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Help! I am really struggling to make a decision between Goldman and USC Price for an MPP. Here is my situation: Background: I work at an education non-profit and am interested in education policy and/or social policy, but want to gain more tangible quant skills (hence going to grad school). I currently live in LA (originally from DC) and have a lot of friends here as well as a partner who loves his job. I got into Harris, Price, and Goldman. Harris was ruled out because of the cost and the cold, and GSPP has been my first choice (I also thought it would the cheapest because of the in state tuition). I got no funding to Goldman and a full ride to Price, so now I am struggling with what to do. I know that I can likely get a GSI position at Berkeley to cover tuition, but I believe that still leaves about $4,000 in fees each semester in addition to the crazy high cost of living in the bay area. I also think it could be pretty stressful to have the additional workload of a GSI position. However, I know Goldman has an amazing reputation, and I love the bay area. I would love advice on if Goldman would really be worth the extra cost and life change and what people think of these programs outside of CA. I am really struggling here!
I've been looking at back posts on the relative quantitative rigorousness of programs, and I've noticed that virtually every program is described by some as "quant heavy", etc. For me, the ability to push myself quantitative and learn advanced skills of statistics, econometrics, microeconomics, and program evaluation is one of my most important criteria for evaluating programs. And I feel a little let down by this forum, which is generally quite informative and helpful. For instance, GSPP is often highly regarded as quant heavy. However, their math camp spends half of the time on pre-calculus topics. To me, that sends off a little alarm. I hope to post some of the results of my own research, which will compare syllabi, topics, and textbooks across core quant classes, but my initial impression is that at even Harris, GSPP, and Ford, it's going to take some work to get beyond advanced undergraduate classes in econ and math/stats. With that in mind, what do you know about: 1) Advanced track quant options within the program(Ford offers an "In-Depth" Micro II, Harris has something a long these lines, etc) 2) Taking classes from econ departments/attending econ math camp. How does testing work? Has anyone done this? Many students praise the ability to take courses from econ departments, but I know most professors aren't going to be happy with letting policy students into PhD level courses, which are highly theoretical and full of proofs. Most students of which survive them only by working close together with groups of other PhD students - something that I would have difficulty doing as an MPP student. For current students, did any of you come from a math/econ background and feel underwhelmed by the policy school's quant offerings? How did you get around this? I'm looking for econometrics and micro courses that use multivariate calculus (lagrangians, etc), matrix algebra, and maybe some proofs. Can anyone help me out with specific examples, courses, books, syllabi, etc? An econometrics book that references Greene, and a micro book on the level of Nicholson are some of the clues that I'm looking for. Sorry for the rambling post guys, I'm feeling overwhelmed looking for old syllabi and course descriptions. Thanks for your comments.
Hey guys, I depended so much on this forum when I was applying for schools so I thought I'd put myself out there as a resource for anyone who is thinking of applying to GSPP. I'm a current student, focusing on international environmental policy and sustainable development. To give you a short list of why I chose GSPP over other options: Berkeley is hands down the best place to be for those interested in energy/environment/sustainability, there are amazing research opportunities in every field, the program is extremely flexible but also quantitatively rigorous, and $$. I know that when I was trying to choose a school, debt was a huge factor. In my opinion, GSPP does not do a good enough job advertising how generous they are with funding. Even if you do not receive a fellowship, there are a ton of research and TA positions available that a) provide fee remission and pay a very very generous living stipend. This is why I will graduate with 20k in debt versus 70-100k I would be taking on had I gone with SAIS or SIPA. If you're thinking of applying and have any questions about the program, Berkeley, student life, etc...ask away!
Hi there! I once sifted through MBA school application websites and noticed that typically the online recommendation ask the recommender to answer very specific questions. Do any of you know whether the MPA/MPP applications are also similarly structured or do they ask the recommender to simply upload a (word) document addressing some broad topics to assess the applicant? Appreciate your insight. Cheers! Applying to Fall 2012 (New Delhi, India)