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Found 85 results

  1. Hello everyone, I have been considering going to grad school for a while now. The only issue I'm having is trying to decide what I want to go back for. I graduated from my undergrad program with a BSW with a minor in Child and Family studies. Then I went to work as a case manager. So the obvious thought would be to get my MSW. But I know MSW programs put a lot of focus on direct practice and clinical studies, which I have decided is not the route I want to go. So I've been thinking about applying for an MSW but just with a macro/policy focus. Then I discovered MPA programs and it seems like that may be the better route. Does anyone have any advice? Basically can anyone shed any light on the big huge difference between getting your MSW with a macro concentration and getting your MPA? Thanks!
  2. Hey! I'm going back to the U of A for the MPAD (Public Administration & Nonprofit Studies) and I'm sure I can be a great resource to students who are also starting their graduate careers, but are new to the area! I don't know about y'all, but I really like getting to know people before orientation. If there was a Facebook group, I would have joined it already!
  3. Application closed out for review around the first week of May. (I applied in the 3rd cycle.) Their website says I should have a decision by June 16th. I did also notice the addition of a 4th application cycle with an application due date of June 1st. This wasn't listed before and I wonder if this means that they still have seats to fill... Does anyone know if they typically wait till the notification date to send out notices?
  4. Hey guys, I have been a silent lurker on this site for a long time! I've finally decided to post with the traditional "what are my chances" post! Hoping I can get some advice on here for my applications to MPP programs. I understand that no one here is an expert and can give perfect answers, but some direction about how my profile stands will be very helpful in deciding I am looking to apply for fall 2018 for MPP/MPA programs to mid-to-top-tier colleges such as SIPA, IHEID, LSE, LKYSP, Fels', Sanford.. Still working out this list of course, but essential a course that focuses on overall development policies, good combination of theory and practice and a flexibility in courses, esp quant (ie, not quant heavy). My application background is as follows: Undergrad school: B.A in Economics (major) with sociology and political science majors from top 5 arts college in India GPA: 3.6 with an undergraduate thesis Other qualifications: Diploma in leadership and liberal arts from a competitive and renowned fellowship program Work Experience: Currently 1.5yrs in a not-for-profit (social enterprise incubator and investor), 1 month of development consultancy work in Vietnam and 1 yr as a co-founder of a social enterprise GRE: 160V/158Q Volunteer/Public Service experience: none since graduating college. I was much more involved in volunteering in college (head of social action club, publications, and editor of a few department magazines) and internships in think tanks Look forward to hearing from all of you and learning more as we go through this grueling process soon! Thanks!
  5. I've gotten 2 years of Peace Corps teaching experience in South America, and have been working (in a junior admin role) at a charter school in a poverty-stricken town along the East Coast for the past two years. Now, I'm thinking of heading back to school, and would love to study at a MPA/ MPP program targeting US k-12 education challenges. Any recommendations? Goals: Post-degree, either I'll target senior roles in charter schools etc, or move into education & public policy research (got lucky with a 170Q, 332 total GRE - hope that helps!). Still pretty undecided though. Schools: I'd really like a program that is quantitatively-challenging, and has an alumni network/ reputation in the East Coast (I want to live here, long-term, though I'm open to studying elsewhere). Harvard MPP, Chicago Harris, and Michigan Ford seem pretty quant-heavy, but I'm not so sure about their focus on domestic education policy. Tufts might allow me to really customize the degree, but they seem quant-weak. Is that a reasonable first impression? I know that Stanford offers an MPP + MA Education dual degree, but are there any other schools I should research up? There is no single reliable school ranking out there, and this is pretty overwhelming. Thanks all, for any advice you have.... !
  6. So I have decided I want to apply to an MPP or MPA program but I have to admit that I'm confused on where to apply. I want to work at a place like the urban institute, or another think tank but I'm not sure what schools can lead me to that path. Currently I'm working with AmeriCorps VISTA and living in the Midwest, so I'm looking at a number of school in my area and schools that give large tuition cuts to AmeriCorps alums, so places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Brandeis, and Duke. My big question is... will it be incredibly difficult to land a job at a place like Urban (or a job in DC) if I do not go to school in the mid-Atlantic area?
  7. I am sincerely hoping someone can offer me insight on receiving and MPA-PNP from NYU Wagner vs MPA from CUNY Baruch. Originally, I was debating on attending Columbia for an MSW and Wagner for an MPA, but ultimately decided an MPA would be better to reach my career goals. I was generously offered a substantial scholarship from Columbia, first year full ride from Baruch, but no scholarship assistance from Wagner. When I attended Admitted Student Day at Wagner, I was blown away by the current and incoming students, faculty, and curriculum (specifically the Social Innovation and Impact Investment specialization). It seems like a good amount of the NYU Wagner grads are working in similar, if not the exact, positions I dream of, but is attending NYU Wagner worth the inevitable loans? I am not able to confidently make the same statement about Baruch, because they did not have a specific list of the jobs their graduate students obtained upon completion of their MPA's. Baruch lets their students tailor their curriculum once their core requirements are fulfilled, as opposed to specifically choosing a concentration, which is very appealing. However, there isn't much I would want to change about NYU's MPA-PNP Impact Investment specialization. I want to attend the school that will provide me with the best curriculum and network to achieve my end goals, and I genuinely am not sure if one school is better than the other in this aspect. They both seem like incredible programs, so I know I can't lose choosing one or the other, I just want to make the most informed decision possible. The financial burden of NYU Wagner's loans vs a free first year at Baruch weighs heavily on me. Does anyone have experience at either of these schools in regards to networking, job obtainment, or utilizing faculty networks? Will NYU loans be worth the burden because of the job opportunities their network opens up, or do both schools have equal networking/job opportunities? Is one school more heavily integrated in NYC's organizations more than the other? I would also love to hear any pros or cons you experienced during your time at Wagner or Baruch! Any input is greatly appreciated!!
  8. Has anyone taken this route? I'm currently applying to a Masters of Public Administration program and work in communications at a state university. I really like university environment and think I might want to stay in higher education. My university does offer a master's in student affairs, but I'm more interested in academic affairs than I am in student services (res life, Greek life, registrar, etc.). My program doesn't have a concentration in higher ed but I could try to tailor it somewhat with electives. Any ideas?
  9. Hello, I created this thread to kickstart discussion on dual degree programs especially business and policy programs. We could do profile evaluations and selection of colleges to choose from and deadlines etc
  10. I suppose we all finished submitting our applications and wait for some news. Let's talk about our issues and developments of applications. I'm waiting for 2 universities (UVic and USask) and applied for MPA.
  11. Hi all, Just wondering some thoughts. I'm a bit of an unusual candidate for an MPA & wanted to hear thoughts before I make a final decision on pursuing the degree. I have about 10+ of IT professional experience as a systems engineer who decided to go back to college at some point. I ended up earning a BA in Political Science from a Top 10 school while I worked and progressed in my career. I also did some volunteer work during this time period - some of which has spanned a few years at a time, and I have experience with stuff such as managing a mom-and-pop microfinance firm. My goal, ultimately, is to transition to nonprofit or public service work & I've been reviewing job descriptions to see what is in demand while applying to MPA programs. I am also applying to MBA programs that will let me have a nonprofit management concentration. I'm told from different people that my tech experience would be valuable as well as my volunteer work and exposure with micro-financing but I'm having a hard time seeing this with the job postings that I'm finding. My idea would be to use the time that I have in the MPA program to take advantage of career services & networking to help ease my job transition but with my recent internet searching, I'm now wondering if pursuing an MPA is a crazy idea for me. Any feedback would be welcome.
