Frequently Asked Questions

Admitted Students
What if I want to keep my faculty adviser who teaches in Global Affairs?
You can keep your adviser, but the DUS still needs to sign your schedule.
Does the DUS have to sign my schedule?
Yes. Submit your schedule to the Jackson Institute registrar, who will contact you once the DUS has signed it.
If I have tested out of one or both introductory economics courses, is the course requirement waived? Which courses should be taken in place of those requirements?
Students who have tested out of Intro to Microeconomics and/or Intro to Macroeconomics must take a substitute course that lists the course they've tested out of as a prerequisite.
Can classes from my study abroad program count towards the major?
Yes, but only with approval from the DUS upon your return from study abroad. Students must submit the syllabus and their coursework to the DUS. Provisional approval may occur before the program takes place. Final approval for any study abroad course can only take place after the completion of the study abroad program.
What should I do in the summer before my Senior year?
Global Affairs majors are encouraged to complete an internship in a field of global affairs in the summer between their junior and senior year. Jackson Institute Career Services assists Global Affairs majors in finding suitable internships and projects. The Jackson Institute also has some funding available for these internships and/or projects.
Do courses I completed prior to being admitted to the major count as track electives?
Does being a Global Affairs major guarantee me a spot in any/all courses taught by Jackson Institute Senior Fellows?
Not necessarily, but Global Affairs majors and Jackson Institute M.A. students do have some priority in any course that is primarily a Jackson course. Although majors may not be able to take all classes taught by Senior Fellows, this policy means they should be able to take at least one and likely more while at Yale.
Can classes taken toward another major count towards Global Affairs?
Per Yale College policy and for any student completing a double major, no more than two classes may be applied to the requirements of a double majors.
When will I know what classes count towards the major when I am selecting my courses?
Beginning in Fall 2011 and for all subsequent semesters, a list of courses that can count towards the Global Affairs major will be posted on our website. This list will be posted just before or during shopping period. Lists from previous semesters can be used as guidelines, but are not guaranteed as applicable to a current or future semester.
Does Latin count as a language for the Global Affairs proficiency requirement?
No. The Global Affairs language requirement can only be fulfilled with a modern language.
Can my class in _____ count as the core course in development or international security?
No. All Global Affairs majors must take GLBL 225 and GLBL 275.
Can my class in _____ count as an elective?
At the beginning of each semester, all Global Affairs majors will receive a list of upcoming courses that are officially approved for the Global Affairs major. In general, if you think a class may count, check the posted lists and check with the Jackson Registrar. If the Registrar has no record of the approval, you will need to submit the course syllabus for review by the DUS.
How many courses can be taken credit/d/fail toward the major’s requirements?
None of the 12 courses required for the major can be taken credit/d/fail. An L5 course used to demonstrate the language proficiency can be taken credit/d/fail. A "credit" in the L5 course will meet the proficiency requirement. Exceptions can be made for members of the Class of 2013 and 2014 who took required courses credit/d/fail prior to Fall 2011. This exception is applied to no more than two credit/d/fail courses, taken prior to Fall 2011 only.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my internship, my resume, my summer plans, or my career plans?
Start with UCS, who have a large resource center, oversee ERecruiting (the online opportunities system), and offer resume advising. After you have visited their office please contact Elizabeth Gill, who is an excellent resource in Jackson's Career Services and can provide you with global affairs-specific information.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my courses, the major, or how my plans to study abroad fit with the major?
Jackson's Director of Student Affairs is the best first contact for these sorts of questions.
Prospective Students
What is a capstone course?
During the senior year, Global Affairs majors are required to complete a capstone course – a semester-long public policy project on behalf of a real client. The clients for these capstone courses will be government agencies, not-for-profits, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector entities in the United States and abroad. Each course will consist of up to 10 students and will be overseen by a Yale faculty member. Students will be presented with their project prior to the start of the semester. Working together as a group, and with their faculty instructor, the students will complete the project over the course of the semester.
Can courses required for Global Affairs also count for my Yale distributional requirements?
Yes. If the course record indicates that a course fulfills a distributional requirement (Hu, Sc, So, QR, WR), it will count toward your Distributional Requirements, regardless of where it fits in the major.
When are the Core courses scheduled?
Approaches to International Development (GLBL 225) is offered in the spring and Approaches to International Security (GLBL 275) is in the fall, for example. This is to give Global Affairs majors the option to complete GLBL 121 just prior to taking GLBL 225.
Does Gateway to Global Affairs (GLBL 101/ INTS 101) count toward the major?
Yes, Gateway to Global Affairs may count as an elective. It is optional, and is not considered in admissions.
