The Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies (CCDS)

PhD Program with concentration on International Relation & Cultural Diplomacy

Dates of Next Program for 2022 »

Enrolment to the Program is possible at the start of the Fall semester each year.

About the Degree

The PhD Program with concentration on Cultural Diplomacy & International Relations is offered by the University of Bucharest in partnership with the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy. The PhD Program is a three year program (6 semesters). Upon completion, students will receive the following degree: PhD in History / Sociology/Political Science, with specialization certificate on Cultural Diplomacy & International Relations

Program Concept

In our increasingly globalized world, knowledge and understanding of bilateral and multilateral relations now holds greater importance than at any time before. As a result, international cooperation and diplomacy are now imperative in maintaining and improving the economic, political and social environment in countries worldwide. The processes of international relations pervade almost all areas of human activity, and the issues that foreign policy makers address at the highest level increasingly affect the ordinary lives of people around the world. Nation states are no longer capable of resolving many of the most significant issues single-handedly, whether they be international terrorism, global (and often national) financial crises, or climate change. Moreover, the emergence of asymmetrical security threats and the international convergence of social, political and economic relations have underlined the need for a renewed focus on diplomatic relations and soft power, of which cultural diplomacy is a crucial component.

These developments have heightened interest in the study of International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy and, concurrently, have created a need for professionals who understand those subjects. University programs striving to provide students and young leaders with the fundamental understanding and practical skills necessary for careers in international affairs have had to adjust their programs accordingly to include commerce, development and culture as topics of study, as well as including multinational and supranational organizations as additional core subjects. Expertise in one field no longer guarantees professional success, and it is therefore vital that those aspiring to work in international relations and diplomacy have an advanced understanding of a number of relevant disciplines, including, but not limited to, international politics, international economics, diplomacy, culture, philosophy and history.

Operating under a joint partnership, Bucharest University and the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy are the first institutions to offer a PhD program that will educate students from around the world in several academic disciplines related to International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy.

Structure and Organization of the Program

The Doctoral courses represent the third cycle of studies offered (and awarded) by the University of Bucharest in partnership with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, with the purpose being to expand knowledge through original scientific research. Students will acquire a level 8 qualification according to both the European and National Qualification Frameworks.
It consists mainly of research conducted under the direct supervision of a Ph.D. supervisor.

The duration of the program is three years; the first year  is composed of courses offered on Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin. In addition, students are welcome to undertake a professional development program. At the end of the first academic year, students will then be required to present the first research report on their specific chosen topic, allowing the commission of professors and, in particular, the student's individual supervisor to guide them in the development of their final thesis.

During the second and third years of the Ph.D program students are not obliged to reside in the doctoral school, but are required to stay in close and direct contact with the doctoral supervisor. A working schedule is established between the student and the PhD supervisor and will include at least two periods where the student must be present at the University of Bucharest each academic year. When in Bucharest, further to meetings with the PhD supervisors and continuing work on the thesis, the PhD students will also interact with other doctoral students and members of the teaching staff with whom they share academic interests, whilst also participating in the activities of the doctoral school of the University.

During the second year, progress reports are to be submitted according to a time schedule, and a format established by the supervisor and the student in compliance with the requirements of each doctoral school.
Also within the second, and then the third year of the program, according to the rules of the doctoral school where they are enrolled, students will submit 2-3 research reports which they will be required to present to a committee according to a schedule agreed with the PhD supervisor.

During the second semester of the third year, students are required to complete the thesis. Once the thesis has obtained the approval of both the guiding commission and individual supervisor, it will then be submitted for public defense. This will take place 2-3 months after the thesis has received the approval of the PhD supervisor, and represents the final step of the program.

The final step of the Program is the public defense of the Thesis.

Key Objectives of the Program

The Key Objectives of the program are:
  • To provide students with an in depth understanding of the theory and practice of international relations within the contemporary interdependent world, placing a particular emphasis on cultural diplomacy within this framework
  • To educate students about cultural diplomacy within the context of the political, economic and cultural pillars upon which sustainable international relations are based.
  • To analyze soft power and hard power strategies within international relations discourse.
  • To examine contemporary obstacles to peaceful international relations, using historical and modern case studies, while considering also how cultural diplomacy can be used to mitigate tension and conflict within the international community.
  • To equip students with the relevant skill sets and knowledge required to embark on a career within the highly competitive international arena.
  • To provoke individual thought and reflection on contemporary issues within the rapidly developing field of cultural diplomacy.

Benefits of the Program

The main benefits of the program are:
  • The program offers students a core curriculum of International Relations, which will prepare them for a vast array of career opportunities worldwide.
  • Students will have access to an expert faculty with experience in international politics and diplomacy, and will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work in a complex global environment.
  • Students will obtain expertise in cultural diplomacy, as a rapidly increasing and important field relevant to the public and private sectors and civil society.
  • Graduates will discover that the curriculum and faculty prepare them for evolving careers in academia and all public and private international sectors.
  • Access to all ICD events and programs around the world, providing students with access to prominent experts in the field including various Heads of State, Ministers, and CEOs.

Contact Us

For further information on the PhD program with the concentration on Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations, please send an email to