International affairs programme ratings

Copy of

The Foreign Policy 2009 rankings of International Affairs programmes follows. 

At the Master of Arts professional school level –

1) Georgetown Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) – Highly regarded, in an ideal location for careers in DC. Reputation of being very neocon and many Georgetown deans’ children choose Fletcher at Tufts over Georgetown. Tiny student body (90 per incoming class) limits students’ networks for the long-term. 18% of the graduating glass of 2009 is unemployed or has not reported its employment status.  Probably should rank slightly lower

2) Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) – Perhaps the most impressive list of alumni in international careers of all the schools. Reputation of being very neocon and overly obsessed with econ. Like Georgetown, doing an internship through the year is made easy because of its location in DC. Overall, should rank higher

3) Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) – Shouldn’t rank as an international affairs school; students don’t come with a lot of international experience, if any, nor are they much interested in international affairs. Grounds students well in quantitative methods and gives students exposure to other great schools at Harvard and in Somerville/Cambridge, like the Harvard Business School and Law School, The Fletcher School at Tufts as well as MIT’s econ and IR departments. Large student body (537 for incoming class of 2009). Unbeatable Harvard brand

4) Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Fletcher) – Generous scholarships to international students, which make up 40% of incoming class of 2009 of about 250 students. Impressive student body and alumni, and a famously tightly-knit community.  Harvard’s professional schools are accessible. Offers a breadth of programmes that the other schools don’t, including business, so a greater interaction between students who won’t work in the same field, but with whom there will be important synergy in the future. Unfortunate association with an otherwise mediocre undergraduate and research university (Tufts). Nevertheless, school should probably rank higher at the MA level

5) Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) – Reputation of being a cash cow for Columbia at the MA level, of being too big (511 students graduated in 2009) and of being a tad unselective, but is in a very relevant location (Manhattan, New York) and has great (if inaccessible) professors. 32% of 2009 graduates are unemployed or have not reported their employment. One of the weakest of the top tier professional international affairs schools.

6) Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (WWS) – Reputation of offering generous scholarships to all students, of being very competitive to get into, has impressive alumni and Princeton cache. Should rank higher

7) George Washington University (GWU) – A new addition to the list of top premier schools, and deservedly so with the high ranking positions that its alumni now occupy. Unfortunately, due to its lack of distinguishing features from and shared location with SAIS and SFS, it’s always going to carry a stimga as a school for SAIS and SFS rejects

Notable omissions include Science-Po Paris School of International Affairs, which has a rigorous admissions process, and Syracuse University.

The Moscow State Institute of International Affairs, which has some very impressive alumni, the Gradate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, which graduated Kofi Annan, and the University of St Gallen also deserve a mention.

Results not so different from the 2006-07 results.


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