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Cornell CIPA versus UChicago Harris for MPP


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I am having a hard time choosing between Cornell CIPA and UChicago Harris and I greatly appreciate some inputs and advice from people.

I have received 3k from CIPA and 5k from Harris. The difference between the two programs will be around 10k per year. On one hand, I have had professors advising me to go to Harris because of its location and its resources. On the other hand, some professors told me that the difference is pretty much negligible and what matters the most is where I would like to stay for two years. Here are some of the pros and cons I could think of:


Pros: its Cheaper; more flexible;  a certificate program in Environmental Impact Investing; from the communications I had with the staff, I have the impression that the environment is very friendly; study abroad programs are interesting

Cons: location (its cold and in the middle of nowhere); less prestige compared to Harris; less resources


Pros: well known for its quantitative approach; location; having the entire school dedicated to the program; a lot more certificate programs

Cons: location too (crime.....); slightly more expensive; the program size is seemingly larger

I am planning on focusing on environmental policy and international development. It seems to me that Harris is better at energy policy and Cornell is better at agricultural development. Would there be anyone who can advice on that? Would there be a significant difference regarding employment prospects?

Thank you very much in advance

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I can't help you with the academic decision, but I just want to point out that you will be perfectly safe (crime-wise) no matter what grad school you attend. While of course idyllic suburban college campuses are safer than urban campuses, in reality you are so extraordinarily unlikely to be a victim of a crime at any school that it's not even worth considering.

Any urban environment will come with the occasional crazy panhandler or stolen bike, but given an ounce of street smarts you do not have to worry about much. You'll effectively never be in neighborhoods where there is a real threat of violence. College campuses aren't gang territory - Hyde Park is full of Starbucks and organic grocery stores.

Edited by jeff1988
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Chicago has a far better reputation than CIPA and you will be pulling your hair out after 2 years in Ithaca. It's 1 hour off the interstate! 

Psst if you are proactive, you can arrange any study abroad or internship opportunity you want, from any school.

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