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Academy for Cultural Diplomacy

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Founded in 1999 in the USA, the ICD Academy for Cultural Diplomacy is an international, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in the USA and in Berlin.

The ICD Academy for Cultural Diplomacy aims to develop and raise awareness of the theory and practice of cultural diplomacy and related fields (such as global governance, international law, human rights, sustainable economies, and performing arts) as well as to explore new strategies for the strengthening of intercultural relations and promoting global peace. Areas of particular academic focus of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy include intercultural relations, global governance, international politics, sustainable economies, international law & human rights.

The Academy for Cultural Diplomacy runs the following activities:

Short Track MA Program in International Relations & Cultural Diplomacy  

The Degree is offered by offered by Furtwangen University (HFU), Germany in partnership with the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy  

The MA Degree in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy is a 3 semesters’ program offered by Furtwangen University (HFU) in partnership with the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy.

The program provides a foundation in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy, using a historical and case study approach in the framework of international relations theory and political science. The degree focuses on several academic disciplines related to International Relations, Global Politics and Global Governance, with a particular emphasis on Cultural Diplomacy and its historical and contemporary application in the public sector, private sector and civil society. The program addresses contemporary international issues, with classroom seminars and lectures, as well as educational & cultural events, conferences, professional trainings, tours, visits and meetings with foreign officials, which are further incorporated into the curriculum. Students will meet with leading experts working in international organizations, embassies, and academic institutions, and will engage with specialists in the areas of International Relations, Global Governance, Communication, Politics, Human Rights, Culture, Peace Building, Multilateral Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, and Development.

The program provides students with practical experience for both academic and professional development, preparing students for careers in diverse fields, such as international relations, the humanities, politics, Culture, foreign policy and international economics. The international environment of the Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies offers students a unique opportunity to interact with leading experts and academics at a wide variety of international organizations and research centers. This exceptional learning environment leads to original research and independent study opportunities. On a practical level, it allows students to create a solid professional network and form a concrete base for future academic and professional career choices, preparing students for engagement in the international arena, civil society, politics, governmental organizations and international economic organizations, as well as the private sector.

Further information about the program is found under: http://www.ccds-berlin.de/index.php?en_ma_ircd_fw_1  

Program Structure and Curriculum
The program consists of 90 ECTS credits in total and has duration of two study semesters, a Professional Development Training Program, designed individually for each student and a Thesis to be submitted towards the completion of the program. The Study program is conducted fully in Berlin
The program follows the conventional university structure of a one year academic program divided into two study semesters, where Students are offered elective courses to accompany mandatory courses, a professional development experience and the final thesis to be submitted up till the end of the 3rd semester as deadline, which is dedicated to the Thesis writing (no attendance in Berlin then is necessary required, though possible).
The Official duration of the short track is 18 months, as the program is structured as a 3 semesters´ program (2 study semesters and one semester dedicated fully to the thesis writing, where no attendance in activities or residence in Germany is required, though you are welcome and eligible to be in Germany. The actual period of activities and lectures of each semester within official duration of 6 months is set by each university independently according to its prerogative in doing so, as always the actual period of activities of each semester is about 4 months.
The official deadline for submitting the final thesis is at the end of the 3rd semester, however students are welcome, if they wish and are able to , to submit the thesis prior to this deadline, and thus graduate prior to the official end date of the program.

To learn about the courses offered in each semester, and the workload, please visit our website here:



The Master’s Degree is awarded by the Furtwangen University (HFU), which is recognized as a fully accredited institution of higher education with the right to award university degrees.

The HFU is a state university of Baden-Württemberg / Germany. It is accredited by AQUIN with all its study programs and quality ensuring processes via an institutional accreditation (Systemakkreditierung).

All our joint study programs with the HFU are accredited/certified within the framework of this institutional accreditation according to federal law according to § 33 Landeshochschulgesetz Baden-Württemberg (LHG).

The Furtwangen University (HFU) is part of the Bologna Process set in place by the European Commission, and uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) to award degrees. Credits obtained through the MA program are equivalent to those of courses at universities in all other 30+ signatory countries. Students will earn 30 credits per semester during the MA program, for a total of 90 ECTS credits upon completion.
this MA of 90 ECTS is sufficient for a Master’s program in terms of post-studies (PhD) or work placement in Germany.


