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Dear Gradcafe community, I am leaning towards a second degree after doing my MPP/MPA. You see, I have received the Fulbright scholarship award and will be coming from my country Pakistan to the US on a free ride for my MPA/MPP, so my "investment" in the degree is little, that is, I will not be graduating with any debt. The caveat is that, I will be unable to get work in the US after the program due to a clause in the scholarship. Taking into consideration some other factors, it is likely that I may go for a master's in economics or economic policy after my MPA/MPP is over. Why am I not going into economics straight away? 1. My award is only for MPA/MPP. I would like to make use of it, particularly, because policy programs do impart a lot of knowledge and learning, and the ones I'm looking into offer substantial international internship experience. If the financial cost is near zero, why not? 2. With my current academic and professional credentials, no decent school would take me into their economics program. Why am I going into economics after an MPP/MPA? After browsing the forum here and doing my own research, it seems to that policy careers, on the global as well as local scale, are hard to get into without substantial work experience. I will have 2 years of work exp, only one of which in the public sector, by the time I'll be going for my MPA in Fall 2018. Despite this lack of work exp, I feel an economics degree, would make me much more "hireable" in a much more diverse range of careers due to the universal use of economics and put me in a better position because of the specialist knowledge that it implants. The combined MPA+economics branding would show my versatility plus specialized knowledge. Anyway, the big question is, is doing an MPA/MPP and then a masters in economics or economic policy (or for that matter, a masters in any specialized field, for example environmental policy, health-care economics, etc.) a good idea?
Hi All, I find myself paralyzed by the prospect of selecting a graduate program before even applying to a single program! Crazy, I know! Nevertheless, I'd greatly appreciate strategies, wisdom, or anecdotes from anyone who has considered planning for a masters and a doctorate. Thank you so much! Some context -- For the last couple years, I have planned to go for a MPH in environmental health, followed immediately by a PhD in medical anthropology. I decided on that order, hoping the MPH would buy my some time to explore other PhD tracks, and give me a stronger skillset and more refined research interests to bring to a PhD program. Haven't questioned that plan until now. I was just happy to have a plan. However, now that SOPHAS has opened up for MPH programs beginning in 2017, I am getting cold feet! I am questioning the "traditional" order I planned to pursue these degrees (i.e. MPH, then PhD) and struggle to prioritize the factors that are most important to me in either program: affordability (the specter that haunts us all), program quality (judged by the school's national rank + research productivity), and ability to specialize in my area of interest (judged by curriculum variety/flexibility + faculty's areas of research) I am confident that I can get into attractive, "top-ranked" MPH programs. However, I know rank isn't everything and that there are "smarter" (read "less expensive" and "quicker") ways to go about earning the degrees I want, even if that means choosing a less attractive MPH program. For example, perhaps applying to a MPH/PhD dual-degree program will make it easier to fund my MPH. I've read other forums on this site that recommended starting a PhD, earning candidacy, leaving to do the MPH, then returning to the PhD. Maybe I should go part-time for my masters and work for a few more years before going back for a doctorate--who knows! I tend to overthink large decisions and would be ready to admit that's at play here, but I am confident there are plenty of ways to pursue my goals with merits of their own that I have not considered before. I will say that mentors who know my interests have encouraged my to earn both degrees as soon as possible, and that feels right to me. So in the hopes of gaining more opinions--here we are! Thanks again, K.
SO...perhaps too close for comfort in regards to time, I am in a rock in a hard place and completely torn about my graduate school decision. Let me begin by saying that I have been accepted into the University of Michigan (AA) and am on the track to begin the clinical MSW program this September. At this time, I reside one hour away from U of M and after scheduling classes, I realize that U of M doesn't attempt to cater much to the "working adult" between field placement, classes, work study and group projects. Perhaps this is causing me to have some cold feet about attending. That leads to me to my first question: Does anyone have any experience with working while attending U of M's MSW program? It is not to say that I don't plan to eventually move out there but due to finances, I cannot at this time and my concern is not being as successful as I could be if I lived near campus. Also- If I'm being honest, Ann Arbor as a city has never fancied me much and I have developed a great love for Grand Rapids. This has definitely made me consider Grand Valley State University as a graduate school option but I am also hesitant to give up U of M for obvious professional reasons. Does anyone have any personal experience with Grand Valley's MSW program? Can anyone shed some insight on the importance of prestige when pursuing an MSW? One thing aside from location that intrigues me about their program at GVSU is that it is an Advanced Generalist focus as opposed to either Micro or Macro. I do appreciate and prefer gaining both a community organization and clinical background but does anyone have any insight on what is more marketable in regards to future salary or hiring? I have been diligently reviewing forums, stats, etc and it's appears to be the general consensus that U of M is perhaps one of the highest ranked MSW programs in the nation. Thus making my decision significantly more difficult. Any thoughts, advice, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
First, congratulations to all of the admits. I'd like to compile some details about your acceptances if you don't mind sharing. What were your areas of concentration/specializations? I'd like to see if there are any hot-ticket specializations. If you're feeling extra generous, let us know the institutions to which you were admitted. I think starting a living document might help others while they're applying. Thanks!