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Our Program

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The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce offers a distinctive Masters of Arts program designed to prepare students academically and professionally for careers in international affairs. We combine academic coursework with immersive learning via a rich variety of co-curricular activities. These include internships, a fall academic conference, negotiation and crisis simulations, site visits, a speakers program, and Summer Reading.

Our flexible 30 credit hour program can be completed in just three semesters. Each student takes a core set of courses and seminars taught by Patterson School faculty in one of four concentrations: diplomacy; international commerce; international security and intelligence; and international organizations and development. Beyond this core, students can craft courses of study tailored to their unique needs and desires that draw widely upon Patterson offerings, and other University of Kentucky graduate departments. Patterson students have developed individual degree plans that include classes in agricultural economics, anthropology, epidemiology, finance, marketing, management, foreign languages, communications, sociology, law, geography, public health, and more. This flexibility in curriculum is pivotal to the Patterson School concept. An integrated discussion of responsibility and ethics is also a key component of our professional program.

Before receiving their degree, all Patterson School students must successfully pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. These exams require students to draw upon the full measure of academic and professional activities they have experienced in the program, testing their universal foreign affairs knowledge as well as their unique specialized skills. This process tests not only knowledge, but also poise and character.

We cannot emphasize enough that the above program of graduate education is implemented in an inspiring, intimate atmosphere characterized by teamwork and collaboration. At the Patterson School, classmates are colleagues and partners, not competitors. The exceptional long–term bonds formed among students, and between students and faculty, create a powerful network that can provide a lifetime of advice, support, help, and inspiration as you advance your goals.