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  1. So I actually dont think an MPA would hurt you that much for a PHD. From networking and looking at placement rates many schools do want a masters degree before your PHD. Although this doesnt apply as much for political science, I have noticed that it certainly does seem to apply for most of the public policy and public administration phds and to some extent for the more international studies phd programs, like Tufts, John Hopkins, University of Washington, and Pittsburgh. I would look at schools where you would like to do a PHD at and browse through the profiles of current PHD students and class profiles to get a sense of academic and professional background. In my experience, I would say many have masters degrees and in a diverse number of fields from history, sociology, to poli sci, international studies, and public administration/ public policy. Theres two ways to think about the masters before PHD route. One is that If you are dead set on a phd program it doesnt make sense to do a masters before a phd because you are basically going to have to do some of the masters stuff again and the cost of a good masters program can be relatively high. The second is that if you dont feel competitive for a good phd program, a masters can boost your academic credentials and allow you more flexibility to go straight into a career before a phd. When I went on masters visits there were a surprising amount of people deciding between top 15 foreign affairs masters programs and top 40 to 50 PHD programs, attempting to decide if the future prospects of getting into a higher ranked program were worth it. Based on my research it is certainly true that more highly ranked programs tend to place better for tenure track jobs, yet I have known many astounding professors who did not go to marquee programs yet landed great jobs because they were good at research and teaching. Ultimately, I think that if you put in the effort, get on research projects, and get published and find professors willing to help you that it may not matter where you go as long as you take advantage of the opportunities afforded by each school. Neither place is cheap to live, also USC is surrounded by a less nice part of LA and the traffic is notoriously bad but it's still So Cal. Best of luck!
  2. Congrats on getting accepted to both schools, both are fantastic and well regarded. In terms of an NYU MA in IR vs a MPA from USC, it sounds like you are set on USC and the MPA. USC probably does place a fair amount of its students in international and multilateral organizations, but NYU's reputation and location give it a big advantage in placement in that area over USC. I am not sure that it matters that much for a PHD where you go to get your masters, although you should keep in mind that an MA in IR is traditionally considered a more natural fit for a PHD program in international studies than an MPA. Personally, I am in a similar boat having completed a certificate in an MPA program and I am moving into an IR MA program in the Fall and thinking about a PHD. Have you thought about PHDs in political science or Public Administration/Public Policy? There is only a small number of international studies PHD programs and they have alot of crossover with Political Science and PA/PP programs. Looking at IR vs Public Administration Masters and their placement rates I would say that your degree matters much less than the networking and the skills you develop in the program as well as how flexible the individual programs are in allowing you to take a broad number of practical courses. I would look at each programs job placement, both in specific fields and for a PHD to see which program placed students and where. I dont think you can go wrong but USC isnt known as an IR school so you may struggle a little in getting jobs and internships in international organizations. This is just my relatively unqualified opinion and I think you should try to reach out to people at both schools and do your homework. Best of luck!
  3. Congrats on getting into NYU for public administration which is a fantastic school and a fantastic program. A starting salary of around $74,000 for a graduate MPA, with perhaps the exception of Harvard HKs or Yale, is a very good starting salary. The only problem is that $74,000 is worth far less in NYC than in many other places in the U.S. and therefore the starting salary may be deceiving if you correct/control for living costs. In regards to getting a job in NYC in city government, you would probably have to network very hard to get a job, especially if you dont have dual French -U.S. citizenship and therefore need a Visa or resident status to stay in the U.S. A problem that many foreign nationals have when they go abroad for graduate school. How does a graduate degree from NYU look to employers in France? If something doesnt work out and for some reason you have to move back to France before your 2 to 5 year post graduation plan is implemented I would want to be reasonably sure that the NYU degree would be well received in France. Especially with 60,000 in debt. That's just my very limited two cents, and best of luck with your studies and career goals!
