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  1. Hi! I'm based out of India, graduated in 2020 with a Bachelors degree with a less than ideal 2:2, but I've since done a Parliamentary Research internship, finished multiple relevant certificate courses and short term programmes, worked with non-profits for a few months, and completed two internships of six months each with the United Nations -both abroad, one of which was at the Secretariat in NYC. I understand that Oxbridge is a pipe dream, and scholarships wouldn't be an option since they focus on grades (I'm willing to fully self fund), but that being said, would my experience give me a fighting chance for an MA/MSc in International Relations at LSE, King's or UCL?
  2. Hello everyone, I am currently very unsure how to decide between two master options I have to then further continue with PhD applications: Background: Bachelor in IR (top 10-15 European school) with decent, but not crazy good grades (maybe top 20-30%) Currently enrolled in US master in a PoliSci related, but interdisciplinary field (top 10 school), with currently a top grade standing Decent (international) research experience, a few well known scholarships, a few publications (nothing too extraordinary), 6 fluent languages, lack of quant knowledge, no GRE done yet, good letters of recommendations in sight Goal: Top PhD program, ideally in the US Topic Area: IR or Comparative Politics, potentially on the more theory heavy side and with a focus on South Asia as a region Options: I have two second master programs lined up for the fall (both one year), both are quite research heavy and fall into the area of regional studies: MSc in Modern South Asian Studies (Oxford) MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies (Cambridge) Both would be fully funded (including living costs) through scholarships Question: I am really unsure which program to choose. Both are quite similarly structured and have a strong research component. Cambridge is more established in South Asian Studies, seems more academic (also is named "MPhil"), and somehow the department seems more up to date and "healthy" Oxford, however, seems more flexible and would allow me to focus a little more on the political science side of things, which might be important considering my wish to do a PhD in PoliSci Oxford might be more prestigious and relevant from a US perspective? Does anyone have experience with with South Asia within PoliSci or can give me any information about the standing of Cambridge and Oxford in the US PhD market or just generally evaluate my profile? Any comments are greatly appreciated!
  3. So I just got an email with the subject line “an update from the fletcher school” from Dan Birdsall at admissions. It was personalized (addressed to me by name with things he enjoyed reading about in my application). Did anyone else get this/know if there’s a history of these being sent out and what it could mean? Probably just a courtesy thing to applicants while we wait, but I’m curious! Thanks!
  4. Hello - has anyone out there applied to the 2012 NATO internship program? We're supposed to hear back about whether or not we've been shortlisted by September. Has anyone done a NATO internship? If so, what's your background?
  5. I'm a current MA student at Stanford's International Policy Studies (IPS) program and want to extend a warm congratulations to admitted students! I know decision-making can be tough; I remember being in your shoes last year. If you or any potential applicants for next year have any questions, you can post them here. I can also put you in touch with a current student whose interests align with yours.
  6. Hi, I applied for political science PhD this year, and so far I'm considering from: Georgia Tech Nunn School George Mason Schar School University of Georgia SUNY Binghamton I feel ranking is kinda bogus. (Some rankings say Nunn's better, some say Schar, make me so confused) For now I feel George Mason matches my research direction (International Relationship) the most. But I also think GTech and University of Georgia are great program as well. Does anyone can provide any suggestion? Appreciate!
  7. Hello All! I have read many insightful posts on the topic of IR grad programs and was hoping we could revisit for 2021? My options: -SAIS ($2k/year scholarship) -GW - Security Policy Studies Program ($14k/year scholarship) -Fletcher ($15k/year scholarship) (Shoutouts: American ($15k/year sch) and Texas A&M (significantly the cheapest option) I want to study Gender, Peace, and Security with a regional focus in the Middle East. I’m interested in working for the State Department or an international agency. Everyone is pushing me towards Johns Hopkins (despite the hefty bill) because of the name recognition/connections in DC. Does anyone have a say either way? As a female POC, I’m excited to study this topic but want to make sure I’m embarking in a program that has a supportive community, not just a luxe school name.
