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Rank the MA International Relations programs

aca0260aca0260 Posts: 693Registered User Member
edited November 2012 in Graduate School
Ive heard of many of the programs but Id like more info concerning where they stand amongst one another. Thanks
Post edited by aca0260 on
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Replies to: Rank the MA International Relations programs

  • psmyth000psmyth000 Posts: 514Registered User Member
    John Hopkins is supposed to be the best.

    No idea about the rest.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Posts: 14,728Super Moderator Senior Member
    The most popular rankings seem to be:

    Top 10 International Relations Schools for Academic Careers:

    1. Harvard University
    2. Columbia University
    3. Stanford University
    4. Princeton University
    5. University of Chicago
    6. Yale University
    7. University of Michigan
    8. University of California, Berkeley
    9. University of California, San Diego
    10. Cornell University

    Top 10 International Relations Schools for Policy Careers:

    1. Johns Hopkins University
    2. Georgetown University
    3. Harvard University
    4. Tufts University
    5. Columbia University
    6. Princeton University
    7. George Washington University
    8. American University
    9. Syracuse University
    10. University of California, San Diego
  • ElizabethJacksonElizabethJackson Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    Those are quite comprehensive lists, but does anyone know of a few others that aren't quite so competitive? I'm just looking for strong programs, (as opposed to crazy expensive, etc.) Overseas is fine also...
  • psmyth000psmyth000 Posts: 514Registered User Member
    The London School of Economics has a good program. Soas does as well.
  • huskem55huskem55 Posts: 4,284User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    2006 USNEWS rankings for various IR fields:

    International Econ:
    Harvard
    Columbia
    Princeton
    Berkeley
    MIT
    Michigan
    Wisconsin
    UCLA
    Yale
    U Chicago

    International Politics:
    Harvard
    Stanford
    Columbia
    Princeton
    Michigan
    UC-SD
    Duke
    Berkeley
    Chicago
    NYU

    International Business:
    Thunderbird (AZ)
    U South Carolina
    UPENN
    Columbia
    NYU
    Michigan
    Harvard
    Duke
    Berkeley
    USC

    International Law:
    NYU
    Columbia
    Georgetown
    Harvard
    American
    Yale
    Michigan
    UVA
    George Washington
    Berkeley
  • jacquesierjacquesier Posts: 578Registered User Member
    Does anyone actually know anything of about Thunderbird? I was, in fact, looking over that 2006 USNEWS report with some friends and none of us have ever heard of that place and it is somehow ranked No. 1 for International Business, but that is the only list it is on.

    To the main subject:

    I'd say SAIS, SIPA, and SFS are the top terminal MA graduate programs in IR. Kennedy is good as well, but I'd rank it fourth and down because of location ebing away from D.C. and New York, which are simply the big power bases for international relations. I'd think Fletcher is better than Kenedy, but this is all a personal interpretation as you know.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Posts: 14,728Super Moderator Senior Member
    I'd say SAIS, SIPA, and SFS are the top terminal MA graduate programs in IR.

    I agree.
    Kennedy is good as well, but I'd rank it fourth and down because of location ebing away from D.C. and New York, which are simply the big power bases for international relations.

    Yes...and no. Kennedy does a good job with grad placement, and is especially good at tapping the Harvard name when need be. A vice-director for Southeast Asian intelligence at the NSA that I spoke with had this to say: "The location is a bit of a pain, but the networking is powerful enough to overcome it." However, if you have the choice between SAIS and Kennedy, and they're both the same price, there's no particularly strong reason to go to Kennedy other than the Harvard name. And if you plan on working in IR, then SAIS will have the better industry rep. anyway.
    I'd think Fletcher is better than Kenedy, but this is all a personal interpretation as you know.

    Fletcher's an amazing program. Top 5, if you ask me.
  • josephinejosephine Posts: 226Registered User Junior Member
    Well, you have to take into account that these schools focus on slightly different things, some are schools of government, like Kennedy, which is not the same as something like Georgetown which is a school of foreign service. Which one is best depends quite a bit on exactly what you want to study and why.
    As for Thunderbird, it is an international business school. That's all they do, no other areas of IR.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Posts: 14,728Super Moderator Senior Member
    josephine,

    Kennedy is commonly considered in the same vein as SAIS, SIPA, and others. Don't just take the "name" of the school at face value, but make sure to consider the curriculum and general career goals of most grads. If you search on a variety of forums, people with an interest in IR are constantly talking about the following programs:

    SAIS
    SIPA
    GTown
    Fletcher
    American
    George Washington
    Princeton Wilson
    Yale
    and a few others.

