HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

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MichelFoucault
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HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:04 am

I currently have very strong numbers and URM status, and therefore have a descent shot at HYS. I have been pretty set on the idea of law school, however I've recently started to feel a little hesitant because I have strong quantitative skills and would like to employ them.

I just recently learned of Johns Hopkins SAIS, their top ranked international relations school which offers a MA in IR and International Economics, i.e. in order to graduate from the MA program you must complete an IR curriculum and a fairly rigorous economics curriculum, as well as learn a new foreign language. This culminates in a comprehensive oral exam where they test your knowledge.

To me this sounded like a really interesting combination of analytical and quantitative skills that could lead to interesting jobs in the treasury, IMF, or world bank. To be honest I am more interested in the Economic coursework, but there are many specialties within the international relations program I am sure I would find something of interest.

What are your guys thoughts on a MA from SAIS compared to a JD (or maybe JD/MBA) from HYS?

Also, do you guys think a strong URM candidate at HYS is equally as strong at gaining admission to SAIS? (My only potential weakness is having attended a weak UG school)

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5ky
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby 5ky » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:06 am

It is my understanding that very few students go to SAIS directly out of undergrad.

Do you have the proper qualifications for SAIS?

I think SAIS is a better choice if that's what you're interested in, but HYS numbers mean nothing for SAIS.

MichelFoucault
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:09 am

5ky wrote:It is my understanding that very few students go to SAIS directly out of undergrad.

Do you have the proper qualifications for SAIS?

I think SAIS is a better choice if that's what you're interested in, but HYS numbers mean nothing for SAIS.


Nah I am a year out of undergrad. I figured if I really wanted to goto SAIS I would probably join the peace corps in the meantime... Is admission to SAIS based heavily on soft/professional experience factors?

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Learning Hand
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby Learning Hand » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:11 am

SAIS. The Trinity isn't going anywhere, and it may even be an option after you graduate as a polynomial-spitting polyglot.

NC07
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby NC07 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:14 am

SAIS is awesome experience. I worked for one of the research groups at the university, and can honestly say that the experience was one of best I've had. It's an extremely intellectual environment (it's adjacent to Brookings, so it the areas oozes intellect), which makes for an interesting experience, especially since there is such a large international student presence. If you're interested in Foreign Service or other international work, it might actually be a better option that HYS.

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babaghanouj
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby babaghanouj » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:15 am

As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.

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Learning Hand
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby Learning Hand » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:18 am

babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


FWIW, my sister applied to SAIS. Fluent in German, conversation in Chinese, did some work in Egypt. Did well on the GREs. Dinged. But her UG grades weren't that hot. Got into Columbia, though. Family is proud. She dominated every holiday dinner table conversation. Now has an interesting, relevant job. It's ineluctable I'll be a disappointment. But this isn't about me. I say go for SAIS.

MichelFoucault
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:22 am

babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I don't know another language. I took a year of french and did well, but I figured I would probably join the peace corps and hopefully get to goto an african country where I can strengthen my french. I am not sure that would be enough but I have an almost perfect GPA and Math up to Linear Algebra. No relevant work experience, but I am sure I can get a good enough score on gmat/gre (they accept both). So I guess the question remains whether along with strong numbers peace corps in africa would be enough international experience.

MichelFoucault
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:27 am

Learning Hand wrote:
babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


FWIW, my sister applied to SAIS. Fluent in German, conversation in Chinese, did some work in Egypt. Did well on the GREs. Dinged. But her UG grades weren't that hot. Got into Columbia, though. Family is proud. She dominated every holiday dinner table conversation. Now has an interesting, relevant job. It's ineluctable I'll be a disappointment. But this isn't about me. I say go for SAIS.


What range were her grades like? And where did she goto school? I have nearly a 4.0 with all A's and A+'s in economics and math. My only weaknesses in applying would be coming from a UG w/o any reputation and no second language fluency (but that might be different if I were to do the PC, and I did take two years of latin).

NC07
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby NC07 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:31 am

If you want international work in either diplomacy or economics, apply to SAIS and Walsh at Georgetown. The faculty at SAIS is literally the cream of the crop. To give an example, I was at the water cooler, and guess who comes up to me? Henry Paulson. The next, the Afghan ambassador to the US. Next day, the president of Afghanistan visits Brookings. If you're looking to get into non-legal international work, SAIS hands down.

Also, of the students I worked with, almost all were international. You can certainly make it in without great work experience, but you'd probably have to take a different approach. Doing a research internship for a summer might help you interact with professors and eventually lead to an acceptance.

NC07
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby NC07 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:32 am

MichelFoucault wrote:
Learning Hand wrote:
babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


FWIW, my sister applied to SAIS. Fluent in German, conversation in Chinese, did some work in Egypt. Did well on the GREs. Dinged. But her UG grades weren't that hot. Got into Columbia, though. Family is proud. She dominated every holiday dinner table conversation. Now has an interesting, relevant job. It's ineluctable I'll be a disappointment. But this isn't about me. I say go for SAIS.


What range were her grades like? And where did she goto school? I have nearly a 4.0 with all A's and A+'s in economics and math. My only weaknesses in applying would be coming from a UG w/o any reputation and no second language fluency (but that might be different if I were to do the PC, and I did take two years of latin).



With your grades, you can certainly make it in straight from UG (assuming you do score very well). It's definitely within reach; however, I would advise applying to Walsh and maybe Flecther (Tufts) as well.

MichelFoucault
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:39 am

NC07 wrote:
MichelFoucault wrote:
Learning Hand wrote:
babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


FWIW, my sister applied to SAIS. Fluent in German, conversation in Chinese, did some work in Egypt. Did well on the GREs. Dinged. But her UG grades weren't that hot. Got into Columbia, though. Family is proud. She dominated every holiday dinner table conversation. Now has an interesting, relevant job. It's ineluctable I'll be a disappointment. But this isn't about me. I say go for SAIS.


