New international affairs graduate certificate designed by former U.S. ambassadors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is offering a new international affairs graduate certificate program online that was designed by two former American ambassadors.

Applications are being accepted for the Graduate Certificate in International Affairs, which focuses on giving students a deeper understanding of the inner workings of policy on the global stage. The 12-credit graduate certificate is offered online by Penn State’s School of International Affairs through Penn State World Campus and can be completed in one year.

The courses were developed by former American ambassadors and School of International Affairs faculty Joseph DeThomas and Dennis Jett, whose State Department careers span four decades. DeThomas was the U.S. ambassador to Estonia from 2001 to 2004, and Jett served as ambassador to Mozambique and Peru in the 1990s.

Elizabeth Ransom, interim director of the School of International Affairs, said the courses in the certificate program “provide an interdisciplinary approach to international affairs, which makes this suitable for a wide range of prospective students.”

The courses include foundations of diplomacy and international relations theory, the role of intelligence in international relations, and weapons of mass destruction and international security, and a colloquium course on current policy challenges. As an interdisciplinary program, there is also an opportunity to explore related fields and topics such as economics, demography, climate change, energy policy, disease outbreaks, and religion and the state. The readings draw from a wide range of disciplines, including political science, economics, and other social sciences.

Kierra Drapcho, director of administration for the School of International Affairs, said the school anticipates students coming from a variety of backgrounds and career interests. Students pursuing other graduate degrees can also use the certificate to add an international component to their program, she said.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the new Graduate Certificate in International Affairs.

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