• Dates and Program Fees

    The program runs from June 4 to July 20, 2018

    Early Application Deadline: February 15

    Final Application Deadline: March 31

    Core curriculum (3 graduate or 4 undergraduate credits): $4,770

    Core curriculum and practice-based curriculum (6 graduate or 8 undergraduate credits): $9,540

    Noncredit option (only core curriculum): $2,600

    Tuition covers classes, colloquium, tours, and visits. Housing fees are separate.

  • UN Security Council

    You want to work for social justice at the global level, but most United Nations study programs take you sightseeing. Do you want just a cursory tour, or do you want to immerse yourself in international affairs?

    The United Nations Summer Study (UNSS) program, offered by The New School’s Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs, puts graduate, undergraduate, and PhD students on the ground in the United Nations and in New York City. Unlike other UN study programs, UNSS takes you beyond a narrow focus on security and diplomacy to investigate development, human rights, humanitarian action, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and environmental and reform issues. UNSS coursework prepares you to understand and engage with contemporary issues, policies, and debates in international affairs. UNSS practicums, not found in any other UN summer program, enable you to gain hands-on experience in consultancy work with the UN system.

    For a tentative UN Summer Study daily schedule, please view last year's UNSS Calendar

  • Program Options

    United Nations Summer Study offers three options:

    Option 1: Core Curriculum

    (3 graduate / 4 undergraduate credits)

    • Class: “The United Nations and World Order”
    • Colloquium: presentations by UN staff and officials from other organizations and governments that provide insider perspectives and direct contact with professionals
    • Site Visits: briefings and talks at UN headquarters, international organizations, and other key places salient to global governance and processes
    • Experience New York City: social justice tours and other guided activities to connect global issues addressed by the UN to local issues in New York City

    Option 2: Core + Practice

    (6 graduate / 8 undergraduate credits)

    • Includes all elements of the Core Curriculum Option
    • Practicum: a group consultancy with a United Nations agency, nongovernmental organization, or research institute that works with the UN and is overseen by a faculty advisor

    Option 3: Noncredit

    • Class, colloquium, site visits, and NYC experience without earning academic credits

    For a better idea of the program's daily schedule, please view last year's 2017 UNSS Calendar

    Course: “The United Nations and World Order”


    This course analyzes the role of the United Nations (UN) in constituting and reconstituting world order. Initially founded to address the challenges of international armed aggression associated with World War I and World War II, the United Nations has grown and evolved in significant ways since its establishment in 1945 and is now charged with confronting a wide range of threats, including mass atrocities, poverty, hunger, disease, and climate change. This international organization — simultaneously a forum for countries to pursue their national interests and a mechanism for fulfilling collective goals — has become the centerpiece of world order, playing a preeminent role in issues of international peace and security, economic development, and human rights and humanitarian affairs.

    After outlining social scientific parameters of study and the major theoretical approaches, the class surveys the historical and political contexts that shaped the birth, behavior, and performance of international organizations—the early interstate system, the 19th century, the wars and interwar epoch of the early 20th century, the Cold War, the post-Cold War era, and the post-September 11, 2001, period. Over the course of the class, students will probe the nuts and bolts of the UN system (including a review of major organs and specialized agencies), develop their ability to analyze UN policies and practices, and connect UN evolution to patterns of change and continuity in international affairs. 

    Format and Approach

    Class lectures/seminars meet twice a week; each session will last three hours. The class incorporates the other components of the core curriculum, and class sessions have both lecture and seminar elements. The lectures will build on materials students have read prior to each session. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the seminar portions, ask questions as needed, and offer relevant comments. There will also be discussion groups to promote deeper probing and foster debate. 

    The UNSS class develops a skill set necessary to pursue a career in international affairs, specifically by providing scholarly and practitioner training. Students become fluent in academic discourse and versed in analysis and learn practice-oriented speaking and writing.

