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FP Guide

2017 Applying to Grad School

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Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) prepares students from around the world to be leaders in cross-cultural, multilingual environments. Its graduate programs focus on areas of critical global importance, including international security, human rights and social change, language and culture, sustainable development, and global management.

“We look for students who have a vision and a dream to do something for the world and want practical skills to turn their ambitions into a realistic career,” says Rebecca Henriksen, dean of enrollment, advising, and student services at the Middlebury Institute.

Language and cultural communication are central to all MIIS degree programs, including the master’s degrees in International Policy and Development, Public Administration, International Education Management, International Environmental Policy, International Trade and Economic Diplomacy, and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. “Our students are curious about different cultures and have a love of languages,” Henriksen says.

“We look for students who have a vision and a dream to do something for the world but need practical skills to turn their ambitions into a realistic career.” –Rebecca Henriksen, Dean of Enrollment, Advising, and Student Services, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The Institute offers programs in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Russian and can arrange for the study of other languages. “Currently, there is huge employer demand for graduates who have proficiency in Korean or Japanese,” Henriksen says.

Students enter with some proficiency in a second language (or participate in an intensive summer program) and benefit from the school’s immersive approach to language learning: Students take one or more courses in their area of study taught in their second language, at their own level of proficiency. For example, “Arab-African Relations” is offered in Arabic, and “Citizenship, Security, and Development in Latin America” is offered in Spanish.

“Having work experience is a real plus, but it is not required for admission,” Henriksen says. “Admission and scholarships are often based on an applicant’s future employability.”

An applicant’s undergraduate academic performance also factors into admission. “If a student is not proud of their GPA, we often encourage them to take the GRE, although it is not required,” Henriksen notes. Strong GRE scores can strengthen a candidate’s eligibility for a merit scholarship.

Most MIIS students have studied or lived abroad, and international students make up about 30 percent of the student body. The school also attracts many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, who are eligible for special scholarship opportunities.

Applicants who meet the basic standards for admission to the Middlebury Institute are invited for an interview, which is a required step in the admissions process. (Candidates who live abroad often interview via Skype or Zoom.)

The Institute requires one recommendation letter and prefers two, ideally from people who can speak to a candidate’s academic abilities, or to the professional capabilities of a candidate who has been out of school for five or more years. “Choose a boss or professor who knows you well,” Henriksen suggests.

While considering work experience, GPA, standardized test scores, and recommendation letters, MIIS also pays very close attention to how candidates demonstrate clarity of goals, love of languages, and interest in cultural and regional diversity.

Master’s Degree Program Options:
• Master’s in International Policy and Development
• Master of Public Administration (MPA)
• MA in International Education Management
• MA in International Environmental Policy
• MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy
• MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies
MIIS offers joint BA/MA programs in International Policy and Development, Public Administration, and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies for students with two years of transferrable undergraduate credits.

Application Deadlines:
• Spring 2018 Enrollment: Oct. 5 (Final)
• Fall 2018 Enrollment: Oct. 5 (Priority); Nov. 30 (Round 1); Feb. 1 (Round 2); March 30 (Round 3); May 15 (Final)
There is no specific deadline to be considered for financial aid, but, as funds are limited, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Standardized Exam Scores: TOEFL required for nonnative English speakers
Recommendation Letters: One required; two preferred
Application Checklist: go.miis.edu/apply
Contact: [email protected]; 831-647-4123

Participates in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program and offers additional scholarship opportunities for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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