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FP Guide

2020 Applying to Graduate School in International Affairs

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UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Programs Suited to Tackle COVID-19, Racial Justice, Sustainability

The programs at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) are especially apt for issues affecting today’s world. All of the school’s degrees have options geared toward challenges that policy makers are facing in addressing COVID-19, racial justice and inequality, and sustainability.

Master of Public Policy (MPP) specialization in Health Policy. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated more than any event in recent history how public policy and health policy are interlinked, says Sonja Steinbrech, director of admissions. “Informed by science, data, and health professionals, our graduates are prepared to lead the future of local, state, federal, and global health policy,” she says.

MPP specialization in Inequality and Social Policy. The school’s newest MPP has quickly risen to become its most popular track. “As inequality continues to rise in the United States and around the world, GPS students are learning how to design and implement policies that make our communities more equal and just,” says Wendy Hunter Barker, assistant dean responsible for equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at GPS.

“As inequality continues to rise in the United States and around the world, GPS students are learning how to design and implement policies that make our communities more equal and just.” –Wendy Hunter Barker, Assistant Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Master of International Affairs specialization in International Development and Nonprofit Management. The school believes that careers in international development and the nonprofit sector will be critical in the effort to help the world’s economy rebuild post-COVID. This degree focuses on how to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of development and nonprofit programs.

Furthermore, all four of the school’s master’s degrees have an environmental policy or sustainability track. GPS sees climate change and sustainability as central to policy discussions for corporations, local governments, and international organizations. A master’s degree that teaches the analytical skills of how to combat these global problems will be a strong asset in the job market.

School Evaluates Process to Address Equity and Inclusion

The school’s admissions office is reassessing its processes, including whether to require standardized testing such as GRE scores, to ensure that its standards are as equitable as possible, says Emilie Hafner-Burton, faculty chair of admissions.
)))The school also is gathering data to look critically at how it evaluates, recruits, and supports students—with a special eye to underrepresented minorities—to ensure that the spirit of equity and inclusion is well represented.
)))“The faculty and staff at GPS are deeply committed to inclusion and racial justice in all aspects of our program,” Hafner-Burton says.

Graduate Degree Program Options
• Master of International Affairs
• Master of Public Policy
• Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs
• Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs
• PhD in Political Science and International Affairs

Deadlines for Fall 2021
Rolling after January 15, usually closes in late June
Financial Aid/Scholarships: January 15

Standardized Exam Scores: The school will not require or consider standardized exams for admissions or fellowship funding. It will continue to require a language exam for students from countries where English is not the official language.

Recommendation Letters: Three are required. The school prefers a mix of professional and academic. Detailed, personal letters from people who know the applicant well (such as an immediate supervisor) are preferable to more generic letters (such as from a CEO). Applicants should provide letter writers with prompts, such as a résumé, a personal statement for school applications, or a reminder of projects worked on, skills gained, or research conducted.

Application Checklist: http://gps.ucsd.edu/admissions/applying.html