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chocolatecheesecake

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chocolatecheesecake last won the day on May 17 2014

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About chocolatecheesecake

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    Mocha

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  • Location
    Durham, NC
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall
  • Program
    Duke Sanford MPP Graduate

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  1. This might be too late, but I'm sure others will be curious about these questions too. I graduated from the Duke MPP program in 2016 BC (before COVID-19). IMHO, it does not pose a problem to study in a "small town" and it does not hinder internship or job prospects in big cities. First, one of the most interesting and fun things about studying in Durham and the Triangle was being able to study a lot of regional issues. There were a lot of non-profit organizations and state or regional government organizations who wanted our help when it came time to select topics for semester-long project
  2. @Andromeda3921, I suggest you repost in the Sociology forum: https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/46-sociology/ The public policy/ public administration/ government affairs degrees are very different, especially because they're terminal professional degrees, not academic ones. We hardly even get PhDs in Public Policy coming to this forum because it's just not as relevant for what they're applying to. I'm sure you can get some good feedback on those forums too. Good luck!
  3. The good news is that I think you're doing all the right things. Undergrad GPA matters less and less with more and more years of work experience. Three to four years of policy-related work is great. Next, you've taken the UCLA extension courses and gotten As, which proves you've moved past your undergrad GPA. Next, make sure you've got a recommendation from your current or previous employe. If you have a good relationship with any of those extension course professors, consider that too - they can further speak to how serious you are about your schoolwork now. One last piece of advice: if there
  4. Agreed. MPPs and PhDs are very different degrees that get you very different places. The MPP is a terminal, professional degree preparing you for analysis-based roles working in government, companies, and non-profits. The policy PhD is an academic degree preparing you for research-based roles in academia, usually at universities, but occasionally also think tanks and foundations. Decide carefully which one is for you. Generally, you can't convert the MPP to a PhD while you're in the middle of your degree. If you decide you want a PhD in the middle of your master's degree, then you finish
  5. If you've already accepted the offer, go straight to the admissions and financial aid people at Georgetown and ask. It'll be a lot more accurate.
  6. TBH, I think you guys are in a hard spot, and I don't know the right course of action. If it was me, I would in good faith share my situation with my top choice school, and let them know that without the money, I can't commit. I'd call and talk to them about this, and see if they offer any solutions to me first. If they don't seem likely to offer solutions, I'd ask if it's possible to delay my decision until a certain date (and give them that date). If they need the deposit to hold the spot, as you mentioned, I'm also fine with potentially letting go of $500. But I'd concentrate on being able
  7. It's probably a bad idea to (potentially) lie to two institutions, one of which it sounds like you really want to go to. It also sounds like you might have a complicated situation or some constraints that keep you from making the decision by the deadline. Could you expand on that? Why do you want to put down deposits at two places? Maybe we can give some constructive suggestions on the overall situation.
  8. Also @ReynoldWoodcock, I have two friends who were in the Peace Corps in Indonesia and attended Duke's Sanford School with me. One of them is back in Jakarta working at J-PAL, actually, and another is in DC with one of the big consulting firms. If you're curious and want to ask them some questions, I can definitely hook you up with them. Just PM me your information.
  9. On a side note, @3dender, I hope you're going to sign up for Public Expenditures. Bob Conrad is one of the most amazing human beings alive. His class is incredibly funny, useful, challenging, practical, and fun; even when he was called to NYC to help the government of Ukraine patch their budget back together, he insisted on setting up an A/V link so he could Skype his class to us live. This is the kind of knowledgeable and dedicated professor you need in graduate school. (Even if his accent is the thickest Southern drawl I've ever heard.)
  10. K-12 ed policy at the state level depends very much on the state. If you go to Wisconsin, chances are you'll end up working with their system and be in a position to go into the Department of Education afterwards. During my time at Duke, I met quite a few alums in the Department of Public Instruction in North Carolina, and some of my friends had internships there between the two years. When you're done at Sanford, you can get into basically any part of NC state government that you want - the Sanford network is big enough that we have people everywhere. (And that's really not an exaggeration.)
  11. You need to call the admissions office and ask the school right away. Don't rely on any secondhand information you find on this forum - go straight to the school. They'll be able to give you the most accurate up-to-date info about something this important.
  12. I highly suggest you go to the Admitted Students Weekend for both schools. It sounds like you'll be saving a lot of cash these next two years, so spend a little now, maybe? If you really can't go, make sure you talk to at least two or three current students from both schools in depth to understand the differences and what you're really looking for. The admissions department should be falling over themselves to recommend current students to you, preferably from your home country or at least greater geographical area. They both have diverse enough pools of students to be able to do so. Current s
  13. As I wrote in the other thread, "It's just like any other negotiation - you may not get what you ask for, and you may not get anything, but it's always worth it to ask. I originally asked them to match the offer that USC made, but even though they didn't, it saved me $10K overall." My gut response is not to go back to re-negotiate this. You made your ask, they made their decision (and gave you some). Ball's now in your court to accept or go somewhere else. If you kept pushing the issue, it could seem really impolite from the school's perspective. Remember that the decision-makers are usu
  14. I wrote a pretty comprehensive response about how to negotiate funding here, with some thoughts on strategies - take a look. Others have chimed in on school-specific threads about how to negotiate with them. You should search around with your particular school in mind. To respond to your specific questions: You should email the admissions team directly. They may ask for proof of counter offers, and you should be prepared to share it. You should email them as soon as you've made a decision about who you want to ask for more money from (see my other post), whether it's just one
  15. Sorry for the late response! I am happy to talk a little about the culture and politics. The politics in Durham are decidedly progressive and on campus, dominated by fairly left-leaning viewpoints. You'll find that in most of the universities here, as well as most cities and towns in North Carolina (Chapel Hill of course, Raleigh, Charlotte). There are a lot of grassroots organizations at Duke and in Durham I've seen running jail bond campaigns, for example. They may not be as far left-leaning as you, but it's pretty progressive in general. At Sanford, there is a quiet group of folks who are h
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