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.

Program dates for the 2020 program are July 12 - 24. The application period is from January 1 to April 1, 2020.  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 four weeks 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 all participants, 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.

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. The University of Southern California requires foreign nationals to obtain a F-1 visa unless they are working in the United States under a diplomatic visa. Proof of this visa is required upon acceptance.

Please note that the visa processing time varies by country and can take up to 60 days, so if you intend to obtain a visa please plan accordingly.

Graduate students who have been admitted to the one-year Master’s program in Public Diplomacy must register for the Summer Institute by registering for course PUBD 500 through the USC Web Registration system (
. For assistance with this requirement, please contact Mr. Ko Hyun Choi, Assistant Director, USC Annenberg Admissions (


All Summer Institute applicants must bring a working laptop and smart phone/tablet to the program. There will be assignments throughout the two weeks that require these devices.


Q. Who needs a visa?
A. Non-Americans and those without green cards who wish to participate in the Summer Institute must obtain a F-1 visa. 

Q. What documentation is needed for the F-1 Visa application?
A. Completed F-1 form, your full resume or curriculum vitae, and copy of the photo page from passport.
If accepted, it is the responsibility of the applicant to meet the visa deadlines. There are absolutely no refunds given for visa expenses (i.e.: processing, overnight shipping, etc.). Visa applications will not be submitted without the required documentation.

Q. How do you obtain a visa?
A. The USC Center on Public Diplomacy will provide applicants with all necessary documents, but it is their responsibility to check details for the submission of visas at the closest U.S. embassy. The USC Center on Public Diplomacy cannot control visa processing times. Please make sure you contact the closest U.S. embassy as soon as possible after your acceptance to obtain the necessary documentation.

Please note that visa processing periods vary greatly by country, so early application to the program and early application for a visa are strongly recommended.

Voices from the 2014 Summer Institute: