Given the range of potential careers in the international arena, flexibility is key. All students are expected to select a major concentration from the four core areas: Diplomacy, International Commerce, International Security and Intelligence, Development and International Organizations. Specific course requirements within these concentrations (detailed below) are minimal, enabling students to take a wide variety of electives as long as at least one-half of the required 30 credit hours are in 600 to 700 level courses. Faculty advisors work closely with students to fashion a plan of study that provides essential skills and training, while matching personal interests and goals. Accordingly, our program has limited course requirements.
All students must take our cornerstone course (DIP 700) and our methodology course (DIP 777) in the fall semester of their first year. DIP 700 is designed to ensure a standard level of knowledge about diplomacy and international commerce, both substance and skills. In addition to a basic exploration of diplomatic history and practice, it reviews major economic and international relations theory. On the practical side, the course develops students' professional writing and public speaking skills, building a solid foundation for future coursework and professional experience. DIP 777 is Patterson's core methodology course, introducing students to statistics, research design, and qualitative methods. It focuses on introducing and developing the skills necessary to evaluate and interpret research in the fields of foreign policy and international relations.
In addition, students must either complete or demonstrate proof of 2nd year proficiency in a foreign language of their choice. Finally, students who did not take both macro and microeconomics as part of their undergraduate education, or who desire supplementary economic work, may take a Patterson-only intensive two-week class (no cost and not for credit), provided prior to August orientation.