    But if you look at KSG, two of their potential foci of study are:

    # International Security and Political Economy
    # International Trade and Finance

    That's pretty IR, if you ask me.
  • snufflessnuffles Posts: 1,147Registered User Senior Member
    One of the fletcher students I bumped into while waiting for the bus complained that Harvard's school lacked focus in its education (she's allowed to cross register courses). She felt that the Harvard program was more of a brand name - not a comprehensive program that prepared its students well. She said that there wasn't enough money and devotion to its students. Reputation wise she said that the Tufts fletcher school is more highly regarded within the UN from the work she's done in it throughout the world. This is a purely anecdotal story about two months ago on a rainy day.
  • jacquesierjacquesier Posts: 578Registered User Member
    My assumption is that most people go to Kennedy thinking a Harvard diploma is the same, but Kennedy, in my thoughts, is different from SAIS, SIPA, and SFS in that it isn't entirely IR focused. Also, I really think the Boston location hurts Kennedy and Tufts a bit. The Princeton Woodrow Wilson School has always seen to me to be more of Public Policy oriented. Sure, they have a Master's of Public Affairs, but the whole school seems to be more Public Policy oriented and, along with Kennedy, in it for the Princeton name. I'm saying if you want a good terminal MA in International Relations it is SAIS, SFS, and SIPA. Then come the other schools. I'm not saying Fletcher, Kennedy, and the others are bad, simply that others are better. Then again if you want to go into Public Policy then by all means go to Pton or Kennedy, btu for International Affairs it is best to go to D.C. or NYC. The oppurtunities that come with being in those towns while studying at those schools is also be a major factor in making them great. Sure, Harvard is a great place, but if you want to study International Relations is Boston really the best place to be made. D.C.'s entire industry is based around what you want to study and NYC to a slightly lesser extent.
  • matt040284matt040284 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    What about LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science)...how does their IR program rank?

    I was accepted there for an MSc in Political Communication - but am not sure if I will go. -- I'd rather defer it and apply to more IR/public policy schools in the US - SAIS, SIPA, GTown, GW, etc.
  • zalinazalina Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Especially for people who are interested in US - Europe - China Relations, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is excellent. It has a campus in Bologna and one in Nanjing. Moreover the number of speakers and connections it has is truly amazing especially since it is located in the heart of DC. Also it has for professors some top advisors and thinkers that have shaped and shape US foreign and international policy such as Francis ***uyama, Eliot Cohen, Ruth Wedgewood and Zbigniew Brezinski. I work in DC and some of the speakers such Amartya Sen and other world politicians who pass by DC for a meeting and come to speak there is astonishing. http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pubaffairs/archives/index9.html

    Also Foreign Policy Magazine just published a survey of the Best MA in International Relations

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3292 (to sign in is free)


    "Where’s the best place to study international relations? The answer depends in part on the career you have in mind. Aspiring academics typically need a Ph.D. from a top-notch political science department. For scholarly pursuits, Harvard easily leads the field; it was the only institution named by a majority of respondents. For those who want to walk the corridors of power—not study them—Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University win the most praise. Armed with a masters degree in international relations from a top policy school, students are likely to head off for jobs in government, nongovernmental organizations (ngos), or international business. Proximity to political circles keeps the East Coast dominant for policy schools, but the West Coast and the Midwest do well for those who want to don academic robes."
  • zalinazalina Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Especially for people who are interested in US - Europe - China Relations, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is excellent. It has a campus in Bologna and one in Nanjing. Moreover the number of speakers and connections it has is truly amazing especially since it is located in the heart of DC. Also it has for professors some top advisors and thinkers that have shaped and shape US foreign and international policy such as Francis ***uyama, Eliot Cohen, Ruth Wedgewood, Josef Joffe and Zbigniew Brzezinski. I work in DC and have gone to "open to the public" lectures, of speakers such Amartya Sen, Paul Volcker, Senator Sam Brownback and European Commision President Jose Barroso and other world politicians who pass by DC for a meeting or simply live there and come to speak there, is astonishing. http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pubaffairs/archives/index9.html

    Also Foreign Policy Magazine just published the results of a survey which showed Johns Hopkins SAIS as the Best MA in International Relations / International Studies

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3292 (to sign in is free)


    "Where’s the best place to study international relations? The answer depends in part on the career you have in mind. Aspiring academics typically need a Ph.D. from a top-notch political science department. For scholarly pursuits, Harvard easily leads the field; it was the only institution named by a majority of respondents. For those who want to walk the corridors of power—not study them—Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University win the most praise. Armed with a masters degree in international relations from a top policy school, students are likely to head off for jobs in government, nongovernmental organizations (ngos), or international business. Proximity to political circles keeps the East Coast dominant for policy schools, but the West Coast and the Midwest do well for those who want to don academic robes."

    I am helping my sister with looking for grad schools and I got so excited about helping her search that I thought i'd share with everyone.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Posts: 14,728Super Moderator Senior Member
    SAIS is clearly the IR leader for professionals, though I would say that for East Asian affairs, including China, IR/PS is a good option.

    Yes, I'm shilling. Oh well.
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