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I have been accepted into four schools thus far (Korbel, Pardee, Elliott, and SIS...but threw SIS out of the running), and need different perspectives on what I should be looking for in these masters programs. Assume money is not a major factor. Have yet to hear back from Fletcher, SAIS, SIPA, and SFS.

So far I have been mapping out which classes I would be taking under the respective programs, and I am quite satisfied with each of the three.

The things I am looking for in a program are:

  • Jobs with security clearance in the area
  • Dual concentration abilities
  • Russian Language
  • Boren Scholarship awardee history
  • Curriculum is policy/ case oriented rather than theoretical
  • Professors are practitioners in their field
  • Successful placement rate into the Intelligence Community

What else should I take into consideration? Does anyone have information to offer? I have spoken with students, alumni, and professors who all love their respective schools.

Thanks in advance for all those who reply. Feel free to message me if necessary.

-Frosty

 

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I’ve been accepted to Korbel, Elliott, and SIS too. Looking at the courses offered, Korbel seems like the best security program overall to me. The only downside (other than cost) is that it’s not in DC but from everything I’ve read and people within the program I’ve talked to, it doesn’t really matter. They bring the three letter agencies in for recuruiting and interviews, private companies recruit Korbel, and Denver has good security related jobs to intern at. 

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I applied to Pardee RAND and Korbel, accepted at Korbel denied at RAND.  RAND was my top choice program and their track record for placing people in security is phenomenal.  I assume you applied for PhD's at all 3?  I would take the RAND offer in a heartbeat, especially given their OJT program leaves you with a debt-free Ph.D. and the equivalent of 2 years working experience at a very prominent think tank focused mostly on security studies.  

Edited by wms9768

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 1:04 PM, L'Enfant said:

Do you have any background in the military/IC? What are you interested in? Do you have a clearance?

 

 

No military/IC experience. I was medically denied.

Interested in Russia and Terrorism.

No clearance.

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 5:30 PM, wms9768 said:

I applied to Pardee RAND and Korbel, accepted at Korbel denied at RAND.  RAND was my top choice program and their track record for placing people in security is phenomenal.  I assume you applied for PhD's at all 3?  I would take the RAND offer in a heartbeat, especially given their OJT program leaves you with a debt-free Ph.D. and the equivalent of 2 years working experience at a very prominent think tank focused mostly on security studies.  

No, its actually just a Masters. The Pardee school I am talking about is Boston University's Pardee School. I wasn't aware that the RAND Corp offered schooling...

 

What do you make of Korbel?

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7 hours ago, Frosty_McGee said:

No, its actually just a Masters. The Pardee school I am talking about is Boston University's Pardee School. I wasn't aware that the RAND Corp offered schooling...

 

What do you make of Korbel?

Gotcha, my mistake!  I was surprised when I found out RAND had a program as well, but it seems very attractive.  Particularly as the campus is integrated with RAND and students essentially work for RAND while attending the program.   https://www.prgs.edu/

 

Korbel seems strong for security studies.  My main reservation would be the program's distance from international cities, but I believe they supplement that by facilitating internships in DC. It also seems like I've also heard that Denver does have a few international opportunities (although this was in reference to me applying for an MIA rather than the MAIS).  I think Elliot and Korbel are comparable, with a nod to Elliot for being in DC, but I haven't dug deep on either (I wasn't even looking at Korbel at first due to geographics but they offered me an app fee waiver so I figured I'd go for it).  One thing that has helped me a lot with these decisions is looking at specific course offerings in the areas I want to grow. For example, I'm personally leaning towards UCSD and a big reason is that it better aligns with my desire to increase quant and language abilities, and allows me to do that within the curriculum rather than adding extra classes.  

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12 hours ago, wms9768 said:

Gotcha, my mistake!  I was surprised when I found out RAND had a program as well, but it seems very attractive.  Particularly as the campus is integrated with RAND and students essentially work for RAND while attending the program.   https://www.prgs.edu/

 

Korbel seems strong for security studies.  My main reservation would be the program's distance from international cities, but I believe they supplement that by facilitating internships in DC. It also seems like I've also heard that Denver does have a few international opportunities (although this was in reference to me applying for an MIA rather than the MAIS).  I think Elliot and Korbel are comparable, with a nod to Elliot for being in DC, but I haven't dug deep on either (I wasn't even looking at Korbel at first due to geographics but they offered me an app fee waiver so I figured I'd go for it).  One thing that has helped me a lot with these decisions is looking at specific course offerings in the areas I want to grow. For example, I'm personally leaning towards UCSD and a big reason is that it better aligns with my desire to increase quant and language abilities, and allows me to do that within the curriculum rather than adding extra classes.  

I know Korbel uses Rosetta Stone for their languages, and there is no language requirement. They also have some quant too.

What sort of Quant are you looking into? Quantitative Analysis, Stats, Econ, Calculus?

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I'm interested in quantitative analysis and statistics, it seems like adding calculus in would be useful as well.   I'm especially interested in statistical programming as I think big data is going to be an area of of focus going forward.  

For me the Rosetta Stone language courses would be a negative.  I do much better with language aquisition in a classroom setting and have struggled with Rosetta stone.  I know that's not true for everyone though.  

I passed on Korbel because I feel like UCSD offers some unique quant skills, language classes, and is great at placing students in Asia and San Francisco, as well as PhD programs.   I could expand on that, but I'm not sure it's helpful?

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