  8. I'm currently a rising dual degree (B.A. History and B.S. in Political Science) senior at an R1 school, looking to apply to T5 Phd programs in polisci and UChicago's MA in IR next year. T5 - based on US news but also all the other schools at that level in other rankings. The summer after my freshman year, I committed an act of academic dishonesty in a summer class by using a public solution for an online quiz, and was caught. I was brought before a hearing panel, sentenced as guilty, and sanctioned with an F and transcript notation of failing due to dishonesty, one year of probationary status, and a required remediation course. I took the remediation course and got the probationary status and transcript notation lifted a month after the sanction. I also retook the course and got an A. I'm not going to give you excuses for my behavior, and I still feel ashamed of it to this very day. I also don't know the status of this in terms of documentation in university bureaucracy, but the worst case is that its open to anybody who comes calling. Stats: Degrees/Minors/Certs - B.A. History; B.S. Political Science, Minor in Economics, Graduate certificate in IR from MIA/MPA program at University. Cumulative - 3.83 Major - 3.94 (History) and 3.95 (Political Science) Blemishes - D in a language course freshman year, two classes P/F in freshman year (all Passes), The F. GRE - 164 Q/ 167 V CV: Pubs - co-authorship on 6 mid to high-impact journal publications, a bunch of sole author pubs in undergraduate/MA candidate journals, some analytical stuff in blogs and online publication, which was submitted to a high impact journal, and working on my political science degree thesis this upcoming semester. Research Exp: I've got two RAships, a couple TAships, and a multi-year research assistant ship at the grad MIA/MPP program at my university (where all of the coauthored high impact pubs come from), and an internship at the dept. state. Skills n stuff - Near native proficiency in Mandarin, native in Hindi, and Gujarati.Worked with R and Stata in multiple methods classes, used R to analyze data for a publication. Reccs - Come from well regarded profs in their field that have had me in two classes each and I am a research assistant to. My question: When applying, besides disclosing everything, what can I do to address this issue? Will my app be thrown in the garbage as soon as they see this? Especially at the higher echelon programs?
  9. Hello everyone, I have to applied to international affairs schools and have been admitted to SAIS, Fletcher, Syracuse-Maxwell and GPS at UCSD. Academically I prefer 1) SAIS 2) Fletcher 3) Maxwell and finally UCSD, since I consider it is too far away from the cities I want to be closed to like Boston, NYC and DC. However, I am an international student from argentina and my funding options are limited. I have been granted a 54 k scholarship at SAIS, 64k at Fletcher and full tuition at Maxwell and UCSD. Enrolling in SAIS or Fletcher would imply taking student debt for at least 30 k and maybe even 50 k or 60 k. The problem is that being an international student, I am not sure if I will be able to stay and work in the US to repay my loan. What are your thoughts on the matter? which should I take the risk?
  10. It’s quite a hard choice for me… Let me first describe a bit about my struggle. I wanna pursue an academic career in the discipline of international relations. My main research interests include international cooperation, IR theory, IOs, and Asia-Pacific. Both schools have very significant pros and cons in my view. ANU is a leading institution in Asia-Pacific studies and very rich in academic resources. However, I tend to complete my doctoral studies (PhD) in the US. As you guy may know, ANU is a base for the English School (emphasize the value of traditional research methods, which means I won’t have enough quantitative training if I choose to study at ANU). And I worry that if my quantitative background is weak, it might hurt my chance to get into top US universities (well, honestly, I found the English School is attracted to me, whereas I still more fond of scientific behaviorism with regard to research methodology…). Also, the location of ANU make me even more hesitate… (in Canberra). University of Kent, Brussels + VTech (DC campus) can hugely widen my perspective I guess since these two cities are the political centers and have plenty of IOs. In addition, I suppose if I get a US degree (by VTech), it would be easier for me to apply for other American universities. And I might be able to build my networking in the region of DC. But these two schools seem not as prestigious as ANU in the field of IR. So, I am concern about it might influence my academic career if I cannot get good enough academic training in these two schools. Hence, my questions can be simply summary as follow: 1) Is ANU’s IR programme highly recognized in the US? Will it affect my chance to get into US universities for PhD? (in the negative sense) 2) Is VTech’s Government and International Affairs programme (the programme I admitted in) known in the US? Or would you say it good? My apologize for type a lot, but I really want to describe my concerns clearly. Thank you guys!
