Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'mpa'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Comment Card
    • Announcements
    • Comments, Questions, Etc.
  • The Cafe
    • City Guide
    • IHOG: International House of Grads
    • The Lobby
  • Applying to Graduate School
    • The April 15th is this week! Freak-out forum.
    • Applications
    • Questions and Answers
    • Waiting it Out
    • Decisions, Decisions
    • The Bank
  • Grad School Life
    • Meet and Greet
    • Officially Grads
    • Coursework, Advising, and Exams
    • Research
    • Teaching
    • Writing, Presenting and Publishing
    • Jobs
  • The Menu
    • Applied Sciences & Mathematics
    • Arts
    • Humanities
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical Sciences
    • Professional Programs
    • Social Sciences

Blogs

  • An Optimist's PhD Blog
  • coyabean's Blog
  • Saved for a Rainy Day
  • To infinity and beyond
  • captiv8ed's Blog
  • Pea-Jay's Educational Journey
  • Procrastinating
  • alexis' Blog
  • grassroots and bamboo shoots.
  • Ridgey's blog
  • ScreamingHairyArmadillo's Blog
  • amyeray's Blog
  • Blemo Girl's Guide to Grad School
  • Psychdork's Blog
  • missesENG's Blog
  • bgk's Blog
  • Tall Chai Latte's blog
  • PhD is for Chumps
  • bloggin'
  • NY or KY
  • Deadlines Blog Ferment
  • Going All In
  • In Itinere ad Eruditus
  • Adventures in Grad School-ing
  • inafuturelife
  • The Alchemist's Path
  • The Rocking Blog
  • And Here We Go!
  • Presbygeek's Blog
  • zennin' it
  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • A Beggar's Blog
  • A Senseless Game
  • Jumping into the Fray
  • Asian Studies Masters
  • Around the Block Again
  • A complicated affair
  • Click My Heels Three Times and Get In
  • dimanche0829's Blog
  • Computer Science Crossed Fingers
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Blog of Abnormally Aberrant
  • MissMoneyJenny's Blog
  • Two Masters, an Archive and Tea
  • 20/20 Hindsight
  • Right Now I'm A-Roaming
  • A Future Historian's Journey to PhD
  • St Andrews Lynx's Blog
  • Amerz's Blog
  • Musings of a Biotech Babe
  • TheFez's Blog
  • PhD, Please!
  • Blooming Ecologist
  • Brittle Ductile Transitions
  • Pleiotropic Notions
  • EdTech Enthusiast
  • The Many Flavors of Rhetoric
  • Expanding Horizons
  • Yes, and...
  • Flailing Upward
  • Traumatized, Exhausted, and Still Going

Found 75 results

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.... !
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. 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!
  15. 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!!
  16. Hey all, I am thinking about applying to an MPP program. Experience Internships: Merrill Lynch, Gov. Affairs firm, foreign affairs non profit organization 1 Year has fundraising consultant 2.5 years on Capitol Hill (intern 6 months, staff assistant 2 years) 1 Year as a regulatory Analyst in the private sector GWU undergrad low GPA: 2.92 GRE: 161 V 155 Q 4 W You guys think I have a shot at a top 10 program? I realize that my GPA is low, I had a bit too much fun in college (additionally dealt with a very difficult time within my family my Sophomore and Junior year- illness and death in the immediate family). I'm seeing a lot of intern experience here from Capitol Hill but not too much staff experience. Staff Assistant is a broad term, I was very hands on in my office from a policy standpoint. I played a substantial role in formulating a response and generating policy initiatives surrounding a nationally known disaster that occurred in my bosses district, which I plan elaborate on in my essay. I received an offer from a well known firm last fall in the private sector and couldn't say no. I would consider myself a policy "wonk." I'm a hell of a networker.
  17. Thought I'd start a thread for other Fels applicants out there anxiously waiting. I think decisions are set to be released next week (!!!), based on results from previous years. Is anyone else considering one of the dual programs?
