Public Diplomacy and Global Communications Curriculum

What You’ll Study on the Way to Your Master’s Degree

In the public diplomacy and global communications graduate program, you’ll study policy and communications from day 1. Your professors will help you develop your skills in public diplomacy, public affairs, and national and international politics, along with communications at all levels of government, from policymaking and analysis to speech writing, research and the creation of campaign materials.

The program starts with a “boot camp” summer session, where you will learn the essentials of public diplomacy and communications as well as the fundamentals of graphic design. This session gives you a basic framework for political communication and the best way for you to present your research so it is easily understood and absorbed.

Public Diplomacy and Global Communications students spend a semester in Washington, D.C. You will learn in our nation’s capital by working at professional internships and engaging with professors and guest speakers at the Syracuse University Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship. The location is optimal for networking and learning from the large Maxwell and Newhouse alumni networks in the nation’s capital.

Public Diplomacy and Global Communications Master’s Program Schedule*

Second Summer Session (6 credits):

PRL 602 Introduction to Public Diplomacy and Communications
A gateway course on the theory and practice of public diplomacy. Fundamental topics in public relations and international relations will be explored.
COM 698 Media Law
Problems in media law, including libel, privacy, fair trial/free press, obscenity.

Fall Semester (12 credits):

PAI 710 International Actors and Issues
Introduction to critical actors and issues in the international arena, including how social science theories help explain developments and inform policy choices.
PAI 720 Economic Principles for International Affairs
Broad-based background in both micro- and macro-economics for students interested in international careers.
PRL 608 Public Relations Writing
Written communication expected of entry-level public relations/public diplomacy professionals, along with the basic understanding of how the media researches, writes and reports the news.
PRL 611 Public Relations Research
Nature, formation, and communications of attitudes and public opinion in public relations settings. Application of social science methods for measuring attitudes, opinions, and public relations performances. Actual research designed and carried out for client.

Spring Semester (12 credits):

PRL 607 Advanced Public Diplomacy
International public relations and public diplomacy, global media systems, international organizations and the intersection between strategic government communication, mass media and global public opinion.
PRL 615 PR Campaign Planning & Execution
Students apply strategic planning, research and tactics to client needs. Teams design, execute and evaluate appropriate integrated campaigns for actual clients. Frequent client/team interaction required. Campaign books produced are part of the student’s professional portfolio.
PAI (Public Administration and International Affairs) Elective3
Students choose one of the following courses:
PAI 762 Challenges of International Management and Leadership
Preparation for careers leading and managing organizations in a global environment. Students will think strategically about organizations and gain skills and competencies that effective leaders of all types of organizations need.

PAI 763 NGO Management in Developing and Transitioning Countries
Examines concerns central to NGO management and the NGO community regarding accountability, effectiveness, professionalism, and understanding the context in which NGO’s operate.

PRL 624 Public Relations Management and Leadership
Students learn the responsibilities of managing a public relations department in various organizational settings; historical and current management theories and practices are applied to the public relations function. Additional work required of graduate students.

Maymester (3 credits):

PAI (Public Administration and International Affairs) Elective3

Summer Session (1 credit):

PAI 670 Experience Credit: Summer off-campus internship program
Participation in a discipline- or subject-related experience. Students must be evaluated by written or oral reports or an examination. Limited to those in good academic standing.

Fall Semester (9 credits) (DC PD Program):

PAI 708 Issues for 21st Century Public Diplomacy
Exploration of the state of public diplomacy: its place in U.S. statecraft, and the evolving roles and relations of U.S. government departments and agencies here and abroad.
PAI (Public Administration and International Affairs) Elective3
PRL 735 Public Diplomacy Practicum (Internship)
A practicum in student internships in professional settings based on interest and career plans. Students will intern and create a portfolio of writing, graphics, and research samples. The course will also include a comprehensive exam.

Total Credits in Program: 43


*Public Administration and International Affairs (PAI) classes are taught in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Public Relations (PRL) and Communications (COM) classes are taught in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.