  11. Hey folks I've actually got a few of questions under that more general heading I've titled this post with. They're listed and explained a bit below. 1. Best programs to explore that fit my interests Generally speaking, I'm looking to conduct policy-relevant research in the field of environmental security. Research Focus: I'm particularly interested in the relationships between regional environmental change and specific sub-national conflict dynamics related to armed groups, polarization between conflict parties, and national governance in developing states, as well as how environment specific humanitarian aid and response programs can be designed to best encourage peacebuilding in these environments. Where I'm looking: I'm mostly interested in US-based programs, largely due to the fact that they generally offer more training and I'm coming from a more applied research/non academic background in some key respects. Currently, I've shortlisted Duke's University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP), the School of International Service (SIS) at American University, George Mason's School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (SCAR), and the LBJ School of Public Policy at University of Texas at Austin. This feels like a very narrow list, but I've been unable (so far) to find better matches. I'm curious if anyone as any insight that might be able to expand my search? IE what programs offer similar degrees with similar foci and have possible faculty matches? 2. Typical Funding Amounts at a few programs I've been looking into Another thing I'm trying to find out is if there is any data available on what I *might* be able to expect in terms of funding. Obviously this is dependent on a lot of factors, many of which will be grounded in my application, but a general range of funding amounts or an exact amount for the typical package at fully funded programs would be helpful in decision-making about my search. Some places publish this info, others don't seem to from what I've found. But if anyone on here has pursued similar degrees at the institutions I've mentioned above (Duke, American, U Texas at Austin, George Mason) or any others, I'd be interested to hear from you. 3. How my own profile stacks up (i.e. how competitive am I and where should that lead me to set my sights) Finally, I'm well aware of the pressure to get into a top program if you desire a career in academia (although I see my own career kind of straddling work in universities with work in government or policy think tanks) and I'd be curious to get some general opinions on the basic elements of my profile. I'll list these below: Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy, GPA 3.34, Graduated Cum Laude, Bethany College, 2014. Bethany is a small liberal arts college in WV without much reach but it does distinguish itself in being one of the last hold outs in requiring students to take Senior Comprehensive Exams in order to earn their degree. I earned Distinction on my exams and got an A on my senior research project on the effects of FDI flows on developing state labor market regulations. I was also a member of three honors societies, Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), & Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences) Graduate Degrees: Master of Public Administration in Economic Policy & Development, GPA 3.85, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 2016 & an MA in Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management, GPA 3.79, also MIIS, 2017. This was a dual degree program at a sort of mid-tier professional graduate institution. MIIS consistently ranks around the lower levels of the Top 20 in Foreign Policy's Best Masters Programs for Careers in International Relations but is not a research-focused school and does not traditionally train people for careers in academia. Research Experience: Largely applied research projects with various NGOs around the world. I have a decent bit of training in quantitative research methods, and some qualitative, and have applied my knowledge to program evaluations, policy analysis research design projects, composite indicator design for international development, and community based research projects with small NGOs. Relevant Professional Experience: I'll explain some of this stuff in the comments if it's needed but here's a list: - Currently a Peace Corps Volunteer serving as a Community & Economic Development Associate in N. Macedonia - Regional Organizer/Campaign Liason with the Climate Reality Project -Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Relations at Bethany College (full time, taught multiple courses including American Politics, International Relations, International Development, Environmental Politics, International Terrorism, International Human Rights Law & Policy, Advanced Policy Writing & Design Seminar, Research Methods in Political Science, Political Economy, etc.) -Consultant with multiple NGOs Foreign Languages: Albanian (Intermediate High), Macedonian (Intermediate Low), Spanish (Intermediate Mid) Anyway... thanks for reading through this if you've made it this far haha
