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narius

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  1. Strongly disagree with the above. The only people who pay any mind to the USNWR rankings tend to be the students of the "top ten." Outside of this narrow group, no one really cares, because most know that rankings are 1) silly anyway and 2) particularly so for public affairs, which don't even pretend to be quantitatively derived. Here's an analogue: if you had a public affairs grad from Indiana or SUNY Albany VS. a student from Brown, is the Brown student going to be tossed into the 'no' pile because it's not 'ranked' as well as USNWR? That's ludicrous. From what I hear, Fels isn't easy t
  2. All three are known as programs with a more domestic focus. Good to discount USN rankings -- they're even less credible for public affairs than usual, since they're based solely on peer review. That means they can be gamed really easily through a branding campaign. Fels is quite a bit older than Taubman and CIPA (one of the oldest public affairs programs in the country), but is unique in that it traditionally had a more state/local focus than other older programs. Specifically, Pennsylvania. That has to do with its original benefactor, Samuel Fels, who had that put in their founding char
  3. Hard to say. Chicago is famous for being quant heavy, which the consultancies really like, but Gtown is in close proximity to a lot of fed contractors, which can't hurt. No idea about USC. I've heard Cornell is a fine program, but they are having trouble placing people with the economy the way it is. A buddy of mine went to Penn and says their econ dev side is very strong and regularly sends people to Public Financial Management, HR&A, and smaller, similar boutiques.
  4. Did you decide? If you get funding, I say go for it. But I wouldn't break the bank just to go, either, unless you have money to burn. It's reputable but not so much that you couldn't get a comparable education for much cheaper in Australia, NZ, or Singapore. Good luck!
  5. I'm assuming you want a PhD. I would avoid pure sociology departments as they do not often have qualified academics that can properly advise on national security issues. Though your research might very well be sociological in nature, the topic is certainly not a traditional sociological strength unless you are approaching the topic from a structuralist or marxist standpoint or something. If you want something practical and close to security studies practitioners, you're much better off in a public policy or political science or security studies program. These are all inherently interdisciplina
  6. It has a very strong rep in Canada. In the US, fairly or not, Canadian schools are just not known as well. However, Toronto and McGill are probably the best known Canadian schools. Can't say for internationally, but I am sure it will suit you very well if you intend to return to China.
  7. 1. It can be ... but only if you are very careful to tailor your dissertation to direct application of ethnography. However, it will be hard for you to do that in most anthropology departments because that's really not their focus. You will have to get in touch with professors first before you apply. But even then, it's not like it will launch you into an IR career, since most IR positions will be looking for professionals with an understanding of IR theories that you are unlikely to pick up in an anthropology department. 2. Since you'll be doing a LOT of stats and methods courses for any h
  8. What do you intend to focus on? I know you said environmental policy, but a lot of policy programs have different approaches to different things. For example, some schools may be well suited for students looking to do research in specific policies, while others are better at helping research that researches the methods used towards policies. That may seem like an academic distinction, but it can be significant. Whether you are looking at political processes and how they affect environmental legislation (a more politically-oriented, DC school might be best), or on challenging prevailing analyti
  9. I can't think of any full-funded Master's programs off the top of my head, but Princeton's public affairs program makes a commitment to ensure that the people they accept can afford to go. So, in effect, they would make sure to fund you if you can't fund yourself. Princeton is the only place that has this expressed policy, but lots of other schools may help you once they see your application and like you enough. You are also at an advantage as an international student. Because you can't take out federal student loans to pay for admission, many programs will subsidize your education (with a tui
  10. Hi there, This is my understanding: Cornell is an up and coming program that compares very favorably to the 'top' schools. It has less of an alum base but it's supposed to be rigorous and robust. Brown's Taubman Center is best thought of as a boutique program. A friend of mine went there and really enjoyed it but said that he was a little put off by the fact that the Center was virtually unrecognized not only nationally or regionally, but even at the school itself. But he enjoyed the professors and environment. Can't speak for Northwestern but I would expect it's probably geared entirely f
  11. I think balderdash gives a good explanation, but I'll throw my 2 cents in too, for whatever its worth. Economics deals with trade, modeling, and circumstance. Generally, international economics is not necessarily application-based, but attempts to explore economic phenomena and propose explanations for how and why things occur. Development is obviously more application-oriented. There is development economics, which uses the tools of modeling and econometrics to assist in formulating policy, and there is economic development, which is the practice of applying policies, financial instrum
  12. Let me ask you a question: you want a great public policy program? You should really look into UChicago's Harris School, which some might argue is the best in the country. Now, that's by no means a consensus, but no one will dispute that it's a top-notch program in a terrific academic environment. And if you want policy analysis, well, you probably can't find anyplace better. If policy analysis is your goal, I would jettison the urban affairs stuff. It's cool, but it tends to be a much narrower brand of policy analysis (if at all) and injects a lot more humanities-type of stuff. Not to pooh
  13. Just as an aside - I think people might not be considering SIPA as much because of their reputation (fairly or not) for being a very large program that gives little aid. I never considered it for my master's just because moving to NY wasn't feasible at the time and I didn't want to jump in the deep end of international policy stuff. Like I said before - that stuff is interesting to me, but there seems to be a particular abundance of unemployed or underemployed people carrying international development graduate degrees, including from top schools. Of course, for all I know, every SIPA stude
  14. Well, I actually didn't include several good options - Duke, NYU, LBJ, Pitt-GSPIA, Indiana, Berkeley, Maxwell - all of which I would definitely consider going to (particularly Duke, as I like the South). But this was a preliminary sort of thing and I plan to refine the methodology soon so I'll put together a more objective and more exhaustive ranking of public policy PhD programs. SIPA, unfortunately, only has a PhD program in Sustainable Development or somesuch. Their program is also more exclusively foreign policy-oriented, which is very interesting to me (I work overseas), but I am more
  15. I did a little ranking exercise for myself recently and I thought I would share my 'methodology' and results with everyone here, as I think it may prove to be useful to others who are having some trouble choosing a best fit program for themselves. I took the top 8 schools that I have been considering (for PhD someday, maybe) and put them into a matrix and marked each school on a point basis with various criteria that I felt were important. Here's my 'data': As you can see, I took each category and rated it on a 1-5 scale (5 being best). It's a cumbersome measure, and extremely s
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