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    Hey guys,

    I'm an American student finishing up my undergrad degree in the US. I decided I wanted to go abroad for my masters in IR, and would like to get some opinions on the international prestige/reputations of the schools I've applied to. So far, I've been accepted to Warwick and Bristol, and am waiting to hear back from LSE, UCL, KCL, Edinburgh, University of Amsterdam, and University of Hong Kong (obviously these last two aren't British schools but I'd like to hear your insights on them as well). For example, does Bristol hold a better international brand name than Amsterdam?

    As I said, the most important factor to me is international reputation, so if you could rate these schools and IR programs in terms of their prestige I would really appreciate it. I hate to overwhelm you with an extensive list, but if you could maybe place them into different tiers that would be really helpful!

    Thanks
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    As usual - it depends.

    Where are you going to test out this reputation? Anywhere with Dutch links and Amsterdam would be best, outside that it has no particular profile in IR as a department that I've ever heard of. Ditto Hong Kong. That might say more about me that the universities, but that is the risk you take with anyone, especially whoever you are trying to sell this reputation to.

    LSE has a globally strong reputation and as far as such a measure goes is the 'best' of that list. UCL, KCL, Warwick, Edinburgh and Bristol are all good British universities. However, KCL and Warwick have particularly strong reputations for IR (or War Studies in the case of KCL).

    But you then have to factor in what sort of IR you are working on. For example, in specific areas/approaches Bristol is fantastically strong.

    If you are just going for a sweeping idea of reputation for use in the US, then LSE is probably the only one that figures from that list. If you are considering a career in IR, then you need to look in more detail at the department staff and specialities and aim for a place where most research is going on in your specific area.

    I'm not sure that even IR is sufficiently global for departments to have any coherent international reputation, above the very few top school. I'm sure there is no consensus opinion on whether Bristol is better than Amsterdam for IR.
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    In short

    LSE - although they have many IR degrees (straight IR, IR theory, IPE, History of IR, Theory and History of IR)
    KCL
    UCL
    Warwick
    Bristol.


    On the web somewhere there is a 'TRIP survey' of IR academics rating all the depts in the world by masters degrees and which ones are best for a career in IR. LSE was 7th in the world and the nearest british uni's were Oxford, Cambridge and KCL somewhere in the twenties.
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    Surely the US has some of the best IR programs...
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I should clarify that I do realize the US has the lion's share of elite IR programs, but this decision to go abroad was a personal one and an experience that I felt was right for me.

    I do not want to go into academia, so I was basically looking for schools that can open career paths on the international stage (i.e. multinational corporations, organizations) -- US, Europe, Asia, etc. This may be overly optimistic, but I was hoping that LSE wasn't the only school on that list with international credibility. I would further hope that say, a degree from Edinburgh or Bristol would be useful outside of the UK, or a degree from Hong Kong (which is a highly ranked school) would be useful outside of Asia.
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    LSE on top without a doubt
    KCL if your more interested in security studies/war studies/conflicts
    UCL is mostly good for international public policy and also offers some quantitative and computer skills (SPSS) which are very usefull when looking for a job(and excellent on constitutionalism but thats outside of the IR field)

    These have also the advantage of being in London and thus having a certain international outreach. I don't know the other programs well enough to say anything so I'll abstain.

    One you might want to look at is St Andrews which also has a good reputation in IR.

    If you were going for academia I would have said aberystwyth, however for the international job market it might not be a too good idea
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    Should have gone for St Andrews. End of. Hong Kong out of the ones there though.
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    (Original post by It's Ken!)
    Should have gone for St Andrews. End of. Hong Kong out of the ones there though.
    Why Hong Kong above say, LSE?
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    I did look into St. Andrews but I actually found it was too research-based for my liking. As a US undergrad, I also have not written any theses and it seemed that their application process relied heavily on that, so I decided to apply to less research-oriented programs.

    And to my understanding, it sounds like these schools have somewhat of a rivalry for applicants, but how would you compare Bristol to Warwick? From what I've gathered, Bristol seems to have the traditional prestigious reputation, while Warwick IR is supposedly respected. As I said before, career opportunities outside of academia are ultimately my main priority.
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    I just decided to accept my offer to KCL (over offers from Edinburgh and Durham) for an IR masters. I'm American and the biggest factor for me was KCL's reputation for strategic studies in the American IR job market (mainly Washington DC - the DoD, CIA, NSA, etc). I didn't get into LSE and my Ivy League GPA wasn't above a 3.6, so I was discouraged from applying to St. Andrews. Also UCL's International Public Policy program is quite new and still trying to establish a reputation of its own (as opposed to UCL's reputation in general, which is quite good), so I didn't apply.

    I'm not sure how useful it would be for an American to study IR at Warwick or Bristol given that many people I've spoken to haven't heard of them (even in the IR field).

    The fact of the matter is that there are at least 20 good schools in the US that are better than Warwick or Bristol in the field of IR, though not all of them have masters programs:

    The 8 Ivies
    George Washington U.
    American U.
    Georgetown
    University of Denver
    Northwestern (in Chicago)
    U. Chicago
    Tufts
    Johns Hopkins
    New York University
    UC Berkeley
    UCLA
    UC San Diego
    Stanford
    U. Michigan

    If you don't want to try those, I would say the only UK programs that fit into that tier of reputation (on the US job-market side) are at Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, St. Andrews, and KCL.
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    where doe Sussex, Sheffield, SOAS rank North America wise. I am talking about general PhD track programs, politics/international studies wise.
    any comparison to Warwick, UCL?
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    (Original post by BigRed79)
    I just decided to accept my offer to KCL (over offers from Edinburgh and Durham) for an IR masters. I'm American and the biggest factor for me was KCL's reputation for strategic studies in the American IR job market (mainly Washington DC - the DoD, CIA, NSA, etc). I didn't get into LSE and my Ivy League GPA wasn't above a 3.6, so I was discouraged from applying to St. Andrews. Also UCL's International Public Policy program is quite new and still trying to establish a reputation of its own (as opposed to UCL's reputation in general, which is quite good), so I didn't apply.

    I'm not sure how useful it would be for an American to study IR at Warwick or Bristol given that many people I've spoken to haven't heard of them (even in the IR field).

    The fact of the matter is that there are at least 20 good schools in the US that are better than Warwick or Bristol in the field of IR, though not all of them have masters programs:

    The 8 Ivies
    George Washington U.
    American U.
    Georgetown
    University of Denver
    Northwestern (in Chicago)
    U. Chicago
    Tufts
    Johns Hopkins
    New York University
    UC Berkeley
    UCLA
    UC San Diego
    Stanford
    U. Michigan

    If you don't want to try those, I would say the only UK programs that fit into that tier of reputation (on the US job-market side) are at Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, St. Andrews, and KCL.
    An excellent summary!! And good luck at KCL!
 
 
 

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