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.
Can other courses count for GLBL 121, Applied Quantitative Analysis?
No, GLBL 121 prepares students to come to the major with the same background and skillset required for the Development Core course. Exceptions were allowable for members of the Class of 2013 and 2014 and for those Global Affairs majors who already have a strong background in math, economics, and statistics. The Development Core course can be taken after a Global Affairs major has completed GLBL 121.
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.
Do all of my electives need to be in my track (security or development)?
Can my class in _____ count as a track 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, Lisa DeAngelis. If she 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?
Cristin Siebert, 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. 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 in either track. 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 to 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.
Why are there only two tracks? What if my interests are different and unique? What if I am interested in security and development?
All Global Affairs majors must choose one of the two tracks. We are confident that students with relatively narrow interests and students with relatively broader interests will benefit from this requirement. In addition, there is a small subset of classes that are approved for either track, covering the intersection of development and security. There are also a number of specialized courses within each track; a student could specialize within the given track electives while still receiving a strong foundation.
What is the distinction between Development and Security?
We recognize that development and security are inextricably linked. This is why we require all global affairs majors to take core course in both fields. Nevertheless, there are differences between them, particularly in the types of questions that are likely to be addressed in courses that will count toward each track. For development, common questions include the following: Why are countries poor? What factors explain income inequality? What variables help or harm economic development? What role can external factors, such as international financial institutions, foreign aid donors, or others play in encouraging development? How does the global economic climate and/or macroeconomic policy changes influence policymaking within states? What policies are likely to improve public health in poor countries? What is the relationship between political and economic development? For security, common questions include the following: What explains interstate war? What makes peace more likely or more durable? What role does diplomacy play in international politics? Is nuclear proliferation good or bad for peace and stability? How can countries recover from conflict? How do political institutions influence a country's prospects for peace and stability? What role do alliances play in interstate relations? How is human security best ensured? When is international military intervention likely to successfully achieve its goals? What role does international law play in international politics?
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.
Do Global Affairs majors take both core classes?
Yes, Global Affairs majors must take both core classes (GLBL 225 and GLBL 275).
Can I change tracks once I’m admitted to the major?
Students are expected to commit to a track at the time of application. However, we understand that in some cases a change may be valid. Requests to change tracks will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will depend on a number of criteria, including timing of the request and space left in the student's course load.
Is there a cap on the number of students in each track?
There is not a hard-cap on the number of majors pursuing each track.
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. Specific dates are announced with the call for applications. Admission decisions are made before the start of the spring semester.