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  1. I'll be completing my Masters in Public Policy by next spring, and am thinking about programs to pursue after that (I applied to a joint degree in sociology and social policy this past cycle and was waitlisted/ultimately rejected). I will likely apply to the sociology program again, but am wondering if having a PhD in social policy, on top of the MPP, is a good option to consider. For background - I'm looking to a career in academic, as a professor, focusing on research surrounding education policy reform. I've enjoyed taking a sociological angle at studying this work thus far (I'm published and continue to do research in this space outside of my full-time job/school). However, I recognize that I could approach grad school in various ways in order to get to this goal - one of which may be considering a social policy PhD. My question is, would this be redundant after the MPP? The university I'm currently at (Brandeis) has a very strong social policy program; however, there's overlap in my MPP courses and PhD courses (maybe 5 of those I've taken so far are also doctoral core or elective classes). A second question - what types of other PhD programs should I consider applying to? For example, I'm now wondering if an Ed.D or PhD in education could be good options. I'd love any suggestions or insight into this, thanks so much in advance!
  2. I'll be completing my Masters in Public Policy by next spring, and am thinking about programs to pursue after that (I applied to a joint degree in sociology and social policy this past cycle and was waitlisted/ultimately rejected). I will likely apply to the sociology program again, but am wondering if having a PhD in social policy, on top of the MPP, is a good option to consider. For background - I'm looking to a career in academic, as a professor, focusing on research surrounding education policy reform. I've enjoyed taking a sociological angle at studying this work thus far (I'm published and continue to do research in this space outside of my full-time job/school). However, I recognize that I could approach grad school in various ways in order to get to this goal - one of which may be considering a social policy PhD. My question is, would this be redundant after the MPP? The university I'm currently at (Brandeis) has a very strong social policy program; however, there's overlap in my MPP courses and PhD courses (maybe 5 of those I've taken so far are also doctoral core or elective classes). A second question - what types of other PhD programs should I consider applying to? For example, I'm now wondering if an Ed.D or PhD in education could be good options. I'd love any suggestions or insight into this, thanks so much in advance!
  3. Hello! So I am trying to decide between these two programs. The funding is pretty similar (a bit higher for Chicago). I am planning on applying to a PhD in Econ (or related field) after the MPP so I want a school that would help me achieve those goals. I was wondering if you guys could give me your opinion/insight. I also got accepted into Georgetown ($), UMich (no funding), and UCSD (no funding, but I would get in-state tuition since I am from CA) if you guys have any opinions on that as well. Any advice/comment is appreciated, thank you!!!!
  4. I was offered a graduate assistantship for my first year as a MPP student at UMD - College Park. I was wondering if any students who also were offered that and went could share any information on how common it is to recieve it the second year as well. I emailed and called the admissions for the school of Public Policy but no response, so I appreciate any help I can get! I can't afford to go a second year without that aid so it makes a big difference...
  5. I just heard back from 3 of 4 schools I applied to but am having a hard time grappling with the pros/cons of each program. I got into Georgetown McCourt, Duke Sanford, and Harvard Graduate School of Education (Education Policy Focus). McCourt is the only one that has updated their information about financial aid, which was a substantial amount, more than I would expect from the other two. Could someone break down the pros/cons of each program, especially as they pertain to my interest in Education Policy?
  6. Hello! Since we are close to the decision timeline (March 22, 2022), anyone heard back on MPP, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford?
