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alkalidz

Georgetown School of Foreign Service SSP and MSFS Programs

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Hi everyone,

Quick question about the two programs that Georgetown University School of Foreign Service has, the Security Studies Program and the Master of Science in Foreign Service. Does anyone know if one is better than the other in terms of acceptance rate, job prospects and earnings, academic, etc? I saw online that MSFS acceptance rate is 30-40% while SSP is 20-25%. Don't know if that makes much of a difference. Also, two programs seem to have different focus, one more qualitative and the other more quantitative. Would appreciate if someone could shed some light on this as I am trying to decide which program to enroll to. Thanks!

Edited by alkalidz

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9 hours ago, L'Enfant said:

Wait, did you receive an offer of admission to SSP..?

I did. I received an email from Jessica followed by an official notice from the Admission on the portal at the beginning of March. They seem to be releaseing results bunch by bunch. 

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Congratulations! Good for you! 

I’m still waiting to hear from Jessica. Have you received any fellowship $$? When did you apply to the program?

Regarding the two programs, it really depends what you are interested in. I’m in the Army with desire to work for the gov in security related fields so SSP is the best option for me. MSFS, seems to be more “generalist” in terms of curriculum.

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On 3/10/2018 at 2:56 PM, alkalidz said:

one more qualitative and the other more quantitative

My understanding is that the MSFS is not very quantitative and SSP is not quantitative at all. In fact, I went to an open house for SSP and asked a current student about the quant requirements and/or opportunities. The student looked around cautiously before stating that they do exactly 0 math or stats. He said that if I wanted to do anything quantitative, I should just go to SAIS. 

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18 minutes ago, L'Enfant said:

Congratulations! Good for you! 

I’m still waiting to hear from Jessica. Have you received any fellowship $$? When did you apply to the program?

Regarding the two programs, it really depends what you are interested in. I’m in the Army with desire to work for the gov in security related fields so SSP is the best option for me. MSFS, seems to be more “generalist” in terms of curriculum.

Thanks! No fellowship news so far. I am waiting on that too. I applied with the general deadline January 15. Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Poli92 said:

My understanding is that the MSFS is not very quantitative and SSP is not quantitative at all. In fact, I went to an open house for SSP and asked a current student about the quant requirements and/or opportunities. The student looked around cautiously before stating that they do exactly 0 math or stats. He said that if I wanted to do anything quantitative, I should just go to SAIS. 

Thanks that's helpful. Any other impressions you got with SSP open house? 

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12 minutes ago, alkalidz said:

Any other impressions you got with SSP open house? 

Lot's of people interested in defense and intel work with three letter agencies. It was over a year ago now, so I don't remember a whole lot more than that. 

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I just got a phone call from Jessica today telling me that I'd receive an official email admission to SSP with funding on Friday!  I couldn't be happier!  I was waitlisted at MSFS, but I prefer SSP anyways.  In my personal experience, they were far kinder and open during the application process.

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Congratulations!

What specialization are you interested in? I am still waiting, hopefully I'll hear from her soon...

Did you apply to external fellowships?

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On 3/12/2018 at 2:08 PM, L'Enfant said:

Congratulations!

What specialization are you interested in? I am still waiting, hopefully I'll hear from her soon...

Did you apply to external fellowships?

Thank you!

I'm specializing in international security.  I haven't applied to external fellowships, but I'm going to look into which ones are still open once I find out what my funding looks like.  I can't wait until I get the official email on Friday!

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In a different program at SFS, but I know people in both. I understand MSFS is a tad more quant heavy, but I wouldn't call it a quant heavy program overall. In terms of academics, I've yet to hear a single positive thing about SSP faculty in terms of their teaching ability. The students have a bit of a reputation for being snobs, but I honestly don't see how that should factor into anyone's decision about whether to go or not. I have the opportunity to take SSP courses, but am turned off from doing so because of what I've heard about the quality of instruction, and well I'm not too interested in it anyway. Of course, these people may (probably) have had a bias against that field.

MSFS is the golden child program at Georgetown, at least based on the facilities/office of the program and its students. People seem more familiar with it as well. The more general nature of the program should allow you some greater flexibility about choosing classes.

I would say overall, MSFS is a more general program, while the rest of the SFS programs have a specific focus. It's up to you to decide which way you want to go. With my previous work experience, I would advise people to save $$$ and go into a specific program. Between these two, I can't speak about which one seems to have better career stats, since the people I know in them had fellowships, so were not looking for jobs after graduation. I applied to both MSFS and my program, and honestly, my program people were so much kinder and more responsive, I'm glad I didn't go to MSFS in the end. 

If you have funding and no financial concerns, go with whatever you think will make you happiest. I am very happy at SFS, but honestly, I do not believe it's worth the cost if you have no funding. The career center is pretty active, which is great, but the coveted opportunities (such as informational interviews with recruiters of three letter agencies) are full within about 30 seconds of opening.

Edited by ZebraFinch

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On 3/14/2018 at 3:10 PM, ZebraFinch said:

In a different program at SFS, but I know people in both. I understand MSFS is a tad more quant heavy, but I wouldn't call it a quant heavy program overall. In terms of academics, I've yet to hear a single positive thing about SSP faculty in terms of their teaching ability. The students have a bit of a reputation for being snobs, but I honestly don't see how that should factor into anyone's decision about whether to go or not. I have the opportunity to take SSP courses, but am turned off from doing so because of what I've heard about the quality of instruction, and well I'm not too interested in it anyway. Of course, these people may (probably) have had a bias against that field.

MSFS is the golden child program at Georgetown, at least based on the facilities/office of the program and its students. People seem more familiar with it as well. The more general nature of the program should allow you some greater flexibility about choosing classes.

I would say overall, MSFS is a more general program, while the rest of the SFS programs have a specific focus. It's up to you to decide which way you want to go. With my previous work experience, I would advise people to save $$$ and go into a specific program. Between these two, I can't speak about which one seems to have better career stats, since the people I know in them had fellowships, so were not looking for jobs after graduation. I applied to both MSFS and my program, and honestly, my program people were so much kinder and more responsive, I'm glad I didn't go to MSFS in the end. 

If you have funding and no financial concerns, go with whatever you think will make you happiest. I am very happy at SFS, but honestly, I do not believe it's worth the cost if you have no funding. The career center is pretty active, which is great, but the coveted opportunities (such as informational interviews with recruiters of three letter agencies) are full within about 30 seconds of opening.

Thanks for the insights. Faculty of SSP definitely does not look as impressive as the one of MSFS. Hope I will find out more next month at the open house. 

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