Students typically enroll in two evening seminars and complete a full-time internship during the day.  Although more challenging to handle with a full-time internship commitment, some students may decide to enroll in three evening seminars.

All courses take place from 6:00-8:40 p.m.

Fall 2023 course schedules and descriptions

Please note that these schedules are tentative and subject to change. Syllabi are posted to the DC Program Blackboard as soon as they are available.

Course Schedules and descriptions


(8/28 - 12/11)

(8/29- 12/5)


(8/31- 12/7)


Comparative Foreign Policy (EMIR only)

Issues in Public Diplomacy

China's Challenge to the Global Order

Economic Statecraft

Strategic Foresight for International Relations

Emerging Challenges: Disruptive Technologies

From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development

Congress and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy

PAI 715 | The Emerging Challenge of Disruptive Technologies | Andrew Whiskeyman

This course will examine how disruptive technology may impact a nation’s approach toward its use of diplomacy, information, military, and economic power to advance national objectives. Students will investigate key concepts and impediments to the adoption of technology by organizations and individuals, make educated predictions regarding the role technology could play in competition in the international arena, and assess ethical factors involved in the use of technology, both old and new.

PAI 715: Congress and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy | David McKean and David Wade 

This course will examine the role that the United States Congress plays in the making of U.S. foreign policy whether as partners or adversaries with the White House and other Executive Branch agencies. Using historical and current case studies, this course will examine the sources and conduct as well as the actual process of making foreign policy to include addressing the political and bureaucratic dynamics shaping those decisions. Students will examine direct and indirect ways by which Congress impacts U.S. foreign policy action including the appointments clause, the approval of treaties, the authorization, and appropriations processes as well as through oversight and investigations. Students will examine current tensions and frictions between the branches and how that impacts the way the U.S. addresses contemporary challenges. The course will include short lectures, extensive seminar discussion, and will involve significant interaction with guest speakers who have experience addressing the issues raised during the course.

PAI 715 | China's Challenge to the Global Order | Robert Daly

This master’s seminar focuses on contemporary challenges to the global order posed by China’s growing economic and political power. The course charts China’s reform and opening, its development and integration into the global economy, and the challenges created for Western economic and security institutions and alliances. Specific topic areas covered include China’s non-market status and trade conflict, competition for technological leadership, ICT governance and standard setting, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the implications of China’s South China Sea activity. The course will combine extensive background readings, lectures, and discussion. Students will benefit from frequent guest lectures and discussions with experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

PSC 783 (EMIR only) | Comparative Foreign Policy | Tammy Schultz

A survey and critique of approaches to understanding foreign policy and national security decision-making from the perspective of the practitioner who must deal with problems of individual choice, small groups, bureaucratic politics, and organizational constraints in the conduct of foreign policy. Case studies and simulations will help to provide first-hand experience in policy decision-making.

PAI 715 | Issues in Public Diplomacy | Michael Schneider and Nayyera Haq

This course will provide a deep dive into the origins of information statecraft and explore case studies to provide a detailed understanding of the scope, sophistication, and significance of the geopolitics of information. Building on key theoretical models, including markets for loyalties, networks, and game theory, this course will provide an analytic framework for understanding the range of information statecraft activities, as well as the key variables likely to influence the success or failure of a public diplomacy campaign or program. Monitoring and evaluation techniques and best practices will also be covered, as well as the foundations of digital analytics and metrics. Classes will feature occasional guest speakers from the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the NGO community. At the end of the course, students will be subject matter experts on public diplomacy and global media strategy, the information statecraft toolkit, and the significance of these tools and tactics in international affairs.

PAI 700 | Economic Statecraft | Danica Starks

As the crisis in Ukraine makes clear, some national security challenges require the adept use of the tools of economic statecraft. This course examines the mechanisms, operations, and outcomes of these economic tools. The course focuses on tools designed to coerce change and those offered as incentives and positive inducements. Case studies may also address trade barriers and preferences, financial sanctions, export controls and investment restrictions, foreign lending, and development aid.

PAI 715 | Strategic Foresight for International Relations | James-Christian Blockwood

This course will provide graduate students with a structured approach to thinking about the future of the international environment. It is a foundation in qualitative foresight methodologies with direct application to national or organizational strategic planning. It also provides a tour du horizon of the global trends shaping the world 10-20 years into the future and beyond. Through real-world case studies and classroom exercises, the course exposes students to the practical application of foresight methodologies to policymaking and resource decision-making. These methodologies are routinely used by strategic planners in leading global intelligence organizations, national security ministries, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Strategic foresight is an under-appreciated “hard” international relations skillset, particularly useful in navigating the profound global transitions underway that affect risk and competitiveness for countries, companies, and individuals.

PAI 715 | From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development | Kevin Melton and Julie Werbel

While some countries move up the development ladder on the way to greater economic growth and stability, others struggle with cyclical fragility and the negative repercussions that come with it. The path from fragility to resilience is rarely linear, requiring a mix of security, stabilization, humanitarian aid, and development assistance. This course will look at causes of fragility and examine the non-kinetic tools deployed in fragile states, especially their utility and effectiveness in specific country and regional cases. Primarily discussion-based, the course will also include regular guest speakers who are regional experts and/or practitioners.

For Maxwell Students Only:

PAI 738 | US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice | Robert Murrett

This course meets Monday and Wednesday morning on SU's main campus and is only available in DC online

This course examines the evolution of the US Intelligence Community since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events will be explored, including efforts during the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflict, pre- and post-9/11 operations, the 9/11 and WMD Commissions and the legislative overhaul mandated by Congress in 2004.  The course also will review governance and oversight of the intelligence community by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts. The class will participate in case studies that students will evaluate, provide briefings for, and make recommendations in regard to, both in terms of analysis- and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operations.

Professor Robert Murrett instructs this course.  

PAI 715 | Internship | Lionel Johnson

Students can earn up to three credits working (usually unpaid) as an intern for an agency or organization that focuses on issues of global development or global security.

View Internship Evaluation Guidelines

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