European Studies Graduate Certificate Program

Two-Course Certificate in European Studies

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Certificate in European Studies is a part-time program providing a specific background in the politics of Europe as well as its role and relations with the rest of the world. This program is composed of two courses taught in English, in Paris, and scheduled part-time over two different semesters to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Each semester course consists of one weekly three-hour session during 13 weeks.

Note that this program is best suited to students or professionals already residing in Paris, since part-time programs in France do not grant eligibility for a student visa. However, it is possible to combine it with other AGS Certificate programs in order to reach a full-time status (three or four courses). Please contact our Academic Coordinator for more information about this: academics@ags.edu.

Please also note that this program offering is based on course availability; see two-year course schedule


IRD-EA-670 : European Foreign Policies

The course on European Foreign Policies presents and discusses historical and contemporary foreign policies of the European countries. It is not a class on the foreign policy of the European Union, or, strictly speaking, of EU member states, since it also mentions countries that are geographically within the European sphere but are not members of the EU. The topics tackled by the course encompass relevant issues in Europe and elsewhere such as global security, migration, development and participation in multilateral institutions. Along the course, students look at how the individual European countries have interacted with the various regions of the world in the modern and contemporary ages. The course seeks to provide students with conceptual tools that will allow them to analyze and compare different worldviews, traditions and strategies adopted by European countries to cope with the complexity of today’s international politics.

Learning objectives:

By the end of the course students are expected to:

  • Become acquainted with the timeline of European History from 1815 to the present

  • Acquire a good knowledge of the geography and geopolitics of the European States

  • Identify foreign policy traditions and orientations of the European States

  • Identify and analyze the main issues, actors and processes that shape European states’ interests and foreign policy strategies

  • Demonstrate a capacity to present oral and written policy briefings on these themes

IRD-EA-671 : The European Union and the World: The EU as a Global Player Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century

There is no question that the European Union has successfully accomplished its original essentially 19th century objective of stabilizing peace in Europe's core. There is little likelihood that France and Germany will again go to war over who is the dominate power on the continent. There is also little doubt that the EU has contributed to the revitalization and modernization of Europe in the aftermath of two devastating World Wars. It is probably the most successful regional customs union in history creating a continent-wide single market.

Despite this success as we move into the 21st century, Europe is a region in crisis. The question is no longer who is the sick man of Europe, but just how sick is Europe? The threats are on many fronts–economic, political, internal, external. The continent spent its first two generations in a bipolar Cold War that saw it grow, mature and prosper. It has spent its first generation after the Cold War, wrestling with threats that seem beyond its governing mechanisms and joint political will. The future of this experiment is clearly on the table and in question. The issue in front of it is whether today’s problems are a function of the EU as an institution going too far in terms of its political union project, or a result of today's complicated global environment that all countries face. If it is the former, the future for the EU as an institution is questionable, if it is the later, the threats are no less real, but the issue is one of crisis management and effective governance.

This course seeks to explore the international relations aspects of these factors, examining how the EU is organized and structured as a foreign affairs manager to confront today's and tomorrow's challenges in the context of its existing tool kit particularly since the passage of the Lisbon Treaty. It will seek to bring some clarity to how the EU conducts foreign policy from a theoretical point of view but also influenced by the reality of the differing views and objectives of its member states. The impact of the recent UK referendum on exiting from the EU will be discussed in the context of its impact on EU international relations, particularly in the context of security and defence issues.

This course looks at the four cornerstones of EU international relations: the EU as a global trade power, the EU as a global leader in development assistance, the EU as a leader in climate change governance, and the EU confronting defence and security challenges.

French language option

In addition to these two courses, students enrolled in this Certificate program have the opportunity to take French language courses with AGS’s partner institution Alliance Française Paris-Ile de France. French is the second most widely spoken language in Europe. It is one of the official languages of the EU and has traditionally been one of the main languages of diplomacy.

Why study European Politics in Paris?

As one of the most important capital cities of the European Union politically, economically, and institutionally, Paris is an ideal location to study European politics. The city hosts the Embassies of all the EU member states as well as the diplomatic machinery of France and a large collection of diplomatic archives. In addition, Paris is just a short train ride away (under two hours) to Brussels and Strasbourg, the two capitals of Europe where most of the EU instutions are located: European Parliament, Council of Europe, European Commission, European Court of Human Rights, etc. AGS helps you to take advantage of these resources by inviting guest speakers from these institutions and organizing site visits and excursions. There are also internship opportunities with intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, think tanks or other organizations working with the EU.

Credit Policy

The courses in this program are accredited in the US through AGS's partner institution Arcadia University. Each course bears 3 graduate credits. Courses taken as part of a Certificate program may be transferred to a full degree program at AGS (based on your eligibility for that program): M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy or Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy. They may also be transferred to a degree program in another institution, depending on that institution's transfer policy.


Courses in this program are taught by a team of two professors with complementary profiles: a scholar and a diplomat.

Ambassador Michael Einik is a Paris-based senior-level US diplomat who has had several diplomatic assignments in Europe, including as US Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia.

See Ambassador Einik's full profile

Dr. Douglas Yates is an American scholar who has lived in Paris for 25 years and whose area of expertise includes France, Francophone Africa, and the European Union 

See Douglas Yates's full profile

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