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SFS Georgetown Programs

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Does anyone know how the reginal studies programs at SFS (MAAS, MASIA, MAGES, etc) are viewed in comparison to the thematic programs (MSFS, SSP)?  Is there a notable difference in the reputation of these programs or the possibilities of job prospects post-graduation, or are all of the degrees offered at SFS seen as being highly sought after in the realm of international relations?  It seems that most applicants aim for MSFS, but is this due to a lack of language skills for the regional programs, or a difference in reputation?


I've noticed there there seems to be a considerable amount of overlap as you can seek a Thematic degree at MSFS but choose a regional specialization, or you can choose a Regional Studies program and choose a concentration in something more thematic.  


Any advice comparing the two different pathways at SFS? 

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As far as I know with the regional studies programs, they are much more focused on gaining area and language expertise of their respective regions than the MSFS, which as you stated, are more thematic. My friend doing the MA in Arab Studies primarily is primarily concentrating on being entirely fluent in Arabic through intensive language courses and learning more about the history, culture and economies of Arabic-speaking countries. As far as I know the regional studies programs are not required to take such economics courses as international finance or trade, or quantitative courses like the MSFS programs. Regional studies MA's are great for those who are interested in being area or country analysts for the government or private sector.


I would venture to say that the MSFS would be better for those hoping to gain broader knowledge of international relations and acquire in-depth knowledge of a certain area (international development, security, international business, etc) to get the advanced degree needed that could be applied to a range of jobs in those different fields.


I think that the thematic and regional specializations to compliment their opposite degree focus is a great idea, especially if you already have the language skills needed for the particular regional specialization and you want to pair it with something more functional in the MSFS program to maximize the amount of job opportunities you could receive. 


Just my humble guess!

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Thanks for your input! 


I'm faced with a tough decision as I'm already fluent in the language of my intended specialization, and the regional focus program at SFS has offered me a generous amount of funding whereas the thematic program didn't offer any. I was also offered admittance to SAIS and SIPA without funding.  I just don't want to greatly reduce my employability at the best employers due to having a regional master with a thematic focus as opposed to a thematic master with a regional focus, but the scholarship is hard to pass up.  

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Yes, I can certainly understand this! Well, definitely compare the coursework of the two schools...maybe even plan out tentative courses you would take in your first two semesters and compare the two. Which of the course schedules excites you the most? Which Masters program would you be able to learn more from? Which Masters program would be more flexible for your interests? If you are strong in one area, you may want to gain more knowledge in the other area. You certainly don't want to feel bored in your regional studies MA if you are already fluent in the language, but you are right...funding is a big deal. But hey, doing well your first year in the MSFS could allow you to always get 2nd year funding. It's a tough choice, but best of luck with your decision!

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