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Yale University, Jackson School of Global Affairs

Learning on the Cutting Edge of International Security

The study of international security occupies a special place at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs, which has assembled a powerful combination of programs and experts to analyze, understand, and explain a fast-changing global landscape and the threats it presents.

International Security Studies, a leading research institution for more than three decades, joined the Jackson School in 2021. Its focus on the intersection of history and political science explores important historical parallels to modern events. Initiatives like the Schmidt Program on Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technologies, and National Power add a modern dimension, examining how technology is shaping global strategy.

The result is a one-of-a-kind, interdisciplinary approach designed to arm the next generation of scholars and practitioners with the latest thinking in international security.

“What we try to do is combine theory and practice, integrating our academic disciplines and exceptional scholars with leading practitioners,” says Edward Wittenstein, executive director of International Security Studies. “We try to give students a balanced education.”

At International Security Studies, education is not bound by classroom walls. Lectures, conferences, and workshops extend the conversation almost every day. “You learn just as much outside the classroom as you do in it,” Wittenstein says.

“What we try to do is combine theory and practice, integrating our academic disciplines and exceptional scholars with leading practitioners. We try to give students a balanced education.” –Edward Wittenstein, Executive Director, International Security Studies, Jackson School of Global Affairs, Yale University

Major figures, like Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry and retired US Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, have lectured. Faculty and visiting scholars also offer deep experience, and Wittenstein himself is a former diplomat and intelligence professional.

“It’s not just about studying the current events, or the latest hot topic in the news,” Wittenstein says. “We have international historians, great-power historians whose writing, lessons, and theories on those topics are highly relevant to understanding contemporary security studies.”

The school’s two-year Master in Public Policy degree program and its one-year Master of Advanced Study for mid-career professionals both allow for a highly customized approach. “Students have a lot of flexibility to design their own program,” Wittenstein says. That includes having the run of Yale University, with many taking advantage of classes—and even dual degrees—at the law school or schools of management or public health, for example.

“We encourage our students to take courses from different perspectives, interact with classmates and faculty who come from different backgrounds, and to have a wholly formed view that can allow you to be a problem-solver in global affairs,” Wittenstein says.

Yale Alumni Support Extends Around the Globe

Yale University has tens of thousands of alumni, as one might expect of a more than 320-year-old institution. There are about 120 alumni clubs in the United States and another 40 overseas, with Yale alumni living in roughly 175 countries.
>>>The Jackson School also has a rich alumni network and plenty of opportunities for post-graduation support. The school’s Career Development Office offers mock interviews, career conversation lunches, employer information sessions, one-on-one conversations with alumni, and other help.
>>>“One of the main benefits of the Jackson School are the Yale alumni who’ve already distinguished themselves in global affairs and who are eager to give back and support the next generation,” Wittenstein says. “They don’t just give them advice, but occasionally interesting employment opportunities as well.”

Yale University, Jackson School of Global Affairs
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