  7. Waiting on decisions and figured I'd use the time to gather more info. Can you help me evaluate the pros & cons of each program as they pertain to my interests? Applied: USC-Price MPA, UT Austin-LBJ MPAff (both DC and Austin programs), NYU-Wagner MPA, UW-Evans MPA, Brandeis-Heller MPP/Social Impact MBA dual degree, Georgetown-McCourt MPP I'm looking for programs with a strong foundation in: nonprofit management, public management, policy & data analysis, program evaluation, policy writing, fundraising, philanthropy. Strong connections to philanthropy and state/local govt in my cities of interest (see below) Experiential learning opportunities: fellowships/internships/research in philanthropy, nonprofit capacity-building, Professors who have social justice & anti-racist values, critiques of structural inequality & imperialism, etc Professional goals: philanthropy, nonprofit capacity-building, state/local government-level grantmaking, policy advocacy, or international development Supplementary interests: community-based participatory research, participatory policymaking, participatory grantmaking and budgeting, philanthropic/nonprofit policy, urban planning, land use, health equity, tax policy, China affairs Cities I'm interested in working in: LA, San Francisco, New York, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Seattle (currently residing) About me: 3 years out of undergrad (3.0 GPA in political science at top public university) GRE: 152Q / 157 V / 4.5 AW Work experience --- temped 1 year in diversity recruiting at top STEM company; 2-3 years contracting in public administration at local City government involved in local community foundation, local politics, and grassroots community organizing Thanks for any insights you can provide!
  8. Hello, has anyone heard back from Sciences Po yet?
  9. Hi all, would really appreciate some input on both a profile evaluation and advice on whether to pursue a (second) master's, or a PhD. Motivation: I'm a lifelong learner - have always enjoyed my time in education and just learning - and deeply driven to pursuing careers that can shape policy or drive some sort of greater systemic change and public good. Whilst I don't really have an intention to stay in academia or go into teaching, I feel like there's still so much I could gain from having a more robust theoretical foundation in politics and theory, to be able to analyse and grasp policy (as well as human rights/IR issues) with more nuance and depth. In terms of careers, I'd love to end up in public policy, government, non-profits, or perhaps Think Tanks or related research. Basically, I'd love to learn the subject at a higher level than I currently have and I think I could do well and really grow as a person and researcher, but at the same time, I don't foresee a life in teaching or academia for myself, as I don't think that's where I can make the greatest impact. I'm in my mid-20s, and feel like if I want to do a PhD (or a second Master's) then now is really the time, as I think I'd be able to easily make the mind-set shift back into academia. Profile: Undergrad Institution: University College London (UCL), First-Class Honours Majors: Focussed on politics, legal studies, and Italian language primarily, whilst taking classes on Qualitative Thinking, Quantitative Methods, and Interdisciplinary Research Methods. GPA: First-Class Honours as well as a year abroad at UC Berkeley where I had a 4.0 GPA. Master's degree: MPhil in IR & Politics from University of Cambridge (awarded with a high Merit, 2 marks off a distinction). Work experience: Around 3 years professional experience. Most notable roles include Coordinator for Special Projects at a private not-for-profit University in the UK, a Fellow with an International Human Rights Programme (philanthropy related) and I'm now moving onto a role as an Analyst with a socially-minded consulting company. Languages: Italian (intermediate although I have an 'A' in 'Advanced Italian') and Farsi (relatively strong, terrible writing skills) Recommendation Letters: I had a really strong relationship with a UC Berkeley professor (took 2 classes, strong marks, and frequently went to office hours) who I might reach out to, as well as my MPhil Supervisor. Unsure on the third. Research Interests: A mixed bag. My background is in international politics (primarily in the Middle East), but I'm also interested in authoritarianism, labour activism, and human rights. Programs considering: PhDs - Political Science, mostly UC Berkeley Political Science or even possibly Jurisprudence and Social Policy Harvard Government NYU Politics (particularly tempting for the 1-year Master's waiver) Yale Master's Princeton MPA UC Berkeley MPP Harvard MPP I spent a wonderful year at Berkeley, loved the professors and the atmosphere, and know they have a really strong bent towards more social causes. Harvard and Yale are also tempting because of the Carr Center and Schell Center respectively. NYU offers the 1-year waiver for Master's degrees, which is also really appealing. I think I'd love an MPP or MPA - I'm a practical people-person (despite my love of academia) and want to be able to build my professional skills too. I love the whole course structure of the MPP (or MPA) and think I'd learn so much. But funding is a massive issue, especially as an international student, hence why Princeton is top of the list. I know these are massively competitive programs and institutions - as an international student, I think global reputation/brand is unfortunately quite important to me, as is the location. Really happy to consider alternatives though. I've also paid some thought to Columbia, or Chicago. TL;DR: Torn between pursuing a very expensive but fulfilling second Master's degree, or a rewarding but lengthy PhD that might not be hugely helpful to my career. Advice and profile eval would be really helpful please, and happy to add/clarify anything!
