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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Diplomacy

Majors Overview November 12, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in diplomacy and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Graduate Programs in Diplomacy

Diplomacy is the art of strategic communication, often perceived as a form of government-to-government official communication. A global economy entails a need for diplomats among private companies too. An additional focus such as international law or relations may be in a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) in Diplomacy program. Program coursework includes a thesis, internship, and comprehensive exam. Students enrolled in some programs are required to be fluent in a foreign language. Students complete most programs in one or two years.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in political science, diplomacy, or international relations. Some programs accept degrees in public relations, communications, or social science. Applicants are expected to complete advanced level coursework in a foreign language or to demonstrate proficiency. They are also required to complete classes in economics, in addition to submitting Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. While some individuals may go directly from a bachelor’s program to the master’s program, many applicants have relevant work experience.


Students enrolled in a diplomacy program are taught about effective communication in a global community. Students gain the basic foundations of diplomacy by studying historical conflicts, including military strategy and resolution. Enrollees also study modern diplomatic theory and its application in the private sector. A focus such as negotiation or conflict management might be available to students. An internship is completed abroad or in the United States by most candidates. The international nature of diplomacy necessitates fluency in a second language. Core coursework may include the completion of a comprehensive examination or a thesis project, in addition to topic areas such as:

•War and war crimes
•Human rights
•Military intervention
•Economics and law
•Cross-cultural issues
•Different types of terrorism
•Responses to terrorism
•Impact of technology on modern diplomacy
•Corporate Diplomacy
•Types of power
•Public relations and news media

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek jobs with the U.S. State Department and various positions in foreign countries. However, they may also seek career opportunities with the domestic government as well as private corporations both abroad and within the United States. Program graduates can seek available job positions such as:

•Corporate communications officer
•Senior policy maker
•Senior Executive
•Public diplomacy officer
•Public affairs officer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for political scientists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these workers brought in an average annual wage of $102,000.

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