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2019 M.P.P. UC Berkeley (Goldman) v/s Georgetown (McCourt)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unsure if anyone will see this, but can anyone evaluate the relative prestige of Goldman vs. SIPA vs. McCourt, across the country? I'm under the impression that Goldman has an edge over SIPA in terms of policy school specifically, but more employers will regard Columbia more highly than UC Berkeley.

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People who have been to policy school will value Goldman over SIPA domestically.  People who don't know about policy will probably consider them all at a similar level, I imagine in the close order of Columbia-Georgetown-Berkeley.  If you want to work internationally it's SIPA with McCourt a close 2nd and Goldman a more distant third.  If you want to work on the West Coast it's Berkeley all the way with Columbia 2nd and McCourt 3rd.  If you want to work in NYC it's obviously Columbia. If you want to work in DC it's obviously McCourt.  Each school has a solid network so you have about the same chances of someone pulling strings for you to get a job.  Columbia is a bigger program so maybe more networking possibilities, but most of them go international making the net domestic effect about the same as the other programs.

So yeah basically it depends on where you want to be and what you want to do.  The reputational pecking order also doesn't matter as much as some people often convince themselves.  if you don't write a compelling cover letter and give a good interview your $120k Columbia degree won't get you anything over a solid candidate from a twenty-something-ranked school.  E.g. I'm about to graduate from Sanford and have a handful of job opportunities that are everything I could have wanted from any policy school.  At no point have I ever felt disadvantaged in comparison to folks from HKS or Columbia or Berkeley or McCourt, etc.

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