  10. I am looking to apply to MPP programs this fall to enroll in Fall 2022. I’m coming across a lot of these hybrid MPP-DA programs (Heinz, Wagner, McCourt, Harris, etc.). Hoping to do policy analysis and research in the nonprofit or government sectors after getting my degree. I know I want to use an MPP program to strengthen my quant skills to prepare me for these types of positions, but I don’t think I want to end up in a pure data science/analytics role. My question is would the traditional programs provide enough quant training or should I be seriously considering the hybrid programs? Any other thoughts on the differences between two types of programs would be greatly appreciated as well.
  11. I'm applying to MPP programs this fall. I've started trying to look for any non-loan funding options that I could apply for to help me pay for school and haven't really found anything yet. Am I wasting my time searching for other scholarships or am I just not looking in the right place?
  12. For all those applying to Harvard Kennedy School's Masters of Public Policy(MPP) program. Let us get our conversations going!
  13. Hi all! I could really use your help here. I was luckily admitted to these 3 programs, but im really torn onto which one will be a better fit for my interests. The right MPP would help me get trained on social impact and advanced quantitative skills of course; but specially for a behavioral science career from a public policy point of view( eg : nudge units, behavioral architects, Ideas42, worldbank's eMBeD , etc.) I care mostly about the public policy skills, but i would be so happy to find a match of both interests. Important info: International student, tuition will be sponsored by my current employer, love meeting new people/friends. THANKYOU so much in advance. PS: I know HKS is the best fit for all of this, but didnt get in
  14. Hello to the Grad Cafe community! I have been reading through lots of posts here over the past few weeks and decided to write one of my own to get some advice on a slight dilemma I am facing. To provide some background, I have been out of undergrad for about two years serving at a Federal financial regulatory agency. I am committed to the work I do and am hoping to gain some additional experience needed to move into the policymaking aspect of the area I am in, so I applied to several master's programs in public policy for the upcoming semester. After receiving all my decisions, it turns out that my choice of where to pursue my degree may be a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. I do apologize for asking a question on which similar posts have been made in the past, but I was hoping to get some more current feedback from the community for my specific circumstances. In summary, I was lucky enough to be accepted two weeks ago with full-tuition funding to the MPA program at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), which had been my top choice from the start. Another offer I had in the running was the MAIR program at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) for approximately half-tuition funding, but I felt the cost difference was great enough to make SPIA the clear winner. Last week, however, I was utterly shocked to be accepted with full-tuition funding to the MPP program at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Though I had been set on SPIA at that point, I felt I could not simply ignore this new offer. So, that puts me in the fortunate position to be deciding between SPIA and HKS. After weighing the pros and cons of each program, I believe I have boiled down the differences between the two options to the following: Cost - SPIA is offering me full tuition (as they do all students), plus a generous $30k/year living stipend, while Harvard has offered me "only" full tuition with no stipend, which leaves me to cover living costs. While I have been saving aggressively and would likely be able to cover these expenses without taking on debt, a $60k difference over two years remains substantial. Moreover, the cost of living in Princeton is certainly lower than in Cambridge, and SPIA offers additional benefits like guaranteed graduate housing, funding for unpaid internships, and reimbursement for travel to career events, so the total difference would likely be greater. Size - SPIA is a much smaller program than HKS (~70 students for the MPA vs. ~200 for the MPP). On the one hand, this makes SPIA a more intimate learning environment where I will get to know my cohort very well and have many opportunities for interaction with professors and speakers. On the other hand, it means that there are possibly fewer opportunities and choices than at HKS, where there are likely more classes to choose from, more clubs, and more events. The SPIA alumni network is also