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About laala

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  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    Public Health/Public Policy

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  1. I'm currently applying to MPH (public health) programs, but am also interested in public policy and urban planning. I'm not necessarily planning to stay in the public health sector specifically, and am not sure if other sectors would care about an MPH (while public health does still value other degrees, because it's very crossdisciplinary, I think if anything, having a non-MPH degree will become increasingly valuable), whereas an MPP is more flexible and a MURP could be useful in land use, housing, transportation, etc. There are some programs that allow for dual degrees, but I decided not to apply for an MPP or MURP on it's own because I have a low gpa and MPP programs are more competitive to get into than MPH, and I just didn't feel like an extra round of apps was worth the time and money for programs I wouldn't get into. And I didn't do MURP on it's own because I realized I don't really want just a planning degree - moreso in combination with an MPH. So, I decided that if i do get into an MPH program that offers dual degree, i'd apply once i'm there in my first year. But, I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the extra cost. Does anyone have experience with getting 2 of these degrees, and do you feel like it's had an impact on where you can get jobs? How much do employers really care? This is a long question and I hope it makes sense - I appreciate any thoughts!
  2. Hi all, I'm applying to MPH programs for this fall, and was also interested in MPP/MURP programs. I'm wondering if people have opinions on dual degree with MPH and MPP/MUP programs. I'd like to have the flexibility and extra skills that come with the other degrees (I considered applying to programs in all, but the application process was getting to be too much and just decided on an MPH for the time being), but I'm conflicted on whether the extra cost is actually worth it. Does anyone have experience with getting dual degree - either in a program now or ideally, already have finished, and have insight into how useful it is? My concern is that an MPH is 1. too limiting/not applicable to sectors outside of public health, and I'm not really set on public health specifically for my career. I like that public health can take a holistic view, but I also worry that while public health as a sector values skills/knowledge from other sectors, I'm not sure other sectors necessarily would value an MPH. basically - I'm wondering if an MPH is applicable outside of public health, in the way that I think a planning or policy background would also be useful in public health.
  3. I would be applying to the Community Health Sciences department, i like that it seems flexible to allow for customizing the degree a bit more, and that a certificate in Environmental Health is available with the community health focus - a lot of other programs only let the environment/climate-related certificates be coupled with a degree that's also already science focused; i don't have the science background to go in those depts, and do like community health in general but environmental/climate policy is also an interest so i'd appreciate the opportunity to do both. And, to be honest - part of the appeal is that I have a very low GPA and it seems more forgiving to low GPAs than some other schools, maybe partially because it's rolling admission and I'd apply in the next week or so to have a better chance (although I realize it isn't that early anymore). I do have really good letters of rec and a strong statement of purpose, so i'm hoping those will make a difference. But my concern was that even if I did get into Tulane, whether it'd really make sense to go there - whether the Community Health Sciences dept. is as strong as its other depts., and whether i'd still get a good education on community health issues within the U.S. rather than globally (based on faculty interests/research and also other students' interests in general, and how much the focus is global or not in classes).
  4. Hi there, I'm wondering how much it makes sense to apply/go to a place like Tulane that's so heavily focused on global health if I'm not interested in global health? I'm interested in community-level prevention/policy in the U.S. - and potentially interested in human rights/refugee issues and immigration as far as the U.S.'s impact on other countries, but I think a lot of global health work seems very paternalistic and I'm not really interested in that. So I'm wondering if it makes sense to apply to/go to a place like Tulane that's so heavily focused on global health - are there still opportuntiies to study/do research at the school or community that aren't global and is it worth it in that sense? Are the faculty and students really completely focused on global health also? Any insight from current students or people who know more about it in general would be great!
  5. hi there, my background is that I have a low undergrad gpa (2.8), graduated 3 years ago and currently work at a small but respected public health organization. They are also very considerate and willing to help me with my own academic/professional growth and are asking me what type of projects i'd like to work on, what skills i'd like to develop. Since my gpa is low, i'm hoping that both my work experience and letters I get will make the difference in my chances for admission. The problem is, i have a hard time knowing what type of skills i should be developing; we don't generally do traditional/quantitative research, which is the only specific skill that i'd like to develop. We do a lot of coalition building/facilitation/training and the work i do supports that, but i guess my problem is figuring out what would be useful to talk about in my grad school applicaiton - obviously part of this is my own interests, but i already am doing work i find interesting and i know i should be more specific about what other skills i want to develop... but i don't think i even know what type of skills are out there that i should develop. This is a ramble-y question but i'd really love and appreciate any feedback or suggestions!
  6. Hi there, It seems like a big suggestion people make is that contacting professors whose research you're interested in/mentioning them in your SOP is very important (and if they like you, they can advocate for your admission), but I can't tell if this is only for PhD/other research-based programs, or if it is also appropriate for professional masters programs (MPH/MPP)? my uncertainty comes from not really knowing what to say/what the "ask" is in the email. The suggestion generally seems to be to express interest in their research/discuss how it relates to your work or why you're interested, and to also ask if they will be taking grad students for next year. I've contacted one professor so far and she responded very nicely, but I thought I'd also check on whether this is considered appropriate/won't annoy professors, or if they don't care to hear from me (because of how the admissions process seems to work very differently)/if it doesn't actually help or make a difference. (I do think regardless, contacting professors will be helpful in learning more about the program/whether it's a good fit, but I also want to figure out whether this is also common practice/won't bother them). Thanks!
  7. Ah thanks! - that link wasn't working on my work computer for some reason. I did a google search on this and found similar results to that link (which are helpful), but I guess am still concerned about not knowing what he really thinks of me (I know he likes me/will give me a positive letter, but I'm not sure what he really thinks are my strong skills), or what my skills/abilities are and how they'd be applied to grad school/what I want grad schools to know about me. Obviously this is an activity in self-reflection which I'm not sure if anyone can help with but if there are suggestions/thoughts.... I'd welcome them!
  8. Hi there - So one of my professors asked me to draft my own letter of rec. I'm not really looking to discuss whether this is ethical or not (it seems to be common practice, and I know he'll be changing it, but I assume just wants to see how I view myself/how I want to be portrayed). SO - I just have no idea what to write. a. what's the format? What do professors generally say/what do programs want to hear? b. I'm nervous about being presumptuous/overselling myself - I'm sure if I undersell myself, he'll fix that, but i'll feel awkward if I over sell myself. Thoughts?
  9. Thanks - I saw that, but she is asking for a recommendation for a travel grant which I feel is very different from grad school application.. and the discussion primarily focused on whether or not that's ethical or not. Which I realize might happen here as well, but thought I'd put it out there to see if people have done this also and have other suggestions (outside of debating whether it's ethical).
  10. So one of former professors has requested that along with info on what I'm up to now (working/out of college for 2 years), what programs I'm applying to, etc., that I also send a draft letter of rec for myself. I have no idea what to write. a. What is the format? ie what do professors generally write/what do programs want to hear? b. I'm nervous about being presumptuous about what he thinks of me. I wasn't a particularly impressive student (not terrible, but not awesome), I do think he likes me and knows me relatively well because I went on study abroad with him so I think he'd write a positive letter but I'm worried about either overselling myself or underselling myself. (However, he'll be editing it of course so if I undersell myself, I think he'd fix that - so overselling myself is more the concern)... and aside from that, again, I just don't know what I'm supposed to say.... PS. I'm applying to masters programs in public health and/or public policy, if that's relevant.
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