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TheCrow

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TheCrow last won the day on August 9 2017

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  1. Some public schools without a doctoral program will have "assistantships" that will cover some/all of tuition. You are unlikely to find these at top schools with doctoral programs. A lot of how much you get has more to do with the school than with your stats - my understanding is that UChicago gives out a lot of aid compared to Columbia and NYU, for example. Out of state public schools are also much less likely to give large amounts of money, with some exceptions (like Michigan, which is mostly run on private funds). Depending on your interests, other schools you might consider that might also have a good amount of money include WashU and Case Western. Another thing to consider is your goals and your ability to get a good job now. For example, you might actually be financially better off for attending a part-time program while working a good full-time job (even if you have to pay full tuition), than you are going full time with scholarships. Of course, often you need the degree to get the job, but just something to think about.
  2. To clarify, I meant a PhD in a field other than social work. Going from a bachelor's degree to a PhD in social work is not really a thing in the US. There are also basically no MSW programs in the US with a thesis option, unlike Canada or other common wealth countries. I don't have much knowledge of these programs. However, I think it would be helpful to look into those options (and some are probably much cheaper than options in the US). The "typical route" seems dysfunctional to me and basically the cause of many of our current issues. In business, for example, most people do not get an MBA before getting a PhD becoming a tenure-track faculty member in business. The MBA is not intended for that purpose and does not provide training for that purpose (and is quite expensive). In social work, however, you need both. Basically no one who gets the master's degree is interested in research and the degree is not intended for that purpose. Virtually no one interested in the PhD in social work is really interested in the master's degree in social work, except to check that box. What it seems to me is that many of those who take the "typical route," have received the master's degree, work, get tired of the work (which does not reward them based on their own skills or abilities), and decide to go back for a PhD afterwards. I'm not sure that many people who go into a master's degree in social work thinking they'll want a PhD, and the few that do often know very little about what a PhD is or what the purpose of it is (other than they've heard "it's free" and would like the title of doctor). Then, when these students go back for a PhD, most lack significant research experience or training. So the PhD program pretends to teach them research methods and they pretend to learn them, which is also how many social science PhDs work.
  3. My own experience is that MSW programs in the US are not research oriented in the least, and there is very little time for you to do real research, since you are so busy with your field placements (which do not, at all, do research, even if they claim to do so). Classes are not research oriented and give you no time to do research, not to mention that faculty at top schools are often uninterested in master's students who want to do research. I think one big question to ask yourself is whether you need the MSW. There are options to get a PhD directly (which is intended to teach you to do research and is funded), rather than getting what is usually quite an expensive MSW that does not prepare you for research. Of course, the trade offs are that other master's or doctoral degrees may not lead directly to employment or licensure. If you do decide to get an MSW with the intention of doing research, you are going to have to advocate for yourself vigorously to have a radically different program of study than most students because your goals are different. This means pushing to do PhD courses in research design and methods (such as statistics and qualitative methods), because it is hard to be useful to faculty members are learn how to be a researcher without these skills. Asking to do a second year field placement as a research assistant to a faculty member. I published during my master's program and actually got a rather large research grant, but no one in my highly ranked program wanted to work with master's students (beyond having them basically do data entry as their research assistantships), and I had to work with a faculty member in the medical school. To be honest, however, I would not have been a position to get the grant or do the research if I had not had a quantitative undergrad and had not taken classes in other divisions of the University during my master's.
  4. TheCrow

    Macro Programs - Comparisons UChicago, UIUC, etc

    I am a UChicago alum and I disagree with listing an MSW behind your name if that's not the name of the degree you actually received (and we're not the only ones - Columbia and Case Western grant theirs as an MS). However, you will be eligible for licensure, and that will make it clear to people inside and outside the discipline. It seems extremely ridiculous to me that in many states one would be something like CashewGuy, MSW, LMSW. We get it. You have a master's degree in social work, and you're licensed. One thing I would also caution people on is to think about what their goals are. Chicago is a politics city, not a policy city, for example. If you want to work to impact change in the city after graduation, I'm not sure policy skills or degree prestige are actually valued as much as people think. But if you want to do policy at the federal level, which is where a lot of the policy work really is, prestige really helps. Also, there are a lot of federal agencies in Chicago, and I was able to work at one for both years of my time at SSA (and I work at one now that I've graduated). It's a difficult trade off because there's often not a clear choice. It doesn't make sense for someone who wants to be a therapist to go 100k in debt for an MSW. But prestige may be important in certain career paths, particularly policy. But you're going to need to aim for a certain subset of jobs to justify the cost. I will also warn you that my experience was that the UChicago name opens doors, but the SSA degree does not necessarily teach you what you need to get a particular policy/administrative job or to do it well. You have to make sure you're in the driver's seat of your own career path, rather than just sort of showing up and hoping someone hires you afterwards. I think this is grad school in generally, but it's especially true for fields where the labor market isn't as directly organized as something like nursing or computer science. Some advice I heard about the JD/MSW is that you're either going to be hired as a lawyer or as a social worker, but not as both at the same time. And unfortunately, the law path requires a lot more debt (and is much more prestige obsessed) than social work. Law school admissions is also basically 100% your LSAT and undergraduate GPA, and nothing else. Going to a top 10-14 law school is really difficult and expensive, but is one of the clearest paths to well-paid policy work with real impact. If you're not able to get into one of those programs, you're almost definitely better off going to a night or weekend JD while working full-time. And unless you actually plan on practicing law, you're probably better off getting a different degree from a higher status school if you want to get into policy. Just my two cents.
  5. TheCrow

