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Yale vs. Columbia (MA East Asian Studies)

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Hey everyone, 

I'm so grateful to be accepted into both Yale and Columbia for East Asian Studies (China studies) this coming fall. I am however, having difficulty deciding which school to pick. 


  • International student with an undergraduate degree in International Relations. Have also taken many courses on political and cultural/social history alongside my IR courses. 
  • Open to moving away from an IR specialisation to explore disciplines such as history and anthropology. 
  • Considering academia as a potential career but I have not made up my mind as to what discipline to specialise in - currently leaning towards history. Taking this opportunity as a chance to explore and to decide on a discipline to specialise in.


  • Admitted into a 2-year program at Yale vs. 1-year program at Columbia. No funding as of now so cost is definitely a factor to consider. 
  • However, Yale's 2-year track provides more time for me to discover my intellectual interests or look for a job if I decide that academia is not for me. 
  • University environment. From what I've read online, Yale seems to provide a better learning and research environment as compared to Columbia while Columbia, being situated in NY seems to offer better job/internship opportunities. My undergraduate studies was completed in a city campus in central London and I was wondering if Yale could be a nice change of environment. I generally indifferent when it comes to attending uni in a big city. 
  • Yale seems to have a much stronger Chinese history department as compared to Columbia. However, it seems like its IR/Pol Science department (in its core faculty) is weaker than Columbia. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!

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