saska
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Hey everyone,

now that I am in my 3rd year in undergrad, it is time to seriously narrow down my list of graduate schools for an IR Masters degree. Coming from a top liberal arts college in The Hague with the "stingy" Dutch system of grading, my GPA is far from stellar after 2 years (3.46 cumulative, 3.51 as counts for graduation = *** laude, thank God).

With such numbers, the top, "academic"/"research-oriented" programs are out of my reach - such as at LSE, Oxbridge, Sciences Po, College of Europe, Graduate Institute Geneva, etc. I am looking more towards "professional" schools - not only because the entry requirements are sometimes less rigorous, but also because I do not enjoy research, IR theorizing, and I want to enter the industry straight after postgrad (definitely no plans for PhD.). Something similar to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna or The Geneva School of Diplomacy. Practice, taught by professionals, good location, good network for jobs are important.

My question is - do you know any other decent professional schools for diplomacy of this kind in Europe? How about the Foreign Service Programme at Oxford or The Diplomatic Academy of London? Any idea about how competitive is that? Or any other suggestions for good professional schools?

Thanks for any advice!
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sj27
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How do those GPAs translate to UK grades? It's hard to make suggestions about competitiveness without knowing a relative academic context. Will you be applying to the Geneva and Vienna programmes you mentioned too?

(We had 3 people with Dutch undergrad on my IR masters course but I never had reason to ask what their Dutch grades were!)
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saska
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(Original post by sj27)
How do those GPAs translate to UK grades? It's hard to make suggestions about competitiveness without knowing a relative academic context. Will you be applying to the Geneva and Vienna programmes you mentioned too?

(We had 3 people with Dutch undergrad on my IR masters course but I never had reason to ask what their Dutch grades were!)

No idea how the GPA translates into UK or Dutch grades, really...and does it matter anyways? I mean, it is the "classic" GPA scale of 4.0, so it can easily be evaluated by grad schools (they have cutoff ranges set in GPA numbers). Except that the grading context is different than, say, in the US. The Dutch seem to give As to students much less often and only in exceptional cases - this is very different also from Eastern Europe where I originally come from and top grades are just much more common.

And yes, I will be applying to both Geneva and Vienna.
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username818763
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(Original post by saska)
Hey everyone,

now that I am in my 3rd year in undergrad, it is time to seriously narrow down my list of graduate schools for an IR Masters degree. Coming from a top liberal arts college in The Hague with the "stingy" Dutch system of grading, my GPA is far from stellar after 2 years (3.46 cumulative, 3.51 as counts for graduation = *** laude, thank God).

With such numbers, the top, "academic"/"research-oriented" programs are out of my reach - such as at LSE, Oxbridge, Sciences Po, College of Europe, Graduate Institute Geneva, etc. I am looking more towards "professional" schools - not only because the entry requirements are sometimes less rigorous, but also because I do not enjoy research, IR theorizing, and I want to enter the industry straight after postgrad (definitely no plans for PhD.). Something similar to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna or The Geneva School of Diplomacy. Practice, taught by professionals, good location, good network for jobs are important.

My question is - do you know any other decent professional schools for diplomacy of this kind in Europe? How about the Foreign Service Programme at Oxford or The Diplomatic Academy of London? Any idea about how competitive is that? Or any other suggestions for good professional schools?

Thanks for any advice!
I'd recommend looking into the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, don't know much about it personally, as I've only come across it the other week.
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sj27
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(Original post by saska)
No idea how the GPA translates into UK or Dutch grades, really...and does it matter anyways? I mean, it is the "classic" GPA scale of 4.0, so it can easily be evaluated by grad schools (they have cutoff ranges set in GPA numbers). Except that the grading context is different than, say, in the US. The Dutch seem to give As to students much less often and only in exceptional cases - this is very different also from Eastern Europe where I originally come from and top grades are just much more common.

And yes, I will be applying to both Geneva and Vienna.
So the only info you gave us is something you think is irrelevant?!

"Does it matter anyway", well yes most schools I am aware of look at grades for admission purposes, and I do apologize for not being aware of it automatically being the 'classic' 4.0 GPA scale as others do actually exist. Perhaps someone else can therefore advise you on how competitive your application will be with no clue of any reference point for grades or you seem to think they don't matter, as you have not mentioned any relevant internships, experience etc :rolleyes:
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saska
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(Original post by sj27)
So the only info you gave us is something you think is irrelevant?!

"Does it matter anyway", well yes most schools I am aware of look at grades for admission purposes, and I do apologize for not being aware of it automatically being the 'classic' 4.0 GPA scale as others do actually exist. Perhaps someone else can therefore advise you on how competitive your application will be with no clue of any reference point for grades or you seem to think they don't matter, as you have not mentioned any relevant internships, experience etc :rolleyes:
If you read my post and its heading carefully, you will find out that I am not asking anyone here to advise me on the competitiveness of my application for the top schools. Most of them have the 3.5 GPA cutoff, so it is pretty clear that I stand no chance there. I am asking for recommendations of "professional" (as opposed to "research") schools for IR with perhaps less stringent admission criteria.
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