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Hey all, I'm trying to make a really difficult decision - I am planning to enroll in an MPAff program this fall and am down to two final choices. I received a full ride to UW-Madison's La Follette school (a fellowship the first year with full tuition and a living stipend with an assistantship the second year) as well as full tuition to UT-Austin's LBJ School. Ten years from now I envision myself working or living near Austin (as it is an incredible city and fairly close to Shreveport, my hometown). Should I take out the small loan needed to go to the LBJ school or should I enroll in the La Follette school (which, by most rankings, is better)? I plan on concentrating in social policy and hope to work at a state-based think tank such as the Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities. Thanks in advance!
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.