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Yale's International Relations Masters Program


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Hey all!

What have you heard about Yale's International Relations Master's program? I've been accepted, but I don't really know much more than what I've learned from their website. If anyone out there has attended, been to visit, or knows someone who was/ is in the program, you help would be much appreciated

Thanks!

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I was also accepted and am incredibly psyched. My take on the program is as follows:

* More predominant academic approach to studying IR than most other programs (as opposed to a purely professional approach)

* Much less structure for students: craft your own degree; so, if you want management classes and historical IR theory, you can have both.

* Much less structure for faculty: it brings together faculty from other departments whose focuses overlap with IR, such as Cold War historian John Gaddis who has advised presidents on IR matters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 56_pf.html) and offers a yearlong course on Grand Strategy.

* Much smaller student body (e.g.versus SIPA, SIS, Fletcher, HKS) with only about 40-50 students, 20 or so per year.

In short, I believe that the program has a more narrow appeal than the major IR schools. The open house, whose date I expect is in the admissions package that will arrive this week, hopefully will give us a better picture.

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One alum's perspective:

A legislative director in Congress told me he regretted going there because 1) the program is more academic than policy oriented and 2) Yale gives its undergrads more love than its grad students.

But this is just one person's view. The degree seems to carry considerable cache, and the program could be a great fit, particularly for someone who wants an academic approach and the ability to craft a concentration.

I would also keep in mind that since the program's small, there's a limited alumni network. Could be good or bad.

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I got just the email about the accepted students day, on April 6th. I expect to attend. Will anyone else from here be there?

EDIT:

I received my admissions package today: financial aid = zilch. Poopie.

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Congrats to all! I'm going to happily join the crew of deciding upon the offer for Yale MA in IR. I will be at the Open House.

From the looks of the MacMillan website, they are starting to gear a little more towards policy-orientation in their program by hiring a Policy Director and starting a Policy Studies concentration. This lack of policy is my major concern too.

You're right about more love for undergrad than grad students there, but I think it's somewhat balanced out by their excellent other grad schools (ie Law). I"m not sure yet if Yale is rated lower than other IR schools for all legitimate reasons.

console: for the alum who had some regret for going there, does he do any international-related work in his job as a legislative director?

I have been to visit in 2008 because I was drawn to its flexibility and access to other departments, and I can say that Professor Doss and the other staff I talked to were quite impressive - down to earth, very friendly and helpful. It was quite a draw for me.

I've got no money from both Fletcher and Yale, so can't say anything about funding. I've only got funding from U of Chicago. Not sure if I want to consider Chicago yet...

Does anybody know anybody else who has graduated from there, and what they're doing??

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1) What type of jobs do students get when they graduate?

Reflecting their diverse interests, MA graduates go in many directions upon graduation. Public service remains a popular choice, with students (both U.S. and international) entering agencies involved with international development, foreign policy, trade, and security and defense. The private sector - primarily financial services firms and consulting companies - draws those graduates with strong quantitative skills. Many graduates also pursue careers in the nonprofit sector.

Some of the employers that attracted the Class of 2008 include: Congressional Research Service, US Department of Defense, US Department of State, Morgan Stanley, United Nations, Brookings Institution, ShoreBank International, US Army, Debevoise & Plimpton, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Japan, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Company, Credit Suisse, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the Asia Society.

2) Did anyone get any $? According to the website 30% get $, but this is not a normal year and $ is tight all around.

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congrats emforpeace! i hope you won't mind telling us how you like working with the financial aid office and how much funding you end up getting. let us know what you decide on for WWS and if it's enough to sway you over from Yale MacMillan. I'm still deciding on it!

i wanted some funding bad, but will have to figure out some other ways to make this work.

for all on the thread:

if you are considering Yale MA IR, what other schools are you also considering and what school are you leaning toward and why?

For me:

In: Fletcher, Yale, GWU, UChicago

Waiting: KSG, SIPA, SAIS, Gtown

Leaning toward Yale. Like the flexibility, and Fletcher gave me no aid.

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So, a week later and I'm still stumped. I just bought a ticket to New Haven for the Open House and will swing through Princeton (and maybe Harvard, if applicable) as well.

