The School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University is strategically located, with on-campus classes just 14 miles from New York City, as well as at the UN, in the heart of Washington, D.C., online and around the globe. Our School brings together an international community of students with a faculty of award-winning scholars and veteran field professionals who engage in a multidisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes multilateral diplomacy, conflict negotiation, policy analysis, economics, human rights, security and regional expertise. Through one-on-one advisement across 12 customizable graduate programs, hands on application with over 600 internship partners, and dialogue with nearly 40 international leaders and policy makers each year, we prepare talented professionals to advance global goals across the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
Ranked among the top professional programs by GradReports 2020, the School of Diplomacy is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. Through our unique alliance with the United Nations Association of the United States of America and the United Nations Foundation, Diplomacy students engage with influential leaders and policymakers, giving them the power to make connections and dialogue with heads of state, ambassadors and international business and non-profit professionals.
Students practice their international relations expertise through professional internships tailored to individual career goals. They complete internships at prestigious organizations including U.S. and foreign governments, United Nations agencies and top private firms. Our dedicated Office of Internships and Career Development, offers a wide range of services, including: career development workshops, fellowship opportunities and support with application processes, alumni networking, resume and cover letter critique, mock interviews, internship and job-search strategies, and access to job listings, live webinars and career advising.
Graduates of Seton Hall University join a worldwide network that is over 100,000 members strong. Diplomacy alumni serve as diplomats and international civil servants; handle issues of commerce, security and intelligence; navigate the pharmaceutical, finance and communication industries; and respond when disaster strikes through global humanitarian organizations. True loyalists, our alumni make an ongoing contribution to the School, returning to campus to advise and mentor current students by participating in workshops and panels, and providing timely insights into the world of diplomacy and international affairs.
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As an expert on Eastern Europe and the author of the new book, Russian Energy Chains, what should students understand about Russia’s war against Ukraine and its historical context?
The long-term trends and influences on Russia’s behavior may be important in understanding the current situation. Also, decisions about energy supplies and infrastructure, which were made in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, affect how countries can react or may not be able to react. For many actors in western Europe and Ukraine, accessing Russian energy was an opportunity—a temptation that was advantageous for many people, from corrupt politicians to households that benefited from subsidized prices. This has made it difficult for western European states and Ukraine to move away from dependency on Russian energy. Also, the European Union is finally understanding the seriousness of Russia’s aggression in a way that it apparently did not understand at the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014.
You teach a course on Russian foreign policy. How does history and the current crisis factor into classroom discussions?
I ask students to look back at the expansion of the Russian empire and how that affects relations with neighboring states. This is a basic building block of the way I teach foreign policy.
Your faculty colleagues include influential scholars and international affairs practitioners, you among them. How do students benefit from the research and field work being done at the School of Diplomacy?
We are deeply engaged in field research and practice, which helps students bridge the more academic components of their learning with very concrete policy challenges in a timeframe that is sometimes very urgent. One example of how that works is our National Security Fellows program, where graduate students share the results of their policy relevant research with State Department officials and provide operational briefs and policy recommendations.
How else can students prepare to navigate the risks and uncertainty we may face?
We are alerting students to the very unexpected ways in which different policy fields, economic areas, and geographic regions interrelate. Very few of us would have expected Russia’s war in Ukraine would create a global crisis in energy, grain, timber, and even metals supply. We are preparing students to identify solutions that are not obvious on the surface, so that they can contribute into the future.
What advice can you give young professionals interested in studying international affairs?
Look for programs that are oriented toward innovative solutions to the challenges that are emerging. We do that at the School of Diplomacy by looking at new responses to the climate crisis. For instance, my new research project on the geopolitics of industrial decarbonization goes beyond our conventional interest in how to replace fossil fuels for electricity production. It looks at the much more complex issue of the use of fossil fuels as industrial feedstock—the last frontier of decarbonization.
We also study the ways new and emerging powers, such as China and India, respond to global challenges. Understanding their motivations helps us make policies more effective.
You have been recognized for your excellence in online teaching. How do you keep students connected and engaged?
