The students who commented last week on why they chose to pursue an international affairs master’s degree captured many of the points we hear. I’m going to add a little of the admissions perspective on the question. I would say that casual conversations and interviews, as well as application essays, give me the sense that most Fletcher students have decided to go to graduate school for one of these reasons:
1. They know what they would like to do in the future, and all those job opportunities are posted with “master’s degree required” attached to them.
2. They want to internationalize work they are currently doing.
3. They are already in the field that is (at least generally) their goal, and they need the political/economic/legal context to bring their work to a higher level.
4. Their work has involved implementing policies, and they want a degree that will put them in a position to create policy.
5. They are looking for specific skills (negotiation, for example).
6. A combination of several of the above.
Even as each student’s motivation reflects individual circumstances and objectives, these are the themes that most often pop out. Of course, if you’ve made it to the Fletcher Admissions web site, you probably have your own reasons already.
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