Yale University




For more than four decades, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies has been Yale's principal institution for encouraging and coordinating teaching and research on international affairs, societies and cultures around the world. The MacMillan Center endeavors to make understanding the world outside the borders of the U.S. an integral part of liberal education and professional training at the University. It brings together scholars from across all relevant schools and departments to provide insightful interdisciplinary comparative and problem-oriented teaching and research on regional, international and global issues.

The MacMillan Center administers four Master's degree programs (Global Affairs, International Relations, African Studies, East Asian Studies, and European and Russian Studies). Additionally, there are joint degree graduate programs with the Schools of Management, Law, Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Public Health, as well as seven Graduate Certificates of Concentration in African Studies, European Studies, Global Health, International Development Studies, International Security Studies, Latin American Studies, and Modern Middle East Studies.

Each year, The MacMillan Center sponsors more than 700 conferences, guest lectures, film series, and workshops on international topics that are free and open to the public. It also provides a link with the larger community through its Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER).

The many councils, committees, and programs at The MacMillan Center support research and teaching across departments and professions, advise students, and provide extracurricular learning opportunities, as well as funding resources for student and faculty research related to their regions and subject areas. Regional studies programs include African Studies, Canadian Studies, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Hellenic Studies, Latin American and Iberian Studies, Middle East Studies, South Asian Studies and Southeast Asia Studies. Comparative programs include: Agrarian Studies; British Studies, the Center for the Study of Globalization; European Union Studies; Genocide Studies; the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; Hellenic Studies; Global Affairs; International Political Economy; and International Security Studies; and United Nations Studies.

APSIA Membership: Full APSIA Member School



Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
Yale University
Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520-8206

  • (203) 432-6253
  • (203) 432-9886
  • email


Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
Director of Student Affairs
PO Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520-8206

  • (203) 432-5954
  • (203) 432-9886
  • email

Career Services

Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
Director of Career Services
PO Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520-8206

  • (203) 436-5208
  • (203) 432-9886
  • email

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Global Affairs (M.A.) - 2 years

  • 16 courses
  • 3 core courses taken during the first semester of the program in history, intermediate micro economics, and applied statistics
  • Remaining courses form student's individualized program of study focusing on an area and or region
  • Proficiency in a second modern language
The Jackson Institute's M.A. in Global Affairs prepares students to impact the global community through an academically rigorous yet flexible interdisciplinary program. Our GA students carry on the University's tradition of attracting creative, intellectually curious individuals who come to Yale ready to define their own path to a career in global leadership and service.

The Jackson Institute's program occupies a unique place among international affairs M.A. programs. Each Master's candidate pursues an individualized course of study taking advantage of resources from across the University. For students this is a remarkable opportunity to study with renowned Yale faculty from all disciplines. Seminars with Senior Fellows, practitioners from the public and private sector, round out the rich offerings from which students may choose.

The M.A. program is small by design, with 25-30 students in each entering class. Coming with diverse backgrounds and career interests, Yale GA students form an intimate and loyal community. Our size and approach create a dynamic atmosphere as students become a resource to each other and a window to the diversity and complexity of the international relations field. GA students leave the Jackson Institute with lifelong connections to colleagues working across the globe in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors in diverse fields including: policy analysis, security analysis, trade and economic development, foreign affairs analysis, human rights, international finance, and environmental policy.

M.A. in African Studies - 2 years

  • 16 courses, including two compulsory foundation courses, "Research Methods in African Studies" and "Africa and the Disciplines"
  • 4 courses in a concentration
  • 4 courses in an African language
  • 4 additional courses in electives
  • 2 semesters of "Directed Reading and Research" during which students are expected to complete the required thesis
The MA program in African Studies is an interdiciplinary humanities and social sciences program designed for individuals who are specializing in African topics.

An important component of the program is that it is multi-national as well as multi-disciplinary. Students' interests reflect this diversity as they focus on South, West, East, or North Africa, with concentrations ranging from political science to arts and literature, economics and religion. Considerable flexibility and choice of areas of concentration are offered since students entering the program frequently have varied academic backgrounds and career plans.

