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About sturdyelm

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    2017 Fall
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  1. Help needed getting a realistic idea of what to do

    From reading this, it sounds like you are only wanting the economics degree because it would boost your economics background. Public Policy incorporates a lot of various areas including economics, statistics, sociology etc. Which if you want to work in poverty alleviation, it will be much more beneficial to have a range of background information, rather than solely econ. Looking at your profile, you are a good candidate for top public policy programs. Those who pursue MPPs have diverse backgrounds. Your work experience is sufficient for a professional program, and would bring alot to the table even if you feel that you didn't do much math or writing. The key to the MPP admission (in addition to everything else) to a top school will be your SOP and decent recommendations. You do not have to have a strong background in math to get into most public policy programs (but some have pre-reqs of intro MicroEcon and Stats which you already have). You will learn how to use the quant skills, learn how to write specifically for policy, and then learn about all of the other elements of policy. Additionally, a lot of public policy programs do focus on economics/finances (or you could easily make that your focus) and how to use budgeting (and those with an MPP do get jobs in budgeting/economic agencies). If you want to get an idea of which schools put more focus on the quantitative skills, this is a really helpful resource. You can't solely rely on this as it is a sampling of programs, and most programs (potentially not listed) have quant requirements with some flexibility on electives so that you could dig deep into the quant. You might also find some useful comparisons by others on the econ vs. MPP in the Government Affairs forum, I believe this has been talked about recently but don't remember where exactly. Just my two cents and input.
  2. Calculus and Econ tune-ups

    I posted this awhile back on another thread, but just to add on to this list. Here are some more potential options for Stats and Econ of varying different types of courses depending on how you best learn and what you are looking to refresh on. Again these aren't courses that you can take if you need a graded course for final admission, but there are lots of options! Principles of MicroEconomics, MIT opencourseware (archived course but includes exams & solutions) - probably would be good to pair with the videos above Principles of Economics, Stanford (archived course) Principles of Economics (MicroEconomics), George Mason University Professors via MRUniversity (video lessons) Statistical Reasoning, Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Lots of Quant courses at your own pace and own level on edX or Coursera (along with a bunch of other courses) Data Analysis/Statistics: Analysis %26 Statistics Economics/Finance: %26 Finance Math Essentials:
  3. Duke 2017

    There's a bunch of us coming for Public Policy, myself included. The Duke OffCampus resources page has been quite helpful, as well as current students from our program, including a map of transit accessible housing, and reviews from graduate students (although a few years old). Once we get Dukeids, you can also look for roommates on there. Other sources of information/assistance once we have ids will be the Graduate Student Survival Guide and the Duke Chronicle.
  4. 2017 Results Thread

    Honestly, I applied to Northeastern as a "backup" school. I was much more interested in other programs, but I really liked the fact that they had some good non-profit/social policy work, so I pretty much declined as soon as I got into another school with a decent aid package. Their tuition cost (and aid, although I didn't try to ask for more) is something to heavily consider. What area/work are you looking to go into? I did research on a bunch of schools in the area as I thought I would be staying in Massachusetts, but alas. If you message me I might be able to help you figure out some other programs.
  5. The (un)official Duke Sanford MPP Thread!

    I mailed my deposit yesterday as well, so I'll be heading there this fall. Congrats everyone (no matter where you go)! I know this decision requires alot of debating and thinking.
  6. 2017 Results Thread

    As promised.... Ultimate Decision & Why: When I first started this whole process, I was unquestionably sure I would end up going to Heller if I got in because I wanted to attend a program that had a super strong Social Policy program with my specific focus (Child & Family Policy). Much to my surprise, there was A LOT of back and forth between Brandeis Heller and Duke Sanford. I easily knocked off the schools that I applied to that weren’t a good fit (for many reasons) and didn’t give me enough funding to afford grad school. I also ended up negotiating a bit more money out of both Heller and Sanford ( I didn't try to with the other schools and took myself out of the running for one school's aid). In the end I decided to go with Sanford because I thought that their program was more out-right quantitatively rigorous than Brandeis (another important aspect for me, which was doable at Brandeis but it seemed that I would have to work for it), they have a diversity of coursework (something I valued more the further along I went in the decision making process) yet I am still able to focus on social policy, it is a bigger program yet still a good size, along with all of the personal life things (such as a my spouse and finances etc). Advice for Future Applicants: Breathe! Take it one step at a time. Allow your mind to change throughout this process. One thing I really cannot stress enough, do your research – both before you apply to a program and after you get in. I started doing my extensive comparison research and outreach as soon as all of my applications were in – and this really helped me narrow down my options and thoughts as admission results came in. In hindsight, I wish I had spent more time researching other programs (and found grad café earlier in the game), and not applying to some schools that weren’t a good fit for all of the things I was looking for (seriously don’t do this. It’s better to have fewer applications than waste time and money on a program you don’t want). When making your decision, be sure to talk to current students/alums/faculty (all three if you can!) and visit the school so that you can sit in on classes. It really changes your perspective on the program’s fit for you. Focus on what you want out of a program, and what is a good fit for you. Take advice from others and learn as much as you can, but in the end, tune everyone out and go with your gut and what works for you. Grad school decisions are a very personal process and everyone is looking to get something a little bit different out of it.
  7. MPP Brandeis - The Heller School

    I know this thread is a few years old - but as I am down to a decision-making point, I just wanted to see if anyone had thoughts on Heller's MPP. Once I make my decision, I'll try to post the info that I learned about Heller's MPP since it's not talked about in great detail here.
  8. The (un)official Duke Sanford MPP Thread!

