In order to be eligible to participate in the Institute, you must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited university and have a minimum of three to five years of experience in public diplomacy or a related field such as international relations, public affairs, government relations, public relations, and communications. Fluency in spoken and written English is also a necessity for the program as all participants are expected to actively take part in class discussions based on the assigned readings and their own experience.

For your planning, the online program cover two weeks of instruction. On certain days there will be optional guest lectures which will take place immediately folllwing the modules. All sessions are done live and as such there are no make-ups). Due to the interactive nature of the CPD Summer Institute, there are no make-up sessions. For specific questions, please contact Stacy Ingber at

Once notified of your acceptance, there is a non-refundable fee of $500 (USD) to hold your space in the program due within one week of admission.

For inquiries about program eligibility, please contact Stacy Ingber at


The CPD Summer Institute in Public Diplomacy is geared toward mid-career professionals posted in government agencies, including foreign affairs, defense and homeland security; intelligence agencies; non-governmental organizations; international organizations; private-sector companies; and others whose work would benefit from learning more about this vital field. In addition to innovative instruction, the program provides a setting for mid-career professionals to exercise their evaluation and decision-making skills in a group of their peers and to contribute their own ideas and perspectives.

Past participants have included individuals from the United States Department of State, United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, Korea Foundation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, India, Israel, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Qatar, Tunisia, Ukraine, UK, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. For a list of some of the alumni, please click here.


The electronic application for the Summer Institute can be found on the USC Center on Public Diplomacy website ( All applications must be submitted online via this system and a current resume should be sent under separate cover to

Upon submission of your application, you will receive notification of receipt and a general time frame of the decision process. There is a rolling admissions process and applicants will be notified as soon as a decision is made. 

Once accepted, deadlines for submitting the non-refundable deposit and final payment of tuition and lodging will be explained in the acceptance letter. 


All Summer Institute applicants must have a working laptop and smart phone/tablet to the program. There will be assignments throughout the two weeks that require these devices and occasionally there will be web-based programs to be used where you will need to create free accounts. The entire 2021 Summer Institute will take place online and we will be using the Zoom platform. Please make sure you have downloaded and are running a current version of that program.


Voices from the 2014 Summer Institute: