Personal * Passionate * Professional
For more than fifty years the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce has provided an exceptional master's degree program that prepares future leaders for rewarding careers in international affairs.
The Patterson School's hallmarks have been its deliberate, intimate size, its selectivity, and our focus on both diplomacy and international commerce. Patterson graduates pursue exciting careers with governments, international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and in the private sector.
Our program is notable for its passion. With a faculty dedicated to providing an unparalleled learning experience, we ensure students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively maneuver on the world stage. Our graduates seek more than just a profession; they want to make the world better.
Patterson School faculty are a mix of exceptional scholars and practitioners with decades of experience at the Departments of State, Commerce, Defense, and in the intelligence community. They know firsthand what is needed to succeed in the international arena.
Our professional master's program offers concentrations/majors in four areas: diplomacy, international commerce, international organizations and development, international security and intelligence.
Small Is Beautiful
Size matters. The US Department of State is the smallest senior cabinet agency; White House staff and the CIA are similarly lean and select. The natural environment of diplomacy and business is intimate and personal, one-on-one or small groups. Cognoscenti understand that the most important decision making takes place in more restricted venues (think the Cabinet, the UN Security Council, or corporate boardrooms). We believe the same holds true for professional education.
Keeping our program small, select, and focused (75 full-time, resident masters students total; only 35 new students admitted each year) lets us provide an exceptional level of attention, instruction, and interaction. Our focus is directly on our students, with seminars, conferences, speakers programs, simulations, and events specially crafted to develop their full potential. We are proud to measure our success by the strength of our graduates, not the strength of their number.
Patterson students are passionate about improving the state of the world. This leads many to enter careers in professions that are exceedingly rewarding personally, but not always the best financially. Government and diplomatic service, or work with development agencies and NGOs may let them witness history, advance peace, and help feed the hungry at reasonable, but not stellar pay.
While we cannot improve the salaries these future employers may offer, our high-value, low-cost education may afford our students greater professional latitude — and substantially less debt — upon graduation. Our tuition is extremely competitive and the general cost of living in Lexington appreciably lower than that at ranked international affairs graduate programs on the East or West coasts.
Real-World Diplomatic Skills
Our program is focused and flexible. Core courses ensure students acquire a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge. We know advanced diplomatic skills have utility far beyond the American Foreign Service, the U.S. Department of State, or other countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs. We concentrate on developing students' analytical, professional writing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Learning how to be effective as a negotiator or mediator, knowing how to accommodate or adapt to cultural differences, and being comfortable with economic and statistical analysis make our graduates exceptional and effective.
In today's "flat" world an exposure and appreciation of international business is increasingly essential to any professional education. At the Patterson School we not only bring in key corporate leaders working at the forefront of globalization, but also travel as a group (again an advantage of our small size) to headquarters, manufacturing, and operating facilities of several leading multinational corporations.