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A few questions...


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I am really interested in an international relations or international studies masters degree. But... I come from an anthropology background, and all of my work experience is either irrelevant (working in customer service) or anthro related (read: working in a museum) so I don't really have any of the work experience or references that most people who have always known IR was their calling do... I changed my mind my senior year of undergrad. when I started taking international conflict, and political geography courses and I realized that the actual diplomacy and euro/us relations interested me far more than the more obscure subjects that anthropology covers. (Don't get me wrong I still love anthropology, but I feel it will limit me from subjects I have a stronger interest in)... I worked 50 or more hours a week at two jobs through full time undergrad, so I wasn't involved in extracurriculars. For similar reasons, I can't exactly drop everything and volunteer for something more IR related now. Am I doomed? Is there any chance at all that I can get into one of these programs? I am perfectly open to schools that are not top 10s as I realize I have pretty much zero chance of those... I've read that there were a few people that got in without super relevant credentials, but they seemed to find a way to make it work for them. Are there any suggestions? Also, as I am researching.... I have to wonder is there a major difference, other than name, between IR programs and IS programs or is it just semantics? Any suggestions or thoughts are welcome!

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Mmm. That does make things harder, considering your background.

Some quick thoughts...

If you know specifically what you want to do with an IR degree, that will go a long way in helping you develop a cohesive application package.

On a similar note, think about a way to tie your personal story into a desire to become involved in public service and/or international relations.

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Yeah...there are some things I think I could somehow tie into my SOP about my life/work, that might help...I've spent quite a bit of time in europe as I still have family there (i am 2nd gen), and I also spent my time at the museum interpreting aspects of policy/international relations to the general public (but this of course lends itself more to academics than practical). I just can't help feeling like I'm grasping for straws. It is something that I am very passionate about doing though, and part of me says if I want it bad enough I can make it happen (very cliche, I know). I guess for now I will just try to really narrow down what I am interested in, consider the academic side of things, and keep looking for schools that tend toward the anthro side of things. I have found a few IR/IS programs that rely heavily on their anthro professors/depts and am thinking this might be something for me... Thanks for the input. Anything is helpful.

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I second the above question.

Also, would these professional programs look down on the idea of me getting another MA first? If I were to get my anthropology MA, get some work experience in, and maybe in 3 years or so come back and apply for an IR degree..is that possible? I think I have seen a few people with other masters degrees...but I am just curious how common it is/how it is looked upon if anyone has that info.

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I second the above question.

Also, would these professional programs look down on the idea of me getting another MA first? If I were to get my anthropology MA, get some work experience in, and maybe in 3 years or so come back and apply for an IR degree..is that possible? I think I have seen a few people with other masters degrees...but I am just curious how common it is/how it is looked upon if anyone has that info.

I know several people who went on to get another masters degree before going back for a masters in IR and policy, and at some pretty impressive schools at that. It definitely did not hurt their application. I would actually say it enhanced their application a bit. The intersection between international relations and policy, and other fields is becoming very important today. So people who are thinking along that route stand a strong shot of getting in to programs of their choice.

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