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 few 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 spring 2020 and a fall 2020 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.

Spring 2021 start - 18-month program duration

Spring 2021 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 & Dalton
  • PAI 708 | Issues in Public Diplomacy | Powers
  • PAI 700 | Transatlantic Political - Military Issues | Williams
  • PAI 700 | Economic Statecraft in a Multipolar World I Lovely
  • PAI 996 | Master’s Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs | Petzen

Maymester 2021 - select one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Athena Rising: The Tensions Between Defense, Diplomacy, and Development  | TBA
  • PAI 703   | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730   | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker

Summer 2021 - select one evening course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | 21st Century Strategy  | TBA
  • PAI 700  | Propaganda and Disinformation |TBA

Fall 2021 semester - select two evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 702  | Development in Africa: Challenges, Constraints & Strategies  | TBA
  • 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  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | China’s Rise and Challenges to the Global Order  | Daly
  • PAI 715  | From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development  | Yayboke
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era  | TBA
  • PAI 700  | Strategic Foresight for International Relations  | Brannen
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

January 2022 intersession - select one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Public Management of Technology Development  | O'Keefe
  • PAI 700  | Global Energy and Geopolitics  |  Hederman
  • PAI 700  | Follow the Money: Key Issues in Illicit Finance  |  Patel

Spring 2022 semester - select two evening courses, one mandatory (6 credits)

  • PAI 996  | Master's Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs  | CSIS faculty
  • 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 2022 - select one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Athena Rising: The Tensions Between Defense, Diplomacy, and Development  | TBA
  • PAI 703  | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730  | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker


Fall 2020 start - 20-month program duration

Fall 2020 semester - select two evening courses (6 credits)

  • 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  | Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development  | Yayboke
  • PAI 715  | China's Rise and Challenges to the Global Order  | Daly
  • PAI 715  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Strategic Foresight for International Relations  | Brannen
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

January 2021 intersession - select one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Public Management of Technology Development  | O'Keefe
  • PAI 700  | Global Energy and Geopolitics  |  Hederman
  • PAI 700  | Follow the Money: Key Issues in Illicit Finance  |  Patel

Spring 2021 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 & Dalton
  • PAI 708 | Issues in Public Diplomacy | Powers
  • PAI 700 | Transatlantic Political - Military Issues | Williams
  • PAI 700 | Economic Statecraft in a Multipolar World I Lovely
  • PAI 996 | Master’s Application Project: Capstone Workshop in International Affairs | Petzen

Maymester 2021 - select one intensive course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | Athena Rising: The Tensions Between Defense, Diplomacy, and Development  | TBA
  • PAI 703   | Current Policy Issues in US-Latin American Relations  | French
  • PAI 730   | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  | Baker

Summer 2021 - select one evening course (3 credits)

  • PAI 700  | 21st Century Strategy  | TBA
  • PAI 700  | Propaganda and Disinformation |TBA

Fall 2021 semester - select two evening courses (6 credits)

  • PAI 702  | Development in Africa: Challenges, Constraints & Strategies  | TBA
  • 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  | Global Sustainability & Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level  | Kimble
  • PAI 715  | China’s Rise and Challenges to the Global Order  | Daly
  • PAI 715  | From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development  | Yayboke
  • PAI 715  | International Trade and Economic Negotiation  | Caplan & Fekete
  • PAI 715  | Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era  | TBA
  • PAI 700  | Strategic Foresight for International Relations  | Brannen
  • PAI 738  | US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice (via VTC)  | Murrett

Spring 2022 semester - one mandatory course (3 credits)

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

Course Descriptions

Fall Semester Courses

PAI 738 | US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice, via VTC | Bob 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 21st Century | Jim 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 | Bejoy 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 | Melinda 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 | Bennett Caplan and Paul 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 | Shannon Green and Michael 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 | Constance Freeman

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 | Sean O'Keefe

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 | William Hederman

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. 

PAI 700  | Follow the Money: Key Issues in Illicit Finance | Kris Patel

This course examines how US government agencies--law enforcement, regulators, national security organizations, and the military--collaborate with international partners, non-profit organizations, and the financial industry to identify, assess, and combat financial crime threats.  The course will develop the student's conceptual and practical understanding of how illicit actors exploit the financial industry, focusing on sanctions evasion, money laundering, organized crime, and terrorist financing, and consider the challenges faced by analysts, policymakers, and bankers to mitigate financial crime risks in an evolving industry.

Spring Semester Courses

PAI 895  | Executive Education Seminar: Leadership and Strategy in Global Affairs | Sean O'Keefe

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 | Chris Skaluba and Melissa Dalton

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  | Global Energy and Geopolitics | William Hederman

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. 

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

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 | Shawn Powers

This course will provide a deep dive into the origins of information statecraft and explore case studies to provide a detailed understanding of the scope, sophistication, and significance of the geopolitics of information. Building on key theoretical models, including markets for loyalties, networks, and game theory, this course will provide an analytic framework for understanding the range of information statecraft activities, as well as the key variables likely to influence the success or failure of a public diplomacy campaign or program. Monitoring and evaluation techniques and best practices will also be covered, as well as the foundations of digital analytics and metrics. Classes will feature occasional guest speakers from the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the NGO community. At the end of the course, students will be subject matter experts on public diplomacy and global media strategy, the information statecraft toolkit, and the significance of these tools and tactics in international affairs.

PAI 708 | Economic Statecraft in a Multipolar World | Mary Lovely

U.S. national security challenges are increasingly addressed by tools of economic statecraft.  This course examines the mechanisms, operation and outcomes of these economic tools.  The course focuses on five tools, including those designed to coerce change and those offered as incentives and positive inducements.  Planned for discussion in Spring 2021 are trade barriers and preferences, financial sanctions, export controls and investment restrictions, foreign lending, and development aid.

PAI 700 | Transatlantic Political - Military Issues | Michael Williams

This seminar will explore the historic foundations of NATO, dissecting current issues – including the challenge from Putin’s Russia, rising illiberalism in Europe, populism in the US and EU, migration pressures, terrorism and the role of China in Europe - and will assess possible future developments of what has been known as the “most successful alliance in history”. 

The Transatlantic Relationship, formally embodied in the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO), has been a cornerstone of international security since the end of the Second World War. NATO helped to ensure a war between the Soviet and American Cold War superpowers did not occur. It helped to pacify Europe and to enable European integration and the eventual development of the European Union. NATO facilitated the transition to democracy in eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War. The alliance was, and seemingly remains, the main forum for Europe, Canada and the United States to discuss the most pressing global security concerns. But animosity during the administration of George W. Bush, apathy during the Presidency of Barrack Obama and downright hostility from the Trump White House has left NATO shaken and weak. Europeans, on the other hand, failed to invest in NATO following the end of the Cold War and are increasingly torn between NATO and the EU’s European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). 

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

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 | Philip 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 | James 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.

PAI 700  | Strategic Foresight in International Relations | Chris Skaluba and Sam Brannen

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.

Summer Semester Courses

PAI 700 | Who Will Rule the 21st Century | Michael 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 | Bejoy Das Gupta

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.