Hoping this will help me sort it all out...

Did anyone get any conditions put on their acceptance? My letter didn't mention anything, but I'm wondering if they considered my econ background sufficient or they just thought I should know I need to do summer school...

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Congrats to all! I'm going to happily join the crew of deciding upon the offer for Yale MA in IR. I will be at the Open House.

From the looks of the MacMillan website, they are starting to gear a little more towards policy-orientation in their program by hiring a Policy Director and starting a Policy Studies concentration. This lack of policy is my major concern too.

You're right about more love for undergrad than grad students there, but I think it's somewhat balanced out by their excellent other grad schools (ie Law). I"m not sure yet if Yale is rated lower than other IR schools for all legitimate reasons.

console: for the alum who had some regret for going there, does he do any international-related work in his job as a legislative director?

I have been to visit in 2008 because I was drawn to its flexibility and access to other departments, and I can say that Professor Doss and the other staff I talked to were quite impressive - down to earth, very friendly and helpful. It was quite a draw for me.

I've got no money from both Fletcher and Yale, so can't say anything about funding. I've only got funding from U of Chicago. Not sure if I want to consider Chicago yet...

Does anybody know anybody else who has graduated from there, and what they're doing??

Yes, he absolutely does. The member of congress/senator he works for is a long-time member of an IR committee. So it worked out for him in the end, but he seemed to have struggled out of the gates. I got the sense that he was a bit disappointed with the alumni network, but a variety of factors could've contributed to his troubles. Also, things might be quite different today. He must've been at Yale at least 10 years ago.

It looks like they're getting serious about policy. Again, I think the program can be a great fit, unlike say a Stanford, which adds very little value. And if Yale's giving you money, that's just another huge plus. In addition, you'll be in an incredibly intellectually challenging place in all sorts of angles. Lots of upside.

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That's really interesting that you mention Stanford's International Policy Studies program. Why do you think Stanford adds very little value? Location, program? I think they've made some pretty significant changes recently too.

http://ica.stanford.edu/ips/program/details

http://www.apsia.org/apsia/members/memb ... tionID=112

Yale is a founding member of APSIA, so I would definitely give it preference, but is Stanford's MA in Intl Policy degree really bunk?

Yale's alumni network is small, but probably powerful. From talking to career services, they do have a pretty spectacular placement rate, unlike SIPA, who still has 9% of graduates looking for work 6 months after graduation. But yes, I know for a fact through asking the professors there that the hands on policy classes there are pretty few compared to most other schools. Hopefully this can be gained through other channels such as internships.

emforpeace - I didn't get any conditions in my letter regarding acceptance.

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Longhorn and all:

Do you mean employment placement?

Absolutely. First cornell had copied this from the site:

1) What type of jobs do students get when they graduate?

Reflecting their diverse interests, MA graduates go in many directions upon graduation. Public service remains a popular choice, with students (both U.S. and international) entering agencies involved with international development, foreign policy, trade, and security and defense. The private sector - primarily financial services firms and consulting companies - draws those graduates with strong quantitative skills. Many graduates also pursue careers in the nonprofit sector.

Some of the employers that attracted the Class of 2008 include: Congressional Research Service, US Department of Defense, US Department of State, Morgan Stanley, United Nations, Brookings Institution, ShoreBank International, US Army, Debevoise & Plimpton, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Japan, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Company, Credit Suisse, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the Asia Society.

Besides what cornell said: i know that 35% go non-profit, 30% public, and a smaller percentage go to private. it's not a "quant"/business program so that's probably why.

I have also heard of alumni being in places such as: World Health Organization, World Bank, United Nations Development Program, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations Headquarters in NY, Chemonics, National Democratic Institute, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Brookings Institution, Human Rights Watch, Global Health Strategies, Conservation International, International Center for Transitional Justice, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Ashoka. Apparently, 100% are employed within 6 months.

On Open House day, the Director of Career Services will be handing out an updated employment/placement sheet.

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congrats emforpeace! i hope you won't mind telling us how you like working with the financial aid office and how much funding you end up getting. let us know what you decide on for WWS and if it's enough to sway you over from Yale MacMillan. I'm still deciding on it!

i wanted some funding bad, but will have to figure out some other ways to make this work.

