Summer Diplomatic Academy

A Practical Training Program for Students and Early-Career Professionals (60 hours)


July 6-31, 2020 | Monday–Friday | 10:00 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. EDT


Not offered in 2020 due to COVID-19.


Our Summer Diplomatic Academy is a unique and intensive practical training program that introduces undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates to careers in international diplomacy. It covers the fundamentals of diplomatic practice and focuses on real-life aspects of work in governments, embassies and consulates, international organizations and global NGOs. The material emphasizes a skills-based and experiential-learning approach, and is generally not offered at colleges and universities. The program also includes career-counseling sessions. Students receive certificates from the Academy.

The course is taught by career ambassadors and other professional diplomats who have served in dozens of countries over several decades. They provide insight into policy-making and implementation, diplomatic protocol, the functions and management of embassies and consulates, diplomatic reporting and writing, negotiation and mediation, political and economic tradecraft, public diplomacy and cross-cultural communication and other skills and competencies.

We teach what you can’t learn from books, Google or YouTube. You can preview some of our sessions on this page.

In-Person Program

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person program will not be offered in 2020.

Online Program

The four-week online program includes two 90-minute sessions per day (with one 30-minute break), Monday through Friday, for a total of 60 instruction hours. Except for taking place online, the course will be the same as the in-person version, including content, instructors, exercises, discussions, assignments, Q&A and other interactions with instructors and fellow trainees. The sessions will be held live in real time. Trainees will be evaluated based on individual assignments and group exercises.

Program Sessions

The National and International Diplomacy Systems

The Interagency Foreign-Policy Process

Diplomatic Protocol and Immunities

Managing a Diplomatic Mission

Exercise: Competing Mission Priorities

Political Tradecraft

Diplomatic Advocacy and Lobbying

Diplomatic Reporting and Writing

Exercise: Writing Diplomatic Cables

Diplomatic Communication: How to Talk and Listen Like a Diplomat

Exercise: Delivering a Diplomatic Démarche

Economic Tradecraft

Environmental and Science Diplomacy

Health Diplomacy

Commercial Diplomacy

Consular Affairs

Crisis-Management Abroad

Career-Counseling Session

The Diplomacy-Defense-Intelligence Axis

Public Diplomacy: Media Relations and Cultural Affairs

Exercise: Media Interviews

Public Speaking in a Diplomacy Context

Cross-Cultural Communication

Diplomatic Negotiation and Mediation

Exercise: Diplomatic Negotiation

Cyber Diplomacy

Multilateral Diplomacy

*The agenda is subject to change as needed.

Check out session previews and previous trainee testimonials

Application Process

Undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and early-career professionals are eligible to apply to the Summer Diplomatic Academy. Previous coursework in political science, international relations or related fields is highly desirable, but not required. You may apply for both the in-person and online programs at the same time.

Applications must include a completed application form and a CV or résumé. A cover letter or personal statement, explaining how the academy will help you achieve your career goals (up to 500 words), is strongly encouraged but not required. We reserve the right to ask for such a statement if we believe it will strengthen your application.

Both U.S. and foreign citizens may apply. Fluency in English is required. International applicants to the in-person program who are not already in the United States will be responsible for obtaining their own U.S. entry visas on the basis of our admission letter. Candidates from visa-waiver countries need an electronic visa (ESTA), which can be obtained online.

The application process for the 2020 program is now closed.

Tuition & Other Fees

The tuition fee is $4,000 and includes the cost of all sessions and study materials (except for recommended books). The fee is the same for the in-person and online programs.

For trainees in the in-person program, we also offer hotel accommodation. The price is $1,300 for double occupancy and $2,300 for single occupancy and covers 13 nights. Additional nights are available upon request.

Get in touch

If you have questions about the Summer Diplomatic Academy, send us a message using the form below or call us on +1-202-656-9828.

See links to Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at bottom of page.

1015 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

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