Courses & Timetable

The EMIR in DC program is a 10-course, 30-credit degree. Designed with working professionals in mind, the program can be completed in as little as 18 months. In addition to courses offered in Washington, students may take part in many additional offerings, either in Syracuse or in other parts of the world. Maxwell offers a variety of short-term courses that plug easily into the EMIR format.  Take a look at course listings on campus and around the world.

The two lists below provide an illustrative timetable and tentative DC course list reflective of a fall 2018 and a spring 2019 start date. Semester courses meet once per week for 2.5 hours, and are offered in the evening beginning at 6 p.m. Summer courses meet twice per week in the evenings.  Maymester and January intersession courses are intensive and assume full-time attendance for 7-10 days. Course offerings, titles, and timing may vary.

While the timetables below provide examples, students complete the program at their own pace. Many other combinations are possible.

Fall 2018 start - 20-month program duration

Fall 2018 semester - pick two evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 702  | Development in Africa: Challenges, Constraints & Strategies  | Freeman
  • PAI 715  | Evolving Global Security Landscape: Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and Artificial Intelligence  | Keagle
  • PAI 715  | Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security  | Das Gupta
  • PAI 715  | Conflict and Security in Cyberspace  | Lewis
  • PAI 715  | Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order  | Lovely
  • PAI 715  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era  | Green
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

January 2019 intersession - pick one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Public Management of Technology Development  | O'Keefe
  • PAI 700  | Global Energy and Geopolitics  | Hederman
  • PAI 730  | Tax Policy and Politics  | Burman

Spring 2019 semester - two mandatory evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 895  | Executive Education Seminar: Leadership and Strategy in Global Affairs  | O'Keefe
  • PSC 783  | Comparative Foreign Policy  | Skaluba

Maymester 2019 - pick one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PSC 786  | Russia and Post-Soviet Politics | Taylor
  • PAI 703   | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730   | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker

Summer 2019 - pick one evening course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Who Will Rule the 21st Century  | O'Hanlon
  • PAI 700  | Sustainable Development, Security, and the Frontier of Finance  | Das Gupta

Fall 2019 semester - pick two evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 702  | Development in Africa: Challenges, Constraints & Strategies  | Freeman
  • PAI 715  | Evolving Global Security Landscape: Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and Artificial Intelligence  | Keagle
  • PAI 715  | Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security  | Das Gupta
  • PAI 715  | Conflict and Security in Cyberspace  | Lewis
  • PAI 715  | Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order  | Lovely
  • PAI 715  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era  | Green
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

Spring 2020 semester - one mandatory course (3 credits)

  • PAI 996  | Master's Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs  | CSIS faculty

Spring 2019 start - 18-month program duration

Spring 2019 semester - two mandatory evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 895    | Executive Education Seminar: Leadership and Strategy in Global Affairs  | O'Keefe
  • PSC 783  | Comparative Foreign Policy  | Skaluba

Maymester 2019 - pick one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PSC 786  | Russia and Post-Soviet Politics | Taylor
  • PAI 703   | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730   | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker

Summer 2019 - pick one evening course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Who Will Rule the 21st Century  | O'Hanlon
  • PAI 700  | Sustainable Development, Security, and the Frontier of Finance  | Das Gupta

Fall 2019 semester - pick two evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 702  | Development in Africa: Challenges, Constraints & Strategies  | Freeman
  • PAI 715  | Evolving Global Security Landscape: Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and Artificial Intelligence  | Keagle
  • PAI 715  | Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security  | Das Gupta
  • PAI 715  | Conflict and Security in Cyberspace  | Lewis
  • PAI 715  | Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order  | Lovely
  • PAI 715  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era  | Green
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

January 2020 intersession - pick one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Public Management of Technology Development  | O'Keefe
  • PAI 700  | Geopolitics of the Middle East  | TBD

Spring 2020 semester - pick two evening courses, one mandatory (6 credits)

  • PAI 996  | Master's Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs  | CSIS faculty
  • PAI 700  | Russian Foreign Policy  | TBD
  • PAI 708  | Issues in Public Diplomacy  | Schneider
  • PAI 709  | Public Diplomacy Research Consultancy  | Schneider
  • PAI 730  | US Defense Strategy, Military Posture & Combat Operations, 2001-Present (via VTC)  | Murrett

Maymester 2020 - pick one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Challenges in Crisis and Disaster Management  | Griffin, Hermann, and Perrin
  • PAI 703  | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730  | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker

Course Descriptions

Fall Semester Courses

PAI 738 | US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice, via VTC

Taught by Murrett

This course examines the evolution of the US Intelligence Community since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events are explored, including efforts during the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflict, pre- and post-9/11 operations, the 9/11 and WMD Commissions and the legislative overhaul mandated by Congress in 2004.