    I was told the same thing re by the end of the day Friday from Jessica. I missed the chat tonight, but was going to ask what people's thoughts/experience are with potentially getting more funding after accepting and the deadline (say if others decline and then more funds become available). I think I am going to accept Sanford, but my other top choice upped my scholarship to where the difference is quite a bit so I'm a bit concerned about the whole financing situation.
  9. Michigan Ford 2017

    For those at Spring Preview this weekend, just a reminder to please give a recap when you get the chance for those who couldn't attend. Thanks!
  10. Michigan Ford 2017

    I unfortunately won't be able to attend the Spring Preview, and not sure how much of an option Ford is for me. However, I did manage to email with the person who called me, and who gave me some tremendous answers. So I wanted to share some of the information (without giving them or myself away) in case others find it helpful: Ford gives away a lot of money. Most people have a job working part-time on campus on initiatives or research programs that coincide with their policy interests. The Ford school hires graduate student instructors, tutors and graders for core classes (although most of these are 2nd year students. A GSI position pays a stipend as well as full tuition scholarship for the semester) and there are programs within Ford that hire students throughout the year for specific policy programs. There are also opportunities to work within other schools at UMich (suggested looking at Rackham and programs specific to your policy interests). If you already have a quant background, you should try to test out of the Calculus, Microeconomics A, and Statistics, this is difficult to do but not impossible. Ford offers a Math Camp during orientation week that you are encouraged to attend. Ford holds alot of workshops and events, which are well-attended and most often worth going to but can be a bit of a time suck (something most people don't think about when considering time management and course load with student groups etc.) It is strongly encouraged to join student groups.There are about 12-14 groups just within Ford that will be looking for new members in the fall and you have the option of how much time you want to give to them. "Once you've said yes to your acceptance letter, you'll begin to get links and info from students and admin about which classes to take (in and out of Ford) and which ones were the most helpful depending on topic. That's one thing I truly love about Ford, we are not competitive with each other and therefore everyone is trying to find ways to help their fellow classmates."
  11. Michigan Ford 2017

    Did anyone actually get the chance to talk to students last night during the calling night? I wasn't able to chat with the person who called me and was hoping people might share any information they got. Thanks in advance!
  12. It's been suggested by a few schools I applied to take a "refresher course" . These aren't courses that you can take if you need a graded course for final admission, but there are lots of options! Potential places: Principles of MicroEconomics, MIT opencourseware (archived course but includes exams & solutions) Principles of Economics, Stanford (archived course) Principles of Economics (MicroEconomics), George Mason University Professors via MRUniversity (video lessons) Statistical Reasoning, Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Lots of Quant courses at your own pace and own level on edX or Coursera (along with a bunch of other courses) Data Analysis/Statistics: Analysis %26 Statistics Economics/Finance: %26 Finance Math Essentials:
  13. Sanford (Duke) v. Goldman (Berkeley) MPP

    Woops looks like you did give away the school....But great to know about Sanford! I don't have much insight between the two programs as I didn't apply to Goldman - but I also suggest you pose these questions in each of this year's respective threads (and read through last years if they exist) if you haven't already. I know there are current students from both programs who are some-what active on here so they could help answer some of your questions.
  14. Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) Decision!

    You might get some more help if you post this in the Government Affairs section. My thoughts: If you're planning to work in K-12 public education policy areas after graduation, you really need to heavily consider the debt aspect when combined with a program that can support your interests and needs. Ideally you want to be able to balance both, without sacrificing one for the other. However, I probably wouldn't go anywhere that doesn't offer at least 50% funding based off your current offers because you (or anyone else planning to work in the public interest sector) are going to have a more difficult time paying off the debt. All of these are well-respected programs, but if I were you, based off your current funding situation and career path, I would say Duke is the best option. Though CMU gave you the most money, I don't know how well known they are for education policy as compared to Duke, UChicago or Michigan, but then again I don't know that much about CMU anyways (so take that as you will, and definitely ask around on that!). If CMU is well-respected on the educational/social side of things, then that is a no-brainer to me, and you should go to CMU. If you could get a decent amount more out of UChicago or UMichigan, they could also be very strong contenders. I hope this is helpful.
  15. Brandeis Heller Social Policy

    I applied for their master's of public policy, but I am pretty sure that some people (okay well 2) have already heard back on the PhD side in February around the same time as the Master's decisions came out. According to the results section on here anyways. And they apparently already had an admitted student's day on March 6th and another one coming up on March 20th. Might be worth it to call the admissions office...