substantially smaller when considering future networking opportunities, but I did speak to a recent SPIA alumni who said the network is very strong and was able to land him his post-graduation job. Focus - SPIA is a small, focused program geared heavily toward public service and policy. HKS, though also committed to service and the "public good," appears to be broader in scope and caters to a wider range of interests. For example, when looking at recent job placements, HKS graduates ended up in a broader variety of jobs, including many in the private sector. Neither of these are necessarily good or bad, and in fact students in both programs appear to place very well after graduation, but it is something to bear in mind. I am fairly certain I want to end up in a policy-related public sector role after graduation, or I would not have applied to SPIA, but I am also aware of the oft-repeated cliché of going into grad school with one goal and leaving with another. HKS would simply provide me more degrees of freedom if that ends up being the case for me. So, that leaves me to decide whether the size and focus considerations discussed above weigh in HKS's favor or not. If not, then SPIA is the winner. But if they do, then the next question is whether they weigh in its favor by at least $60k+. If not, then SPIA again. Another consideration is that while SPIA is arguably one of the top public affairs schools in the world, I am aware that the Harvard "brand" can be a powerful asset (not to say HKS is not also a top school!). But, I do not believe that brand should be worth $60k by itself, especially in the public policy space, where I would assume that most employers would be equally familiar with SPIA, and where SPIA alumni are abundant. I feel extremely grateful to be presented with such amazing opportunities, and I realize how lucky I am to be facing this "problem." Regardless, I hope some of you may be able to offer some words of wisdom that may help me as I make this decision. Thank you, and good luck to you all in your own graduate school endeavors!
  15. Hi all, As some of you may know the UPenn Fels program received a complete makeover during the past two years and began admitting new students for fall 2020 after a hiatus last year. I am really looking for those with knowledge to provide insight on how the program has changed and information on how the program is looked upon in the MPA/MPP community. There seems to be very little information about the new program and previous quality insights are from old posts in 2012/2013. Thanks in ahead.
  16. Has anyone heard anything yet? I got an email today saying to mark the date for the admitted students weekend but I haven't received an acceptance letter or anything. Did this go to everyone?
  17. Hi guys, I figured these decisions would be coming out soon and that we might want to start a thread. Anybody have news yet? I haven't heard anything since they emailed me Feb 16th saying my application was officially under review and they'd get back to me in 4-6 weeks (currently in week 3).
  18. Hello, Has anyone applied to HKS many times and got dinged? What should I do? I was admitted to MPA/MPP at other Ivies and other programs at Harvard (GSD and GSE). Since HKS is my dream school, I decided not to attend any program. Any advice would be appreciated!
  19. Hi all, I recently got accepted to a few programs and wanted to hear any thoughts folks might have. I got accepted to NYU's 1-year MSPP, Carnegie Mellon's 2-year MSPPM-Data Analytics track, and Indiana University's 2-year MPA program. Currently, NYU is most expensive (only got 15% funding), CM is less expensive (got 50% funding), and Indiana is the cheapest (I got 40% funding but the program is very cheap). I'd like a career in public policy analysis and want to invest in data analytics skills that I've been working on in my professional experiences since graduating college. My thought is that Carnegie Mellon makes the most sense, not being too expensive but still being very rigorous. But, the NYU program only comes out to $25k more than the Carnegie Mellon program, and the NYU program is a year shorter, so I would theoretically have an extra year to work, and if I get a job that pays above $25k/yr (with a master's, I hope I would!!), then NYU would make more sense financially. This all feels weird and maybe I should just go to the cheapest program and not have to worry about finding the best possible job afterwords. IU seems a little less rigorous re: policy/data analysis. The NYU program is by far my favorite, but it feels risky going to the most expensive program on the off chance I can't find good employment afterwords. Anyone else have thoughts about balancing cost with the career outcomes of your program? Or the fact that one program might be shorter?
