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 led by Interim Director Michael Brenes.

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 first-semester senior 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)

The deadline for the 2023 course has now passed.

Information Session

On October 18, 2022, the program held a virtual information session about the program featuring interim director Mike Brenes and a group of current students.

Watch the recording of the session


Have more questions? Review our course FAQs

Summer Research Grants

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. The award is designed for students who have been, or are currently, enrolled in a course designated as part of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, especially the ‘Studies in Grand Strategy’ seminar.

All students who are enrolled in or have completed a course designated as part of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy are eligible to apply. Compensated internships are not eligible for support. The number and value of grants awarded will depend upon the size of the applicant pool. Grants will rarely exceed $4,000. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to other Yale centers and departments, and externally, for support.

Application Procedure
All students must apply through the Student Grants Database. You will find an application form and instructions there.

Please note: you are not required to submit hard copies of your materials. If you have questions, please e-mail Michael Brenes, Interim Director, Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy.