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I'm deciding on a Masters in international affairs/development studies and would appreciate any advice anyone has. Johns Hopkins seems to be the most prestigious but offered me no funding, and Tufts seems to be of a similar caliber and offered me some funding but is in Boston and I don't have housing there so that would be an additional cost. Does anyone have any insight on the difference between GW and American? They are my most affordable options. I have family in DC so can live rent-free there. Is SAIS at Johns Hopkins worth going into significant debt?
Hello everyone, I am unapologetically paranoid about graduate school admissions. My undergraduate grades fluctuated quite a bit. I attended a community college for two years receiving a 3.4 GPA. I then transferred to a top 75 liberal arts college where I received a 3.2 GPA. My total undergraduate GPA works out to be a 3.3 which is not very good for more competitive programs in international development/public policy. I was hoping that I could get your feelings on my chances at admissions at Columbia SIPA and John's Hopkins SIAS. Other things to consider: I served in the Peace Corps in Africa for two years Taught in Asia for 1.5 years. Conducting research in Central America from July 2017-July 2018 I won and declined a Fulbright ETA grant. In total, I will have 4.5 years of international work experience before my program begins. My brother is a current undergraduate student at Hopkins and is researching at SIAS. I think that I will have rock solid letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors. I completed three internships during my undergrad and worked 20+ hours per week. White, gay, male Tell me what you think.
I thought the waiting period was the most torturing, it turned out the decision time is no less tougher. I'm having a tough time deciding between SAIS (International Development - IDEV) and Cornell's CIPA (MPA - International Development/ Social Policy concentration). I'm actually accepted into SIPA (MPA) as well but without any funding offer, so this makes it impossible to me to even consider SIPA as a choice. I am, therefore, down to these two-- CIPA and SAIS. They offer me equally generous fundings so money is not the deciding factor here. I know SAIS seems like an obvious choice as its reputation in this field is almost second to none. It's also located in DC while I'll be rather far removed from action if I choose to go to Cornell. In short, here are my personal pros/cons of these two programs: SAIS Pros: - Well-regarded in the field. - Well-structured program (IDEV) with rigorous quantitative focus. - Good networking/internship opportunities in DC. - Strong alumni network-- the SAIS alums in my country just organized a welcoming event for the admitted students a week ago. SAIS alumni relations coordinated and made this happen in different countries around the world. I was really impressed. There were A LOT of alums turning up and they seemed to really have been keeping very well in touch. SAIS Cons: - Johns Hopkins is not as well known as Cornell in my country (I'm an international student on a Fulbright fellowship; I have to come back to work in my country for around 2 years after graduation). - As my undergraduate major was English, I have a very weak economics background and will be required to take online Principles to Economics course + Intermediate Microeconomics pre-term before the semester starts. I need to pass B- for both courses to be able to officially join IDEV. I know that I'm going to be putting my best effort in completing these two courses, but what if something happens and I don't get a B- plus? Would appreciate some insights from any SAIS students/alums here. - Very few courses on education development is offered. (I plan to focus on education development as my policy specialization). - No campus life. (But maybe DC can be my campus in this case? lol) CIPA Pros: - The MPA program at CIPA is unique in that it offers high flexibility to self-customize my own study experience. This means I can take courses across colleges and schools in Cornell to make sure I get the skills in the area I need. And of course, more courses on education are offered. - Beautiful campus; access to resources of the university. - I do not have to fulfill any additional requirements before matriculation. CIPA Cons: - Ithaca is beautiful but it's so far removed from action and this can affect internship/networking opportunities. I also consider myself a city girl-- not in terms of partying or nightlife--but I very much enjoy the city life. So I'm not sure if Ithaca would be too secluded in this case. - The program is less known in the field. - Too much flexibility in course selection can be a problem as well. - I only know/heard of a few alums in my country so far. Thank you for reading this until here. It's longer than I expected but I just wanted to make sure my predicament is clear enough for you guys to give me some useful advice.