Student Life

Jackson students enjoy a vibrant intellectual and social community outside the classroom. The Office of Student Affairs works closely with students to support student-organized events and activities that bring together the Jackson community and enhance the student experience.

Student Organizations

Jackson Women
An initiative designed to create linkages between the women of the Jackson School, including faculty, Senior Fellows, students, alumni and staff. Events and programming focus on mentorship, professional development and career skills workshops, panel discussions and larger-scale conferences. Recent events include a reception and panel discussion for alumni and current students at the home of a Senior Fellow in New York City, potlucks with World Fellows, and a conference on bias and gender equity.

Yale Foreign Service Society
Founded by a Jackson graduate student, the Yale Foreign Service Society brings together students interested in a career in diplomacy and public service. Interested in joining the Foreign Service or the U.S. diplomatic corps? The YFSS holds career discussions with distinguished diplomats and information sessions on the different career tracks within the Foreign Service. YFSS also offers special sessions led by a State Department Diplomat-in-Residence on preparing for the application process to the Foreign Service.

Yale Journal of International Affairs
The Yale Journal of International Affairs, a Jackson student-run publication, produces a print journal each spring and digital content throughout the year on topics ranging  from the effectiveness of drone strikes to the Iran Deal and photo collections looking at topics from massacres in Syria to the future of the Colombian peace deal. A new podcast series recently covered U.S. civil-military relations and guests included the director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

The Global Affair
The lively and informal Friday evening event brings together the Jackson student community around topics ranging from Lebanese politics to an introduction to coding, trivia night to a disaster response simulation.

The Jackson Salon
A forum for the student community to engage with current events and pressing local, national, and international issues. The Salon meets weekly for a moderated and informal discussion around complex topics of significant political, policy, and social implications.

The International and Area Studies Student Association (IASSA) aims to facilitate collaboration and create community among MacMillan M.A. candidates – those students in African Studies, East Asian Studies, European & Russian Studies—and M.P.P. students at the Jackson School. Elections for officers are held in the spring semester each year.

Jackson Latinoamérica
A new student organization established to advocate for Latin American affairs and policy, include greater regional representation in events and programming at Jackson, and create engagement for Jackson students, staff, and faculty interested in Latin America.

Student Government

The Student Advocacy Council
The Student
Advocacy Council (SAC) is a student governance structure designed to amalgamate and represent graduate student interests within the Jackson community and shape the experience of current and future cohorts. The SAC builds community by organizing events, advances student input, ideas, and concerns, and proactively shares updates and information from administration and faculty with students. 

The Graduate and Professional School Senate (GPSS)
Jackson students participate in the GPSS, the overarching student government meant to be a liaison between all of the graduate and professional schools and Yale University.

Fellowship and Mentoring Programs

Kerry Fellows
Kerry Fellows work on key projects for the Kerry Initiative, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on pressing global challenges through teaching, research, conferences, and international dialogue. Projects have included conducting research, assisting with conferences on international topics, and helping write journal articles, op-eds and social media content.

Graduate Affiliate Program (residential colleges)
Graduate affiliates become members of the Yale college residential communities, complete with access to some college facilities, two meals a week in college dining halls, and the opportunity to develop mentor relationships with undergraduate students while being part of a vibrant community of fellows.

MacMillan Council’s Graduate Affiliate program
One of the benefits of joining a MacMillan Council as a graduate affiliate is being prioritized for grants administered by that Council.

Support for Student Initiatives

Jackson offers generous funding to support student-organized events and activities. These activities have ranged from student-led conferences and talks by eminent guest speakers to travel support for the purpose of independent research and professional development.

Support for Travel

The Jackson School offers generous funding for students to travel within the U.S. and internationally as part of their academic coursework.  As a sampling of course-related support: recently, two Jackson students traveled to Patagonia, Chile, as part of Yale Law School’s Environmental Protection Clinic.
Read more about their experience on the Jackson student blog. Another traveled to Palestine to conduct a case study as part of a directed reading.

Another Jackson student traveled to Brazil as part of the Global Health Justice Practicum for a project on tuberculosis and incarceration in Brazil. Each year we offer support for Jackson students to travel to India and Indonesia as part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) fall and spring courses.

The school also offers funding to students for independent research. Thanks to support from Jackson, one student recently traveled to Bonn, Germany, to attend the United Nations Climate Conference as part of Costa Rica’s delegation; another student traveled to a rural village in Ethiopia as part of an independent research project on landscape restoration, food security, and climate change mitigation; and another traveled to Toronto to present research from an independent project on governing Internet infrastructure.