Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in international studies or a related academic discipline, such as political science or prelaw, as assessed by SIT.

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The program’s thematic seminars address the most contemporary international issues within an interdisciplinary framework. Students examine the strategies and responses of international, supranational, and nongovernmental organizations to current challenges to peace and stability. Coursework addresses the political, economic, security, strategic, and environmental dimensions of the rapidly evolving international system in the context of globalization.

The program seeks to facilitate a more profound understanding of multilateral diplomacy, conflict management, European Union politics, and international economic relations. Students develop analytical skills and critical thinking on international issues, gain insight on multilateral institutions, and build networks with international experts.

The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

International Relations and Multilateral Diplomacy - syllabus (PDF)
(INTS 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This course explores the evolving role of diplomacy in contemporary international relations. It examines traditional and non-traditional approaches to diplomacy, taking into consideration the strategies of both state and non-state actors, and international and regional organizations. A major emphasis is on the position of the UN system and the European Union from a multilateral, diplomatic perspective. The course evaluates how the practice of diplomacy can be adapted to global, regional, and local levels. The seminar also examines the approaches of economic, environmental, and humanitarian diplomacy and assesses the increasing role of non-state actors. 

International Security, Peace, and Stability - syllabus (PDF)
(INTS 3005 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The International Security, Peace, and Stability course addresses the evolving international security environment within an interdisciplinary framework. Based on a comprehensive and multi-dimensional security approach, the course seeks to facilitate a holistic understanding of the evolving international security challenges. The course examines conflict prevention strategies, geopolitics in relation to natural resources, non-state actors in conflict zones, and security sector reform. The seminar provides a thorough background in international security studies. The multi-dimensional security approach takes into account politico-military security, human security, and the links between international stability and sound economic and sustainable development. It not only addresses national security strategies but also the roles of intergovernmental and regional organizations, as well as the role of nongovernmental agencies in helping to prevent and manage conflict and in building peace.

Intensive Language Study: French I - syllabus (PDF)
(FREN 1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: French II - syllabus (PDF)
(FREN 2000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: French III - syllabus (PDF)
(FREN 2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: French IV - syllabus (PDF)
(FREN 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom instruction, to provide broader access into the host culture and enable participation in daily social life. Students are placed in intensive beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing.

Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Research Methods and Ethics course provides the theoretical, conceptual, and practical tools for conducting field research in Switzerland. Emphasis is placed on grappling with cultural differences and on recording, interpreting, and analyzing information from primary sources. The focus is on strengthening interactive research skills and methods in both traditional and non-traditional ways: exploring cultural and professional environments, conducting background research, developing contacts and finding resources, developing skills in observation and interviewing, applying field study ethics, and gathering and organizing data. The concepts and skills developed in the seminar underlie and reinforce all other program requirements. The ethical implications and consequences of field research will be examined throughout.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Geneva. Sample topic areas: roles of international agencies in developing countries; peacebuilding and nation building; new approaches to security; human rights and international humanitarian law; migrations, refugees, and internally displaced persons; aid in complex emergencies; economic diplomacy.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Geneva

Language Study: French

Prerequisites: Coursework in international studies, political science, or prelaw Read more...

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Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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