The course also reviews governance and oversight of the intelligence community by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and students studies the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts.

The class participates in case studies that students evaluate, provide briefings for, and make recommendations in regard to, both in terms of analysis- and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operations.

PAI 715  | National Security and Defense Transformation in the 1st Century

Taught by Keagle

Change brings with it challenges—at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels.  It involves behaviors and cultures with often deep-seated traditions.  This course will explore the scope and magnitude of the transformational forces at work in the U.S. and to a lesser extent the global security and defense establishments. By its nature the course will be about peace and war—how the nation goes about the business of preparing, equipping, and training itself to deter and if necessary to fight traditional wars and the new kinds of challenges that might lead to armed conflict as well as shaping the post war environment for an enduring peace—but do NOT think about this as a linear process.  It will also be about sociology, bureaucratic politics, the role of the media, economics, health care, power….   

Most of all this course will be about the transformational nature and effects of robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (RAS/AI) on security and the budget pressures on the national security/ defense budgets—and where to consider taking acceptable risks—geographically and functionally and force posture wise (for example, do we need a $1Trillion nuclear modernization program; or 2400+ F-35s; or 12 carrier battle groups?).  This agenda now is being shaped by governments and the private sector - commonly know at the 3rd offset.  

PAI 715 | Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security

Taught by Das Gupta

This course examines trends in global economic and financial security with a focus on ways to ensure global monetary and financial stability, including through appropriate regulation to reduce the incidence of financial crises and asset price bubbles.

Other critical issues, including food and energy security, and the role of finance in promoting development, are also discussed. Although this is a policy course, students should expect to learn a good deal of economics and finance in the process of learning about these issues.

These will be important intellectual tools as the future policy discussions on economic security and development will likely continue to focus more and more on finance and thus require more knowledge of finance than in the past.

This course is less narrowly technical, more policy and political economy oriented, but nonetheless appropriate for students concentrating in global markets, development, finance and trade.

PAI 715  | Global Sustainability and Public Policy

Taught by Kimble

This course offers an overview of the concept of sustainability and its application in economic, environmental, social, and development spheres from the perspective of policy practitioners. It examines the issue through the perspective of three planetary ecosystems – water, land and air – and explores associated public policy issues – urbanization, globalization, depletion of ocean resources, land-based sources of marine pollution, deforestation, climate change and national security.

Drawing on a policy-thinking tool developed for this class, the seminar assesses the evolution of international legal frameworks and related concepts since 1970 and applies the tool to identifying and analyzing current and future policy options at the local, state, national and global level.

This course provides business and finance, economic development, national security as well as environmental majors a command of key concepts, analytic tools, and professional literacy for addressing sustainability issues across a range of disciplines.

PAI 715 | International Trade & Economic Negotiation

Taught by Caplan & Fekete

This course looks at a variety of different types of negotiations concerning economic issues, including multilateral trade and investment negotiations, bi- and pluri- lateral trade negotiations, and negotiations aimed at the settlement of specific disputes.

In this course, we discuss the influence of domestic politics and the role of international organizations and non-governmental stakeholders such as NGOs, labor, multinational corporations, and domestic interest groups.

The course is particularly useful for those considering careers in international trade, business, markets and finance.

PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era

Taught by Green & Schneider

This course examines new approaches to the practice of statecraft in an era of rapid global change. Globalization, including accelerating digital communication, is upsetting traditional international order and institutions, and changing the pace and intensity of decision-making.

Nation-state governments, while still the primary actors, must adjust to new sub-national, regional and transitional forces and players in a far more complex global arena. As digital communication brings publics into politics and policy far more than ever before, this course helps participants better understand, and prepare for, these and other current challenges for smart power.

The course format features guided classroom discussion, presentations by officials and outside experts, and in-class exercises such as a resource allocation/strategic planning session (somewhat akin to one of the major elements of the PMF and FSO oral exams) as well as policy simulations.

With an emphasis on policy, institutional and professional concerns, this course will be particularly relevant to those seeking employment in public service, NGOs, public policy think tanks and consulting firms.

