Long-time lurker as well. I have benefited so much from reading these posts and your advices. Honestly it's so nice to know I'm not the only one in this process. I have ran into a bit of a situation and I would love some advice.
Background: international student. MPH from Top 5, 2.5 years working, no publication, research experience primarily doing lit reviews and collecting raw data (which is a nice way of saying I have zero research experience)
Accepted to a small Midwest PhD program without funding. Emailed faculty advisor regarding this last week but still haven't heard back.
Rejected by Columbia PhD but offered spot in MS in public health with no funding.
Please help! I honestly don't know which one to choose.
On the one hand, Columbia program is an one-year program and would give me more research exposure and has a better rep? On the other, I don't want another round of repeated education in public health and NYC is expensive!
As for the PhD program, there is possibility of obtaining funding after first year (yes I'm that optimistic person). But the faculty advisor has been radio silent and I don't know if that's a bad sign.