  12. Hi, I'm applying for a Masters in International Relations at The Graduate Institute Geneva (IHEID) 2020-2022 and thought it would be worth starting a thread for others in the middle of the application process, as well. Any words of advice/encouragement/inspiration would be so welcome! Kayla
  13. Hello So title says it all I need different opinions to know what I should eventually improve before applying to grad school Firstly I know that you are not admission officers but I hope that you'll be able to help me/give me directions in terms what I should improve on my application I'll post relevant facts for application so you can actually see the real situation here: Ok so here we go: I'm 21 I went to International school and graduated as a valedictorian in 2017. I spent one academic year in the US where I attended prep boarding school as a scholar of the US Embassy. During that summer I attended additional classes at Yale University. I'm currently going to public University and I'm majoring in International law but I'm not very interested in my major, opportunities and everything related to this University although my GPA is 10 out of 10 I did my internship at consulting firm and currently I'm working for a lot of NGOs (both national and international) mostly because of my interest in International Relations and International Development. This summer I did my internship at the White House where I worked with the press corps and it was one of the most important opportunities for me personally. Currently I'm interning at the USAID as a media intern and running my own website on International Relations/ foreign policy. When I have time I am tutoring younger students while I'm also working part-time at International law firm as administrative assistant.
  14. Hi all, First off, thanks for reading my question -- I apologize in advance if the question is too broad, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions. I'm a senior at a top-20 US university, and I am currently doing a triple major (history, political science with an IR concentration, and environmental science). My GPA is 3.75 (ideally I'll pull it up higher over the course of senior year). After taking a lot of classes in various fields, doing a few internships with development-related nonprofits, and beginning to write a thesis in history (it's about Cold War proxy wars, counterinsurgency, and IR), I've decided that what I want to do is pursue a PhD in political science. Ideally IR or security studies, because those fields interest me the most. In terms of extracurriculars, I've done a lot of writing-related stuff -- I'm an editor for my university's magazine, a tutor in the Writing Center, a TA for a philosophy class, and I'm also involved in a club that raises money to build schools in a developing country. I also did research for 3 semesters on built environment/school design/architecture-related stuff just because I find it interesting. I discovered my passion for IR pretty recently (it basically took me two years to "discover" my university's political science major), so my extracurriculars are kind of all-over-the-place in terms of area. But I've been trying to do more political science stuff lately: I'm going to an undergrad international security conference soon, which I'm super excited for. I can speak decent French and am currently learning Russian on my own. What I'm curious about now is the following. I'm already committed to completing a 2-year Master's program after graduation -- really, it's more like a service program where you teach for 2 years and take summer teaching classes to eventually receive a Master's in Education. Essentially, I always say it's like Teach for America with a Master's degree added. It's administered out of my current university and is fairly prestigious. I'm excited to start it because I love to teach (one reason I want the PhD is possibly to become a professor), and I always knew I wanted to take a break for some form of post-grad service before embarking on further studies or career stuff. But I'm wondering whether the program will impact my PhD program applications. Will they care that it's not in a subject related to political science? I'm sure I'll be teaching social studies or history or something of the like, but I'm a little concerned that going two years without doing research or a Master's specifically in political science will hurt my chances. Basically, will they think I'm not "serious" enough about political science or think I'm a dilettante? I want to convey as much as possible that I really care about this and want to research, write and teach political science. I hope that the current work I'm doing, especially my undergrad thesis, will convey this strongly enough, but I'd appreciate any advice from people who have already completed the process. If I manage to get good GRE scores (I haven't taken the test yet because my Master's program doesn't require it, which buys me two years), what do you think my chances are for top-15 programs in political science or security studies given my undergrad qualifications? In the meantime, and possibly while I'm doing the Master's in Education, what can I do to advance my application and make sure I don't lose the writing/political science skills I've acquired in college? Any advice is much appreciated, thanks again