Individuals studying for an MA in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy will represent a diverse range of cultural and academic backgrounds. Candidates will include recent BA graduates as well as young professionals who combine strong academic backgrounds with significant work experience.  Individuals are required to hold a BA degree (or equivalent Degree) of minimum of 3 years studies*, as degrees from across the world and from any field are acceptable as a pre-requisite for the application**. 

We do not consider any one element of an application exclusively. Rather, our admissions panel considers academic achievement as well as personal qualities such as strength of character, motivation and the ability and willingness to take on new academic challenges. Our aim is to attract students from a variety of backgrounds and countries that will foster a unique and diverse learning environment. 

* Current undergraduate students are able to submit an application and participate in the pre-enrolment process, by submitting a confirmation of their current studies and their transcripts.

** To be eligible to the 90 ECS MA program (the one year- or short track of the MA program of only 3 semesters), the BA studies must have a total of minimum of 210 (European transfer Credit points) or 420 UK Credits (normally 4 years BA studies).  Once the BA degree of the applicant has total of 180 ECTS credits only (180 European transfer Credit points) or 360 UK Credits only (normally 3 years Studies), individuals are required to have additional relevant professional experience of one year following their graduation and/or additional academic experience/extra curriculum Credit Points of min. 30 ECTS.  

Once these conditions have not been fulfilled, then the regular track of the 2 years program (4 semesters) can be considered.

Language: All courses are taught in English, thus an evidence of adequate competence in English is required for the applicants whose mother tongue is not English. A minimum of CEFR B2 English proficiency level must be proven to be eligible for the degree program for nonnative English speakers (see also below) .

The application form is found under: http://www.culturaldiplomacy.de/index.php?ma-furtwangen      

Once submitting the online application form, we will then refer to you with an e-mail, indicating your application reference code and will outlining all the next steps, including the supporting documents required for the application.

The supporting documents required for the application process:

  • Official Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Transcript: A copy of your official undergraduate (and of graduate degree, once applicable) transcripts. If the transcripts are issued in a different language than English or German, please submit in addition a certified translation to one of the two languages.
  • Official Bachelor´s degree Diploma/Certificate: A copy of the official diploma/ certificate attesting successful graduation, from the university that awarded the undergraduate degree (and graduate degree, once applicable). If the Diploma/Certificate is issued in a different language than English or German, please submit in addition a certified translation to one of the two languages.
    *Current students are able to submit an application and participate in the pre-enrollment process by submitting a confirmation from their University of their current studies and their transcripts.
  • Passport Copy: A scanned copy of your passport photo identification page should be sent to the ICD. The information on your passport should be clearly legible.
  • Motivation letter: A personal statement of 1-2 pages (A4) explaining your motivation for undertaking the MA Program.
  • Curriculum Vitae (Resumé): This should include information of your academic background (institutions attended from month/ year to Month/ year, courses studied); your professional experience, if applicable; your hobbies and interests; any awards or scholarships received and your full contact details. The curriculum vitae should be no longer than 2 A4 pages.

•     English language competencies: A minimum of CEFR B2 (upper-intermediate) English proficiency level is required to be attested, to be eligible for the Master program. You can provide this proof by submitting one of the  
      following  recognized English  proficiency test results (the results should not be older than two years):  

      Minimum score required is:  TOEFL (PBT): min. 500; TOEFL (iBT): min. 72; TOEIC: min. 785; IELTS: min. 6.0; Cambridge English Certificates: B2 First (FCE).

       You are exempt from submitting an English proficiency test score if one of the following conditions is applicable:

•           You have completed an undergraduate degree at an institution in one of the English speaking countries listed below, OR

•           You have completed a graduate degree at a university in one of the English speaking countries listed below, OR

•           You have been employed for at least three years in a position, in which English was the language of business, in one of the English speaking countries listed below, OR

•           You have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in English at a university where English is listed as language of instruction on the International Association of Universities World Higher Education Database

* English speaking countries as defined by the HFU for the English proficiency regulations are: 

USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Guyana, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Singapore, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Rwanda, Sudan, Botswana, Ethiopia.  

