international system will be examined.

GD 542 Terrorism: Introduction and State Sponsored Terrorism 6 Credits

This seminar examines how states have used terrorism as a tool in managing their international rivalries. The seminar also evaluates the actions that the international community takes to deter state-sponsored terrorism. Case studies will be used to complement theory, and to allow for comparative analysis of actions taken by the international community in different cases and circumstances.

GD 544 Global Commerce and the International System 6 Credits

This seminar evaluates the role of private-sector commerce in the international system. It focuses on examining internal and external environmental conditions when conducting commerce in a global environment; in particular, students will explore the impact of economics, law, politics, and culture on multinational business endeavors. Country specific data and internal organizational factors that influence managerial decision-making in multinational organizations are addressed as well.

GD 546 International Security 6 Credits

This course surveys some of the major debates and topics in international security. It is designed to give students an understanding of the most important substantive areas in the field of International Security and to tie academic research on security‐related issues to policy. The course will examine both traditional understandings of and approaches to international security. New actors and issues considered relevant since the end of the Cold War will be discussed. The tension between the relative importance of traditional approaches to security, interstate relations, and the relevance or impact of less immediate but important influences such as human security and climate change will also be examined.

GD 550 Conflict Resolution & Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will examine the “dos” and “don'ts” of negotiating peace, hazards of negotiations and peace settlements, their unexpected consequences, and lessons learned. Of increasing importance is learning how to recover from atrocities through trials, truth commissions, and amnesties. Post-conflict political, economic, and social recoveries are also explored. The seminar also addresses such issues as reestablishing the rule of law, reconstruction of civil society, and of the institutions of governance. Finally, students will examine the politics and cultural impacts of rebuilding, including the economic and financial costs.

GD 552 International Terrorism by Non-State Actors 6 Credits

This seminar examines the phenomenon of transnational terrorism by non-state actors, that is, by terrorist organizations. Ideology, psychology, and strategies of major transnational groups are addressed to provide an understanding of their long-term goals and operations. Terrorist groups' relationships with WMD proliferation and organized crime are examined, together with possible future trends in terrorist operations. Case studies of key groups will be used to provide comparative analysis.

GD 554 Cross Cultural Management in the International System 6 Credits

Students will review fundamental topics in human resources management as these pertain to globally active organizations: corporate, not-profit, and governmental. The seminar focuses on building personal skills in dealing with intercultural Human Resources, management differences; selecting, evaluating, and compensating employees in international assignments; training and developing expatriate employees; dealing with culture shock; and examining the effects of repatriation. Students will be asked to apply the concepts of conflict managements, conflict resolution, and conflict avoidance to specific "at-work" situations.

GD 555 Comprehensive Exam 0 Credits

The Comprehensive exam is a degree completion requirement for all Diplomacy students.

GD 560 Military Intervention & Conflict Management in the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will examine conflict in all its forms. Such aspects as covert operations, psychological warfare, special operations, and limited warfare will be introduced. The increased emphasis on multinational coalitions and conflicts will be explored. A renewed emphasis will be given to terrorism, including the use of chemical, biological and nuclear agents. Special cases of civil war and collapsed state conflicts will be reviewed. Finally, the impact of modern warfare, most notably on the environment will be investigated.

GD 561 Human Rights and Conflict in the International System 6 Credits

In this seminar students will probe the complicated connections between the protection and enforcement of human rights norms and the roots, unfolding, and termination of armed conflicts. Borrowing from the fields of peace-building, conflict resolution, diplomacy, and law, the seminar builds upon the themes of conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction developed in previous seminars by focusing on how human rights abuses make conflicts, especially violent conflicts more likely, and how a respect for the political, civil, economic, and social claims of individuals might repair and restore post-conflict societies.

GD 562 International Response to Transnational Terrorism 6 Credits

This seminar surveys the strategies and policies used by states to combat transnational terrorism. It includes the development of international law as a tool against terrorism. It focuses on diplomatic and multilateral approaches to deal with cross-border issues, and government policies designed to improve internal and multinational anti-terrorism coordination and cooperation. Differences and commonalities among states in their approaches to terrorism are highlighted in an effort to examine best practices.

GD 564 Global Corporate Diplomacy 6 Credits

The final seminar in the Commerce concentration addresses the issue of how international commerce depends upon the public goodwill, the development of which is the function of corporate diplomacy. The seminar will enable students to develop knowledge, competencies, and tools for implementing strategic communication in order to deal effectively with international constituencies, including the government, the news media and the Internet, and NGOs. Special emphasis will be laid on developing analytical skills to shape public opinion, build corporate reputation, and deal with crisis in a cross-cultural environment.

GD 567 Diplomacy and Communication 6 Credits

This seminar examines the role of communication in diplomatic endeavors. The historical influence of communication is considered along with the evolving theoretical basis that has informed diplomatic communication. In addition to examining the role communication has played throughout the history of diplomacy, key challenges related diplomatic communication will be considered. These include cultural challenges, the evolving nature of communication technology, the movement towards transparency, and the development of public diplomacy.

GD 570 Thesis Seminar 12 Credits

Students allowed to pursue a thesis track will explore the purposes, problems, and strategies of empirical and theoretical research. Students will work individually with their supervisors (thesis advisors) and identify a proper methodological approach, and a research design for their thesis project. Within this option, students may be assigned readings to improve their understanding and knowledge of elements of quantitative or qualitative research, designing and conducting empirical or qualitative research projects, as well as discussions of conceptualization and operationalization, rules and problems of measurement, logics of research design or a range of observational and data-gathering techniques. Supervisors will guide the thesis students through all stages of research – from developing a research design to writing up the final product. The thesis track concludes with both written and oral examinations conducted by individually selected theses committees.

GD 575 Exit Portfolio 0 Credits

The Exit Portfolio is a degree completion requirement for all Master of Arts in Diplomacy students.

GD 595 Residency 0 Credits