  4. They are both great schools and considered top 10 in the world for IR and Public policy. WWS is considered to be better than SIPA at least in most of the rankings I have seen ,foreign policy rankings ect.. I think it depends on what you want to do. I think that WWS offers a little more flexibility in terms of a PHD, public sector, and potentially consulting if that route appeals to you. SIPA might be better for specific jobs, like the UN, because it's in New York. SIPA I believe has a bigger masters program, if masters is the program you are in. This means more opportunity to network with students and obviously more to do in New York. Congrats on getting in two of the best programs in the world, you really cant go wrong with either. If it was me, I would pick WWWs, because it has greater prestige, slightly more connections, more financial aid, and the chance to study IR or Public policy at one of the most renowned and selective institutes on the world. Best of luck!!!
  5. Full Disclaimer I'm in a totally unrelated field for graduate studies although I did my undergraduate at CU Boulder and I know plenty of people who were in Computer Science, Engineering, and Applied Math. Everyone I know who graduated from Boulder in those degrees did very well for themselves and got very good jobs. Are you going back to India or trying to stay in the U.S. after the program? I would think CU might have a slightly more well known brand name in these fields abroad because it is well known for its STEM programs but I am not sure. CU is close to both Boulder obviously and Denver that are both full of tech companies and startups that will hire CU grads. I'm not sure about ASU, but overall it is considered less prestigious than CU, not sure about CS though. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about Boulder.
  6. Is the masters at Columbia fully funded? If not its still alot of money to justify and theres no guarantee that it would lead to a better phd program. What about research interests, which school has more professors aligned with what you want to study? Its a tough call. There was a paper/article in 2012 that basically said that half of all tenure track political science professors come from elite institutions (see link below). While the article didn't include Columbia, I would think Columbia PHDs would be part of that elite group of institutions. I guess I would try to determine where Columbia MAs go for their PHD and if they placed predominantly at these elite institutions that produce more tenure track positions. Link to article-http://gppreview.com/2012/12/03/superpowers-the-american-academic-elite/
  7. Thanks for the advice, I choose the more flexible Masters of International Studies at DU over the International Security degree because I already have a grad certificate in national security and intelligence plus a intelligence studies conference presentation, albeit not from a top school. If you do choose Pitt, definitely get on one of the FBI working groups as soon as possible fall semester. You basically do a student led project doing research for the FBI field office in Pittsburgh. It is arguably Pittsburghs greatest strength and has some great practical research skills involved. Best of luck at whatever school you choose. I really liked AUs programs but I was unsure about entering the DC rat race and financial aid opportunities. Best of luck on political risk. It's been one of my career aspirations since as an undergraduate business major I was dumbfounded at how political risk considerations played no part in business case studies in developing countries. Let me know what you choose, I'll probably post my decision by tomorrow.
  8. I ruled out UCSD because it didnt quite fit with my interests. I was able to negotiate with DU for more $ and I got tuiton down to around 50%. Basically Pitt would be 20k less than DU when it comes down to it but I liked the flexibility and the fact that you take more classes at DU than Pitt.While political risk or consulting would be a top job prospect for me, I'm not sure if Pitt or DU are great choices for this. I made it to the open house and liked many of the students although they didn't have as much experience as the admitted students I saw at UCSD. Security studies is more of my passion and academic background but I'm not sure how far that goes if you dont want a federal government job. If you have any thoughts on how to get into political risk stuff I would definitely like to hear your thinking. It sounds like your thinking AU, but best of luck and maybe I will see you at Pitt.
  9. Thanks for the reply, I was accepted to GSPIA's security and intelligence program, which is where my academic interests lie but I am not as sure about working in the IC or law enforcement, so I want to keep my options open. I was leaning towards Pitt, but I was able to renegotiate with DU for about half of tuiton off, which makes the decision extremely hard. Pitt would essentially be no debt while DU would be around 20k in loans, which isnt bad at all.
  10. I'm deciding between DU Korbel Master in International Studies and Pitt GSPIA. While Korbel gave me 15k a year, Pitt gave me 28k a year, almost a full ride, and the cost of attending Pitt would be around 45k cheaper than DU. While DU is my dream program Pitts offer is compelling me to lean that way. I originally wanted to do government work, but now I think I am leaning towards think tank, NGO, private sector, and eventually a PHD. Any advice on programs and job outcomes is welecome.
  11. HBLB


