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2022 Charting a Career Path in Global Affairs

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George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government

New Certificate Offers a Practical Pathway to Global Policy Work

Graduate certificates can offer flexibility for working professionals looking to expand their skills without committing to a full master’s degree. This spring, the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University debuted the new Global Economic Policy Certificate in addition to its renowned master’s equivalent. 

Like the master’s degree, the certificate program is available in person, online, or in a hybrid format. Students can start by pursuing the certificate and then continue on to the master’s degree, if they wish.

“It’s a certificate for individuals who may not have the time and resources to do a master’s degree or want to explore graduate school in a realm that would be relevant to them,” says Kenneth A. Reinert, professor of public policy and director of the Global Commerce and Policy program.

The multidisciplinary and professionally oriented program has long been the top choice for those looking to develop a broader skill set and expertise in global economic and business policy. The program has three official concentrations: global risk and strategy; global development and governance; and global finance, investment, and trade.

“The Global Commerce and Policy program helps you understand the world better. Our students leave the program feeling like they have finally understood things they have always wondered about.” –Kenneth A. Reinert, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Global Commerce and Policy program, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

A vast electives offering allows students to explore their interests, whether they go on to choose careers in the public or private sector.

“When students get to their electives, things are wide open in all sorts of areas of policy: national security, international relations, global political economy, global public health, and biodefense,” Reinert points out.

Likewise, the student base brings a range of age and career stages that enriches the classroom environment. “There’s a diversity within the program that’s really interesting,” Reinert explains. “The mid-career professionals are hearing the issues younger people are interested in coming out of undergrad, and younger people are hearing about the lore and the experience of the older students.”

While theoretically grounded, the program is very much professionally oriented, with professors and adjuncts boasting extensive experience outside of academia. The program’s dedicated career-advising staff has helped students find placement in the US government, private consulting firms, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations, such as British Aerospace, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

George Mason University’s alumni network has always been robust, but graduates from the Schar School are particularly active. “They’re committed enough to the program that they come back in the evenings after work to do mock interviews and look at résumés,” Reinert says. “There’s a lot of support for the students.”

Tailored Certificates Expand Knowledge and Strengthen Credentials

The Global Commerce and Policy program’s new graduate certificate is just one of 11 graduate certificates offered by the Schar School in specialized areas, including illicit trade analysis, strategic trade, and nonprofit management.>>>
Certificate program advantages
• Option of online and evening classes
• Less time and financial commitment
• Credits are transferable to relevant master’s programs at the school
• Effective professional development
>>>Prospective students can set up one-on-one appointments with graduate admissions staff at any time to ask questions or receive guidance on which program might be the right fit.

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