  18. Decided to move this here: 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.
  19. I've gotten into my two top choice programs. I honestly never thought this would happen because my GRE scores were not great. So now I've run into this problem, I love both schools for different reasons, so I need your advice to see which one will monetarily produce the best results because that is what is holding me back right now. Here are my pros and cons, maybe you guys can see something I cant. The costs in this list including the present offers I've received. Brown offered me $3000 in scholarships, but I've asked for more and they said they would reevaluate and Syracuse doesn't complete aid packages until late March. Brown Pros Cons Ivy League/Name Recognition Cost ($86424) Would not have to move Fear of not fitting in 1 year program New Program Would not have to leave family for a year Strong Networking Small class sizes, more one on one experience Syracuse Pros Cons #1 MPA Program in the Country Would have to leave family for a year 1 year program Would have to move 77% in public sector of 2015 Graduates Not knowing anyone Less Expensive ($79454)
  20. I was accepted into Brown's MPA program and I was ecstatic. My lifelong dream has been to go to Brown and getting that acceptance letter was probably the best moment of my life. Then the money reality kicked in. I was offered $3000 in aid from Brown. I asked them to reevaluate this because I've received substantially larger offers from other schools (Brandeis, Northeastern) and I'm waiting for funding information from Syracuse which will come late March. I haven't heard from UConn yet, they will notify me if I've been accepted on March 9th and if I've received any funding. Brown advised me that if I send them my offer letters once I received them all I could forward the letters to them and they would submit them to the admissions team. They certainly didn't guarantee anything, but they said they would try. Which brings me to my question. Should I wait until I hear from UConn and Syracuse in regards to acceptance/funding prior to sending my letters to Brown? I was thinking by late March when I have all of these results, they would know more of who was accepting their offers or declining them so they may have more funding available. But then I also started thinking that other people may be doing the same thing and I should try and get them the letters I have ASAP to be reviewed first. Short version: UConn notifying of decision/funding March 9th. Syracuse notifying of funding end of March. Received 33% funding from Northeastern. Received 45% funding from Brandeis. Should I hold off on sending these offers over to Brown until I get Syracuse and UConn's(if I get in) funding?
  21. Now I have what could be the final edition of my purpose statement and I'm wondering if you guys will work your magic for me. Here it is! While my decision to apply to a Master of Public Administration program was made partially because it is the logical next step in my academic career, it is far more than just logic that drove my decision. As a child, I was exposed to contaminants on a playground and the negative effects have continued to impact my life since. Migraines were a daily occurrence, often preventing me from being able to go to school. My school district was not equipped to handle educating someone with the health problems I was facing and I eventually withdrew from school and obtained a high school equivalency diploma. Although I am fortunate enough now to say that my health problems are under control, that is not the end of this fight for me. The events of my childhood generated a drive inside of me to pursue a career in public administration. My dream is to ensure that no child ever has to choose between their health and pursuing an education. The current emphasis on testing in education diminishes the concern with the students with the strongest and weakest capabilities. Schools are compelled to have strong median and mean scores, leading them to ignore other students. I have decided to pursue an education in public administration rather than education administration because schools are often too vested in these practices and change would have to occur at an oversight level. In 2013, I took the first step towards making my dream a reality by enrolling in night classes at the local community college. I spent two years studying to earn my associate’s degree, all the while working at a local bank to fund my education. I exceeded countless expectations by not only graduating but by receiving high honors. As I walked across the stage, I vowed to continue my education and to fight to promote universal access to education. In the Fall of 2015, I enrolled at -undergrad school- majoring in Political Science. I am graduating this May with a dual major in Political Science and Public Administration along with a minor in Geography with a GPA of 3.72. -Undergrad School- has opened up numerous doors that have continued to reaffirm my career goals. In the Spring of 2016, I served as an intern for a city planning office. In this position, I provided research assistance to the office and attended city council meetings to report back to the principal planner. Additionally, I answered calls from residents and provided information on anything from zoning to natural disaster management. I completed a project for the office that compared the historical sites in the city to their present day condition, finding that many of them had been poorly preserved over the years. During the summer of 2016, I was one of eight students selected from my school to participate in an internship in Washington D.C. with one of our state’s Congress members. I found myself immersed in public policy and I loved every minute of my experience. During my internship at the D.C. office, I attended Senate sessions and Congressional hearings. Additionally, I completed policy memos for the Senator, ensuring he was well prepared for any meetings or events he attended. Upon my return home from Washington D.C., the local constituent office for the Senator contacted me to offer me an internship in their office. At the constituent office, I was primarily responsible for organizing the Senator’s schedule and answering questions and concerns of the Senator’s constituents. The Senator is highly involved in protecting the environment and hosts a conference for energy and environment leaders at the local convention center every year. While working for the Senator, I was able to help organize and manage the conference to ensure all went as planned. I have recently started my final internship in my undergraduate career at an office as a policy intern. In this internship, I will attend legislative sessions and provide research support for the department. Additionally, I am assisting in the modification of a program that helps those receiving unemployment benefits regain employment. These experiences that have made me an outstanding candidate for your public administration program. Obtaining a Master of Public Administration is the final step in ensuring that I can accomplish my aspirations.
