The M.S. in Global Affairs program, offered through the Center for Global Affairs at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies ( graduates this week its first class of 33 students out of a total of 185 students, who come from a variety of backgrounds and all of whom have expanded their global vision through completion of the program.

Having a global understanding is vitally important in today’s world, and NYU SCPS believes students should be able to express their views and read and see the views of others. The Center for Global Affairs prepares students for a whole host of careers in international affairs. According to a survey conducted in 2006 by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), the global competition for talent is increasing rapidly.

Started in the fall of 2004, the M.S. in Global Affairs provides an indispensable context for understanding critical issues in international politics, economics, dispute settlement, law, human rights, energy, environment, and related areas. The program is special in that it is practitioner-based, placing the requisite academic theory into a practical, real-world context.

“Not only does studying at NYU SCPS provide students with the best resources of a major university,” says Vera Jelinek, assistant dean and director of NYU Center for Global Affairs, “but also being in New York City provides the extraordinary advantage of learning amidst the richest diversity of cultures. The program is excellent preparation for careers with a global dimension.”

Global Affairs student Lt. Daniel Ramirez says that aside from gaining enormous understanding of global events from his professors, he also drew much of his understanding from his fellow students. “Two other students in the [M.S. in Global Affairs] program, Estelle Fach who is from France, and Alejandra Velez, who is from Columbia, have shed light on those parts of the world that I could not see from my angle. More importantly, they challenged my thinking and forced me to either defend or reject what I knew…and that is where the real learning took place.”

Lt. Daniel Ramirez is a Naval intelligence officer on reserve who graduates this spring and will pursue a career in international relations. He decided to pursue his M.S. in Global affairs degree because he felt it was critical that he gain an advanced understanding of the myriad of complex international issues facing decision-making in the U.S. After taking classes with CGA Professors Howard Schiffman and Everett Myers, Mr. Ramirez gained the ability to fuse together the separate disciplines of law, business and international affairs.

Briony MacPhee, a Global Affairs Master’s candidate also graduating this spring says that networking opportunities abound at the Center for Global Affairs. “Through attending diverse public events, activities and lectures sponsored by the Center, I have met many influential people who make things happen in the field.”

Ms. MacPhee has held two internships during her studies at NYU SCPS - one at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and one at the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (AMICC), a program under the auspices of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA). “These internships have greatly expanded my educational focus during the pursuit of my degree in Global Affairs,” says Ms. MacPhee. “They have supplemented my knowledge with practical experience in the field.”

Ms. MacPhee credits her professors for much of her success. “Since many of the professors have careers in the field, they offer us [students] not only their academic and theoretical expertise on the subject, but also provide practical insights into pursuing a career in global affairs. Professor Howard Schiffman has been a mentor to me and one of the motivating factors that led me to concentrate in international law.”

Like Mr. Ramirez, Ms. MacPhee was also pleased to study in the company of international students in the program. “The enrollment in the M.S. in Global Affairs program is very international. As a result, I have made several close friends from a number of different countries over the past two years.” Because of the international scope of not only the program itself but also of the students in the program, students in the program experience the privilege of experiencing many different social and cultural norms and learning from each other.

About the NYU Center for Global Affairs

The NYU Center for Global Affairs, within the University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, is located in the school’s state-of-the-art facility in the Woolworth Building - one of downtown New York’s architectural treasures. The Center presents provocative and timely public events regarding the latest topics in world affairs (formerly held at the NYU Vernon Center for International Affairs), and houses a graduate program in global studies and myriad non-degree courses in international affairs.

About the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies ( is among the 14 colleges and schools that comprise New York University, one of the largest private universities in the United States. Founded in 1934, NYU SCPS each year educates some 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students and enrolls over 44,000 in its non-credit programs. A national leader in adult and professionally-oriented education, NYU SCPS programs include non-credit courses that span more than 125 fields, 14 industry-focused master’s degree programs, and nine bachelors and six associates degree programs specially designed for working adults. As well, NYU SCPS is home to NYU Online, the University’s first online bachelor’s programs.

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Cheryl Feliciano
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