The graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Studies is designed for students whose careers will demand an understanding of the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. ISD seeks to work with students from a broad range of SFS graduate programs to integrate and complement their studies and to provide them with the intellectual skills to assess the complexity of issues and actors outside the student’s own functional or geographic area of concentration, to synthesize a wide range of information sources and to extrapolate to both broad strategic goals and innovative, yet pragmatic policy implementation steps.

Together with the ISD certificate director, certificate candidates will plan a directed, coherent course of study that includes one foundation course in the first year of their graduate work, with a grade of A- or A, four electives, at least two of which are outside their degree concentration, plus one ISD-directed capstone in the second year of their graduate work. Certificate candidates must also do at least one internship with a governmental or international organization that deals directly with diplomatic practice, and must fulfill the SFS language competency requirement.

The goal is a balance of functional and regional focuses, core and emerging issues, and statecraft skills and competencies tailored to the academic background and career goals of the student. 

Topics may include:

  • Diplomatic history
  • Diplomatic concepts and theories, such as the Responsibility to Protect, international treaties and customary law
  • Evolution, structure and actions of regional and multilateral organizations
  • Tools, such as sanctions/trade promotion, e-diplomacy and public diplomacy, and humanitarian, developmental and security assistance
  • Transnational issues

To inquire further, please contact Barbara Bodine, certificate director and director of ISD, at