  22. Hey all, I am looking to see how likely I am to get into the following schools with the following criteria. I feel like I am fitting in somewhere around the average requirements of most applicants at these schools, with maybe a slightly lower GPA. GPA: 3.3 from a small liberal arts school in Ohio GRE: 161 V and 159 Q with 5.0 Analytical Writing Experience: 3 campaign cycles as an intern/volunteer (since '08), 3 campaign cycles as a paid staff in field management and data analytics; 1 year in nonprofit fundraising; 3 months interning with a lobbying firm in D.C.; Only 2 years of work experience after completing my undergrad (I took a semester off to work on the 2012 Presidential campaign) and volunteered/interned throughout college on various local, state, and national races in digital and organizing related work. I am applying/have applied to the following schools: Duke Sanford (MPP), Chicago Harris (MPP), Syracuse Maxwell (MPP), UT-Austin (MPA), Georgetown McCourt (MPP), NYU Wagner (MPA), OSU John Glenn (MPA), USC Price (MPA), IU SPEA (MPA). Thanks!
  23. the working title for this article, before I ran out of steam and insights, was "how incompetence and greed have spawned yet another fruitless policy degree" I am a recent graduate of UofT’s School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG), and I am unemployed. I cannot tell you how public policy is formulated (I do know it is generally a governmental response to something), or how to write it (charts are important but who knows how to make those). I could not pick the best public policy document out of a stack and tell you it was the most feasible (I would probably choose the one with the most charts, and jargon). For the two-year all-in price tag of $35,000 (the most expensive public policy program in the country), here is what I can tell you: income inequality is rising in Canada, Canadians are having less children, immigrants are great for the economy, many public policies reflect the interests of certain groups, “program evaluation” is a field which exists although no one understands it, an opportunity cost refers to the savings realized by not doing something, the Ontario Public Service is one of the largest and best employers in the country, and I think that about covers it. In other words, I would equate the SPPG MPP education to regularly following articles in the Globe and Mail. The program suffers from a myriad of issues which are mainly due to choices made by SPPG administration and the University of Toronto, and few of which are due to the larger challenges plaguing higher education in Western Nations. Most significantly, SPPG itself is not its own department within UofT, which from my understanding, significantly curtails its autonomy and authority in deciding how it is run. When the program doubled its cohort in size from 40 to 80 students at only a few years since its inception, despite its obvious growing pains and shaky foothold within the Ontario public policy landscape, that was probably a decision made out of greed at higher levels of UofT’s administration. The Munk School of Global Affairs incidentally suffered the same fate. This is the first way in which greed has negatively impacted students of the program. The second way in which greed has affected the program, is through the decision to have it structured as a two year offering, rather than one (such as the $9,000 program at Ryerson which boasts higher graduate placement rates, or the $7,000 program at Queens which acts as a feeder program to the federal as well as provincial government). While a two year professional program could certainly be designed to benefit students, through more in-depth training of skills actively sought by employers (including actual quantitative analysis, project management, and report-writing) SPPG uses its two years as a cash-cow of billings for professors from other faculties, which peddle lukewarm and at times clearly out-of-touch mandatory courses including: “Ethics in the Public Sector”, “Legal Analysis in Public Policy”, “Comparative Public Policy”, “The Social-Context of Policy-Making”, and finally the disturbingly impractical “Capstone” final course. The third way in which greed has affected the program, is through its annual appointment of high-level public sector “fellows” such as former Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Public Service head Peter Wallace, and Liberal MP Bob Rae. SPPG finances the sponsoring of these individuals, which may make the occasional speech at program events, or teach the odd session, on the backs of its students. The program’s tuition rises yearly by around $1000, another appointment is made, the school attracts attention and higher enrolment due to the fellowship appointment, and the actual cohort receives zero benefit. The pristine, empty offices of the fellows (which all reside on the top floor of the Canadiana building) are surely a sting to the program’s actual professors as well, which reside in the basement, four floors down. And for those who might think that fellows bring with them a network of connections to which students can access, or short-cuts