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AMDY - Diplomacy

International Affairs Programs Graduate Master of Arts

Program Delivery

Online Program

Program Level


Degree Designation

Master of Arts

Program Type



College of Graduate & Continuing Studies

Program Description

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). In addition to the core courses, students will also select one concentration.

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.

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.

Concentration Options:

Cyber Diplomacy

Cyber Diplomacy concentration addresses fundamental issues, debates, and events in International Relations, specifically those pertaining to cyberspace. 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 cyberspace. 

International Management

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 Terrorism

This concentration explores the multifaceted concept of terrorism in both the 20th and 21st centuries. The first seminar provides a 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, and 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 Conflict Management

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” (as 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 with the aspect that actors must consider in terms of a post-conflict cleanup. 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.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WESIERFSpanTran, or CED.

    • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:

    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) is required.

    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.

    • The applicant holds a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college/university/institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.

All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs).

Up to 12-semester graduate credits for study conducted elsewhere may be awarded. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.

Additional Program Information


A 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 Thesis is not a degree requirement and as such may be completed outside the normal Diplomacy degree process without hindering the 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.