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International affairs program available to officers, civilians

by Master Sgt. Mitch Gettle
Air Force Print News

8/3/2005 - WASHINGTON  -- Air Force officers and civilians have the opportunity to continue their education through the Global Master of Arts Program II.

This graduate studies program is available to all midcareer officers and civilians serving in international affairs positions who have at least eight years of international affairs experience.

The purpose of the program is to improve the quality and professionalism of the international affairs workforce.

"This year there are six Air Force slots for the program," said Bruce S. Lemkin, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs. “The board usually looks for captains to lieutenant colonels and midlevel civilians who fit the entrance criteria, including a foreign language requirement.

"GMAP is a great opportunity for Air Force officers and civilians to gain significant broadening and important credentials in international affairs," he said. "It is especially attractive for those whose personal situation makes a geographic move for the purpose of graduate education impractical."

The GMAP II, funded by the Department of Defense, is a 12-month program culminating in a master of arts degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The part-time program is unlike most graduate courses in that it requires three, two-week residency sessions combined with Internet-based courses of study.

"The master’s degree program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University enables the Air Force GMAP to obtain world-class graduate education that complements other career development opportunities," Mr. Lemkin said.

Two of the mandatory two-week residence sessions are conducted at the Fletcher School near Boston, and the third residency is conducted near Washington, D.C., and includes a thesis requirement. The program is part time in addition to the student’s regular duties. It takes an average of 20 hours a week of study.

"The beauty of this program is it can be accomplished at the home duty station," Mr. Lemkin said. "This would be a tough academic year, but it has an advantage over other programs that require you to move. The program provides students an opportunity to participate in a world-class program and make an impact on the international affairs field.”

Applications will be accepted until Sept. 1 for the class beginning in March.

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