What range were her grades like? And where did she goto school? I have nearly a 4.0 with all A's and A+'s in economics and math. My only weaknesses in applying would be coming from a UG w/o any reputation and no second language fluency (but that might be different if I were to do the PC, and I did take two years of latin).



With your grades, you can certainly make it in straight from UG (assuming you do score very well). It's definitely within reach; however, I would advise applying to Walsh and maybe Flecther (Tufts) as well.


The thing is, I am really more interested in studying finance and economics. I think only SAIS has the rigorous econ curriculum.

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Learning Hand
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby Learning Hand » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:40 am

NC07 wrote:
MichelFoucault wrote:
Learning Hand wrote:
babaghanouj wrote:As far as admission is concerned, SAIS seems like a different (though possibly easier?) game. Do you have international experience? Work experience? Speak another language?

Have you looked into their MA/JD joint degrees? Get into a top law school, and I'm sure you'll be in good shape for admission to SAIS...

Which program(s) you end up pursuing, though, should ultimately depend on what you want to do. Look into those interesting jobs in treasury, IMF, world bank, etc. and decide how badly you want to pursue them and then what degree will get you there. If a law degree seems unnecessary then you probably shouldn't get one.


FWIW, my sister applied to SAIS. Fluent in German, conversation in Chinese, did some work in Egypt. Did well on the GREs. Dinged. But her UG grades weren't that hot. Got into Columbia, though. Family is proud. She dominated every holiday dinner table conversation. Now has an interesting, relevant job. It's ineluctable I'll be a disappointment. But this isn't about me. I say go for SAIS.


What range were her grades like? And where did she goto school? I have nearly a 4.0 with all A's and A+'s in economics and math. My only weaknesses in applying would be coming from a UG w/o any reputation and no second language fluency (but that might be different if I were to do the PC, and I did take two years of latin).


Her grades were more than .4 lower than yours, so you should be golden in that department. She didn't go to a top UG, either. It had a marginally decent reputation in the immediate area, but largely unknown. I wouldn't worry about your UG reputation as long as you have the grades, which you do. I know plenty of people who have gotten into stellar grad programs despite bomb-dropping UGs. Other than that, my anecdotal evidence is the extent of my knowledge, and you'd be better off talking to someone else.

NC07
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby NC07 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:45 am

You can definitely get econ related work (IMF, World Bank), but that will be extremely difficult. Usually to get into the US office, you'll either wait forever or go to another country for a few years. The thing with SAIS is that it feeds heavily into Foreign Service and NGOs, which don't pay that much at first. If you're looking for sexy econ work, maybe consider UChicago Booth

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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby NC07 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:50 am

And by difficult, I don't mean anymore difficult than HYS (HYS won't likely get you into the game), but that it's just plain difficult to get high-paying econs with World Bank, IMF, other groups. It's definitely doable, but you'll need to make connections and build a solid resume. A language helps with IMF, but you can certainly apply for english-speaking secondary countries.

bahama
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby bahama » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:26 am

If you want to do law go to HYS.

If you want to do int'l econ stuff then I'm not sure law school makes much sense.

In addition to SAIS, G-Town, Tufts (Fletcher), have you looked at Harvard's Kennedy School?

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underachiever
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby underachiever » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:31 am

You can do both, SAIS has a duel degree option with all T10 law schools

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DavidYurman85
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby DavidYurman85 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:51 am

I have a friend (URM) that struggled with the same options, ultimately he chose SAIS. He worked in China for two years (prior to applying) and is very comfortable with the language. He says the program is intellectually challenging, but he loves it. Plus it's in D.C. and next door to the Brookings Institute.

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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby njskatchmo » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:09 pm

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Last edited by njskatchmo on Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bahama
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby bahama » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:53 pm

underachiever wrote:You can do both, SAIS has a duel degree option with all T10 law schools


Why would you do both? These are 2 totally different career tracks. Doing both degrees is just going to cost them a bunch of money and put off the inevitable decision for a couple more years.

Unless OP has something really specific they want to do with a dual degree they need to pick which path they prefer (after getting acceptances/financial aid offers of course). Pick one, and if you don't like how your career is going after a few years, go back to school and do the other one.

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zabagabe
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Re: HYS or Johns Hopkins SAIS?

Postby zabagabe » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:52 pm

I'll throw in my two cents also. Think about what you want out of your degree. At Stanford and Harvard, most of your first year will be spent doing things almost entirely unrelated to international issues, but for maybe one elective at Stanford, and the international law option at HLS. Yale, same applies but only for the first semester. If some combination of torts, contracts, property, civ pro and con law + a legal writing class don't appeal to you, then I wouldn't recommend law school. SLS doesn't really open the best doors for international stuff, and while HLS is much better, it's also much bigger, so you better like torts etc. enough to do well during your first year. I'm admittedly a bit biased, but I think YLS is probably the best way to maximize your ability to focus on solely international stuff, and it's got the most flexible curriculum, so you might even be able to pursue a few grad econ classes on the side.

Sounds like SAIS will be much more interesting for you in terms of classwork, but I personally don't think a SAIS MA opens anywhere near the same number of doors as a Yale JD (although probably pretty similar specifically for international stuff, esp. non-law). SLS and HLS depend a bit more on how well you leverage yourself. One other thing to consider: there's pretty much nothing that a top JD will disqualify you from, but there are a number of things you can't do with an MA if the job requires a JD. If you go the JD, sounds like you just need to maximize your quant classes as your electives.

Finally, think about loan repayment. I've no idea what SAIS' options are, but HYS are pretty good, esp. Yale, since you can do ANY JOB and have it count.




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