Jump to content

Prospective M.A. in International Relations - Qualifications?


clove75

Recommended Posts

Hey all, I want to apply to some of the big IR programs (SAIS, Tufts, Georgetown, etc.), but I have some reservations on whether I will be considered seriously (more on that in a second)

GPA: 3.8 from an Ivy

Major: Neuroscience

GRE: 168 Quant 168 Verbal

Experience in IR: Lacking (Was Pre-med for most of my college career)

Foreign Experience: Served for a year in the Israeli army after my junior year of college before injuries cut it short and I returned to school - I am fluent in Hebrew. Also lived in Israel for a year between high school and college

I'm interested in Middle Eastern Studies and Conflict resolution (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a major focal point).

Yet I took at most 2 classes that could be considered IR-related at school - Am I in big trouble?

(Also, was succesful in my former pre-med career. I was the fifth co-author of a paper in a major research journal and did a service-learning program in South Africa for 6 weeks).

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ir school normally does not care your previous coursework on IR, so don't worry about this.

given your experience, i think you totally have a chance to get in Georgetown SFS, their middle eastern studies is quite good.

im a current SAIS student, but i don't recommend you study ME at SAIS if you got the chance to go SFS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your numbers and general credentials are (obviously) fine. However, IR degrees and most similar policy-related degrees are professional in nature. This indicates that you need to express your grasp of the field -- and your immediate academic goals as well as future career goals -- in your application package. Without a fair amount of coursework or work experience, it can be difficult.

What are you able to draw on? Your life experience in Israel is certainly a starting point in a more broad sense, but what's your plan on relating that to why you need an IR degree from these prestigious schools and how you're going you use it?

You say your focus is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and you've witnessed it first hand. That's how you can frame your entry into this process. However, you also need to approach the academic aspect: what classes do you consider as fundamental? What skills do you need to gain in order to serve your professional ambitions? If you cannot articulate these in your personal statements, the admissions committee will doubt your purpose and path in the program. Above all, it's not enough to be smart and accomplished. The top-tier programs don't lack a ton of applications from self-selected smart people who have experience, so you need to prove that you'll be academically capable (and self-directed) and a good representative of the school when you finish and hit the job market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ir school normally does not care your previous coursework on IR, so don't worry about this.

given your experience, i think you totally have a chance to get in Georgetown SFS, their middle eastern studies is quite good.

im a current SAIS student, but i don't recommend you study ME at SAIS if you got the chance to go SFS.

Thanks for the reply - What specifically do you know about the two middle eastern studies programs that causes you to prefer SFS?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your numbers and general credentials are (obviously) fine. However, IR degrees and most similar policy-related degrees are professional in nature. This indicates that you need to express your grasp of the field -- and your immediate academic goals as well as future career goals -- in your application package. Without a fair amount of coursework or work experience, it can be difficult.

What are you able to draw on? Your life experience in Israel is certainly a starting point in a more broad sense, but what's your plan on relating that to why you need an IR degree from these prestigious schools and how you're going you use it?

You say your focus is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and you've witnessed it first hand. That's how you can frame your entry into this process. However, you also need to approach the academic aspect: what classes do you consider as fundamental? What skills do you need to gain in order to serve your professional ambitions? If you cannot articulate these in your personal statements, the admissions committee will doubt your purpose and path in the program. Above all, it's not enough to be smart and accomplished. The top-tier programs don't lack a ton of applications from self-selected smart people who have experience, so you need to prove that you'll be academically capable (and self-directed) and a good representative of the school when you finish and hit the job market.

Thank you very much for the thorough reply - Would all of those things need to be included in the personal statement or is there some other medium to convey it? Because 600 words does not seem enough to cover all those bases while telling my story. Do I need to address my lack of IR coursework/ experience in the essay? Or do I need to only positively address what the program will allow me to accomplish in the future?

Thanks again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've got the right idea already! I know full well how restrictive the word counts are, so don't dwell on what you don't have (after all, no applicant is perfect).

Stick to the purpose of the statement: to convey how you would take advantage of what the program offers. Don't hesitate to speak in a confident tone. Given your lack of IR-related classes and work experience, you can research the programs thoroughly and construct a hypothetical course of study for yourself. Then, you simply integrate that into your statements -- and the admissions committee will realize that you've done your homework and formulated a focused plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use