    Yeah not sure why Evan's isnt as well known as UCSD GPS, although I know it's still a great program and an ASPIA member. My biggest problem with UCSD was that research opportunities, either with research centers or professors, seemed relatively rare and with a major quantitative focus. Meaning that you had to complete the initial quant and econ classes until professors would even consider you for research. For someone who wants research opportunities as a resume builder, and a little bit of money to help with tuiton, that was big problem. Students also made it clear that the amount of classes and the quant difficulty, made it very hard for part time work, for internships,research opportunities, and extracurricular activities. While I didnt go to grad school for extracurricular stuff, I at least want to have a little fun. Hard to take advantage of San Diego if I'm crunching numbers all day. Still, both programs are great and you probably cant go wrong with either. Hope that helps, that's just my slightly informed opinion.
  12. HBLB


    I just went to UCSD's admitted student day for mpp. For think tank, I would most definitely choose UCSD. It has a better international reputation, and a superb asian and latin american focus. I do think that it probably has better DC connections for think tank jobs, if that is where you want to work. It probably doesnt matter as much for NGOs and I would try to find program specific data on each program to compare. I was very impressed with both the prospective students and the current students at admitted student day. Although the school itself is somewhat large (around 200 students), the mpp program is only around 65 studentsand thus you may get to know your fellow mpps very well. Especially when you consider that regional and degree specializations may only have around a dozen student in each one. The students overall, were very impressive and the majority had 2 or 3 years of relevant work experience. One of the strongest aspects of the program was the strength of your fellow mpp students academically and practically, at least from my limited mpp student day perspective. If you want the quantitative aspect of policy UCSD is tops, and they definitely ensure that you know numbers. Hope that helps!
  13. Tough decision but John Hopkins without funding is extremely expensive. I would also have looked at UW or UCSD for their asian studies programs but UCSD is very quant heavy, and both may not be the best choices for PHD programs. Like Darwinian 192 points out european masters degrees may not necessarily hurt US PHD chances but may not help as much as a US masters. I think it may also depend on the prestige and quality of your US undergraduate education. I dont think you can go wrong with any of these options, but if Tufts is considerably cheaper than John Hopkins, thats the one I would choose. It is almost as prestigious and would still set you up nicely for international jobs or a PHD.
  14. Im going to also agree with Neo Institutionalist and Dwar, while both Columbia and Chicago are fantastic schools those programs are designed specifically as PHD placement programs. While they certainly wouldn't hurt for law school, the fact that you got into those programs makes me think you could probably get into a very good law school (in U.S. yes, not sure about U.K.). If you are dead set on a masters degree I would either apply or attempt to transfer into the policy/IR masters programs at both UChicago and Columbia. They are both top ten in the world and would set you up for lots of jobs such as NGO, policy/gov, multi national organizations like the UN or EU, and PHD or law school in the future. Creating valuable experience/practical skills you can put on your resume and allow you to network and build experience far more than just a theoretical program. Columbia's masters programs are through the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) link-https://sipa.columbia.edu. While University of Chicago's is through the Harris School as a masters of public policy and international relations link-https://harris.uchicago.edu/academics/programs-degrees/degrees/ma-public-policy-and-international-relations-mama. Just my two cents, why get a theoretical masters when you can get an equally prestigious policy oriented one that can give you a more practical skill set, a far better chance at a job, and not hurt you for law school applications?
  15. HBLB

    Munk School or LSE?

    I think thats a tough choice. The way I see it, the decision is basically prestige (LSE) vs local connections (U Toronto). While U Toronto may be one of the best IR schools in Canada it simply cannot beat LSE in terms of world wide reputation as (Foreign policy magazine ranked LSE master programs 8th in the world and U Toronto 44th according to scholars in the field). If you only want to work in policy in Canada I would say its a toss up, simply because U Toronto has the local connections. You also have an american style 2 year IR/policy education at Toronto and more time for internships and more skill building courses. If you want more options, such as international NGOs, the UN, EU, consulting firms, or eventually a PHD, LSE is a better choice. If you are dead set on going back to Canada, keep in mind that it may take you a little longer to get a job with an LSE degree, but LSE is a hard opportunity to pass up! Hope that helps.

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