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MSW 2018 Decisions...


AnClSp

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Exciting news!! I was accepted to all 4 MSW programs I applied to; however, I am now only considering 2 of the options- University of Wisconsin Madison and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. 

I am looking for some advice of anyone opinions regarding these 2 programs. I am currently living with my partner in Milwaukee and am a mental health case manager throughout the county. From where I currently live, it would be about a 30-45 minute commute one way to UW Milwaukee (in decent traffic) and my partner has a 10-20 minute commute. I am trying to decide if it would be beneficial to move to a small town between Madison and Milwaukee and then commute to Madison every day (about 45 minutes one way) and my partner would commute to Milwaukee (a 45 to 50 minute commute). From what I have read, Madison has a much better MSW program, but the commute and living in a small town is what is deterring us. They would both cost about the same as well- $25,000.

Is the commute and other disadvantages worth the program? Does anyone know anything about these programs?

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Congratulations on being accepted to all of the programs to which you applied! 

My advice would be to attend the better program, as this will likely prove more beneficial long-term, not only for your resume, but also the quality of the program you'll be investing in.

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Pitted against each other, UW-Madison is certainly the shinier of the two options but UW-Milwaukee's school of social work is well-regarded. Both schools are going to allow you to pursue similar types of internships and both schools have great faculty. If you are looking to eventually get a Phd, I think Madison would be the no brainer because it is so highly respected in the field of research. According to the most recent US News & World Report rankings Madison's MSW program was #12 in the country while Milwaukee's was #58. Those rankings aren't really that meaningful but it shows that both programs are strong choices. 

I think the biggest thing to take into account here is that by living in Milwaukee you will have more internship options available to you than you will in a far less urban community 45 minutes outside of Madison. Also, if you enjoy where you are currently living I don't see any point in making the move especially if you fear that the logistics of it would be problematic for you and your partner. In 2.5 years the name of the school on your resume will be largely inconsequential (unless, again, you are research focused or going for a Phd).

Congratulations, and good luck making your decision!

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