2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog

Civil Society Organizations, CAS

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Eleanor Langford, evlangfo@syr.edu

This certificate is designed for students aiming to prepare themselves as professionals in the expanding field of non-governmental organizations and for students whose research interests focus on the roles of non-state actors in global civil society. This certificate is based on 15 hours of coursework that includes a foundational course, discipline-specific coursework, an internship/fieldwork requirement, and a proseminar.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Recognize theories used to understand civil society organizations

2. Have an experience with a civil society organization either through a capstone exercise or internship

3. Identify functions civil society organizations perform in global governance

4. Identify challenges civil society organizations face and strategies to address them

Foundational Perspectives Course (3 credits)

Take one of the following courses, or another course approved by the certificate program contact person:

Discipline-Specific Coursework (6 credits)

The student, in consultation with the program contact person, must complete at least 6 credits of discipline specific coursework. To fulfill this requirement, the student will choose courses that are included in the program (approved course listings) or, with approval, they may draw upon graduate courses offered in their own department which are relevant to the topics of non-state actors and civil society or which help them to develop research skills in this area.

Internship/Fieldwork Requirement (3 credits)

Students must either participate in an internship program with a non-governmental organization or engage in research field work (in this case they would need to register for an independent study course) in an organization, before completing the certificate program. In either case the program contact must approve the internship or fieldwork proposal as being relevant to the certificate program. MPA students may use the MPA capstone projects to fulfill their fieldwork/internship requirement.

Proseminar (3 credits)

The course (PAI 713 /PSC 703 - Governance and Global Civil Society ) will cover the wide range of perspectives and literatures on global civil society organizations and transnational NGOs and attempt to integrate these literatures through critical analysis. The course is designed to familiarize students with the organizational challenges facing these actors (coordination, accountability, impact assessment) as well as with the functions they perform.


*Please note that this list of foundational courses may change from year to year depending on whether they are offered during a particular academic year.



The Certificate Program is administered by the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs in the Maxwell School; the program’s contact person is Eleanor Langford. She can be reached at evlangfo@syr.edu

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