In some ways, we are more connected than ever! Students from around the world have been able to join us virtually, expanding accessibility and adding richness to the graduate school experience. Students engage with each other’s ideas; they challenge, support, and learn from one another. They hold study sessions, work collaboratively, make presentations, and receive feedback. We host virtual events, guest speakers, online advising, group discussions, office hours, and one-to-one chats.
Your research focuses on the role of women in democratization. What impact do women have on policy and access to leadership?
Women’s leadership needs to be the new normal. We need to address patriarchal structures that marginalize women using legal reform and continued engagement. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, yet policies are largely gender blind. We celebrate women leaders for performing better in containing COVID-19, but women in leadership are outliers; despite years of advocating for greater representation of women at all levels, this still lags in practice. For example, in Sierra Leone, the focus of much of my research, women represent less than 10 percent of the leadership in key institutions charged with fighting the outbreak, despite leading on the frontlines as health care workers. COVID-19 reminds us that the battle for gender equity and equality is far from over.
How does the School of Diplomacy and International Relations prepare students to work in today’s diverse world?
Our community is a microcosm of the world. Our students are the changemakers leading the way. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Coalition is listening to students and alumni, assessing curriculum, developing new courses on race and racism, and building the pipeline of diverse international affairs professionals. Our students challenge us to be more responsive and to represent a range of voices. As faculty, we are learning from them and working together to be intentionally anti-racist and address inequality.
How do students benefit from the school’s multidisciplinary, multilateral approach to international affairs?
Our proximity to New York City and Washington, DC, and unique alliances with the UN community expands students’ knowledge base and perspective on global challenges. Students learn from scholars and practitioners engaged in research and policymaking. We represent the complexities of decision-making and analysis of world events from multiple perspectives. Students work with professors as research assistants and co-author articles and opinion pieces, gaining advantage in the job market.
What advice can you give young professionals interested in international affairs?
Never lose your passion for transformative change. Be open to learning from those who do not look like you, as well as from those you want to “help.” Admit that what you do not know is much more than what you do. A key message for students is that development has to change—they have to play their part in decolonizing aid and development institutions and promoting equity in development. International cooperation and multilateral solutions to global problems have never been more essential. The world needs our graduates. This is a critical time to become an international affairs professional.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge throughout the world, Professor Yanzhong Huang, Director of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations' Center for Global Health Studies and a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, remains a sought-out global health expert on the impact of its continuing spread. Huang, who specializes in the security and foreign policy aspects of health issues, has authored the books Governing Health in Contemporary China and Toxic Politics and is the founding editor of Global Health Governance: The Scholarly Journal for the New Health Security Paradigm. The response to the pandemic, he says, demonstrates the value of open-mindedness and an interdisciplinary perspective.
Graduate students at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations can gain an expertise in global health and security. How does this course of study connect with the pandemic and climate change?
Both infectious disease outbreaks and climate change are human security concerns due to their impact on global public health. They are also increasingly becoming “high politics” issues because of their profound implications on governance and national security. Students who have gained expertise in global health security will be well equipped to address the dual challenges of infectious diseases and climate change.
You have written about the lack of international cooperation during the pandemic, particularly between the United States and China. What motivates leaders to work together to do the right thing?
Typically, a global public health emergency is sufficient to motivate collective action and catalyze international cooperation given its ability to wreak havoc to a global community in a short period of time. The lack of international cooperation during this pandemic highlights the importance of sound political leadership that values people’s health and well-being over domestic politics or geopolitical considerations.
Why is global health security an important field to study and build a career in right now?
The ongoing pandemic is a global crisis requiring a global solution. The pandemic reveals the lack of resources, capabilities, and cooperation in addressing a global challenge. But fundamentally, it points to the failure to correctly define the challenges we face, design effective policy solutions, and pursue their implementation in a timely and coherent manner. Students of global health security will develop the knowledge and skills to analyze complex situations, synthesize information, and design interventions for improved global health governance.
What will the field look like five years from now?
In five years, global health programs will be mushrooming in the United States and worldwide. I expect all schools of international affairs to have a program that addresses the complex dynamics among health, development, and security. The program here at Seton Hall is well established. We’ve been around since 2003.
