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3 hours ago, brusselsprouts said:

I just found out I got in off the waitlist at the Goldman School at Berkeley. Berkeley had been my top choice throughout my application process, but also a big reach/question mark as to whether I'd be able to go even if I got in. As of now, I'm deciding between Goldman and the McCourt School at Georgetown in DC.

I'm currently based in DC. I have to consider the cost of tuition, the cost of moving, and the cost of living (although I'm not sure if the Bay Area is that much worse than what I'm already dealing with in DC on that front, honestly...) vs. the stronger reputation of Berkeley, especially for my interest in climate/environmental policy, and my personal excitement about the possibility of moving back to the West Coast. (I'm from Oregon originally.) There's also a partner involved who's less keen to leave DC yet, so there's that factor as well... 

I was offered $25,000/year from Georgetown (about 50% of tution and fees — Georgetown is so expensive, y'all!), which would put the total cost (of just tuition and fees) at about $59,000, which... is still a lot. I was (as expected) not offered any funding from Berkeley, although it sounds like GSI/Reader/etc positions are fairly available and could come with a big tuition discount?

Anyway, even setting funding aside, I'm still torn. 

I guess my biggest question is -- how much is Goldman worth vs. McCourt? How does the stronger academic reputation of Goldman stack up against the wealth opportunities for policy/government work/internship experience I could find here in DC? Is Goldman worth moving and taking on the extra debt for? (And would the Berkeley debt be as much as I fear -- are those researcher/tutor positions as widely available and as much of a golden ticket as some make it sound?) 

I've got until Wednesday to figure it all out -- Berkeley gave me until May 1 to decide, and while it sounds like I could get more time from them if I asked for it, I already extended my Georgetown deadline until May 1 and doubt they'd do it again. Ahh! Any tips?

 

 

 

https://gspp.berkeley.edu/career-services/alumni-graduation-facts/gspp-employment-statistics

https://mccourt.georgetown.edu/career/outcomes

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Well my Micro class got cancelled today so in my boredom (I mean sincere altruism) I'll go through and try and add my two cents where I feel I can. As a disclaimer much like most of you in here I am a

Welp lets keep going with this exercise I suppose /: A 66% funding offer from SAIS is one that I would strongly consider as it is a very good middle ground between Notre Dame and Harvard. As fa

Well, given I'm the original poster, I should close the loop I guess!  A lot of soul-searching, discussions with my wife, dialogue and negotiations with USC and UT-Austin, working out logistics a

@CaliforniaBurritoAreGreat

I got admitted to my dreamed program, the MPP at Harris. I only applied to Harrris (maybe not strategically wise). I'm an international student with a science background (MSc.in Math). The MPP would mean a career change into the social sciences, so getting financial aid from my government is not an option. My governmen would only provide funding for a PhD  in Science, since that is not my case I feel this is a dead end...but I'm fighting to solve it .   

I'm going to submit the scholarship reconsideration because I really need to increase the financial aid. Could you please give me advice on the points I should be including in my reconsideration statement?, I feel it would be great to have the point of view of a preson who has already succeeded through this step. If you allow me, I will send you my draft. My contact bcjg23@yahoo.com.

Thank you very much!

 

 

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  • 11 months later...
On 4/8/2019 at 12:43 AM, CipherTrigonal89 said:

Okay so here's my situation. It's a little heavy, so I'd appreciate honest feedback about this. 

Coming from: 8 years of paralegal experience in various fields (all of them litigation). And as of this past spring, I also just finished an online certificate program in sustainability studies, so I'm looking to pivot to environmental/energy policy. 

Deciding between: CUNY Baruch's MPA program ($1000/year) vs. Georgetown's MPM program ($0). In both of these programs I would still be working part-time in my current job (our firm has an office in DC so it would be a simple matter of transferring to the DC office in the case of Georgetown) and going to school part-time.

Other factors: For me, it's a complicated situation and I now wish I had spoken up about this sooner because I've been internally debating this for weeks on end. There are basically two options under consideration:

  • For Baruch, I'd be paying in-state tuition and overall my tuition costs would be about a third of Georgetown's. I'd basically be graduating with no debt if I used my own savings to cover the difference; I'd still have more than half left over (at this point) when I finish that program. 
  • For Georgetown, even though I have no funding at this point, if I were to defer admissions for another year and continue working, I would be able to cover most (around three quarters or so) of the tuition costs with my savings by that point, if not nearly all of it (with some financial assistance from my parents). However, when the dust settles, I'd basically have far less in savings (putting it mildly). Again, because I'd also be working part-time in DC, my job could cover rent and living expenses while attending the program. 

