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!)
LizFromCA

Duke Nicholas vs. GWU Trachtenberg vs. UCSB Bren???

8 posts in this topic

Going to grad school for environmental policy, especially energy/climate/transportation policy. Which one?? Each has diff strengths. Have visited all 3 and asked plenty of questions. Haven't spoken with Bren alums yet though -- anyone here a Bren alum? I'd love to pick your brain before admission offers all expire on Sat Apr 15. 

Duke Nicholas: policy school classes, energy initiative, big alum network, generally big and lots of resources (maybe research?)

George Washington U Trachtenberg: environmental resource policy program, location in dc lots of govt and ngo opportunities while going to school in evening, older students with more professional connections

UCSB Bren: well-organized group projects in 2nd yr, strong career center, opportunities to TA for free tuition, maybe could get involved with research

Cost isn't really different across the 3 programs. (Depending on earnings at GWU or TA-ships at UCSB.). Screenshot of my cost comparison attached. See bolded rows for the 3 above schools.

Thanks very much for any insights!

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.22.01 PM.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You didn't say what you specifically see yourself doing afterward, or where.  Do you want to be in DC (GW or Duke)?  West coast (UCSB)?  International (Duke or GW)?  No idea (Duke or GW)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GWU really stood out to me (in a great way) when you mentioned the connections you'd be making. Assuming this program will give you the connections you want to have to get into your career of choice (you didn't mention your career goals and which school has the best track records of grads getting the kinds of jobs you want to have) then GWU sounds like a really tempting offer. Connections are extremely helpful in getting your foot in the door at your first job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

echoing @3dender, what do you want to do and where do you want to end up? Honestly, being in the federal energy sector in DC, you run into alums of all those programs frequently so you're off to a good start either way. I've also been admitted to Bren but am pretty sure I'm not going to go, what other questions do you have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying, all!

I probably would like to stay in the west coast after graduating -- I like the SF Bay Area and there are lots of environmental nonprofits here plus progressive state govt. I am feeling open to the possibility of NYC or DC though, as well. I don't know exactly what I'd like to do, but likely will seek work in the government or nonprofit sectors working in an analyst or advocacy or project management type of position related to energy/climate/transportation policy. My life goal, broadly, is helping governments be leaders in climate change mitigation through policy. But I don't have much relevant professional experience yet so my goals may change a little.

Any additional thoughts now that I've added this info?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other notes:

Seems like maybe UCSB is slightly less a feeder into public sector jobs than GWU and Duke? Anyone agree/disagree?

GWU is a much smaller program so I might have less choice. Is that a big deal?

GWU does have the advantage of being in DC. UCSB and Duke are both a little isolated/not near any big job centers. Does that matter?

Seems like one person thinks that UCSB's network is more west coast whereas Duke or GW are more all over? Anyone else agree/disagree?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

My impression of the networks, having gone to none of these schools, but working with and around their alums: Agree that UCSB's network is largely west coast, but again there is a network in DC; Duke also has a (slightly stronger?) DC network. I would say GW's network is most valuable in and around DC. (edit: clarifying that I don't mean that GW's network is the most valuable of the three schools, just that GW doesn't have as much of a national network and its network is largely within the DMV) Unless interning or working part time is a major priority for you, I don't think being slightly isolated will be a big deal. 

Edited by fruitcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@3dender Haha I might actually end up at Sanford with you, instead of Nicholas. I think I'm down to UCSB Bren MESM vs. Duke Sanford MPP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now