Given these turbulent times, how can students prepare for international careers that will help promote positive change?
They should be ready to update their toolbox and prove that their knowledge and skills are relevant in a complex and capricious world.
What traits do you believe students need to succeed professionally in the field?
Be open-minded and flexible, with a global and interdisciplinary perspective.
You were recently named a Fulbright Scholar and will be looking into the impact of domestic politics and Sino-U.S. rivalry on the strategic behavior of Southeast Asian states. What are ways that today’s students prepare to contribute in a volatile global arena?
Having a voice on pivotal issues, such as how Asian states are navigating the changing balance of power and the trade war between the United States and China, requires a keen understanding of the sociopolitical systems of other countries. Analysts need a firm grasp of the underlying theories and concepts that enable them to address important questions that move beyond the simplistic labels we may see in the press and on social media. There is also a tendency for students to view global issues solely through the prism of U.S. interests. At the School of Diplomacy, we explore the world through a multipolar lens and help our students develop the skills and background knowledge needed to move global politics forward.
As a foreign policy analyst, how has your focus in the classroom shifted to reflect emerging issues?
The only thing certain in international relations (IR) is change. We adapt by expanding our knowledge of emerging issues and their potential impact on traditional national interests, such as security and economic prosperity. Today, foreign policy also encompasses transnational challenges, such as climate change, migration, global health, and food and water security. Our graduate programs provide opportunities in and outside of the classroom for students to wrestle with these issues, and engage in the conversations that are shaping the field.
How are student assignments addressing critical skills needed for tomorrow’s international affairs professional?
Our classrooms emphasize strong critical thinking skills that enable students to analyze foreign policy issues, compare cases, and draw lessons from them are crucial. After studying the Iranian nuclear deal or the sanctions against Russia, my students were asked what recommendations they would make as an advisor to the president. They needed to marshal evidence to support one position—such as whether U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was in the country’s interest—and lay out the alternative argument and rebut it. This is precisely the type of analysis and writing required for students wishing to enter policy debates—as a State Department, Department of Defense, or congressional analyst.
Cities and other subnational areas are having a greater influence on international issues. What opportunities do graduates in IR have to lead on the local, national, and global levels?
As globalization connects us all, hard distinctions between the international, domestic, and local areas are eroding. Leaders interested in promoting economic prosperity in states and cities will increasingly solicit investment from foreign companies and promote local products abroad, creating opportunities for IR graduates to work in trade and investment offices. At the same time, combatting global problems, such as climate change and transnational terrorism, requires local solutions, opening doors for School of Diplomacy alumni to apply their knowledge and address critical issues in local communities.
You represented Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy at the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) conference in Uganda. How did that opportunity come about?
Diplomacy students are recognized as colleagues from the time they arrive at Seton Hall. We’re trusted to represent the school and collaborate with faculty and staff at the highest levels by working with them on research, engaging with dignitaries at special events, and participating in fieldwork. This opportunity was no exception. Our dean, Andrea Bartoli, is a founding member of GAAMAC and makes a point of getting to know diplomacy students. After working together on integrating GAAMAC into the student experience, he invited me to attend the biannual conference as his representative. It was a big responsibility, and I felt honored to be asked. Seeing states and civil society come together to address diverse viewpoints on mass atrocity prevention was a tremendous experience. At the conference, I met a diplomat who is part of the team negotiating a peace treaty for my home country of Colombia. That’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.
How did you prepare for the conference?
My class in international organizations inspired my interest in GAAMAC and helped me understand that it was created from the need for a common platform to empower prevention. My comparative foreign policy course showed me why states behave in certain ways, gave me tools to assess policies that address ongoing conflicts, and allowed me to appreciate the varied interests behind positions adopted by state representatives at the conference.
What has this experience taught you about students’ role in the work being done to prevent mass atrocities?
