Studies in Grand Strategy

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy offers a year-long course (“Studies in Grand Strategy”) to Yale undergraduates and graduate students that addresses large-scale, long-term strategic challenges of statecraft, politics, and social change. The course encourages understanding of historical and contemporary global and domestic challenges, while developing students’ capacity for strategic thinking and effective leadership in a variety of fields. The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy is currently directed by Professor Arne Westad.

The Studies in Grand Strategy course begins with a broad span of history from 300 B.C.E. to the present day, with close examination of primary texts and critical historical turning points. Emphasizing interaction between professors and practitioners, the course aims to provide students with a comprehensive approach to achieving large ends with limited means. Throughout the spring and fall semesters, the course examines the relevance of grand strategy to a variety of issues including political stability, racial justice, economic development, immigration, health, climate sustainability, human rights, and technological advancement.

In conjunction with the course, the program hosts a number of events and private dinners with practitioners such as diplomats, politicians, military personnel, journalists and media experts, and social activists. Recent guests have included Heather McGhee, James Comey, Michele Flournoy, Samantha Power, and Jim Mattis. “Studies in Grand Strategy” involves classroom seminars, group presentations of strategy briefs to high-level officials, and a summer fellowship. The program integrates academic study at the undergraduate, masters, pre-doctoral, and post-doctoral level and is open to current Yale students.

The program supports other activities including: pre- and post-doctoral fellowships in grand strategy; student and faculty research, academic conferences, and other scholarly work in grand strategy.

How to Apply

To be eligible, you must be either an undergraduate in their junior year or a Yale University masters or doctoral student.

The application consists of:

  1. A few biographical questions
  2. One Yale faculty reference (not a letter of recommendation)
  3. A cover letter which expresses your interest in Grand Strategy, relevant course and extracurricular work, and what you wish to obtain from the course
  4. Your resume
  5. An unofficial academic transcript
  6. A 10-minute interview (if you move on to the final round)

Have more questions? Review our course FAQs

Fellowship Opportunities

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy provides support for research projects or internships related to the historical study or contemporary practice of grand strategy.

For information on Grand Strategy predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, visit the ISS Fellowships page. To learn more about summer research awards for both GS and non-GS students, visit our Summer Research page.