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  1. Hi peeps, Anybody else waiting on the decision for the Rand program next month? I'd be keen to chat to calm the nerves but also in case some of us are admitted (it's always nice feeling like you already know a few faces when starting a program) Cheers
  2. Hi all! Long time reader, first time poster. Some background: I’ve about 4+ years of professional experience working in international development. I applied to grad school to gain some quantitative skills that I lack and to explore climate policy. I am open to a career in the US Foreign Service but am also interested in working in the private sector, INGO or UN body afterward. Any advice/perspective on thinking through these offers is helpful - thank you in advance! LSE MPA: Unconditional offer. It’s a double degree (still within 2 years) with the University of Toronto (Master’s of Global Affairs). No financial aid, but can afford it without taking loans. I’m most excited about this one because of it’s a relatively small cohort, diverse and international, and affordable. Syracuse Maxwell MPA/MAIR: full ride merit scholarship. Seems like a solid program based on my research and conversations with students/alumni. But, I’m not so thrilled about being in Syracuse especially after having weathered most of the pandemic in rural Texas. Harvard MPP: no financial aid. Would need to take about $50K in loans. Can’t deny the brand but I’ve also heard from current students it’s not as academically rigorous.
  3. Hi everyone, this is Cleon. I am an international student and have received Public Policy and Management - Data Analytic Track (MSPPM DA) offer from the CMU and Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences (QMSS) offer from Columbia University. I want to have a researcher job in the United States in the World Bank or other international organizations and have my PhD 3 year later in a top university in the US in the public policy field. I am currently undecided about which university to go. QMSS at Columbia Pro: Reputation and network New York City where are lots of relevant opportunities, especially in international organizations access to better faculty in micro-economics and politics Flexible Curriculum Practicum projects opportunities (with UN) Con: Expensive in NYC only 1.5 years (three semesters) to equip myself with quantitative skills MSPPM DA at CMU: Pro: duration of 2 years (4 semesters) much more solid quantitative training (maybe?) low living cost Capstone project opportunities (but not with international organizations) Con: maybe not-that-good faculty in Micro-economics and Politics have to relocate to big cities for internship less access to international organizations Could you please kindly share some suggestions with me, I am kind of confused here.
  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. Hi, I would appreciate any advice in this regard. I've received offers from the following Universities/Courses 1. Johns Hopkins SAIS/MA in International Relations (2 year) 2. Columbia SIPA/Masters in Public Administration (2 year) 3. Harvard University HKS/Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration (1 year) Financials are as follows 1. Johns Hopkins - I'm short by $40,000 (20K per year) 2. Columbia - Short by $30,000 (15K per year) - Most generous with Aid 3. HKS - short by $20,000 per year (No Aid) My primary area of interest is to to study the impact on technology on society, systems of governance etc. I also want to build a strong foundation in Economics and Stats, learn about leadership and management. All schools have Technology Policy Concentrations as part of their courses. There is the DC/NYC/Boston question too, difference in campus sizes to consider as well. Also the question/wisdom of taking up a 1 year course at Harvard vis-a-vis two years at the other two, but Harvard is obviously extremely prestigious. I have never been to the United States before. Would really appreciate any advice from the members of this group.
  6. I originally applied to top schools around the US for a PhD in politics, but only got an offer of an MA in Public Policy at UChicago Harris School per their suggestion of rerouting my application from a PhD program to the MA program, to which I got accepted. Three options now: (1) Accept the offer and search for funding/try to get a loan (not preferable) to finish the program, (2) wait a year and apply to more universities for an MA, while applying to scholarships in the meantime, and (3) try my luck with a more diverse set of universities for a PhD while refining my application next year. I really value the offer at UChicago, and want to get back to academia anyway (6 year work experience), and since its a 1 year program, its a choice between waiting and studying; so not sure what to do. Any recommendations? Also, is finding a scholarship within the March-April frame doable (Already got a 15K scholarship)? Note: I already have an MA in political science from my home country(American University of Beirut/Lebanon; GPA: 3.9), so this makes the decision even more complex. *heavy breathing in paper bag*
  7. I have always wanted to go into education policy/the government side of education. I have bachelor degrees in both Elementary Education and History. I know I want a degree in Education Policy to move forwards in working as an analyst or a lobbyist. I'm currently a full-time teacher and am trying to decide which will be the best professional route for me: Ed.D. or a Ph.D. Any advice, personal experience, information is greatly appreciated!
