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FP Guide

2020 Applying to Graduate School in International Affairs

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Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

À la Carte Offerings Give Students Choices Throughout the University

The Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs is small by design—about 30 MA in Global Affairs students and a handful in the Master of Advanced Study (MAS) program. Students graduate from the close-knit school with connections to colleagues throughout the world, in addition to enjoying broad flexibility in their studies.

“Jackson students create their own tailored curriculum, choosing courses from across the university,” says Asha Rangappa, director of admissions. “There is a way to tailor your course of study that is broader in the selection of courses and access to faculty than most policy programs, and much more specific to your area of interest.”

Most successful applicants to the Jackson Institute have worked for at least two years and shown an interest in global affairs in both their academic and professional experiences. The school looks for candidates who are clear about which global issues they want to focus on and which skills and knowledge they wish to gain from the program.

“Because Jackson is a flexible, interdisciplinary program, we look for students who have a clear idea of their focus area and the skills and knowledge they wish to gain from the program, and who will maximize the academic freedom Jackson offers.” –Asha Rangappa, Director of Admissions, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Three letters of recommendation are required, and at least one should come from a faculty member who knows the applicant well. Two academic references and one professional recommendation are preferred, although for those who have been out of school a long time, two professional and one academic reference is acceptable.

Although the MA program requires a GRE score, grades and recommendations are also important.

“Students should use their personal essay to connect the dots from their academic, personal, and professional experiences to their future professional goals,” Rangappa says.

Senior Fellows Provide Link to Real World

The school’s Senior Fellows program brings practitioners to campus to teach and give talks. “People are actually meeting with leaders who have firsthand experience with making and implementing policy in different areas,” Rangappa says. “Students get a chance to learn from people who have connections to those networks.” Fellows include former Sen. John Kerry, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and Ambassadors Harry K. Thomas Jr., Bisa Williams, and John Negroponte.

MAS Caters to Experienced Professionals

The MAS program targets mid-career global affairs professionals with at least seven years of experience. The one-year program allows students to take coursework in any of Yale’s graduate and professional schools, to suit their professional goals. Only a handful of students are admitted each year. Students include foreign and US diplomats, military officers, journalists, and business leaders.

Graduate Degree Program Options
• MA in Global Affairs
• Master of Advanced Study (MAS) in Global Affairs
The school also awards joint degrees in public health, law, management, forestry, and environmental studies.

Deadlines for Fall 2021
Application with no fee:
December 1, 2020
Regular Application and Financial Aid/Scholarships: January 2, 2021

Standardized Exam Scores: A GRE is required for the MA program but not the MAS.

Recommendation Letters: Three are required.

Application Checklist: https://jackson.yale.edu/study/ma/ma-application-process