History of AGS

Thursday, 10 September 2009

In the Spring of 1993, three Americans long resident in Europe, Dr. John Lee, a professor of international relations, Dr. Arthur Hoffmann, a career diplomat, and Dr. Joseph Tomchak, also a practitioner of international relations, reassessed the needs of graduate students who would work in a world quite different from that of the 20th century coming to a close. They decided to establish a school of international relations and diplomacy. Their vision was that this would be a small specialist school with an international vision and high academic standards. It would draw excellent professors who would all be experts in their field. It would welcome students from different cultures and give each one individual consideration. It would provide them with the tools to better understand and respond to the challenges of a world in constant evolution.

The American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy - already going by the short acronym AGS - was registered with the French Ministry of Education on January 27th, 1994. It inaugurated its M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy in the summer of 1994, in a classroom in the 16th district of Paris. The five students who made up that first class were from five different countries : already defining the international diversity that would be the future of the school.

Since then, AGS has drawn students from across the globe. From the USA to Mongolia, from Kuwait to Japan, from Iceland to Madagascar: over 50 nationalities have been represented, with students ranging from recent university graduates to diplomats and other professionals seeking career advancement – now forming the international community of AGS alumni.

AGS has also developed a network of educational partners to diversify its offering while reinforcing its expertise. In 1997, AGS started a partnership with the prestigious French university Paris Sud (Sceaux), starting the first in a range of dual degree programs in complementary disciplines: Strategic Negotiation and Diplomacy, French and European Union Law, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and most recently, International Service with American University (Washington, D.C.)

In 2004, AGS moved its offices and classrooms to the building of Alliance Française, another one of its educational partners, through which it offers French language courses to its students.

In 2006, AGS became the French partner of Arcadia University in the United States (Pennsylvania), which is well-known for its global perspective and study abroad programs. Building on their shared belief in the value of international education, the two institutions have developed several joint programs both at the graduate level and at the undergraduate level.

In 2009, the school changed its name to American Graduate School in Paris (keeping the same acronym AGS.)

The American Graduate School in Paris remains true to the vision of its founders – that of providing high quality education reaching out to different cultures and offering each individual consideration and international experience in an ever-changing world.

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