to employment, let me assure you no such benefit exists at all. Dalton was all smiles at the orientation and kick-off to the fall 2015 orientation of the program, but come May 2016, he was nowhere to be seen. Speaking of the program’s professors, SPPG’s non-departmental status has had much more insidious effects on its cohort than its current bloated size (future students: prepare for “seminar” courses with 20+ students in boardrooms which require you to take seats against the edge of the room, or lecture courses in UC which require you to ask professors if they would refrain from writing at the bottom of the whiteboard, since it is challenging to see from 10+ rows back). The most negative effect of SPPG’s current status has been on its faculty recruitment. Most of the professors at the school have no experience in government whatsoever. As such, the MPP degree is more accurately described as an extension of an undergraduate degree in political science, rather than the “professional degree” which it touts to be. For evidence of this, look no further than the program’s recent appointment of its new director, Peter Loewen, an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. The University claims Loewen was selected after an international recruitment campaign, but having read his exclusively academic credentials, and complete lack of public sector or policy development experience, such claims due a poor job at covering the fact that the organization of UofT has found a nice nesting spot for one of its own – to the detriment of MPP students. The recruitment of Peter Loewen is reflective of another dysfunctional trend at the program, faculty departures. The two year period 2014-2016 saw the departure of the founding director Mark Stabile (unfortunately founding administrator Anita Srinivasan did not follow suit), former Mowat Centre director Matthew Mendelsohn (one of the only professors at the school with actual public policy experience), etc. Loewen’s first official act himself as new Director of SPPG speaks volumes about the kind of policy school SPPG is, for it was to take sabbatical at Princeton University. Turning to curriculum, perhaps the greatest failure of the program is its lack of professional development, or teaching of hard skills. To this end, the program offers one 3-hour workshop on writing a briefing note, and a few optional introductory type courses on Excel and data-visualization software Tableau. Upon graduating, you will not have a portfolio of professional work that any public or private sector employer will be impressed by during an interview. You will have a handful of academic papers with proper citations. If in the event I have not persuaded you to not attend SPPG. Maybe because the glowing call of “University of Toronto” is enough to overshadow the money you’ll save, and real employer-sought skills you will learn elsewhere – I will end with some final remarks on how to best navigate the program, based on observation and my own experience: Your job first and foremost, should be to network. There are no awards or employment opportunities for getting high marks on assignments. · All of the professional development events organized by the school are useless, in that their ratio of employer to SPPG student averages around 1:10. Strike out on your own, start by talking to professors and affiliated · The vast majority of graduates who find employment after graduating from the program are hired back on to their internship units from the previous summer.
  24. Hi everyone, I wanted to ask you about something: what do schools expect to get from applicants' policy essays? I have been asked by Fulbright to respond to the essay prompt below from the Sanford School. Am I supposed to show that I am already extremely good at grappling with policy stuff? That I know the theory? Or that I can think smartly about issues? Or is it really about judging my writing? Any feedback on how to approach policy essays would be greatly appreciated. ---- Policy Essay: Discuss a particular policy problem or challenge you have encountered in your work or that your country has faced. Describe the nature of the problem, and discuss some of the ways in which attempts were made to solve the problem, including your assessment of how well the solutions worked or failed. What might you now recommend to solve the problem? Please limit your response to one page
  25. Hello everyone, I just received communication that I need to do a video "interview" with the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. Has anyone done this before? It seems to me they make all applicants do it. Is that true? Do you have tips and tricks and dos and don'ts you want to share? FYI, I am an international Fulbright finalist and I just learned that IIE shopped me to Cornell. I wish I also knew my other placements but they don't tell you anything about that, sadly. I am curious how CIPA is seen within the industry and academia as opposed to its relatively modest ranking of 41 (I know, I know, it's supposed to be about the fit and the education, not the ranking but we all obsess over that, so indulge me here if you can).