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About xnormajeanx

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  1. I think there is a lot of flexibility outside the core in terms of how theoretical vs. applied you want your degree to be. I think I've probably already talked about this ad nauseum, but the difference between Harris applied classes vs. other schools seems to be that Harris offers more of a wide variety of "tools" classes versus "topics" classes. For example, GPPI offers more topical classes on the specific policy areas that you are focused in, and helps you analyze those problems. Harris offers topics classes too, but probably not as many, and its real strengths are teaching the tools which a
  2. piping in -- last year i was choosing between GPPI and Harris and ended up picking Harris even though GPPI gave me quite a bit more in aid. (you'll find students who went the other way too obviously.) The criticisms you have of Harris vs. GPPI are the same that I had -- more theoretical core at Harris, less connection to DC. That said, Harris's strength is it also offers plenty of applied "tools" classes, whereas it seemed like GPPI offered more "topical" classes--which are great for subject knowledge but gave me a sense that they'd be less useful in the long run -- even if they were more "
  3. There are good number of students who concentrate on environmental policy, and you also have the option of switching from the MPP program to the little-known MSESP (master of science in environmental science and policy) program, which is more science-based. However, the number of courses Harris offers on environmental policy are smaller than you might find for social policy, or that you mind find in comparison to other schools. CEPA, the student organization for environmental policy folks, is a great resource with respect to this, helping students find courses outside of Harris to take, such a
  4. While I obviously respect anybody's decision to choose Ford over Harris, since this post is on the record I'd like to correct it in some respects. I guess it sort of upsets me because it gives an impression of Harris that I find inaccurate, especially the parts about the student body and the effort we put into recruiting and making prospectives feel welcome. I participated heavily in the recruiting events and so did quite a few of my friends, going out of our way and spending hours of our time to help people make their decisions--especially, for example, on Friday, when we didn't have classes
  5. Absolutely! I think the largest policy concentration we have is domestic social policy, and indeed there's a large portion of faculty members who concentrate on domestic social policy -- labor, employment, housing, welfare, poverty, workforce training, etc. Most are economists. I think of the MPP schools you could go to, Harris will best prepare you for a PhD (especially in economics) or for academic research, as the coursework is generally more academic (versus applied) as and more academically rigorous than in other schools, as I've emphasized earlier in this thread. Particularly for your ec
  6. Core classes are very large because they comprise the entire class, or nearly all of it except for those who waive out - about 80-120 people. My core stats is a little smaller (30ish) because I am in the math-heavy track and fewer people opt for that. After your first two quarters, you will start taking electives which are generally a lot smaller and depends on how popular the class is. I'm taking cost-benefit analysis this quarter, for example, which has almost 70 people because everyone wants to take the class. I would say most Harris electives, however, have been 5 and 30 people. You also h
  7. Hey Shani, Just to give you my two cents: If you are interested in international policy and you have a full scholarship to SIPA, I would say absolutely go there. I don't believe Harris is as strong as some of the other schools when it comes to international policy. CIR is good (another school within u of chicago) for international relations, but Harris itself has very few professors focusing on international in comparison to those who focus on domestic, and several of the good ones are leaving next year. In addition, international relations is very academic at Chicago (more of a prep for a Ph
  8. Admittedly the faculty are not as engaged with the community as I had expected. I think this is a classic University of Chicago ivory tower-esque culture thing, and I don't know how it compares to other schools. Many of the faculty do research on Chicago-area issues from a several thousand-foot view but don't necessarily engage with policy on the ground. It's up to students -- often accomplished through part-time jobs and internships, volunteering, or through student groups and other student initiatives. As for faculty-student relationships, it varies tremendously. One disadvantage of Harr
  9. (Current Harris student here.) All Harris admits are being contacted by current MPP students as well -- it's possible they just haven't gotten to you yet I think the big advantage Harris has over Ford is its relationship with the Chicago area. If you look at the Harris school's board of trustees, they are all very influential people in the Chicago and the Midwest - leaders and directors of foundations, large nonprofits, public-private initiatives, social entrepreneurs, private sector business leaders involved in civic life, etc. And Harris does a very good job cultivating and maintainin
  10. Regarding specific tracks: Harris does not require you to declare a concentration or policy focus, which means designing your degree is all up to you. You choose the electives you want to take. With health policy, Harris does offer a certificate program in health policy and management, which I know students have found very advantageous. Harris IS strongest, in my opinion, in social policy, and if you take a look at the faculty, a large part of the faculty focus on welfare, labor economics, education policy, poverty, etc. International development is also a strong suit, with a large number of s
  11. Answering most people's questions in one post: AM program: I believe you do take 9 credits, and because credits cost the same your total tuition would be half of what it costs for the MPP program. Econ/Political Theory background: Helps but is NOT necessary. Many students have backgrounds such as English, Religion, Philosophy, etc. - many people with liberal arts backgrounds who have never had any of this training. I think about 2/3 of the 2010 class is in the less math-intensive statistics/econometrics track. If you DO have an econ or political theory background you can waive out of co
  12. Congrats to all who got in! Looks like some of you got great funding, which is amazing considering the shakiness of U of C's endowment (down more than 30 percent). Regarding the AM program: You take mostly the same classes, but you are exempt from a few. The problem with the 1-year is that you don't really take much in the way of electives, unless you have an economics background. You take mostly core classes and one maybe 2-3 others. I am honestly not sure how it is regarded in the policy world; I know it doesn't give you a chance to get an internship which is really important for us MPPs.
  13. Hey guys, as a harris student I feel a bit embarrassed about this delay. I think it is because we happened to have a few people leave recently and those left must be swamped. (One on maternity, another for law school). To the person who pmed me asking me to help - unfortunately it is my spring break and I am not in Chicago! So unfortunately I cannot ask them myself, or I would pop in. I don't know what else to say except good luck, and please be a bit patient. The admissions people are human.
  14. It might be that they just want to see how fluent you are in English. This is a big worry for admissions, because international students often have nice TOEFL scores and great essays -- but that's because they've been able to prepare - or in some cases even have others help them write their essay.
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