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About MasterPublicPolicy

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  • Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Master of Public Policy

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  1. True -- "safety" in the context of PhD admissions doesn't really exist. My advice: don't think of PhD admissions in the way you think of Masters or undergraduate admissions. Think of it as being more similar to applying to a job -- your "stats" certainly matter (GRE, GPA, transcript, etc.), but it's only a small piece of the puzzle. Just like with a job application, you definitely need to meet the minimum qualifications (and, for most PhD programs, it appears you already do). But once the minimums are met, the PhD process gets much more vague -- it moves into the realm of "fit." You'll me
  2. 100% agree with this. Having recently finished my MPA, I can say for certain that those of us who got jobs at graduation had some prior work experience. Many of the students who went straight from undergrad to grad seemed to leave grad school with no better employment prospect than when they entered. The degree may be a qualification to get a foot in the door to a job, but it alone isn't going to land you an offer.
  3. Also, since you did undergrad at Berkeley, you probably have a good chance of feeling out the program for yourself! Contact some professors and so on, and get a sense of the program's quant demands.
  4. I second the CMU recommendation. Definitely very data-driven. Probably the best you can find. Another good recommendation is UC Berkeley Goldman. Not as explicitly data-focused as CMU, but still a quant-heavy curriculum.
  5. Totally agreed here. I would also say that since GradCafes, like you said, are among the most prepared to begin with, they probably have friends and so on who have applied to much more competitive programs -- law, business, med school. I think that makes them misjudge how competitive MPP and MPA programs really are. They think they're comparable to MBAs and JDs, when really that's not entirely true, at least not from an admissions standpoint. So, yes, breathe!
  6. You're welcome! My job search was fine -- I had a job before I even graduated! Granted, I don't work in a field where anyone would even think of having an MSW. I work in urban planning, so I can't see an MSW/MPA overlap being very common. Maybe in a human services agency it would be, though. I've heard the MBA thing as well. It's probably somewhat valid -- an MBA DOES give you more technical and marketable skills. But here's the catch -- it's a much more expensive degree, and many fewer people work in something like a nonprofit, especially one geared towards poverty alleviatio
  7. Scary stuff. At any rate, taking out a gargantuan amount of debt in the hope that it will be forgiven later probably isn't something I'd recommend anyway. That said, this is potentially devastating if people who had expected this benefit aren't grandfathered in.
  8. Totally not a stupid question. Having just graduated from an MPA program, I can say that people underestimate how "political" admissions to these programs can often be. Sometimes, students really do get in simply because they made the right connections at the right time. Obviously a certain bare minimum amount of qualification is still required -- but you have much more than just a bare minimum (that GRE score is really good for MPP/MPA programs). There were so many students in my program who had been around the area for a while, gotten to know an admissions committee person, and seemed to hav
  9. Not so much a response about your competitiveness, but have you considered Cornell CIPA? It sounds like that would give you the flexibility you want in terms of quant..
  10. First, I can speak more to MPA's than MSWs, and I agree with TheCrow's comment -- what are your goals? If your goals are to manage a government agency and/or evaluate public policy surrounding justice reform, poverty, or something similarly related to social work, then I think an MPA will do you just fine. You'll gain the credible skills to do these kind of things. I'm not an MSW person (I have an MPA), but my understanding of an MSW -- irrespective of the concentration -- is that the degree is ultimately focused on direct service as a social worker. So, even if some people with MSW'
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