M.A. in East Asian Studies - 1 year

  • 8 term courses, normally including:
    • 2 terms of language study at Yale's third-year level (unless the language requirement has already been met through previous study) and
    • 6 other courses selected from the current year's offerings of advanced language courses and lecture courses or seminars in any relevant subject area, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
The M.A. program in East Asian Studies is a multi-disciplinary program that offers a concentrated course of study designed to provide a broad understanding of the Chinese or Japanese people, their cultures, historical development, and contemporary problems.

Working in conjunction with the Director of Graduate Studies in East Asian Studies, each incoming student develops an integrated program conforming flexibly to his or her particular needs and goals. In general, entering students focus their coursework on the study of either Japan or China. Courses in Korean language, literature, and culture are also available.

The Master's degree program is designed to be completed with one year of coursework at Yale. Normally, students entering the program are expected to have already completed the equivalent of at least two years of Chinese or Japanese language, so that the three-year language requirement can be completed in the two terms spent at Yale.

For more information, please visit our website.

M.A. in European and Russian Studies - 2 years

  • 16 courses in fields related to Russian and East European Studies, including a compulsory foundation course "Research Methods in Russian and East European Studies."
  • A minimum of one course in at least three of the four major disciplines relevant to the program (history, literature, social sciences, and law)
  • Students are required to pass the language examinations in Russian and a second relevant language by the end of the third term at Yale
From the fall of the Berlin Wall to civil and internecine war in the Balkans and instability in Russia, this region has become more, not less, complex, and the need to understand its culture, history, and politics has increased accordingly. The MA program in European and Russian Studies allows students the opportunity to explore these and related fields while developing a specialization.

Fields of Specialization

Open to all graduate and professional students at Yale, The MacMillan Center sponsors seven graduate certificates of concentration. The Councils on African, European, Latin American and Iberian, and Middle East Studies provide four regionally-focused certificates. The Jackson Institute provides three: International Development Studies, Global Health, and International Security Studies.

Students may pursue the certificates in conjunction with graduate-degree programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Professional Schools. Admission is contingent upon the candidate's acceptance into a Yale graduate-degree program. To complete the certificate, candidates must demonstrate expertise in the area through their primary graduate or professional field, as well as show command of the diverse interdisciplinary, geographic, and cultural-linguistic approaches associated with expertise in the area of concentration. Award of the certificate, beyond fulfilling the relevant requirements, is contingent on the successful completion of the candidate's Yale University graduate level degree program. Students who complete the required additional requirements will receive the relevant certificate from The MacMillan Center.

While the general requirements for the graduate certificate of concentration are consistent across all councils of The MacMillan Center, the specific requirements of each council may vary according to the different expertise required for its area and are reflected in their application, monitoring and award forms.

Joint Degrees

To enhance the educational opportunities of its graduate students, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies collaborates with four of Yale's professional schools -- the Law School, the School of Management, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the School of Public Health. Each joint program leads to the simultaneous award of two degrees and students can earn them concurrently in less time than if they were pursued sequentially. The joint degrees provide an integrated education that combines two powerful programs and complements both, while protecting the integrity of each.

With the exception of the joint M.A./J.D. program that requires four years, completion of all course requirements takes three years. Typically, candidates spend the first year in one program and the second year in the partner program. During the third and final year of study, students register in one program each semester. Joint degree students are advised by a committee composed of the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and a faculty member of the relevant professional school to guide them in this process.

Candidates must apply and be admitted separately by each school, i.e., each school makes its decision independently. It is highly recommended that students apply to and enter a joint degree program from the outset, though it is possible to apply to the second program once matriculated at Yale.

There are currently formal joint degree programs available with :

  • The School of Management (M.A./M.B.A.)
  • The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (M.A./M.F. or M.A./M.E.S.)
  • The School of Epidemiology and Public Health (M.A./M.P.H.)
  • The School of Law (M.A./J.D.)

Core Courses

  • Six courses in the area of concentration (in at least two different fields)
  • Language proficiency in at least one language of the region beyond proficiency in English. For some Councils and for some individual circumstances, proficiency in two languages beyond English is required.
  • Interdisciplinary research paper

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