  15. So, TL;DR deadline day is coming up for me to choose on Sol Price at SC for my MPA or do my MA IR at NYU. SC will be slightly cheaper, but price isn’t a big factor to me as much as career prospects. From posting over at r/gradschool and a couple other forums it seems like MPA is more in demand and offers more diverse options, but I’m not sure. I want to go into politics longterm, but want to lecture at the uni level in the interim, which would require a PhD. Right now the real hold up is being worried whether or not I’d be able to do a PhD in IR without a masters in the field. Also public transport in LA is obviously really bad so that presents a bit of an issue. But I’m pretty much 98 percent committed to SC as I feel head to head, the MPA would be better to have over the MA in case things don't work out with applying for/doing a PhD. I would still be able to work in governmental consulting and the like. Another concern I have is whether or not I would still be able to work for the UN or do international work with an MPA. I know that Ban Ki-Moon, the former Sec General of the UN has an MPA, but other than that, I am not sure. I would really appreciate some advice. Background- MA linguistics Glasgow uni.
  16. Hello all, I need some advice. I am doing a PhD in Cold War History and after finishing my dissertation I intend to seek a second PhD in IR in the United States. My age is under 30 and my background is the following: -BA at a University in Southern Europe. -MA in Contemporary History at the same University (grade is 10/10). -PhD Candidate in Contemporary History at the same University. Archival research in many archives in the US, UK, Brussels and elsewhere. Visiting Researcher with full funding at top UK University. Fulbright Visiting Researcher, sponsored by a top political scientist. I have published three book chapters and I work on two papers. I speak two foreign languages. I have no quantitative skills and have not taken the GRE yet. I am interested in doing research on China's foreign policy and security and I will try to take language courses in China. I would like to apply to: Columbia, UPenn and University of Michigan. I would love to work with Iain Johnston, but I consider Harvard impossible. Could anyone give me any honest feedback and/or useful advice? Thank you in advance!
  17. Hey, so I'm having a hard time choosing between Tufts University MALD, Columbia MIA, and George Washington SPS. I was hoping someone could give me some advice after hearing my reasoning + pros & cons because I feel stressed with the upcoming enrollment deposit deadlines. Thank you in advance~ Context About Me - I have a fellowship that offers me financial assistance, 2 great internships with the government, and a job straight after graduation in the government. So, technically I don't HAVE to be in DC because I have that fellowship that will make me end up in DC for the summers anyway for my internship. I'm from Texas... so I need information about the city too. I've had an internship in DC before, so honestly, DC is the only one I'm familiar with the area, but I've never visited GW. I visited Tufts for a day, and I really liked it, but again, I don't know Boston. Personal, but I'm a Christian, so I'm gonna be attending a church and need Christian clubs on campus to help keep me sane lol I'm South Asian heritage... so I need some diversity to make me feel not alone I'm 21 (will be 22 as I start grad school), so it makes me wary since I'm also super young and entering grad school Columbia - Pros: I like the program? It's an Ivy League Cons: Honestly the biggest negative for me right now is the cost of tuition & cost of living in NYC. I like the program on paper (looking into the International and Security Policy concentration as well as Management specialization), but I don't know if it's worth the debt at the end. I'm appealing for more money, but SIPA didn't offer me additional financial aid in addition to my external fellowship... that means I would need to pay 40k a year. Is it worth the debt? I mean I have a guaranteed job in government after college, so is the name/Ivy League status helpful for someone who already is going to be in the government after college? I've never visited either... I've been to NY before, but I've never seen the campus. Tufts - Pros: I like the size of the school where you can get to know everyone and can good