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swifteye

Few choices

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So I need some advice about whether MAPSS is worth the investment.

I've been turned down from all my Ph.D. programs (GWU is supposed to tell me tonight, and I anticipate a rejection), but UChicago threw my application into the MAPSS chute, and from there I was offered admission for the fall and 1/3rd the tuition.

So my choices are:

MAPSS at Chicago

$35,000 in loans

a Masters degree

another year of back-breaking work

taking a year to give my resume a boost and stop feeling burned-out

can live at home and thus afford to volunteer or take an unpaid internship

bad economy at home (Raleigh, NC)

job-searching here I come

My stepmom has expressed concern over the economy and the possibility of me failing to return to school after graduating. I don't feel like I'm in a good place to continue doing academic work (this post is a way of procrastinating a three-page paper I'm sick of working on), and I don't think that the best school for me is necessarily the best school in my field (politics), so a UChicago degree might not be the most necessary boost to my resume....

Basically, I'm lost. I'll be traveling to Chicago in April to visit the school (and the city--never been). In the meantime, I'm going to start looking for real jobs and internships available in my area.

Is $30k ever worth it for a Masters degree? So many little voices inside me are screaming NO.

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Why would 30,000 not be worth it for a masters degree? If I choose to attend, Ill probably spend 50,000 for my masters/educational specialist degree (3yrs.) Im just curious of the reasoning as to why it would "NEVER" be worth it for a masters.

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Mainly because I'm interested in getting my doctorate, and full funding is generally available at admitted students.

And yes, CJD, you do start reapplying to Ph.D. programs in the fall--it seems like an awful lot of work to be doing, getting a Masters while simultaneously applying to other schools.

Edited by swifteye

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I don't know if it would be worth it if you already have a Masters degree. The impression that I got was that MAPSS is for people whose interests aren't yet narrowed enough, and who need to pursue some more advanced courses in their chosen topic in order to strengthen their background knowledge. It seems like a great program, but quite foundational and not necessarily suited to everyone. I suggest emailing the program director and asking to be put into contact with current students. Keep in mind, of course, that they will probably encourage you to attend and will be deceptively positive about the program. Still, they'll give you some very helpful information and, in my experience, are very friendly and accommodating to individual concerns and questions.

If I were you though, I'd probably take some time out and work in order to pay off some of my debts before going back in to another expensive program. Depending on where you live and what you study, you could take evening/not for credit classes at a nearby university to improve certain parts of your application.

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Oh ok, so I would be applying while in the Master's. I wish I had the option to take a year off and improve my CV if all else fails. However, I simply don't have the equipment and facilities available to me here where I live. Therefore, getting an MA in the states (and getting loans) is probably my best option.

in another discussion in this community regarding the MAPSS, a student/graduate of the program stated that students of the program were encouraged to take a year off after earning the MAPSS degree. this student/graduate of the program stated that there is institutional/program support for getting a job during the year off. essentially, you would apply to PhD programs during this year off after earning the MAPSS or whatever subsequent year you've finally worked out and can clearly communicate your interest in a specific topic and region (if that's what your field looks for in your background and SOP).

Edited by samjones

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