The Global Affairs Major

The Global Affairs major prepares Yale undergraduates to solve today’s most pressing global challenges.

The Global Affairs major is designed to give students the social science research tools to solve today’s most pressing global challenges. It is a truly interdisciplinary program with courses in nearly all departments at Yale. Students in the major are selected by competitive admissions.

In the fall of senior year, Global Affairs majors complete the Capstone Course, a unique public policy project on behalf of a real client, supervised by a faculty member. Students often travel to the client’s location.

Many Jackson undergraduates spend their summers abroad. The school provides fellowships for student projects including internships and independent research projects related to international affairs. Learn more

Hear from Alumni

Gaëlle Conille '18

“My time at Jackson was formative in so many ways. It shaped my interest in evidence-based policymaking — using rigorous economic analysis to evaluate and design social programs and policies. At the same time, the interdisciplinary nature of the program made me a more well-rounded thinker and development practitioner. Outside of economics and econometrics, I completed coursework in history, political science and ethnicity, race, and migration. I was able to think about how power and politics shape the development process and how to apply an intersectional lens to my work. In my career, I’ve found myself constantly drawing from this interdisciplinary toolbox, in both big and small ways.”

Mason Ji '16

“I often tell others that majoring in Global Affairs at Jackson was foundational to my career interests. I was a delegate to the United Nations when I was an undergraduate at Yale, where I negotiated nuclear disarmament, climate change, and human rights resolutions and treaties. I was there when the sustainable development goals were negotiated in 2015. But I was literally learning on the job; had it not been for the amazing professors and practitioners at Jackson, who guided me and taught me about diplomacy, I would not have succeeded in my role at the United Nations.

After graduating from Yale, I studied global governance and diplomacy and public policy at the University of Oxford, directly informed by my time at Jackson. I then went on to law school to study international law and now practice in the international law space. Jackson has played an important role in shaping my career interests in the international space.”