  12. Dear friends, I am stuck in a MAJOR dilemma and my life has been majorly messed up because of it. I would appreciate some responses urgently, as I have to make a decision as soon as possible. So I am a Pakistani student with a passion for policy and development, but still confused about what to specialize in. I completed my undergrad in June 2016 and have worked in an NGO in agriculture since (1 year). I applied to Cornell CIPA in Jan, 2017 and got in with a 40% tuition reduction. Because CIPA's base tuition is $34k, my per year tuition is $20k (which is very little compared to competing programs, I think). But I can also defer my offer (the 40% reduction will not be deferred and I will compete with next year's batch for it) and get 1 year of more work experience before coming. The problem is that I am coming to USA exclusively to get a job there, and getting a job in Trump's America for a south asian with a very Muslim name is near impossible, I've heard. Especially considering all the paperwork employers have to do to sponsor my H1B. So I was advised by some people that I should get more work experience before coming, since I only get one shot at this, and employers value more work experience. But the risk is that I don't get this much financial aid from CIPA next year (no one knows how funding will change by next year due to the political situation in US), and some people advised me not to take the risk as I can't afford to come without aid. The upside is that I can get the chance apply to competing programs as well next year. But my GPA is pretty bad (I've given my profile at the end). Am I competitive for HKS with funding/WWS/UChicago with funding, if I improve my GRE score?? Basically I can't afford to come without funding and Cornell seems to be among the few in financial range (I heard Uchicago and WWS give good aid) Also, I'm concerned about Ithaca's distance from major cities. Being in Boston, NYC and DC to me seems very important for a policy program. Is this a valid concern? What are your thoughts about CIPA? Can someone offer me some advise? Is CIPA's offer worth deferring and the award worth passing over for a more work experience and a chance at UChicago/HKS/Princeton next year? Or should I come to CIPA with my 1 year of work experience? My profile: GPA: 3.04, LUMS BSc Management Science (less emphasis on economics but more on business and quantitative skills, such as statistical modelling, R, data mining, BI, etc.) GRE: v162, q156, w5 WE: 1 year full-time at an NGO as a research and strategy associate, where I interacted and worked with government, farmers, corporations, consultants. 2 years part-time running and managing a small, subsidized school for poor children
  13. I realise that early action decisions are out, but I am eagerly waiting for the March decisions. Would be good to have a space to follow the updates. So, here's a thread for SIPA!
  14. Was wondering if anyone has heard from Indiana University - Bloomington's SPEA about their merit based aid? I was accepted for an MPA / MAAA on 3 February. After a month and a half, I'm becoming more anxious as each day gets closer to March 15th (everything I've been told says that they'll finish allocating merit aid "by mid-March."). I e-mailed them on Friday just to inquire and they said, "Hi Sunsickclown, Thank you for your email! We are still in the process of allocating and awarding merit-based aid for our incoming class and will notify you if we are able to offer you an award. I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions! Kind regards, ----" Feeling kind of like this might mean that I'm not going to get anything. Since I'm out of state, that means I wont be going. Kind of sucks since I really love what I've read about the program. Honestly, I didn't apply to any other programs because I wasn't interested in any other programs.
  15. Hi everyone, first-time poster here. I'm planning to apply for an MPA program at the university I work at. Outside of the core 21-hour curriculum, you're allowed to choose a concentration, create a concentration or fill up with electives. The concentrations are generally about 15 credit hours. I've already thought about potential careers but I want to just get some ideas about some good ideas to pair with an MPA. If it means anything, my undergrad is in journalism/public relations/rhetoric so I have little quantitative experience. The university has four pre-developed concentrations: Community/Economic Development (features planning/law/finance classes) Information and Communication Technology (networking, voice/data/video hardware, computing) Criminal Justice Emergency Management/Homeland Security Community and Economic Development, and IT/Communication Technology interest me the most. You also have the option to design your own concentration (with approval) by taking grad courses in other departments, or you can load up on public administration/finance/related electives. Did anyone do a concentration with their MPA? I'm not set on a certain kind of career path yet, but some ideas that interest me are city manager, evaluating programs and writing reports, education, social welfare/policy, and I have no IT experience but I've also always been knowledgeable of and interested in tech. The grad program I considered before this was an MA in adult and community education or higher education. I know this is REALLY broad and vague, which is why I'm interested in knowing what you did or would suggest to do when it comes to electives and concentrations.