  20. Schools/Programs Applying To: Below are the programs that I have applied to for this application cycle: Georgetown-McCourt (April 1 application deadline), GWU-Trachtenburg (Accepted), UVA-Batten (Waitlist), GMU-Schar (May 1 app. Deadline) I was late to finding this forum and after reading more in depth about the MPP programs out there, I’m debating waiting an additional year to apply to other programs that I neglected to include for this application cycle, especially given the competitive nature this year. Those programs I’m considering are: Duke Sanford, Michigan Ford, CMU Heinz, HKS (I know this is a reach, but would like to see if there’s any chance in a less competitive application cycle), UT-Austin LBJ, Chicago Harris Undergraduate institution: UVA Undergraduate GPA: 3.42 Undergraduate Major: Politics w/ a concentration in Government GRE Quantitative Score: 163 (80th percentile) GRE Verbal Score: 157 (75th percentile) GRE AW Score: 4.5 (80th percentile) Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3 years Years of Work Experience: 3 years Quant/Econ Experience: A in Calculus, B in Microeconomics, B- in Statistics. I also have a professional certificate in Data Analytics from Georgetown SCS (though I know this prob doesn’t hold much weight) Describe Relevant Work Experience: 3 years working as a government contractor in the field of emergency management for a federal agency. I started out as an analyst (taking notes, putting together PowerPoints, writing analytical reports) and have assumed leadership roles/positions during my time, to include managing a significant program within my branch and leading meetings/interactions with private sector stakeholders. Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Average to slightly above average I’d say. I don’t have a crazy story or anything, but I talk about the impact that my parents have had on me as they are both career civil servants and how I have aspirations of working at a non-partisan think tank/research center because, naively or not, I want to help find evidence-based actionable solutions to everyday real world problems. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I think two out of the three I have are pretty strong. One is from my former manager, one is from a current colleague (I’m not one of her direct reports, but she is in a more senior position than myself), and the final, weaker one is from a federal client I work with regularly. I know this is a knock on me because I don’t have an academic reference, but it wasn’t for lack of trying; my undergrad senior seminar professor agreed to write one on my behalf and then ghosted me for the past three months *sigh* Questions/comments I have: I want to offer some background into my pursuit of an MPP. For one, I recognize that I’m quant deficient based on my undergrad resume and in my current job (and there’s no real way to change this in my current professional setting) so I think the MPP could really help me in this area, and thus my overall future job prospects. With the MPP program, I’m really focused on the career outcomes that I will receive, the skills I acquire, and the social/overall experience with my peers and professors of the program, in that order. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do for a career, but I see myself working in some kind of domestic social policy…I really know more of what I DON’T want to do (i.e. emergency management) more so than anything else. Additional professional areas of interest for me include research stuff, legislative stuff, and operations stuff, but in all honesty these just really sound cool/interesting to me and I’m not fully aware of what they explicitly could entail/involve (I have what I’d call a ‘rough idea’). My chances at being accepted to any of these schools along with any insights and/or feedback would be much appreciated! And I’d love to be able to continue the conversation if you're open to it. Thank you!
  21. For all those waiting it out
  22. Hi all! Has anyone heard from American about MPP funding? I know they said they might start sending notifications about merit aid at the end of February and I’m curious to know if they have started. Thanks!
  23. Ladies and Gentlemen of the forum, I am new to this, so please excuse my mistakes if any. I am an undergrad in pharma sciences but what i want for my masters is something related to public policy and governance, that topic catches my attention anyday. The pandemic has left me pondering more over how well health graduates with the proper background and training could tackle world wrecking health problems. I have tried exploring quite a few options but most of the public policy schools seem to ask for experience. One school am particularly interested is the GraSPP at Todai, and also utokyo's global health program. Since my undergrad stream happens to be a bit different, i woul like to know from experienced seniors on how i should approach and how fair are my chances. Thanks in advance
  24. Hello, has anyone heard back from Hertie on their applications?
  25. Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPP, MPA, MSES Schools Applied To: GW, IU Bloomington, Duke, UMich, Georgetown Schools Admitted To: n/a Schools Rejected From: n/a Still Waiting: all Undergraduate Institution: Liberal Arts College Undergraduate GPA: 3.73 Undergraduate Major: Biology and Environmental Studies Double GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores: Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 2 Years of Work Experience: 2.5 Describe Relevant Work Experience: 1 yr AmeriCorp, 1 yr Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): really not sure. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): 2.5 years of undergrad research and a thesis that will be published. Other: This is the thread style I've seen on other posts. Feel free to copy/edit.
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