  8. Anyone else waiting on results for Public Policy PhD programs (or equivalents such as policy analysis or government), regardless of which university? There was a person commenting they had gotten an interview invite for Duke recently - do you know if all prospective admitted students get one? Cheers
  9. Hi all! Surprised to see that there is no thread for Oxford BSG's MPP this year (I wonder why). Starting this for all those waiting for the results.
  10. For context, I'm a second-year DA student at Heinz who came into this program wanting to be a data scientist. During a fall visitation weekend and through multiple emails with staff during the application process, I asked if it was possible to become a data scientist through this program. I got vague assurances at the time that this was possible. From my experience and the experience of my peers, this program is not worth it if you want to be a data scientist. Please do yourself a favor and look elsewhere, because I really wish that I had. Here’s a couple of reasons behind my above assertion: There are too many required classes that provide little to no useful value. For instance, if you have less than 3 years of work experience, you’re required to take a public speaking class for 6 weeks, and you are required to take a 6 week course to learn how to write policy memos. Furthermore, you have to take a 6 week course in “organizational design and implementation” where you read HBS cases and decide how you would have approached them. Finally, you have to take 6 units of a “finance” class that is a really basic class where you just learn how to read financial statements. This is not helpful at all for someone who wants to be a data scientist. The rigor of classes here is… questionable. There are a few classes, namely the required Database class for DA students and Big Data and Large-Scale Computing that are actually rigorous, well-taught, and useful. The rest of the classes either provide too surface-level of an approach to the topics discussed or try to tackle a topic that really should have been covered in a semester in 6 weeks, leaving you with little real comprehension of a topic without a lot of outside work on your own. There is a lack of understanding in many classes of real-world tools that should be incorporated in class. For instance, it would make sense, particularly in the programming intensive classes, to mandate the use of GitHub or similar tools for practice with version control. Anyone who is going to program in a real data science job will use GitHub/GitLab and therefore it would be useful to become much more skilled in it through a grad program. This would also help to easily create a portfolio of work to show future employers. Also, (this has changed) but for my class, we were taught machine learning/data mining in R instead of in Python (scikit-learn) which is more often than not the industry standard. There are a few classes taught by professors who have more non-academic experience who help to clue students into the real world tools but this is pretty rare. Heinz College in general is trying to be too many things at one time and therefore is unsuccessful in being particularly good at one particular thing. The biggest reason peers of mine and myself chose this program over something like UChicago’s MSCAPP program is because of Heinz’s financial aid which is substantial. It was substantial enough for me that I will graduate without any student loans, for context. I am doubting, however, whether the financial savings are worth the lack of educational rigor and course flexibility offered by Heinz. My advice here would be to apply to the MSPPM-DA program for the financial aid package and use it to try to get a better financial aid offer at UChicago (MSCAPP), Georgetown (MSDSPP), or some other comparable program. I'm happy to answer more questions about this! I really wish someone had been much more direct with me in the application process about who this program is best suited for. I don't want someone else to make the same mistake that I did and leave the Heinz program being as frustrated as I am with my overall experience.
  11. Financial generosity and aid is one of the most important factors that we consider when we apply and make our decisions. I am hoping to start a thread where we post about programs that give out generous funding. This thread will be resourceful to the future applicants who want to know about the schools and their aid policy. Let's compile it in this format - School and Program: Financial aid info: (for example, based on what you've heard about the program and what you've seen. info like only 1-2 people gets full ride, everyone gets minimum 15k, everyone gets full ride etc. of that sort) In the program/Accepted?: Yes/No (if possible with your aid info as well)
  12. I'm a current MA student at Stanford's International Policy Studies (IPS) program and want to extend a warm congratulations to admitted students! I know decision-making can be tough; I remember being in your shoes last year. If you or any potential applicants for next year have any questions, you can post them here. I can also put you in touch with a current student whose interests align with yours.
