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Hi folks - thinking of applying to Yale's Jackson School's Masters of Global Affairs program this fall, as the program itself looks pretty interesting and they seem to offer generous funding if you're able to get in. The problem is that I've already been working in Global Affairs/Foreign Policy for about three years and haven't heard much about Jackson and am concerned about its reputation within its field. I am currently living in Canada but would like to stay in the USA and continue working in the peace/security world, but don't want to be at a disadvantage in terms of school name. I am also looking at Fletcher, Georgetown and Columbia. If I were to get into Jackson and get generous funding, I don't see myself being able to turn it down, as I don't have the money to pay for graduate school without a loan. A lot of this is hypothetical, but my general question is this - does Jackson have a reputation that will launch its graduate into top organizations in the field of global affairs?

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So, I don't exactly know the answer to your question, but I can offer an anecdote. A couple of years ago I was studying IR at an Ivy League college. I asked my IR professor which programs he thought would be a good match for me. We discussed Georgetown, Tufts, SIPA, and HKS. After, I asked about Yale Jackson. He said something like, "Does Yale have an MA in IR?" 

I could be wrong, but from that interaction, I concluded that Yale Jackson has essentially no reputation in the field. 

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1 hour ago, guav992 said:

So, I don't exactly know the answer to your question, but I can offer an anecdote. A couple of years ago I was studying IR at an Ivy League college. I asked my IR professor which programs he thought would be a good match for me. We discussed Georgetown, Tufts, SIPA, and HKS. After, I asked about Yale Jackson. He said something like, "Does Yale have an MA in IR?" 

I could be wrong, but from that interaction, I concluded that Yale Jackson has essentially no reputation in the field. 

Exactly! I have had similar experiences. I will say, the program is only a couple years old so I suppose I understand that many people wouldn't know of the program a couple years ago as it is so new. I wonder if it is predicted to gain notoriety over the coming years...

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It's up there with Princeton, certainly better than any of the programs you mentioned. As a side note - and speaking as someone who got the quintessential job nearly everybody wants out of these degrees - I would suggest you temper your expectations of what any graduate program of international affairs can do in terms of "launching" your career. None of them are all that useful and they are all way overpriced relative to career outcomes, perceived prestige, and expected earnings. Veteran's preference or a 2nd tier MBA will do far more for your career than any MA in international relations.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/29/2021 at 2:56 PM, guav992 said:

So, I don't exactly know the answer to your question, but I can offer an anecdote. A couple of years ago I was studying IR at an Ivy League college. I asked my IR professor which programs he thought would be a good match for me. We discussed Georgetown, Tufts, SIPA, and HKS. After, I asked about Yale Jackson. He said something like, "Does Yale have an MA in IR?" 

I could be wrong, but from that interaction, I concluded that Yale Jackson has essentially no reputation in the field. 

What you are highlighting is the academic lag effect. For example, a lot of academics right now still get giddy over healthcare policy, but it hasn't been cool since 2009. What matters more (unless you want to go into academia) is what will help you get a job. Yale is newer and doesn't have as many alumni to help you, but they are burning money to build this program up like crazy. Yale actually has a history of relatively young grad programs having outstanding performance - think Yale School of Management - which I believe is only a few decades old as an MBA school. 

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