International Affairs Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeElizabeth Ransom
Program CodeINTLAF

University Park

World Campus

This program provides students, professionals, and others with an accessible, professional education in the rapidly evolving field of international affairs. The certificate builds career options in international relations, public policy, intelligence, defense policy, military affairs, counterterrorism, diplomacy, international organizations, law enforcement, international business, international law, international education, economic development, international environmental policy, and international energy policy.

Effective Semester:  Fall 2021
Expiration Semester: Fall 2026

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

All applicants submit an application (including payment of the nonrefundable application fee), two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement addressing their reasons for pursuing a certificate in international affairs and discussing their plans and goals.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

The 12-credit program offers a unique balance of academic study, hands-on training, and professional development; it includes 6 credits of core courses, 3 credits in additional core courses or SIA electives, and 3 credits in additional 500 or 800 level courses. In some cases, at the discretion of the certificate program head, substitution of a relevant course from an appropriate unit may be possible.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade with at least 3.0 grade-point average maintained; no grades below a C will be counted toward the certificate.

Required Courses
Select 6 credits from the following:6
International Economics: Principles, Policies, and Practices
Actors, Institutions, and Legal Frameworks in International Affairs
Foundations of Diplomacy and International Relations Theory
Multi-sector and Quantitative Analysis
Global Cultures and Leadership
Select an additional 3 credits in Core Courses or SIA Elective Courses3
Select an additional 3 credits in 500 or 800 level courses3
Total Credits12


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to identify key issues in the field of international affairs.
  2. Students will be able to apply the knowledge they obtain to real-world examples.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Elizabeth Ransom
Program Contact

Christie Persio
The Penn State School of International Affairs
Lewis Katz Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-0788

Program Website View
Campus World Campus
Program Contact