Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

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neyaae
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby neyaae » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:49 am

I am interested in working in (international) human rights law. I am considering getting a JD/MIA or MIR, but am not sure if that will be useful/worth it or not. Is there a source somewhere that compares these types of schools, other than US News? I know for international and public affairs the best schools are members of APSIA, but of my choices that leaves only Michigan, Duke, and GW. I know that several schools have dual degree programs for MIA with Princeton or Johns Hopkins, but that seems like it would be really difficult to do. I'm trying to decide between Michigan, UPenn, NYU, UVa, Georgetown. GW and Duke are also options. Scholarship money will be a big part of this decision, GW has given me a lot, Michigan some and UVa more. I am in the running for large scholarships at NYU and UPenn, but I don't know yet. Any advice on how to make this decision? I'm not interested in Big Law stats or whatever.

Also any comments on the usefulness of the dual degree - I don't have any really defined career plans yet, which probably means I shouldn't be thinking about a dual degree, but I am interested in research and policy so I would at least like to have the option. And I want it to be a good option, so a APSIA school may be the way to go, but NYU, UPenn and UVa are not members which I find surprising.

neyaae
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby neyaae » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:04 am

I see the other thread...appologies for posting here! any comments are still appreciated...

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TR Fan
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Re: Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby TR Fan » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:16 pm

Hi Neyaae,

Previous surveys conducted by Foreign Policy magazine of the top ASPIA schools generally rank the programs at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins SAIS as the best, followed by those at Harvard, Tufts, GW, and American. If you can get into Georgetown or SAIS I'd recommend them, although make sure you closely examine each program: Georgetown tends to be better for those interested in academia and State Department, while SAIS (with its heavy econ requirement) skews more towards the World Bank, int'l development, and micro-finance. I'm probably biased, as I'll be graduating from SAIS this spring before going on to law school later this year, but I know several folks in Georgetown's MSFS program who have been less than pleased with the atmosphere and student body over there (though you can't beat the prestige of Georgetown).

I've known a number of folks at SAIS who did 4-year JD/MA degrees with Boalt, UCLA, and GW, and while it does pose some difficulties they've all been happy with their choices.

Best of luck!

neyaae
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby neyaae » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm

Thank you! Would going to a non-APSIA school be a bad idea? How important is the reputation?

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TR Fan
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Re: Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby TR Fan » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:16 pm

I'm not sure that whether or not a school is part of ASPIA is important (indeed, even though I've been at SAIS almost two years I had to double-check what "ASPIA" referred to - it's just not something that's come up).

I think the reputation of the school is important, but in a roundabout way: schools with better reputations will generally attract a more dynamic, intelligent, and ambitious group of students (I am the exception that proves this rule :wink: ), which is important in terms of the quality of your experience and the lifelong connections you'll make. I can't speak highly enough of my classmates - folks who've served in the special forces, done undercover refugee work on the North Korean border, worked at top financial consulting firms, etc. before coming to SAIS - and how this has enriched my education.

Besides, if you can get into the law schools at NYU, UVA, etc., I have little doubt you could get admitted to the top ASPIA programs.

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Re: Comparing Schools- International/Human Rights

Postby TR Fan » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:22 pm

...oh, and if you haven't already, I recommend getting some work experience before applying to these programs. While law schools may take lots of folks straight out of undergrad, the Masters programs I've mentioned prefer applicants who have spent significant time outside of the classroom (e.g., I think the average age at SAIS is 27; less than 5% of my classmates are right out of undergrad).




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