PAI 715  | African Conflicts: Causes and Consequences

Taught by Freeman

A half-century after most African nations gained their independence, the continent continues to be a disproportionate generator of conflict and instability. Simultaneously its global importance grows, due to external preoccupations with energy security, anti-terrorism efforts, emigration, and disease.

Despite these complex dynamics, the international community’s engagement with Africa continues to be largely focused on crisis management and humanitarian assistance.

This course explores the underlying reasons – historic, political, economic and cultural -- for Africa’s chronic weakness and dependency, as well as the West’s often myopic response to these pressing problems. It takes a close look at some of the most destructive developments in the post-colonial period, including state collapse, genocide, and HIV/AIDS.

We then seek to better understand the manifestations of crisis in Africa and how to more effectively tailor our responses. To that end, we delve into the world of humanitarianism, from its traditional charitable manifestations to more recent trends such as humanitarian intervention, R2P, and reconciliation.

Winter Intersession Courses

PAI 700  | Public Management of Technology Development  

Taught by O'Keefe   DRAFT Syllabus

The objective of this course is to provide a survey of major public policy influences on the formulation and implementation of commercial technology and innovation strategies.

PAI 700  | Global Energy and Geopolitics 

Taught by Hederman  DRAFT Syllabus

This course will provide a foundation for understanding current international relations regarding energy and for appreciating current international dynamics around energy and closely related environmental issues, providing students with the tools and information to become capable of analyzing a broad range of energy matters from an international policy perspective. 

Spring Semester Courses

PAI 895  | Executive Education Seminar: Leadership and Strategy in Global Affairs

Taught by O'Keefe DRAFT Syllabus

Objectives are to establish an understanding of the schools of leadership thinking, especially current trends, to practice requisite skills, and to plan for additional learning and development through assessment and action planning.

Course readings focus on leadership theory and practice and their application in the changing organizational environment in a global workplace.

PSC 783  | Comparative Foreign Policy

Taught by Skaluba   DRAFT Syllabus

A survey and critique of approaches to understanding foreign policy decision-making from the perspective of the practitioner who must deal with problems of individual choice, small groups, bureaucratic politics, and organizational constraints in the conduct of foreign policy.

Case studies and simulations are used to provide first-hand experience in policy decision-making in the United States and other countries.

PAI 700  | Strategic Foresight in International Relations

Taught by Skaluba and Brannen  DRAFT Syllabus

This course will provide graduate students with a structured approach to thinking about the future of the international environment. It is a foundation in qualitative foresight methodologies with direct application to national or organizational strategic planning. It also provides a tour du horizon of the global trends shaping the world 10-20 years into the future and beyond. Through real-world case studies and classroom exercises, the course exposes students to the practical application of foresight methodologies to policymaking and resource decision-making.

PAI 730 | US Defense Strategy, Military Posture & Combat Operations, 2001-Present, via VTC

Taught by Murrett   Syllabus Coming Soon!

This course examines the Defense Strategy of the US and its allies and its implementation by military forces from 2001 to the present. Students study national-level strategic guidance from the National Command Authority, and understand how national security is carried out by the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commanders and subordinate units.

International security dynamics and military posture related to terrorism and proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass effect also will be examined. Students will participate in specific case studies of planning and execution of combat and humanitarian assistance operations with allied forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Haiti, the Far East, Colombia, and on the high seas.

PAI 708 | Issues in Public Diplomacy

Taught by Schneider   DRAFT Syllabus

This course is about the public dimension of major contemporary challenges and the role of communication, media and culture in public policy and examines institutional and professional communication issues, while helping participants gain needed skills and launch their careers.

The course mixes brief introductory remarks with discussion, class exercises and student presentations. Officials and NGO experts with special expertise will participate from time to time.  We will make a special effort to explore your career opportunities.

PAI 996 | Master’s Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs

Taught by CSIS faculty - Ketzen and Thomas

This is the capstone course and a core requirement for the EMIR degree. Students complete substantive research projects while embedded in one of the thematic or regional programs at CSIS. Students work directly with CSIS experts on capstone projects designed to hone and showcase their capacity for both cogent analysis of real-world problems and effective policy communication.