•    Essay: A writing sample of between 2-5 pages on any topic related to the fields of the program or your former/current studies.
*You are not required to write a new essay specifically for the admissions process, and may submit any paper/essay you wrote in your former/current studies.

  • Employment verification letters (once applicable): Verifications attesting professional experience from the organization where you were/are positioned, including start and end dates (month and year) of the position; the title and a brief description of the tasks in your position held.

*To be eligible for the short track of the MA program of 90 ECTS, your Bachelor’s studies workload should have minimum of 210 ECTS (European transfer Credit points) or 420 UK Credits (normally equals to 8 semesters or 3.5/ 4 years Bachelor´s studies).  Once the Bachelor’s studies workload of the applicant has total of 180 ECTS credits only (180 European transfer Credit points) or 360 UK Credits only (normally equals to 6 semesters or 3 years Studies), individuals are required to have additional relevant professional experience of min. one year and/or additional academic experience/extra curriculum Credit Points of min. 30 ECTS, following the graduation. Otherwise, you could be considered only to the regular track of the program of 4 semesters.

** If you are having difficulties in submitting the full list as above, please inform us and we will endeavor to assist in order to enable the proceeding promptly. 

Applications are being processed on a regular base, as enrolment to the program is possible towards Fall, Winter,   spring  and Summer start, each year.

For dates and deadlines: http://www.ccds-berlin.de/index.php?en_ba-ma_dates-deadlines  
*Deadlines for late admissions are being added but we recommend applicants to apply and finalize the admission process as soon as they are able to, as we accept applications on a rolling base and as seats for each class are limited


Tuition Cost – The tuition cost is 9,000 Euros for the full program. The fees are equal to all, regardless of nationality. The fees cover only the tuition fees, and do not include housing or any other living costs and related expense, which students might have.   


The tuition fee is paid in 2 installments of 5,175 Euros upon acceptance to the program and of 3,825 Euros prior to the second semester.

Personal Costs –  We are happy to assist you with advice and support for finding your housing and offer you as well possible affordable accommodation solutions in our on campus students residences.
Scholarships, equaling up to 10% deduction of tuition costs are available for students based on educational excellence and financial need. Although each scholarship request will be evaluated on an individual basis, students are expected to have an above-average grade point of 4.5 (of 5.0) in order to qualify for a grant and then to prove financial need.

The Financial Aid application is a two-step process; Students interested in applying for a scholarship are required to first submit their initial financial aid application request as soon as they have formally applied to the program, completed the first step of the application, and have been accepted into the program.  

Then a deduction of up to 10% on the first instalment of the tuition fee (up to  10%  from the sum of 5,175 Euros) can be considered.  

Towards the second instalment (the 2nd  semester) an additional request should be submitted, towards possible deduction of up to 10% on the second instalment of the tuition fees.

Further to these scholarship and possible financial support outlined in our e-mail and online, we are not able to offer any further scholarships or financial support. 

Furthermore, Students are welcome to search for scholarships, such as from governments, or other Institutions. With regards to how to obtain such funding, we encourage participants to consider relevant foundations, institutes, organizations, companies and Governments as possible sources. A number of students on ICD programs have been able to acquire funding from their government, company or from relevant foundations.

We do not have any specific sponsor to which we can refer students. Please note that our Programs are not sponsored by DAAD  or supported by BAföG


I hope this has been of your assistance and to receiving your application in due course. And of course, please do not hesitate to contact me for any further question at this stage.

To view all our Academic programs’ offers please visit:    http://www.ccds-berlin.de/index.php?en_ba-ma_list-of-programs

For more information about our center, please visit: http://www.ccds-berlin.de/index.php?en_about

To learn more about the ICD, please visit: the ICD website: https://culturaldiplomacy.org/index.php?en_abouticd     
The ICD brochure: https://culturaldiplomacy.org/content/pdf/ICD_Brochure.pdf  

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