  13. Hi can anybody suggest me masters course with dual degree in economics and public policy?
  14. 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
  15. I was recently accepted into the University of Indiana and Northwestern University and could really use some advice on which to pick! Here are the factors I'm considering: Concentration. Hoping to get involved in health policy, specifically Title X or Medicaid, with the ability to learn more about quantitative analysis (love SPEA for its ability to customize the concentration) Flexibility/Placement. Not sure exactly what career I want to do, whether it's to go back into the nonprofit world, government, or private sector (leaning gov't) Location. I have friends in Evanston and Chicago and a spouse in Springfield. While we don't want to end up in Springfield, he might be there for a little while longer and I wasn't sure whether Northwestern had an edge on placement for gov't jobs in Springfield over Indiana. After a few years there, we hope to end up somewhere in the midwest. Cost. Am I reading correctly that Indiana is significantly more expensive than Northwestern? I applied just before the final deadline (May 1) and assume I may have missed my shot at a fellowship, or any financial aid. Prestige. It seems like Indiana has the better reputation in some areas, but on the surface Northwestern sounds prestigious...? Any advice/suggestions is appreciated--I'm torn!
  16. Hi, Does anyone here have any experience with the Northwestern MPPA program (online version)? I have been working with the UN for the last 5+ years mostly in Programme/Project Management. My goal is to transition into a policy role, not necessarily in the UN but at a more policy focused organization. I am quite interested in it as it merges both policy and admin together - which is quite rare. The courses seem interesting and relevant with a good focus on analytical skills. Another +ve is the online option so I can continue to work. Compared to other online programs I also found this one relatively cheaper (45k USD). Please do share any thoughts or research anyone has done on this program and do recommend any similar online programs. Based on the forums I have seen there are mixed reviews on whether the fact that its a Professional school program makes is less valuable. I am still not sure if this is a personal preference or an actual issue with 'professional schools'.
  17. I was wondering if anyone had any input about deciding between Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon's data science/public policy programs. I've gotten into both and am having a hard time deciding between the two - it seems like the Heinz program is more intense which could be either a positive or negative - I know I want to best prepare myself for a career but also want to be able to have time for a job/social life. I've seen that McCourt is a little lower ranked than Heinz but has the benefit of being in D.C., which appeals to me. Does anyone have any thoughts?
  18. 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?
  19. I am having trouble deciding between the MPP program at UCSD or at University of Maryland. If anyone has any personal insight or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!
  20. I got conditionally accepted (need to complete a calculus course from any institution) to Columbia SIPA for MPA without any financial aid so far. I got the decision on March 16th and in it they said more information about cost and financial aid would be given in a few weeks. Still waiting! I want to pursue a Policy PhD after this. I am a 36 old Canadian (originally from Bangladesh but now a Canadian citizen), married (my wife is working too), have a 6 year old son, and have a house mortgage to pay. I have an MBA from Canada, do not have any previous student loans and have been working in the non-profit and academic research sectors for the past 7+ years. Is taking on student loan to pursue my dreams worth it at this stage? I am passionate about public policy and really want to join the academia. Thoughts? By the way, I got waitlisted for Georgetown MPP and rejected by Harvard for MPA2. Still waiting for a decision from Cornell CIPA for MPA.
  21. I have got admits from both the programs. CMU is offering 40K in scholarship while UPenn is offering 24K. The cost comes down to almost the same amount.(60K CMU vs 50K UPenn) I'm confused on the following parameters - 1. Job prospects being an international student 2. Coursework rigour and the skills I would get 3. UPenn has a internship in the last semester and seems to have a lot of opportunities in Philly. 4. Networking opportunities My primary aim to apply to these courses was to shift towards a career in public policy or related areas. Thank you in advance.
  22. I've secured admissions at Hertie School of Governance and Willy Brandt School of Public Policy (both for the MPP) and now I'm confused about choosing. Of course, the cost for Hertie is a lot and will be significant challenge to pay, but I would love to hear what you guys have to say
  23. 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?
  24. 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!
  25. Hi, I was recently admitted to the MPP at Sciences Po in the Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream. Now I had applied to the course because I really liked the courses listed on the website, the policy lab component, and of course, Paris. However, I have been reading up on this forum about the University, and that has left a bittersweet taste. I do not speak French, but the course I am accepted to is taught entirely in English. From the posts on the Forum, I feel that the university's career services aren't too friendly for the international students, the administration is disorganized and the job scenario is not uplifting, even though the teaching is quite good. These posts are from a few years ago, though. I have admits from a few US universities (still waiting on the big names). Since the tuition at Sciences Po is much lower, and there's a bunch of scholarships available from our government to students studying in France, I am conflicted. Anybody on the Forum with information/opinions on the university? It's like a black box at the moment, with any info I have only coming from the School's website.
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