attention from professors... it'll help with the community aspect. Visiting made me feel good because I got to talk to a couple of students, the admissions dude was nice, and I liked the classes I visited too. I like the ability you have to cross-register and take a few courses at Harvard too for more experience. Cons: I don't know Boston. I'm not good with the cold... so will I survive? It's not DC either, so if I want to do a job to get some experience... it may be hard to find organizations in Boston that are IR/gov related? With my external fellowship + funding Tufts offered me, I only need to pay $5000 per semester if I attend. But, I'm appealing for more because there's no harm in trying. GW - Pros: I am covered in terms of tuition, which would be amazing considering I have undergrad debt I need to pay off. Big school, so lots of clubs and opportunities to connect/find my people? I know DC (from my 1 semester experience there). Night classes only, so it will help if I want to find a job/internship during the day. Cons: Big school, so I don't know if I'd get a small school attention. Never visited, so I don't know if I would like the campus atmosphere and such. I think I'm really wary of grad school life since I haven't experienced it yet. I really don't know how it's gonna be different from undergrad, so I need to really be intentional in finding community/my niche. I guess that's why I'm confused? PLEASE HELP!!!
  18. I got into SAIS but was rejected by their IDEV program. Tufts offered me their Master of Law and Diplomacy program. I also got into the MA program at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. I am leaning toward SAIS because they have a really good China Studies program but the tuition is extremely expensive. I am also a bit worried about their requirement on economic classes since I can't deal with numbers/graphs. My goal is to have a PhD in IR or work in international organizations after my MA. IHEID fits my research interest and has a lot of connections with different organizations, but I'm not sure whether getting a master's in Europe will hurt my chances of coming back to the States for a PhD? Also, IHEID is less known compared to JHU, so as a non-EU citizen, will it be hard for me to find jobs that sponsors a working visa in the field, or finding a job back to the States/Asia? I am a Chinese student attending an undergraduate program in the US. If there's anyone who was also accepted by/has previously attended those programs, or have knowledge about them, please comment with your suggestions. I would really appreciate it. Gracias~
  19. Good Afternoon Everyone! Long time lurker here looking to get advice from random other forum members. I have used the results search a lot to help make my list and applied to 10 schools this year, before being accepted to 9. I feel like I have no bad options going forward but am worried about taking on too much debt for an MPP / IR Master's. After graduating, I plan to work for USAID if possible, although these spots are difficult to get, and those positions pay $70-90k for starting salaries for candidates with Master's degrees. I'm open to other jobs as well but want to aim for that at the moment. I want to study international development and economic policy in school, but would love to integrate a few language classes and GIS coursework in there. I think I have enough money to cover my living expenses but not tuition. I don't have any undergraduate debt. Getting a Master's is something of a career switching option for me. My options at the moment are: SIPA: $40-60k in loans needed Fletcher: $35-55k in loans needed SOAS in London (1 year): $15-20k in loans, depending on one fellowship still pending Vienna Diplomatic Academy: $10k in loans Ford Michigan: $35-55k in loans Carnegie Mellon: $20k in loans UVA Batten: Free Ride UT LBJ: Free Ride and stipend the first year after receiving a language fellowship from UT I think Ford is too expensive, but they will waive tuition if you get a teaching assistant position, which I want to do anyway. I'm leaning towards UVA or UT. SIPA and Fletcher get a lot of flak on this forum and I just don't know if I want to have the mental burden of having that many loans. I can imagine the alumni network is amazing from SIPA and that in twenty years maybe I will be proud that I got a degree from Columbia, but being a student in New York sounds awful to me in many ways. Carnegie Mellon isn't standing out to me although I think they really, really put in the work to build a diverse student body (no application fee, lots of outreach, etc.). I think the program focuses on hard skills, which is a great thing but doesn't have as much flexibility for more traditional area studies. SOAS and the DA would be awesome for the location, but it really is hard to beat free. I know these schools aren't always the most popular or traditional, but I would love to hear y'all's thoughts on these schools and prices. Thank you!
  20. Hey guys! I plan to pursue my Masters in International Relations from the UK. I am completely confused about the University that I should accept an offer from, because the data from the internet is really unreliable and inconsistent. Different rankings provide a different status to different universities. So the inconsistency does not really help. My top choices at the moment (in that order) are: 1) LSE 2) SOAS 3) King's College 4)University of Manchester I hold an offer from all the above universities except LSE. I have applied to many other universities for the same course, so please feel free to include other university suggestions for the course.
  21. I’ve been struggling for weeks with the best choice, and would love some input. Choosing between: SIPA (68k), SAIS Europe (45k), ESIA (42.5k), MSFS (59k), SIS (still waiting on funding info) Criteria: alumni network, abundance of internship opportunities, cohort atmosphere, career services, location (preference for big cities) I’m also concerned about debt. After my savings I’m facing a loan somewhere between 40k and 60k depending on the school. How much debt is good debt for a MA in IR? While I would like to work in non-profit, I know it’s not finanacially smart. Therefore, I’m aiming for a career in consulting. At first I was 100% invested in SAIS Europe, and SAIS (according to most) has a pretty heavy Econ focus which I need for my professional goals. However, the locations of the NY and DC schools are really advantageous. I won’t have to deal with the summer rush to get internships and can have access to those opportunities during the fall and spring. I would say that MSFS is my second top choice, but the distance from the metro as well as overall cost of living in that area are a bit of a drawback. I’m going to try to ask for more funding. Just to see if I can get more and to make my decision easier. Im really unsure about which one I should go for.
  22. I'm deciding on a Masters in international affairs/development studies and would appreciate any advice anyone has. Johns Hopkins seems to be the most prestigious but offered me no funding, and Tufts seems to be of a similar caliber and offered me some funding but is in Boston and I don't have housing there so that would be an additional cost. Does anyone have any insight on the difference between GW and American? They are my most affordable options. I have family in DC so can live rent-free there. Is SAIS at Johns Hopkins worth going into significant debt?
  23. Hi all - hoping for some advice on choosing between SIPA's MIA program and SAIS's MA program. I'm interested in studying human rights and conflict prevention/resolution and I'm hoping to work in an advocacy-based NGO after finishing grad school (though I'm also interested in multilateral work or possibly federal gov work under a different administration). I've visited both schools and overall had great impressions of both, so I'm not sure how to make a final decision. My current pro-con list is below, but I'd love to hear others' thoughts on what I should put the most weight on or if there are other factors I should be considering! Pro-SAIS: I'd get to spend my first year living in Bologna and traveling through Europe and North Africa during breaks, which seems like a really amazing, unique opportunity More tight-knit cohort from spending a year abroad together SAIS seems more prestigious than SIPA, though perhaps only marginally I live in DC now and probably want to continue working here long-term, so having a mostly DC-based network would be useful Their program is smaller than SIPA's and the classes seem smaller in general Pro-SIPA: I got scholarships from both schools, but SIPA will be about $10k cheaper/year* (but I can still afford either with no debt) Being close to the UN and having school connections there would be a great way for me to get internship experience in a multilateral org and figure out if I like the sector Studying in NYC for 2 years would be a great way for me to test out living in the city and see if it's somewhere I'd be interested in living long-term (since most jobs that interest me are in DC or NYC, and I already know what I like and don't like about DC life) Their "human rights and humanitarian policy" concentration perfectly aligns with my career goals (I can study human rights at SAIS, it would just be under the "international law and orgs" concentration so it might be a bit less focused) I could cross-register with Columbia Law School and take courses in international law *Assuming I get the FLAS fellowship, which I find out about next week. If I don't get it, I can't afford SIPA and in that case the decision is easy! Thanks for sharing any thoughts you have 😃
  24. I'm having a very hard time deciding where to study in Europe next year in international affairs. I've been accepted to Cambridge, LSE, Oxford, and Sciences Po but funding, course structure and reputation are weighing on me. I have a BA in International Development and 2 years of relevant work experience (co-op) in foreign policy. After graduate school, I would like to eventually work for the UN, an international organization or the foreign affairs department. Here are my initial thoughts: LSE - MSc IR: no funding, 1 full year, foundational course in IR + courses + 10,000 word dissertation. I have applied to a couple of external scholarships which could offset the higher cost of living, but have heard that it's more of a degree that looks good on paper. Cambridge - MPhil IR: no funding, 10 months, courses + methodology + 25,000 word dissertation. I really like the idea of living on a small campus, not far away from London. Having browsed internet forums I'm not sure about POLIS' reputation. Oxford - MPhil IR: no funding, 2 years, foundational courses, courses + methodology + 30,000 word dissertation. Probably my first choice but I don't have the means to spend 90k on tuition + living expenses for two years esp. given my likely income afterwards. Would I be making a huge mistake in rejecting the offer and going elsewhere? Sciences Po - Int. Security: Partial funding (20,000 euros), 2 years, internship, a ton of courses, already bilingual. i could afford to stay in Paris for two years with the scholarship and it would give me the opportunity to get some more work experience/internships during the summer and fall. Not too sure about the university's reputation and course structure since it seems like there are 8 classes per semester?? Right now, I'm leaning towards Cambridge given the length of the programme and the campus, but also very open to considering LSE or Sciences Po. Grateful for any opinions
  25. Hi everyone! I am 25 years old, I already hold a BA in communication from an italian uni, and a MSc in political sciences from the London School of Economics (LSE). I am currently working in international organizations such as the UN - it's now been almost 2 years. I would like to study again, most likely next year or in 2020, and I always wanted to go to a top tier US university - Harvard being the top choice. The fact is, my family cannot afford to pay me a Master at Harvard uni at the Kennedy School of Government or the GSAS, and as an international student I would never receive financial aid to totally cover the expenses of one of their Master programs. That being said, I still want to go to Harvard, and experience studying in a US university. So I casually found out about Harvard Extension School: a part of Harvard university, that offers special Master degrees (Master of Liberal Arts, AML) in a variety of disciplines, with the possibility to follow partly online an partly on campus, the possibility to take a maximum of 5 years to complete the program, and obviously reduced tuition fees. A Master at GSAS would cost me around 160.000 USD for two years, while a Master of Liberal Arts at Harvard Extension School would cost me a mere 55.000 USD. But admissions to the Harvard Extension School are way easier: you only have to pass a general reading and comprehension test, and then not let your GPA sink below 3.0 to complete the program. You spend half of the program on campus, you also have a final thesis to prepare, and graduate from Harvard during the May commencement ceremony. I am interested in the AML in International Relations (https://www.extension.harvard.edu/academics/graduate-degrees/international-relations-degree), and I already emailed Harvard Extension School for more information, but one thing that is not completely clear to me is: how valuable is such kind of degree for employers? I know many students blatantly lie and pretend they earned a Master of Arts from Harvard instead of a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard Extension School, and employers, especially in the USA, are annoyed by this kind of behaviour. Let me be clear: I am not doing the program to mislead people into believing I earned a Master of Arts from Harvard Kennedy School of Government or the GSAS. I would just like to experience Harvard and a top US university, pursuing a degree which is more affordable for me and my family, can be completed while working, and that can give me some new skills and knowledge (being a political science graduate, I never took courses in human rights law, public policy law, international development, which I would find in this AML program, really giving some meaningful contirbution to my professional growth). Has any of you ever pursued a Master of Liberal Arts at the Harvard Extension School? Or is there any of you that could provide more information and more advice on the topic? Thank you!
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