FOR ALL ON THE YALE MA IR THREAD:

if you are considering Yale MA IR, what other schools are you also considering and what school are you leaning toward and why?

For me:

Leaning toward Yale. Like the flexibility, small class size, great employment prospects, and Fletcher gave me no aid. Obviously, I see some downsides too.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi, is anyone still here? I have a question about this program, specifically about the importance of relevant work experience and internships during and after undergrad. I'm graduating with a 3.7 GPA, 720/800 GRE from a well known California public school, but I didn't do a single internship during my two years there. I did live abroad for two years after high school (not working in IR). Do you think any of this is meaningful? I just don't know whether I should be applying for IR programs at all with so little work experience.

I know I have decent GPA/GRE stats... does that suffice? Any information would help. Thanks.

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Hi, is anyone still here? I have a question about this program, specifically about the importance of relevant work experience and internships during and after undergrad. I'm graduating with a 3.7 GPA, 720/800 GRE from a well known California public school, but I didn't do a single internship during my two years there. I did live abroad for two years after high school (not working in IR). Do you think any of this is meaningful? I just don't know whether I should be applying for IR programs at all with so little work experience.

I know I have decent GPA/GRE stats... does that suffice? Any information would help. Thanks.

Judyblume, I'll be honest and say that without any professional or internship experience, you will probably not get into Yale. I believe only one person (maybe two) in our cohort has zero working experience, but she had a number of impressive undergraduate internships, whereas everyone else has been out of school for at least a year (maybe 2-3 have only one year of post-college experience and my perception is that 3 years of real world experience is just a little below the median). I would strongly recommend taking some time to get some real world work experience to 1) refine your professional\academic goals, 2) make yourself a more interesting candidate, and 3) give yourself a shot a better schools\funding. Sorry to be such a downer!

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Hey,

I have decided to apply to Yale's MA IR program too. My GREs are ok but not stellar 1200 (600 on each and 4 on the writing).

I have a pretty academic bent (was gong to do a Phd but opted out and got the MA and split ) and see the Yale program as a good balance between policy and academia, which is what I realized I want to do with my life.

But I know that competition is pretty stiff, looking at the blurbs on current students, I see that most have work experience. Well, I do have some, but not a lot- a year at a law firm, another year with two part-time internships while in school, and community service work here and there.

I've been to different countries mostly for study/research, not work related at all and have some pretty strong foreign language skills.

Do I have a chance at Yale? or should I save my 90 bucks?

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Hey,

I have decided to apply to Yale's MA IR program too. My GREs are ok but not stellar 1200 (600 on each and 4 on the writing).

I have a pretty academic bent (was gong to do a Phd but opted out and got the MA and split ) and see the Yale program as a good balance between policy and academia, which is what I realized I want to do with my life.

But I know that competition is pretty stiff, looking at the blurbs on current students, I see that most have work experience. Well, I do have some, but not a lot- a year at a law firm, another year with two part-time internships while in school, and community service work here and there.

I've been to different countries mostly for study/research, not work related at all and have some pretty strong foreign language skills.

Do I have a chance at Yale? or should I save my 90 bucks?

As you seem to be aware, you would be on the less competitive end of the application pool and you can clearly see what your strengths (foreign language, volunteerism) and weaknesses (little work experience, below average GRE scores) are. If I had a place a bet, I'd say you'd need to either improve your GRE score or get some more work experience to have a decent chance.

For example, like you, I had a year at a law firm (int'l corporate finance law) plus some time doing volunteer work (unpaid Obama for America staffer, helping advise my college's debate team) and decent foreign language skills (4 semesters in college, plus some use in my professional life), but I also had 630V, 770Q, 5W GRE scores plus a 3.6 from a top-tier undergrad. I do not think I was the most competitive applicant and that most of my peers have significantly more work experience than I do. This is probably also why I did not get any funding. So, you maaaaay get it, but you almost certainly will get no funding. If that second issue would keep you from coming, ask yourself if you think it is worth your time and money to apply.

Edited by Cornell07
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