Age is not an obstacle when it comes to shaping the discussion and pressuring states to commit to prevention efforts. The student voice is not only welcomed—it matters. At the conference, I facilitated a panel on the role of youth and education in the prevention of mass atrocities. My earlier participation in the school’s All Conflict is Local forum was great preparation. I connected academic experience with personal experience and applied what I was learning. I was truly inspired by how this panel was received, and it gives me hope about the active role students can take.
How is your access to faculty and direct engagement in the field impacting your career path?
It has been incredible to start making a difference now and not wait until after graduation. I have made connections—at the GAAMAC conference and at the school—with state and civil society professionals from around the world. At my current internship with Caritas Internationalis, I am interacting with many of these same key players. My professional network has been transformed, and the impact that I can make is greater as a result.
Going to the GAAMAC conference helped me realize my goal of working for a nongovernmental organization (NGO). By gaining a better understanding of peace and conflict resolution at the School of Diplomacy, and finishing my dual degree in business, I hope to help NGOs maximize their resources and to contribute to the peace processes in Colombia and other regions.
As a student from Serbia, what aspects of diplomacy do you value most?
Sometimes it feels as if I have only lived in times of uncertainty, which is why international relations and diplomacy have always been a big part of my life. Growing up in Serbia and the war-torn Balkans region in the 1990s, I knew about United Nations (UN) missions and the diplomats who were active in the region. I was fascinated with diplomacy and its application as an instrument that states could use to negotiate and realize their national interests.
After graduating from college in 2009 with a degree in finance, I started working for a global banking firm and then moved to a major professional services company. These experiences offered me a deeper understanding of globalization and cross-border cooperation and helped me to appreciate collaboration within teams—all hallmarks of diplomacy.
After working for a few years, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs. At Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, I gained a strong foundation in international relations theory, improved my analytical and research skills, and expanded my knowledge of global institutions. I also studied with international affairs scholars and career diplomats and participated in a study seminar in Cyprus, where I met the country’s current president and other top leaders. I also spent a week at the UN with students from around the world, where we attended briefings and heard from senior UN officials about the organization’s dynamics and the daily challenges diplomats face.
All of these experiences gave me a realistic understanding of the complexity and hard work involved in diplomacy. Managing the demands of today’s multilateral world requires a new generation of diverse, well-informed, and flexible international front-runners.
How did your experience at the School of Diplomacy enhance your ability to work in diverse settings?
Among the things I valued most about the School of Diplomacy were its small class size, communal environment, and global student body. For example, our art and science of negotiation class simulations gave us a chance to practice negotiating in real-time with students of different backgrounds. I have used the skills I gained in that class in my new global role at work. I also had an opportunity to hear different perspectives on the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal from Iranian and U.S. colleagues who thoughtfully represented opposing points of view. I heard firsthand about issues in Afghanistan from a student who worked in his country’s ministry of foreign affairs. This level of engagement is unique. It helped me grow personally and professionally and showed me the value of diversity—not just in terms of ethnicity, religion, and race—but in opinion and perspective, as well.
What advice would you have for new students of international relations?
There is a need for students who, as international civil servants, will focus on accomplishing something rather than becoming somebody. My modest advice to these future global leaders is to never stop learning, be flexible about their careers, especially in times of uncertainty, and to remain open to hearing different points of view.
How is Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations adapting its curriculum to changes in the world while preparing for the future?
We are passionate about working together to find ways of restoring stability and security in our world. The School of Diplomacy offers a graduate degree specialization and an online certificate in Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability. Many of our instructors and guest lecturers can explore through first-hand experience what’s behind a crisis, as well as what can be done to avoid, manage and resolve conflict. Seton Hall University is also a leader in global health studies and health management. We were inspired to combine these two strengths into a certificate program in Global Health Management that looks at what is going on in the world today in terms of infectious and chronic diseases, for example, and teaches our students how to address these challenges. The program also allows us to tap into one of the benefits of our location just outside of New York City—our connections to leading health professionals, area hospitals, and international organizations, such as the UN.
How is the School responding to changes in the world outside of the classroom?