If I am very interested in applying to the Global Affairs major, which classes would be best to take during my Freshman and Sophomore years so that I can best take advantage of the major if I am admitted?
In addition to working toward Yale College Distributional Requirements, it is highly recommended that prospective Global Affairs majors take Intro to Microeconomics and Intro to Macroeconomics in their freshman and sophomore years. It is our strong recommendation is that majors and prospective majors take GLBL 121 as the quantitative methods requirement, prior to taking the Development Core course, though this is not required before admission to the major. It is also beneficial to work toward the L5 language requirement. Prospective majors may also take a research design course before the junior year. Finally, if you are considering a term abroad, we recommend Spring of sophomore year as it reduces scheduling conflicts with the Core and Capstone requirements for Global Affairs majors in the junior and senior year. GLBL 225 and GLBL 275 are open to all students in their sophomore year and beyond, on a space available basis.
Do you have a waitlist for admission?
We are evaluating the effectiveness of this admission model and may or may not use it for future classes.
Can I write a senior thesis in place of or in addition to the capstone requirement?
It is not possible to substitute a senior essay or thesis for the capstone taskforce requirement. If you wish to write a thesis in addition to the capstone requirement, you may sign up for an independent study course with the approval of the DUS. Proposals for independent study courses require permission from the independent study advisor/instructor and a detailed plan for the semester's work.
Can a non-English native language fulfill the language requirement? If so, what documentation is required?
Yes. Documentation must be provided that shows that the language of instruction in high school was not English. This is the same documentation that is usually required by Yale College. If the non-English native language was not the language of high school instruction, students must receive approval of L5 equivalence from the appropriate language department.
What Summer or Term Abroad courses can count toward the major?
We recommend choosing courses during your Term Abroad in light of your interests as a track elective or in fulfillment of Yale College Distributional Requirements. Economics courses taken abroad may count toward the major only if Yale's Economics Department reviews them as comparable to Yale's offerings, which is rare. Courses are approved only with the express written permission of the DUS. Under no circumstances can another course substitute for the core courses or senior capstone.
Is there an “intensive major” option?
What do you look for in a Global Affairs application?
The admissions committee will look for success in social science (including international history) courses and a willingness to take intellectual risks. Evidence that a student will have completed introductory microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics before beginning the Global Affairs major may also be considered in admissions decisions.
How many students are admitted to the major each year?
Our goal is 50 enrolled majors per class.
When can I apply for the major?
Each fall, the call for applications is posted on the Jackson Institute website, circulated through the Residential College Deans Offices, and noted on the Sophomore website. Completed applications due the Friday before November Recess. This year the deadline is November 17, 2017. Admission decisions are made before the start of the spring semester.
Application Process
When is the deadline for submitting applications?
We are unable to accept applications received after the deadline of 11:59pm Eastern Time on 2 January. It is strongly advised to submit applications well before the deadline in order to avoid the possibility of technical issues in accessing your application. If you are experiencing such difficulties, please send an email to
How can I apply for an application fee waiver, if I meet the eligibility requirements?
You must fill out the Fee Waiver Request Form and submit it by the 1 December deadline. Fee waivers will not be considered after the deadline.
Where can I find further information on how to prepare and submit my application?
When preparing the application, all applicants should review the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as well as the GSAS Admissions pages. The FAQs found on the Jackson Institute website are meant to complement any existing information on those pages.
Application Requirements
Do you recommend submitting more than three letters of recommendation?
You should submit more than three letters of recommendation only if you strongly feel that additional recommendations would add significantly to your application.
How do I demonstrate that I am already proficient in a foreign language?
For non-native English speakers (if English is not your first language), you are not required to take a foreign language while at Yale. We ask for documentation to show your proficiency in English. For example, a high school transcript or documentation from your undergraduate institution would be sufficient, if courses were in English. Students can be tested by the language department. For native English speakers, we require you to leave Yale with the equivalent of L4 level - essentially the intermediate level, ready for the advanced level. To fulfill this requirement, you would: a) show a 3rd year language course on your transcript b) complete through second year language course (L4) at Yale University c) take a language proficiency exam. Note that you can earn 4 credits (or 2 years) of language towards our degree. If you're a joint-degree, you can earn 2 credits for our degree (the other school can use those credits towards the degree).
I haven’t taken any Economics classes. May I still apply?
Applicants do not need to have taken Economics in order to apply and be eligible for admission. However, we require all students to complete an introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics course before they enter the program. These courses may be taken at an educational institution or online through platforms such as Coursera or edX. Many students fulfill the requirement before they matriculate.
