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Hello Everyone,

I was accepted to SAIS (with 1 year in Bologna) and The Elliott School of International Affairs. I will be doing Security Policy Studies if I go to GW and will be concentrating in Strategic Studies if I go to SAIS.

My career objectives are to work in the intelligence or defense community (specifically the public sector) - DOD, DIA, CIA, State Department NIA, etc...

The curriculum at GW seems to compliment my career aspirations better than that of SAIS. GW's Career Development Services are great. The program entails a "Tools Requirement" that allotts me the opportunity to take progressional skills courses. The career services at SAIS offers a "professional development process" that is basically an advisor helping me plan out my career goals. However, I believe SAIS is regarded as the "more rigorous" and perhaps "more prestigious" or difficult school to get into.

I am also a bit turned off by having to spend a year in Bologna if I go to SAIS (not sure how much studying abroad in Europe would be beneficial to Security Studies).

Where do you guys think I should go? Which program would benefit me most? Which school would make me more competetive in the job market? I also got into SIS (U.S. Foreign Policy). I was not accepted into SIPA.

Any feedback would be great! Thank you!

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Hi Alex,

I didn't apply to GW, so I can't speak about that. I did get accepted at SAIS too and will be in DC for both years. I have similar interests as you, but definitely want a more quantitative/econ heavy IR program. That's why I like SAIS. It seems like we will come out of the program with really strong econ and quantitative skills, which, in my opinion, seems like an advantage in this current job market.

I know that SAIS is probably the most reputable school in DC (Georgetown is comparable), but I can only say that from what a relative, who works in DC and in that field, told me. In addition, SAIS has a great name within the IR community. I have also heard that the SAIS alumni network is excellent, with many SAIS alums willing to help SAIS students in whatever way possible. One con that many people on this website have said is that SAIS is nowhere near the Hopkins campus which means you can't take classes at other colleges within Hopkins.

I would say SAIS is the way to go, but at the end of the day, it's what you do with the degree and your time in grad school that really matters. And you seem to really like the program at GW!

For me, I'm leaning towards SAIS but it's still a toss up between that and SIPA.

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