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MPA, ADVICE WANTED PLEASE: FEW DAYS TO MAKE THE DECISION

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Posted

and USC Price School’s MPA with a half tuition scholarship. My background is in political science and international affairs, and I have experience with education non profits abroad. I’d like to have a managerial role in a nonprofit or in a urban development organization. I'm leaning towards USC, mainly because of the more generous financial offer. Thoughts?

Syraucse Pro/Cons

Pros

-The dual program (with a global internship) may be more exciting

-It seems as if Syracuse has greater national and international name recognition (please correct if you feel otherwise)

-The MPA program generally seems deeper

Cons

-Full price—about 75,051 (tuition/fees) + $30,000 (living)= $105,051

-Not sure if that debt is really worth it

-Syracuse is far less interesting than CA

-May not have a strong presence on the West coast (where I may ultimately like to work)

USC Price MPA Pros/Cons

Pros

-Half tuition, so total about ($34,571+$50,000)= $84,571

-LA is exciting, dynamic, diverse

-USC seems to have a wonderful rep in CA (need to get a better idea of nationally and intl)

Cons

-Weak intl element

-Not sure if employment stats are quite as good as at Syracuse

-Possibly less national/intl reputation

I’d greatly appreciate any put.. Thanks in advance

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Posted

Ooops. Didnt say before USC, that I'm also into the dual MPA/IR program at Syracuse Maxwell

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Posted

Ooops. Didnt say before USC, that I'm also into the dual MPA/IR program at Syracuse Maxwell

Need to know a bit more, like what are your goals post-MBA, where do you want to work location-wise, where'd you do your undergraduate work, any prior work experience?

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Posted

My two cents is Price. You've already got a background in international affairs. USC Price is strong in management, non-profit, and urban development issues. USC's School of International Relations (SOR) is solid too. But from what I gathered when I visited, SOR is a bit more Poli Sci than practicioner oriented. So you can augment with coursework there to stay abreast on international issues. It just won't be as policy oriented as you would get at Maxwell. And finally, USC is a beautiful campus with a great student culture and a strong alumni network.

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Posted

@JAubrey--- I'd like to either work internationally or in California. I could work in New York because that is where I am originally from, but have no desire to work in DC (spent a summer there and that was enough). My goals post -MPA would be to work in a nonprofit or even private consulting organization doing working internationally but based in the US. I graduated from a top 10-liberal arts college in 2007. I worked as a paralegal for two years in San Francisco, and then spent 2 years as an English teacher in Ecuador with an education nonprofit from the US. Since then I've been teaching English independently at an Ecuadorian University. My Spanish is fluent.

--note about the cost calucation---I estimate Syracuse after all costs to be about $20,000 more expensive, but that may be generous. Syracuse is $40,000 more expensive tuition wise, but I believe it will be $20,000 cheaper to live. Rent/food is cheap there---but I may be exaggerating in which case Syracuse may be more like $25-30,000 more expensive.

@USMA06--Thanks for the advice!

Anyone else want to chime in? Anyone who looked at or is attending Maxwell or Price? Thanks

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Posted

Well I can speak from the international perspective - as I said on another thread, USC is very well regarded in Europe - definitely more so than Syracuse. It looks like from what i've seen on here that if you want to live/work on the East coast, USC is not the school but for what you want to do (California/Abroad) USC would be a good fit. That's if all other things are equal i.e academically/research interests it's as good a fit.

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Posted

I was having a similar issue trying to decide between USC and a few other schools.

I personally suggest Syracuse. I've been working in Singapore/Malaysia for about a year now, and some of the top nonprofits have heard about Syracuse. USC is not very well known in this part of the world (Singapore/India/Malaysia). In fact, if this is of any help, I've spoken to about 4 current students at USC and all 4 seemed very uncertain about job placements after graduation.

That made my decision easy.

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