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Which Women's College Is Best for International Relations?

emohlee12345emohlee12345 33 replies11 threads Junior Member
edited August 2012 in Women's Colleges
Hey, so I really want to go to a Women's College and I am considering a degree in International Relations and Affairs. Preferably I would want to double major with Arabic and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, since I would absolutely love to work in or with the Middle East in perhaps an embassy. So, which of the women's colleges would be the best for that? Or are women's colleges not good for these sort of majors? Also do you know from personal experience or from reputation or things that you have heard? Haha sorry for so many questions, but I really appreciate any and all help :)
edited August 2012
18 replies
Post edited by emohlee12345 on
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Replies to: Which Women's College Is Best for International Relations?

  • penguin369penguin369 168 replies20 threads Junior Member
    Mount Holyoke has an excellent International Relations program. I think 2 of the top 300 professors in the country (according to the latest Princeton Review survey) are MHC IR professors.

    Check it out! MHC is an awesome school- it has a really international student body and I think the Middle Eastern studies program is supposed to be good too.

    Of course, I might be a bit biased since I'll be attending next year :)
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  • Mariecc1Mariecc1 168 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Like penguin369, I'm also biased, because I go to Wellesley. However, in addition to considering Mount Holyoke (which is a fantastic school), I hope you'll also take a look at Wellesley. Our IR department is very strong and allows for a wide variety of approaches to the subject: IR + history, IR + economics, etc. Additionally, we have a ton of study abroad programs; the majority of students go abroad at some point in their college career.

    Besides Wellesley and Mount Holyoke, some women's colleges to consider are Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Mills. While I can't speak personally to the strength of their IR departments, they're all very well-regarded schools.

    Feel free to PM me with any further questions about Wellesley!

    EDIT: Here's a link to the Wellesley course catalog, if you're interested--http://new.wellesley.edu/academics/catalog
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  • emohlee12345emohlee12345 33 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thanks so much, I have actually been planning to go early decision for Wellesley. It is my top choice, but I know its incredibly difficult to get into so I would want back up choices. Sorry if this is too personal of a question, but did you have really high SAT scores and do you know anyone who got in with low SAT score?
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  • dc20016dc20016 107 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I attended Mount Holyoke and majored in political science many, many years ago. You should know that Vincent Ferraro, the Ruth C. Lawson Professor of International Relations, has just been named one of the 300 best professors in the nation by the Princeton Review. You may check out his personal web page at Vincent Ferraro, Resources for the Study of International Relations and Foreign Policy. From there you may link to the Mount Holyoke College webpage for the International Relations program and review the course offerings.

    I have known Vinnie Ferraro since 1972. He LOVES teaching at Mount Holyoke. He's been courted by Harvard and other prestigious institutions but has refused all entreaties to leave Mount Holyoke. I am old enough that I studied under Professor Ruth Lawson and met Prof. Ferraro through the husband of my college roommate. I saw him most recently at my 40th reunion when he led a lively discussion on the situation in the Middle East after our Saturday night class dinner. While I emphasized American government in my studies at Mount Holyoke, I took numerous courses in history and international relations that prepared me well for my subsequent career as a lawyer. I did not hesitate to join the Office of International Affairs at the Justice Department years ago where I represented foreign governments in extradition cases in the US federal courts. I assisted foreign prosecutors and consular officers -- some of whom became close friends. I even assisted State Department lawyers in treaty negotiations. As a result of my work in international affairs, I am still a member of the Consular Corps of Washington, DC (an organization of diplomats from all of the embassies) as a "retired government official." In my private law practice, I occasionally handle international issues.

    Incidentally, it was one of my professors at Mount Holyoke who invented the concept of the Washington internship. Mount Holyoke has had an internship program since the 1940's! One of my good friends from Mount Holyoke who graduated with the Class of 1966 was the first college intern at the White House. On her first day there, she was seated next to Secretary of State Dean Rusk at a White House dinner!

    I loved every minute of my college experience at Mount Holyoke. I still think it is the best place to study international relations -- in part because 22% of the student body is composed of international students. There are student organizations at Mount Holyoke that represent just about every culture on earth. The latest one is "Afghani Spirit."
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  • Mariecc1Mariecc1 168 replies15 threads Junior Member
    It's fine! My SAT scores were relatively high; I think they were both around 2250. However, Wellesley emphasizes taking a holistic look at its applicants, so low-ish SAT scores certainly won't kill your chances. Letters of recommendation, essays, extracurriculars, and grades are all very important as well. Additionally, applying early decision greatly increases your chances of acceptance.

    However, here's some unsolicited advice for the SAT: Don't bother buying a ton of fancy books that promise perfect scores, memorizing vocabulary through hip-hop, or whatever. I teach an SAT class, and all you really need is the College Board's official SAT guide. They go over strategies for each section, and there are a ton of practice tests. If you start early and do a couple of practice sections a few times a week, your score will probably increase significantly.

