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MIA at the New School

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So, on paper the MIA at the New School looks really attractive to me. Its exactly the kind of program I am looking for, and I really love the idea of being New York City. However, it doesn't seem to be affiliated with APSIA, and in general I can't find too much information about the program outside of the program website. Anyone know much about it? Should I stay far away from anything not APSIA affiliated, or is that not necessarily a deal breaker?

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  • 10 months later...

This is actually a very good question, both about the New School and about staying away from non-APSIA accredited programs.  anyone have any insight on this?

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The benefit to picking an APSIA member or affiliated school is that you know that the program meets a certain set of standards for professional education in international affairs.  And APSIA, like NASPAA, doesn't just randomly come up with standards, they work with schools and employers to try to figure out what are the skills that are needed for international affairs professionals, and then examine their members in that light.  So that doesn't mean you absolutely have to stay away from a program that's not in APSIA, but you should just know that it hasn't been as closely evaluated as some of the other programs.  All of the top professional international affairs programs are APSIA members, but that doesn't mean that there aren't good programs that are outside of APSIA.  Also, there could be lots of reasons why a school isn't in APSIA, for example, if it doesn't see itself as a professional program, but more of a liberal arts international affairs program, it may not apply to join an association of professional schools of international affairs. 


As for the New School, it's a young program at a school that's much better known for art, drama, and design than public policy or international affairs. So the downsides to that are you won't have as large of an alumni network (they just haven't graduated as many students as Columbia or NYU), they may not have as many resources since they haven't been around long enough to build a big donor base, and the curriculum may just not be as mature as at other places.  It's definitely not very qualitatively rigorous if you look at what they require.   The upsides are you probably have a lot more flexibility, whereas the programs at some of the more established schools can have more requirements.  And if you already have an established professional network and/or a lot of experience, then it may not matter as much that you go to a school that can connect you to a strong network.  And if you have a lot of professional experience, it doesn't matter as much if you go to a "well known" school.   

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