Master of Arts in Diplomacy

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. Currently, there are four concentrations within the program; International Conflict Management, International Terrorism, International Commerce, and Cyber-Diplomacy.

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 and a concentration. 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/Plan of Study 

Term 1
Theory and the International System6
The History of Diplomacy in the International System
Term 2
GD 520Law and the International System6
Term 3
GD 530Economics and the International System6
Term 4
One concentration course
Term 5
One concentration course
Term 6
One concentration course
Additional Program Requirements
Comprehensive Exam 10
Exit Portfolio0
Residency 20
Total Cr.36

Curriculum Requirements

Core Curriculum

The core seminars are designed to give students a solid understanding 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 international 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) followed by GD520, and GD530. The required courses 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 Requirements for all Concentrations
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
GD 555Comprehensive Exam0
GD 575Exit Portfolio0
Culminating Academic Requirement
GD 595Residency0
Total Cr.18


All concentrations follow the same format: 18 credit hours composed of three, six-credit, eleven-week seminars. Within the required courses students are exposed to the fundamental concepts, while the concentration courses expose them to the challenges within the chosen specialization.  This in-depth analysis of a subfield gives the student the expertise and understanding to be more effective in dealing with the challenges presented by various types of international transactions.

International Conflict Management Concentration

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 560Military Intervention & Conflict Management in the International System6
or GD 541 The Practice of Diplomacy
or GD 561 Human Rights and Conflict in the International System
or GD 567 Diplomacy and Communication
Total Cr.18

International Terrorism Concentration

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
or GD 546 International Security
GD 552International Terrorism by Non-State Actors6
GD 562International Response to Transnational Terrorism6
or GD 541 The Practice of Diplomacy
or GD 567 Diplomacy and Communication
Total Cr.18

International Commerce Concentration

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 564Global Corporate Diplomacy6
or GD 567 Diplomacy and Communication
Total Cr.18

Cyber Diplomacy Concentration

Cyber Diplomacy concentration addresses fundamental issues, debates, and events in International Relations, and specifically those pertinent to the cyber space. As the arena of international transactions is growing in both scope and depth, the students of diplomacy have to make themselves familiar with a wide array of issues, including those taking place or affecting the cyber space. 

Cyber Diplomacy Courses
National Security (Default Elective)6
Diplomacy and Communication (Default Elective)6
Cyber Diplomacy6
Total Cr.18

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 take a written exam where, typically, they are given eight questions in four groups of two questions per group. Students must choose one of the two questions in each group, thus answering four questions. The questions are devised by program faculty and are not given to students in advance. The four hour exam is proctored. 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 is read independently and blindly by a minimum of three faculty members. The exam should be passed by two readers for the passing grade; the concentration question must be passed by at least two readers for the satisfactory grade. Students who fail the exam will be given one more chance to take it. Students who publish an article in a peer-reviewed academic or a professional journal may be exempt from the Comprehensive Exam requirement. Students who successfully defend a thesis may be exempt from the Comprehensive Exam requirement. 

Exit Portfolio

At the end of their program, all students will be assessed in the Exit Portfolio classroom, GD 575. This requirement consists of electronic copies of all FINAL research papers delivered in each program seminar. 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 Exit Portfolio instructor’s 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

MA Thesis in the Diplomacy program is optional. 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, and present samples of their written 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.

  • The optional MA Thesis is not a degree requirement and as such may be completed outside the normal Diplomacy degree process without hindering completion of the degree. This allows students to complete a thesis after graduation, if desired. The MA thesis courses are not eligible for Federal Student Aid Programs when taken outside the normal degree process. 
  • The MA Thesis may become a degree requirement if the thesis track is approved for a student in lieu of the comprehensive exam requirement. If the thesis track/comprehensive exam exemption is granted, the student will not graduate from the program until successful defense of the thesis. In this scenario, the MA thesis courses are eligible for Federal Financial Aid Programs.

Thesis Seminar (12 Credits)

GD 570Thesis Seminar3
GD 571Graduate Thesis Research II3
GD 572Graduate Thesis Research III3
GD 573Graduate Thesis Research IV3
GD 579GR Research Project Exam0
Total Cr.12


Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
Lasha Tchantouridze, PhD (Program Director) Queens University, Canada
Charles Lerche, PhD (Associate Program Director of Academics) University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Hayat Alvi, PhD Howard University
Ali Askerov, PhD University of Manitoba
Clifford Bates, PhD Northern Illinois University
Narain Batra, PhD Gujarat University, India
John Becker, PhD University of Denver
Najiba Benabess, PhD University of Wisconsin
Bond Benton, PhD University of Vienna, Austria
James Binney, PhD University of Kentucky
Stefan Brooks, PhD University of Houston
Rowland Brucken, PhD Ohio State University
Anthony Cain, PhD Ohio State University
Stanley Carpenter, PhD Florida State University
Emily Copeland, PhD The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Paula Doherty, PhD Nova Southeastern University
Robert Farkasch, PhD York University, Canada
Don Harrington, PhD University of Connecticut
Michael Jackson, PhD Brandeis University
David Jones, PhD State University of New York at Albany
William Jong-Ebot, PhD University of Wisconsin
Samia Harb, PhD Florida International University
Seung-Ho Joo, PhD Pennsylvania State University
Angela Kachuyevski, PhD The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Brian Kupfer, PhD Claremont Graduate University
Jonathan Levy, PhD William Howard Taft Law School
Gregory Makuch, ABD Salve Regina University
Hatice Gamze Menali, MA Norwich University
Darryl Mitry, PhD University of Southern California
Amit Mukherjee, PhD Syracuse University
Eric Nelson, PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Scott Nelson, PhD Arizona State University
Robert Pauly, PhD Old Dominion University
Eileen Scully, PhD Georgetown University
Jack Segal, MA University of Southern California
Steven, Shirley, PhD Old Dominion University
Joel Sokolsky, PhD Harvard University
Eugene Tadie, PhD Northern Illinois University
Andrea Talentino, PhD University of California, Los Angeles
Stephen Twing, PhD University of South Carolina