Based on interest, working teams of master's candidates conduct research reports to craft actionable policy analysis and recommendations on a complex issue area. Since valuable policy recommendations may be lost if they are not communicated well, teams also learn to transform their policy analysis into an online project that communicates their results with clarity, creativity, and compelling multimedia storytelling.

Professional development workshops on data collection, analysis, analytic writing, and presentation are covered to support students in the development of their projects and to help prepare them for personal career advancement.

Project teams receive mentorship and guidance from CSIS faculty and media advisors throughout the duration of their projects.  A final oral presentation and a written report to CSIS and the faculty advisor are the major course requirements.

EMIR candidates who successfully complete the capstone project will be able to:

  • Understand complex and fast-changing international security and foreign policy issues;
  • Analyze complex data sets to discern key patterns and trends;
  • Formulate insightful analysis of an issue area and design appropriate policy recommendations or compare likely repercussions of different policies;
  • Craft compelling policy narratives combining cogent analysis and creative data visualization;
  • Communicate findings effectively both orally and across a range of multimedia platforms;
  • Collaborate effectively on diverse teams to produce a high-impact product.

Maymester Courses


PAI 703 | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations

Taught by French

This one-week intensive seminar provides students with a detailed introduction to the contemporary relationship between the U.S. and Latin America. The Maymester program offers students the opportunity to discuss current policy issues with current and former practitioners, scholars, and non-governmental organization representatives concentrating on Latin America and its relationship with the U.S.

Students supplement discussions of current regional affairs with readings on the historical context of the relationship. The seminar challenges common approaches and assumptions, addresses themes and events currently in the news, and explores possible responses to major social and political changes.

The seminar provides participants context and substance from which to draw to answer questions about the current and historical relationship between the U.S. and Latin America: Is U.S. policy “interventionist” or “neglectful?” How is the so-called Latin American "new left" different from the old? Is “participatory democracy” a legitimate alternative to representative democracy?” How do U.S. narcotics, terrorism, and immigration policies shape relations with Mexico and Latin America’s perception of the U.S.? Will normalization with Cuba have any real impact? Why did the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas and the “Washington Consensus” fall out of favor? Do the problems in Venezuela and Brazil, and the election of a center-right government in Argentina, indicate a regional political shift or merely local politics as usual? What are the OAS, ALBA, UNASUR, and CELAC, and how do they fit together in regional integration efforts?  Can the region escape the boom-and-bust effects of commodity-based economies?

PAI 730  | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy

Taught by Baker 

Using a series of case studies that jump off the front page, this course critically examines the hardest US national security law and policy challenges of the decades ahead. Topics include: decisions to intervene and what laws apply if we do intervene in humanitarian crises, insurrections, or civil wars; dealing with the “Arab Spring”; dealing with Iran and North Korea, related to nuclear weapons; anticipating and controlling new technologies in warfare and surveillance; managing civil/military relations in protecting the homeland; countering cyber threats to our infrastructure and cyber-attacks waged by nation states, such as China and Russia; managing public health as a national security issue; resource depletion and global warming as a national security issue.

PSC 786 | Russia and Post-Soviet Politics

Taught by Taylor

A survey of the major issues in contemporary politics in the post-Soviet region in general, and Russia in particular.  The seminar will briefly examine the pre-Soviet and Soviet period, but the primary focus of the course is on developments since 1991.  Topics to be examined include the Soviet collapse and transition, the nature of Putinism as a political and economic system, broader patterns of reform in the post-Soviet space, and Russian foreign and security policy, including US-Russian relations.  We will meet with multiple guests from the DC area community of Russia scholars and practitioners.  We also will watch two documentary films, one on social change and the transition from communism in Russia and one on Putin’s motivations for interference in the US 2016 elections.

Summer Semester Courses

PAI 700 | Who Will Rule the 21st Century

Taught by O'Hanlon

This seminar examines the economic success, military strength, and rise and fall of great powers within the international system to help students assess the emerging power structures of the 21st century and determine how they think the United States as well as other countries can best adapt to—or alter—the tectonic shifts that are already evident and only likely to intensify.

PAI 700 | Sustainable Development, Security and the Frontier of Finance

Taught by DasGupta  

Examines how the global financial revolution underway, the Fintech revolution, can help lead to sustained, inclusive and strong growth and enhance security, as elaborated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The course will explore cutting edge themes at the intersection of finance, technology, policy, development and security, as well as cross-border dimensions. It will not be narrowly focused on technology, and is appropriate for students pursuing development, economic and security fields.