As a whole, our community revels in the opportunity to contribute to the greater good. We view students as partners in mutual learning, and are proud to be addressing global issues together through student-faculty research teams. For example, I have been working with a team of students to advance the mission of Global Action against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC). Dr. Borislava Manojlovic traveled to the Basque Country last year to present government officials with her research team’s recommendations for post-conflict development. And Dr. Martin Edwards led a team in analyzing public opinion of the UN. Experiences like these positively contribute to student development by allowing them to engage actors in a way most students and academic institutions can only discuss in the classroom.
Are there others ways in which Seton Hall is staying competitive in the current academic environment?
We see a greater interest in accelerated, online programs that will upgrade the skills professionals are seeking in order to advance their careers or to pursue a more focused professional path. To meet these demands, we developed online courses and 15 credit certificate programs that get students to their academic goals faster. We are launching an Executive M.S. degree in International Affairs structured with the needs of mid-career professionals in mind and anticipate the launch of a new Certificate in Global Studies that will empower teachers to infuse classroom learning with a greater focus on international affairs. Good things are happening here.
Dr. Benjamin Goldfrank is Faculty Chair and Kyle Younger is Director of Professional Services at Seton Hall's School of Diplomacy and International Relations.
How does Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations prepare students for their first job after graduate school?
The School of Diplomacy transitions graduate students from consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge, ready to contribute to a variety of fields. We begin by offering a customizable academic program that fosters foundational specialty in two of thirteen concentrations designed to meet diverse interests and inform students’ passions.
Our intimate size and collegial culture create an atmosphere that emphasizes peer to peer relationship building, faculty mentorship, and an entrepreneurial spirit, all of which serve our alumni well as they establish themselves as professionals.
Along the way, the School’s Office of Professional Services provides workshops and individualized advising to help students shape career plans, build professional portfolios and effectively position and present themselves in the market.
What competencies do the School’s graduate programs build in the classroom? Outside the classroom?
The classroom experience hones skills in policy analysis, negotiation and conflict management, professional writing, and research methods. Our required internship program capitalizes on our proximity to New York City and presence in Washington, D.C., providing students access to the United Nations, private firms, government agencies, and international NGOs. With support from our Director of Internships and Career Development, students build job skills specific to their career interests.
Outside the classroom, students sharpen their networking abilities by engaging with distinguished visiting guests and successful alumni. A variety of graduate student organizations and unique opportunities to work side by side with the School’s dean allow students to simultaneously develop leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
In what new ways is the School helping students build skills for global careers?
The School of Diplomacy has several new initiatives designed to support recent bachelor’s degree graduates and professionals in developing targeted expertise to advance their careers. In addition to our Semester in Washington, D.C. Program, which allows students to pursue internships in the capital while completing diplomacy courses, we have recently inaugurated three graduate certificate programs on the UN, global health management, and postconflict state reconstruction.
What opportunities do students have to connect with practitioners?
Students have the opportunity to take classes and complete professional projects with former ambassadors, UN officials, practicing judges and attorneys. Alumni often return to the school to share their experiences and serve as mentors to current students. In addition to regularly scheduled presentations from field leaders, our signature World Leaders Forum event has hosted such notable guests as U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Liberian peace activist and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others.
What do you hope to instill in students for the long term?
We aim to help students cultivate a deep understanding of who they are and how they can have a positive impact on the world they’ve inherited. We want them to feel confident and prepared to be leaders in the field who value diversity, maximize the strengths of others, and think strategically. Ultimately, we hope to inspire their commitment to take heart and take action.
- Annual enrollment:
- 140 (Graduate)
- Average GRE:
- Average GPA:
- Work experience:
- 41% <2yrs; 14% 2-4yrs; 18% 4-6yrs; 27% >8yrs
- % International:
- Alumni employment sectors:
- Private: 46%, Public: 20%; Non-profit: 34%
- Degrees offered:
- MA in Diplomacy and International Relations; MA/MBA, MA/JD, MA/MPA, MA/MA Strategic Communications, Executive MS in International Affairs; Online Executive MS in International Affairs; Graduate Certificate in Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability; Graduate Certificate in United Nations Studies; Graduate Certificate in Global Health Management.
- $1,331 credit, see more information here
- Internship Partners:
- 600+ internship partner institutions around the world spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors