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IR Masters: SAIS, Tufts, or Geneva? Help me decide!

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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. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not advanced in the field so I can only offer my limited view, but a few thoughts:

1) If you did not get into your top program choice at SAIS and did not receive funding, Tufts/IHEID might be a better option.

2) I would seriously look into joint degrees @ Fletcher/IHEAD as Fletcher has several cooperative programs with St. Gallen in SWZ, for example. I'm not sure if having a European master's would *hurt* your chances of getting into an American PhD program, but generating a network with American academics for the master's seems to make more sense if your goal is to do your doctoral research there.  

3) Based on the statistics provided by SAIS, very few graduates continue onto a PhD immediately after graduation (2%). Especially if you are paying full tuition, I don't really see how that would be feasible. 

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Tough decision but John Hopkins without funding is extremely expensive. I would also have looked at UW or UCSD for their asian studies programs but UCSD is very quant heavy, and both may not be the best choices for PHD programs. Like Darwinian 192 points out european masters degrees may not necessarily hurt US PHD chances but may not help as much as a US masters. I think it may also depend on the prestige and quality of your US undergraduate education. I dont think you can go wrong with any of these options, but if Tufts is considerably cheaper than John Hopkins, thats the one I would choose. It is almost as prestigious and would still set you up nicely for international jobs or a PHD. 

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