    Would you go to a non-accredited program?

    Do you mean it's not regionally accredited, or it's not CSWE accredited?
  6. TheCrow

    USC DSW

    Doctor of Social Work
  7. TheCrow

    USC DSW

    Was anyone else admitted to USC's DSW program?
  8. TheCrow

    UChicago vs. NYU vs. Columbia

    I would think about where you want to work after graduation, since social work students seem more likely to stay in the region of their graduate school than other grad students. Ironically, the Dean of UChicago's SSA just left to become Dean of NYU's School of Social Work.
  9. I haven't attended either institution, but what I've heard is that NYU and Columbia bury their MSWs in debt. There are no or very few graduate assistantships/fellowships at these schools that will pay all or even half of the tuition like are often available at regional public schools that don't have doctoral programs.
  10. TheCrow

    Help! Question about SSA Program at the U of Chicago

    I'm a recent alum who did the social administration path. The degree got me a great job I definitely would not have had otherwise and got me access to amazing resources at the university, none of which had anything to do with SSA itself. To be fair, others I've talked to (such as a colleague with a PhD who returned to another of the US news top 3 for an MSW), these problems seem to be common across MSW programs. In other words, I'm not sure to what extent issues at SSA are unique to SSA or could be avoided by going to other MSW programs. To give another example, at admitted students day at UNC, the PhD student they put in charge of the macro presentation could not describe what macro was at all. And several of the other admitted students had a lively discussion on what they saw as the underappreciated magical properties of healing crystals. Even outside of social work, many graduate programs are shocking ineffective and full of BS. My advice is to be pragmatic about what you want and what degree will help you get there. Part of that is the signaling (what does the degree mean to potential employers in your intended field) and part of it is substance (about half of which is coursework, and about half of which is field placement).
  11. TheCrow

    Merit Aid for MSW Programs

    FAFSA is for government aid. Generally speaking, there is no grant-based need/scholarships from the government for graduate school. I would think about your professional goals. 55k/year is more than most social workers make. By returning for a full-time program, you're not likely to end the program with a job that pays substantially more. Also, not only do you have to pay for the MSW program, but you're actually giving up 110k+ in wages you could be making, experience you could be gaining, not to mention retirement contributions/social security contributions. I think some of the schools that give the most merit aid are Case Western, UChicago, UMich, and WashU. If your current job will work with your on field placements, I would consider looking at USC or Columbia's online MSWs. Even with paying tuition to these programs, the total "cost" to you (including the $110k you could have made, health insurance would have to pay in a full-time program) is probably less than even getting a full-ride to a full-time program.
  12. TheCrow

    Grad School & Full Time Job - is it possible?

    I don't think the previous post takes into account the required field placement for an MSW. I don't think it's possible to work full-time for an MSW and attend full-time, although you may work full-time and attend an MSW program part-time.
  13. TheCrow

    transfer?

    I'm assuming the OP is referring to transferring master's programs, which is very different than transferring PhD programs. Social work and law are probably two of the few graduate programs where there is a set transfer process. Only one person I knew at my master's program transferred. The big issues seem to be 1. Social work programs generally are not as diverse or anti-oppressive as many expect. This was a common issue at my program (UChicago). 2. Hiring, outside, of clinical, has basically nothing to do with what you learned during the master's program, and school name may be more important than learning anything, and 3. Other master's programs are unlikely to offer much (if any) financial support to transfer students.
  14. There are probably not many alternative placements that would allow you to keep working full time. I would think about what your goals are here - pragmatically, you probably just want to finish the degree. Just make sure that you can get your supervisor to articulate some goals that will be used to assess you (or is just going to check off that you're doing fine).
  15. TheCrow

    Last Year - When do I start applying for jobs?

    It also depends on where you're applying, and what level of position you're applying for. Government positions may have a very different timeline than nonprofits. More senior position (like if you went back for a degree after a lot of experience) may have a longer hiring time than entry level positions.
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