How I'm leaning: I'm also really, really torn about this. On the one hand, I realize that Georgetown has a better alumni and career network, a more rigorous program, and almost certainly a higher starting salary for graduates compared to Baruch (I also get the feeling that their professional networks and job recruiting prospects are more localized in the NYC area compared to GT too).. On the other hand, with Baruch I'd basically have no student whatsoever, and one really doesn't have to look very far  to see why this would be quite a boon. And while I could hypothetically cover the cost for Georgetown with my own savings and some financial assistance, I also don't think that this is a decision that one should make lightly whatsoever when one's savings are taken into account. 

So I guess my question here is: does a school's brand name really matter that much in public policy in the grand scheme of things? Is it really worth it to attend an elite program at the cost of virtually all my savings at this point (and then some), or attend a state program at the cost of a likely smaller career network, development, etc. and yet not have to worry about finances or debt long-term? I know that for law and business school, rankings matter a great deal and can often be a game changer. Here, however, I'm not so sure.

If pedigree really does make a tangible and non-trivial difference, then I would be more inclined to pick Georgetown. If not, then I'm going with Baruch. Either option would be fine by me one way or another. 

Alternatively, is it possible or advisable to defer one or perhaps both programs for another year if I still need more time to decide? I'm unsure if deferment still constitutes (more or less) a binding contract to attend in a year, but either way even I have serious qualms about this and I'm not even sure if this would be permissible. 

Thanks in advance!

If I were you, and those were you two options, I just wouldn't go period.

1. Baruch is has very limited brand equity. If you go through the school's resources, you would get a job whereby your peers are 25s. Also, I do believe is a much younger MPA program and there are a lot of straight from undergrads. 

2. MPM is a pretty good program (I know... I got accepted into it and worked alongside MPMs). Most MPM people I know are sponsored (for good reason), because it really isn't that good for career switching. It is mostly for people to get promoted within their own organization. It is decently networking, but I don't remember having ever met an Environmental person (I am sure they exist). FYI - it is mostly military, international affairs, and urban-social policy folks that do MPM. However, most people on earth have no idea what an MPM, so even though it comes with the Georgetown brand, it doesn't really help you career switch too much. Oh and working part time while you are in school will really limit your bandwidth to network. 

If you want to career pivot, I recommend that you take the leap of faith and try to career pivot off of your current resume and alumni network or find other grad school options (that will hopefully give you better scholarship). 

Especially given the debt, the loss of time, and etc... these are all high opportunity costs and I don't exactly see much meaningful gain. 

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  • 11 months later...

Coming From: undergraduate, California

Deciding Between: 

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy- full tuition and fees.

Georgetown Security Studies Program- 12.5% tuition.

Leaning: My heart says Georgetown due to its renown and potential to get me into a dream career in national security. My brain says UCSD GPS because...hey...free masters and a solid program.

Do you guys think Georgetown is worth it?

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Dwbartha said:

Coming From: undergraduate, California

Deciding Between: 

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy- full tuition and fees.

Georgetown Security Studies Program- 12.5% tuition.

Leaning: My heart says Georgetown due to its renown and potential to get me into a dream career in national security. My brain says UCSD GPS because...hey...free masters and a solid program.

Do you guys think Georgetown is worth it?

 

 

 

not in comparison to a free ride!!!!!! don't let the name blind you (I have to remind myself of this regularly, so I'm truly not saying this from a high horse; debt is not worth a name) 

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Coming from: 4 years of work experience at an international non-profit

Deciding between:

Johns Hopkins SAIS - 36% of tuition (submitted a reconsideration request to see if it could be bumped a bit)

Columbia SIPA - $0 (RIP)

Leaning: If money wasn't a factor, I'd probably choose Columbia (I'm currently based in NYC). But it also seems hard to justify taking out double the amount of loans for Columbia... Especially when SAIS also has a strong program that I'm excited about.