  16. HI! I wasnt sure if i should post here, or in the 'decisions, decisions' area since well, this is regarding a decision, but is more specific to Govt Affairs here we go: I got into some amazing schools: Georgetown GPPI MPP, NYU Wagner MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, Columbia SIPA ESP MPA (environmental science and policy) now... how do i choose? I actually thought id be a beggar than a chooser, so i guess im pretty lucky here. My main goal in life is to help animals through policy-- I hope my career can lead to many different avenues to help animals in all situations, starting with the poor living conditions farm animals live in now in the United States. Perhaps one day I can venture down to help sea animals, wild animals and so forth (treated politically and socially very differently from consumption animals). Whether I am helping them through lobbyist groups, nonprofits on the front lines writing up evil/abusive farms or through as a third party philanthropy expert... i actually don't know. 1) Georgetown (nonprofit policy and leadership track) isn't strong in environmental, but has policy down cold. Ive read through their website and no matter how strong their policy program is, i feel their environmental sciences is rather weak. They have supplemental courses available to me, but i feel they act as a band aide to cover the sore spot rather than the right magic potion i need to get great! 2) NYU is HUGE in environmental policy, but mostly in the urban domain. I did research on the faculty and am really enamored by 2 professors' research and work in the field of environmental policy. but all because i love 2 professors doesnt mean i will actually get to learn under them! Additionally, I know it sounds silly, but I worry about its 'brand name' of being only a fantastic school recently and not having a glamour or history as say... columbia. and speaking of which: 3) Columbia's ESP MPA is so SO brand new! (also worried Columbia is a cash cow and may not give me the best education, despite its lasting brand name. Furthermore, as a one year MPA, am i paying for a crash course, or something that will truly help me in my life goals? BUT the ESP program is heavy on the environmental sciences while states is top notch on the policy! (oh, and its an Ivy... which i know is stupid, but fulfills my childhood educational dreams! I went to a city school for undergrad) Luckily, funding is not an issue. Although some schools gave more than others, I actually feel that my education comes first and debt can be dealt with later. Money is transient, life is all you have; I want to spend my life doing what i love most: helping poor animals. (and to further the point of it being a non-issue, my family and fiance decided to pool together to make my education happen no matter what) Im awaiting decisions on 2 more schools: Princeton and Yale, but Im not going to hold my breath. any input would be fantastic as i am going nuts here! Any ideas, personal thoughts or even just a funny joke? Thank you all in advance! DWD
  17. Hello everyone, I am finally hearing back from the places I applied to. I have been offered admissions to Cornell CIPA, Duke Sanford and Georgetown McCourt (we expect Maryland - College Park to come through as well). This is all great, but now is decision time. And that's why I turn to you, the supportive and insightful community at The Grad Cafe. Because I will be attending through the Fulbright program, I'm in the fortunate place where cost is not the top factor. I'd appreciate your perspectives on a few other issues: How would one know which is a better school? I live overseas, so I can't tour the campus. Name recognition and ranking: Cornell is an Ivy League school but CIPA is not in the top 20 for MPA/MPP. How much does that matter in terms of the student experience and future success? (i.e., does the Cornell name count positively or does CIPA's ranking count negatively?) How much does Georgetown's DC advantage really matter? And how much of a disadvantage is Duke's and Cornell's location? Anything else you wished you knew and considered before deciding? Many thanks in advance.
  18. I'm leaning towards the Masters of Public Affairs program at Brown, but I found out that it isn't yet accredited by NASPAA because the program is so new. (My class would be the 3rd to go through program). The program is appealing to me because it is only 1 year, has a dedicated career counselor, has a global policy experience, and a 12 week long consultancy that allows for real life work experience. The only cons I've found to attending Brown is the expense and the fact that it has yet to be accredited. Based on the research I've done, I firmly believe that it will be but of course there is no guarantee. The other program I've narrowed my choices down to is the Masters of Public Administration at University of Connecticut. This program is accredited, and I have a GA that covers the entirety of my tuition covered. However, the financial aspect is sort of wiped away because I would incur a large expense by having to move or commuting an hour and a half each way, and I would have to quit my job. UConn also doesn't appear to have the connections in RI (where I would like to work) that Brown has. The other issue is that most of the graduates from UConn work in non profits, and I'd like to have a career in a state agency. While it may seem like I've already made up my mind, I'm wondering how much of an impact does the accreditation aspect have on finding a job, specifically for the state.