    Class Outline

    1. Social Science and the Study of the United Nations and World Order
    2. Paradigms of World Order and Analytical Prisms on the United Nations
    3. Sovereignty, Antecedent World Orders, and the Founding of the United Nations
    4. Collective Security and United Nations Peacekeeping During the Cold War
    5. The “New Wars” of the 1990s and Post-Cold War United Nations Peace Operations
    6. Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Global Security Since 9/11
    7. 21st-Century Security Threats, the United Nations, and World Order
    8. International Human Rights, Law, and Advocacy
    9. International Humanitarian Law, Humanitarian Action, and Humanitarian Intervention
    10. Economic Development, International Financial Institutions, and the United Nations
    11. The North-South Gap, Development Goals, and the United Nations
    12. Natural Resource Management, the Environment, and the United Nations
    13. The “Third UN,” Civil Society, and Non-Governmental Organizations
    14. The Challenges of Change: United Nations Reform and the Revolution in World Order


    The colloquium series offers rare access to high-profile UN officials and non-governmental organization personnel, who offer candid off-the-record assessments and illuminate the behind-the-scenes workings of the UN system. Each talk spotlights a particular theme and is geared to showing how theory informs and interprets practice. The colloquia meet once a week for two hours.

    The 2018 UNSS colloquia have not yet been determined.

    Below is a list of previous colloquia:

    • Research, Advocacy, and the United Nations System
      • Tatiana Carayannis (Social Science Research Council, Deputy Director of Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum)
      • Volker Lehmann (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Senior Policy Analyst)
    • Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration
      • Dean Piedmont (GPIA faculty, former United Nations official)
    • From Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding
      • Erin McCandless (GPIA faculty)
    • Human Rights Issues and the United Nations
      • Sushil Raj (United Nations, Political Affairs Officer in Department of Political Affairs)
    • Development Issues and the United Nations
      • Barbara Adams (former United Nations official)
      • Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (GPIA faculty, former United Nations official)
      • John Hendra (United Nations, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy and Programme at UN Women)
    • Multilateral Environmental Accords & the Post-2015 Agenda
      • Michael Dorsey (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Director)
    • Gender and the United Nations
      • Saraswathi Menon (former United Nations official, former director, Policy Division of UN Women)
    • United Nations Careers
      • Becky Band Jain (United Nations, Office of Information and Communications Technology at the United Nations)
      • Norbert Bromme (United Nations, Human Resource Office, Chief of Examination and Tests)
      • Anna Whitson (United Nations Development Programme, Policy Analyst)

    Site Visits

    Experience the UN and NYC firsthand with visits and tours that connect international affairs and urban issues. Site visits expand on and apply the curriculum; faculty guide students in encountering and unpacking the content and the environment of sites. Site visits take place once a week and, with travel time and sometimes exploring the surrounding neighborhood, often last longer than two hours. The 2016 UNSS site visits have not yet been determined.

    Previous site visits have included:

    • United Nations headquarters
    • Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations
    • Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bulgaria
    • National September 11 Memorial & Museum
    • Wall Street
    • Zuccotti Park
    • Tenement Museum
    • Museum of Chinese in America
    • The Morgan Library & Museum
    • Climate vulnerability tour of Lower Manhattan


    United Nations Summer Study practicums are group-based consulting projects with an inter-governmental or non-governmental organization*. Student teams, with faculty oversight, work with their partner organization to define a need and develop a product — the product may be data collection and analysis, website or social media, policy recommendations, etc. Students gain invaluable professional experience in the operations of international organizations, their professional culture, and working collaboratively in a group with strict deadlines. Each team will give a formal presentation of their final project to the client as well as UNSS. Practicum faculty supervisors will set meeting times and time commitment — given the short time frame of UNSS, it is expected that students participating in the practicum will devote at minimum six to eight hours of work per week to this component. The 2018 UNSS practicums have not yet been determined.

    Previous UNSS practicums have been with:

    • UN Women
    • UN Office of Internal Oversight
    • International Rescue Committee
    • UN Development Programme's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
    • UN Development Programme's Bureau of Latin American and the Caribbean
    • UN Development Programme-World Bank-Organization for Economic Co-opperation and Development
    • World Bank

    *Please note that UNSS Practicums are not internships.

    Administration and Faculty

    Fabiola Berdiel, Director of International Field Program and UN Summer Study

    Peter J. Hoffman, UNSS Faculty Supervisor and Course Instructor

    Faculty Advisory Board

    Michael Cohen, Professor of International Affairs

    Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor of International Affairs

    Peter J. Hoffman, Studley Faculty Fellow

    Mark Johnson, Assistant Professor of Practice

    Nina L. Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs

    Sheba Mukhtar Tejani, Assistant Professor of International Affairs

    Host City

    Home to UN headquarters along with country missions from every member state and a vast array of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, civil society groups, and research institutes on international affairs, New York City is a hub of diplomacy, and as a global city it reflects and responds to global issues at the local level.