    Here's some more information on test scores and Wellesley admissions: Wellesley College - Admission & Financial Aid - Testing
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  • emohlee12345emohlee12345 33 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thank you so much! Recently a family member of mine told me that I should not consider Mount Holyoke and that the academics were awful, even though she never attended the school or anything. After hearing of your experience, I have completely changed my mind. I had no idea that so many incredibly successful people have attended. Since you were clearly successful in life, I was just wondering if you have ever regretted going to Mount Holyoke. Like do you think you would have been better prepared for furthering your education or future jobs if you had gone to a more selective school? Because I am constantly being told the lower the acceptance rate the better the school is academically. I guess thats false then, because you did so well with a Mount Holyoke degree.
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  • MADadMADad 2106 replies82 threads Senior Member
    Acceptance rates for women's colleges are deceiving, as applicants are self-selecting. You don't apply unless you buy into the concept of a women's college, and are well-qualified. Also, 50% of the population cannot apply (as their chromosomes are XY).
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  • Eternal IcicleEternal Icicle 480 replies33 threads Member
    I am going to throw Scripps out for consideration, even though dc20016's post has me almost wanting to enroll at MHC. (I'm a Scripps senior, btw) :P

    Scripps is part of the Claremont consortium, which gives access to a broad array of classes. I've heard great things from my friends in the PoliSci/IR dep't, but can't attest to any of it myself. Scripps houses the European Union Center of California (which offers several unique, paid, int'l internships only to Claremont consortium students), so much of our programming addresses European issues. Middle East and North Africa studies is one of our newest majors and a self-designed minor would be possible (Scripps College : 2011-2012 Course Catalog : Middle East and North Africa Studies Courses), and Scripps students take Arabic classes on the Claremont Mckenna (CMC) campus (across the street). CMC has a popular and fast-growing Middle East studies department which benefits the whole consortium here, and my friend who has been in their Arabic program the last three years is considering taking a job in Morocco after graduation. A Scripps first-year I also happen to know was just accepted into the Critical Language Scholarship program for their Summer Arabic Institute. Like the schools mentioned above, many Scripps students study abroad (~65%), and many seek international opportunities like Fulbright and Watson fellowships after graduation.

    As MADad mentioned, it is misleading to equate selectivity with academic rigor when comparing co-ed and single-sex colleges because of the drastic difference in population who's even eligible to apply.
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  • arghwhyarghwhy 263 replies21 threads Junior Member
    When I was applying, Mount Holyoke was one that caught my eye. Wellesey was not far behind, though.
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  • bigcitydreams18bigcitydreams18 36 replies14 threads Junior Member
    I'm considering Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Simmons and from what I've read Mount Holyoke is a very strong candidate but it's location kind of scares me so I want to know does Simmons and Smith also have a strong IR program

    and just a side note what does Simmons rolling notification mean, is it good or bad?
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  • bigcitydreams18bigcitydreams18 36 replies14 threads Junior Member
    bump 10char
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  • catisue22catisue22 6 replies3 threads New Member
    I don't know about best, but Bryn Mawr now has an international relations program. I believe that they just got it this year.
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  • miscimommiscimom 12 replies0 threads New Member
    Greetings from a class of '77 alum ! You have made an excellent choice re International Relations, based on my observations of fellow classmates and their highly successful careers in this area. Congrats!
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  • miscimommiscimom 12 replies0 threads New Member
    MHC and Smith are connected to the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Amherst College, and Hampshire College by a bus system. Courses can be taken at any of the other schools after a semester on campus. The campuses of all school in the 5 College consortium are gorgeous, but you should check out MHC online. Why would the location scare you?
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  • bigcitydreams18bigcitydreams18 36 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @miscimom

    I don't mean actually scare as in the campus is not safe but coming from an urban city like Miami to a place like South Hadley, there's not much to do outside of MHC which makes me a little hesitant about what my experience would be like. Obviously this is not something that has a lot of weight on making my final decision on what college I'm going to choose but a busy local atmosphere would be an added bonus. The school itself is perfect when it comes to the academics and student life but I just wouldn't want to close myself off to the rest of the world which is what it seems like and I mean no offense when I say this
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  • AdversaAdversa 201 replies10 threads Junior Member
    At Barnard you could take courses at SIPA, I believe. Or choose one of those special programs, and graduate early to then go on to prestigious PoliSci/IR gradschools. And, of course, it might (not sure yet by how much) to get an internship somewhere in NYC. Just numerically, Barnard might result in more chances than a school further away from the metropolis (any, really.)
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  • ssswimsssswims 197 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Have you checked out Wellsley? They're all-women and they have an awesome IR program :)
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This discussion has been closed.

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