  19. I got accepted to Berkeley’s Master of Development Practice and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS DC. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. Though I haven’t had relevant professional work experience, I attended community college meanwhile to take classes for my own interest. Berkeley’s tuition is about $48k/year and offers small funding ($3k/year) while SAIS DC’s tuition is about $47k/year with no funding. Cost of living in DC and SF bay area are similar. I know UC Berkeley very well and it seems like I may have some advantage getting campus jobs that I may be able to graduate debt-free. While these two programs are not exactly the same, they will help my career goal, which is to work in international organizations focusing on Latin America in the long-run. Here are pros and cons I see from each school: Berkeley Pros: Campus jobs that will help me financially Bigger campus, more departments such as ERG and Latin American studies Fellowship opportunities for the second year Cons: I spent 4 years there. I am not sure if there’s much I can get out of this school. But Berkeley is a big school and being a graduate student is different from undergrad. So I’m not sure if it’s a big con. SAIS: Pros: Being in DC SAIS is more known and prestigious than MDP. Emphasis on quant skills Cons: I have no clue how I can minimize student loan (or if possible at all). What do you think? I would like to get some advice from others.
  20. I was admitted to SIPA for the MPA in Development Practice and NYU Wagner for the MPA in Public & Non Profit Management & Policy (International specialization) and was fortunate to receive funding from both. I'm aware that it's possible to request additional funding from each school, but as of now I'd be paying ~45k out of pocket for the 2 years at NYU and ~68k for the 2 years at Columbia. With a 22k difference (and this doesn't even include living expenses!), I'd like to know how Columbia's and NYU's programs compare (in terms of academics, internship & career opportunities, networking, practical skills training, faculty accessibility, etc.) and if I would be getting infinitely more from Columbia that would justify the extra 22k. Will I have better job prospects and networking opportunities if I go to Columbia over NYU? Is the International MPA track at NYU comparable to SIPA's MPA-DP program in terms of skills & material learned? How accessible & involved are faculty at each? If you were in my shoes what would you pick and why? P.S I want to work in program management / development for an international NGO or foundation upon graduation with plans to found my own organization in the near future (hence why those hard skills & networks are extremely important to me).
  21. Dear All, I am an international student who has never studied in the US education system before. I had earlier asked about directory of MPA/MIA programs and the community here was really very helpful in sharing very useful resources. Thank you very much for that. I had one more question. I am quite interested in seeking help from an admissions consultant who can help me guide through the application process of applying for MPA and MPA type of programs in the US. Hopefully they can also help with selecting schools which would be a good fit based on my background and future goals. And also help with reviewing essays etc, helping to make sure that I am presenting the relevant and most suitable highlights from my professional and academic background etc etc. I noticed there are many (many!) such admissions consulting firms for MBA programs, but I could not find any one which specialises in MPA programs. Would the knowledgeable community here have any info on such reliable admissions consultants for MPA programs in the US? Thank you so very much!
  22. I need help Without question of funding(I haven't heard from Syracuse on funding yet), which would be more likely to produce the best job. I was accepted into Brown and Syracuse's MPA programs. I'm wondering what to weigh more in my decision, the ivy league name (Brown) or the #1 MPA program in the country(Syracuse) Any advice would be great! -Brittany
  23. Hello fantastic community! I am an international student, trying to find out what are the top 10-top 30 MPA / MIA programs in the US. I am aware of the very well known ones such as Harvard's Kennedy School & recently I came to know about Woodrow Wilson School and Chicago Harris, as well as Tuft's Fletcher School and Columbia's SIPA. But to be frank I think I may not be competitive for such top schools, so I want to know what other schools are there. If any kind soul can point me to a ranking or a list of such schools, that would be greatly appreciated. My post graduation goal is to work in the development sector as part of a non-governmental organization such as the UN, World Bank, etc, if that helps in anyway.. Thank you so very much!
  24. Hello All, Submitted my application to NYU Wagner for Fall 2017 (MPA) on Dec. 15, 2017. Received an email on Dec. 23rd stating that my application is currently being reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Creating this forum so that we may all update each other and keep in contact. Good luck everyone!
  25. Hi all: I applied to the University of Georgia's MPA program back in early January (the 4th if i remember correctly) for the 2017 Fall semester. Has anyone else applied for this term and heard back? I've heard back from 2 of the other MPA programs I've applied to (one good and one bad), but nothing from UGA yet? When should I expect to hear back?? Thanks!!