Do I have to speak a second language to apply?
Applicants do not need to be proficient in a second language in order to apply and be eligible for admission. However, we require all admitted students to reach a level of foreign language proficiency as part of the graduation requirement.
Jackson Curriculum
How long does it take to complete a joint degree?
The joint degree would mean doing one semester less for each degree program you have applied for. This effectively reduces the total program of study by a year.
How do I do a joint degree?
You would need to apply be admitted separately to both the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and to the other degree program. The admissions policies and hence application requirements may differ and one set of requirements may not substitute for the other. Candidates typically spend the first year in Global Affairs and the second year in the partner program, but this is not required. During the final year, students register with each program for one semester, although they may take courses from both programs either term.
Am I limited to taking Jackson courses for the remainder of the program?
No. One of the unique features of Jackson’s program is your ability to choose from courses at any school or department from across the University. The full course catalog is available here. Jackson students also get preference for courses offered at Jackson.
Are core courses required as part of the M.A. program?
  • The following three core courses are taken in the first semester:
    • GLBL 801, Econ: Principles and Applications
    • GLBL 802, Applied Methods of Analysis
    • GLBL 803, History of the Present
Students are able to choose classes from across the university for the remaining three terms, please refer to the current course catalogue for further information.
Scholarships and Funding
Are there opportunities to earn money during the academic year?
Yes. Many Jackson students take advantage of the opportunity to become a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant at Jackson or in other departments across the University.
How do I apply for the fellowships listed on the Jackson website?
Simply check the box on the application indicating that you would like to be considered for financial assistance. You will automatically be considered for any source of funding for which you are eligible.
Does Jackson offer funding?
Yes. Jackson offers generous funding on a merit basis to M.A. students. Awards typically range from half tuition to full tuition plus a stipend. The details of funding awards are provided at the time of admission and can increase between the first and second years. M.A.S. students are not eligible for funding from Jackson.
Testing Requirements
If I have a Master’s degree that was conducted in English, would that exempt me from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement?
No. For non-native English speakers, in order to be exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS test scores, applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction. Applicants must have studied in residence at the baccalaureate institution for at least three (3) years to receive the waiver.
If I am applying to a joint degree, do I still need to submit GRE scores?
Yes. Joint degrees are considered separate applications with separate application requirements.
Can I take the GRE and submit official test scores after the deadline?
Scores may be unofficially reported in your application but must still be officially sent to the Graduate Admissions office. Official scores may be sent to Graduate Admissions after the deadline but should be sent as soon as possible in order to ensure that your application can be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Can I submit more than one GRE score? Will the admissions committee consider only the highest score in that case?
You may submit multiple GRE scores if they are available. The Admissions Committee will consider the highest score(s) in reviewing your application.
Can the GRE requirement be waived?
Can I submit GMAT or LSAT scores in lieu of the GRE?
No, there is no substitution for the GRE.
Visiting Jackson and Speaking with Admissions
I’d like to connect with Admissions. What options are available?
The Jackson Admissions Office conducts recruiting events in major cities and also hosts webinars and Visit Days in the fall. Please visit our Events page for a list of upcoming recruitment events and links to register. Students are also welcome to visit Jackson on their own, but please be advised that availability of Admissions Office staff may be limited.
I have additional questions. What’s the best way to get in touch?
If you have additional questions, please send all inquiries to Alternatively, you may fill out the web-based contact form found at the bottom of both the M.A. and M.A.S. pages.
Are there core courses for the M.A.S. program?
There are no required courses for the M.A.S. Students work closely with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) at Jackson to determine what courses best suit their interests, and will form an individualized concentration.
Is distance or Internet-learning an option?
No, Jackson does not offer any part of its program online. The M.A.S. is a one-year, full-time residential program.
Can a certain number of years of professional experience substitute for the GRE?
No, the GSAS does not allow for any substitutions for the GRE. For the mid-career M.A.S. program, however, Jackson places little or no emphasis on the GRE scores.
Does Jackson require the GRE for the M.A.S. program?
Yes. Jackson belongs to the Graduate School of Arts and Science. The GSAS requires all incoming Master’s students to take the GRE.
What is the possibility of receiving a scholarship?
M.A.S. candidates are not eligible for Jackson Fellowships. The Graduate School Financial Aid Office administers student loan programs for both U.S. citizens and international students.
When are admission decisions announced?
Programs within Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences communicate admission decisions in February and March each year. The Jackson Institute announces decisions toward the end of that range, usually the first or second week of March.
Do I have to speak a second language to apply?
No, the M.A.S. does not have a foreign language proficiency requirement.