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Hi everyone, I posted this on the 2021 Decisions thread, but also adding it here!

Coming from: 2.5 years at a public policy research company 

Deciding between:

UChicago Harris - $15K/year (got a promotion at work and plan to submitted a reconsideration request for $25K, we'll see)

Harvard Kennedy School - no funding, but I would live with my parents in Boston and save about the same amount in housing/food costs

Leaning towards Harris. I currently live in Chicago and my partner got into Booth (the UChicago business school). We were both so excited to go to the same school and live together, but then I got into Harvard. I think that Harvard is a slightly better fit for me since quant and data are definitely skills that I want to master, but I ultimately want to work in operations, program management, and in leadership roles. I also like the more diverse and smaller class size. However, I am fully aware that Harris is also an incredible program and would be nice to make Chicago connections if I end up staying there long-term (which is pretty likely). I am interested in gun violence prevention work, and there are a lot of great organizations in that field associated with Harris.

Obviously, I'm stuck because I don't want to leave my partner, but can I turn down Harvard? Is my judgement just clouded by the prestige? I would appreciate some insights on the concrete differences between the two MPP programs to help me decide. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE! :)

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Coming from: 8 years of work experience - 4.5 in the military and the rest in defense journalism with a break to go to undergrad separating the two jobs. 

Deciding between:

Georgetown SSP - I'm very keen on defense/natsec issues, which this program specializes in. But I also worry that since it's not the flagship SFS program that I'll be left feeling like I missed out on something bigger. 

Johns Hopkins SAIS MAIR - 50% scholarship and a decent security studies concentration

 

Leaning towards SSP.

SAIS offered a good scholarship that, when combined with the GI Bill, makes the program tuition-free. But the econ requirements worry me. If my grades aren't great and my GPA slips below 3.4, I lose the scholarship. 

SSP offered no money, but the program also is much easier to use with the GI Bill and offsets the extra costs through an internal fund, so this would be nearly tuition-free, as well, and I don't have to worry about grades so much. The only downside to SSP for me is that it doesn't have a language requirement and seems less rigorous than SAIS. I wonder how that will impact career prospects?

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Coming from: years of work experience in policy. Wanted to do a career switch to more economics/quantitative oriented stuff. Got my BA in IR from American University in 2017.

Deciding between: SAIS Master in International Economics and Finance, LSE MPA, IHEID MA in International Economics

Leaning: I think the right choice is technically IHEID, as it has an excellent placement record in international organizations, it's significantly cheaper than the other two, class size is small, entry into the program is very competitive, and it lets me keep the academia door open (while the other two are strictly professional programs). 

That said, I feel like by choosing IHEID I'd be banking on getting into a phd or into an international organization to stay abroad, as IHEID has zero name recognition in my small Central American country. Meanwhile, people here have definitely heard of both LSE and Johns Hopkins..

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Coming From: 3 years of work experience in nonprofit sector

Deciding Between: Six programs, four of which are two-year MPPs, two of which are one-year MS in policy. Listed below from least expensive to most expensive. 

  1. HKS MPP - Full tuition scholarship
  2. Duke Sanford MPP
  3. Georgetown MPP
  4. Penn SP2 MSSP
  5. NYU Wagner MSPP
  6. Chicago Harris MPP

Leaning: I have a sense that the HKS MPP is on a different playing field that the other MPP programs I've been admitted to -- even more so because I've received a full tuition scholarship. However, I'm trying to get a sense of how big the gap in experience/prestige/future opportunities is between HKS and the other programs because I have a complicating personal factor that would make living in Cambridge more difficult than the other cities.

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2 hours ago, sal41 said:

Coming From: 3 years of work experience in nonprofit sector

Deciding Between: Six programs, four of which are two-year MPPs, two of which are one-year MS in policy. Listed below from least expensive to most expensive. 

  1. HKS MPP - Full tuition scholarship
  2. Duke Sanford MPP
  3. Georgetown MPP
  4. Penn SP2 MSSP
  5. NYU Wagner MSPP
  6. Chicago Harris MPP

Leaning: I have a sense that the HKS MPP is on a different playing field that the other MPP programs I've been admitted to -- even more so because I've received a full tuition scholarship. However, I'm trying to get a sense of how big the gap in experience/prestige/future opportunities is between HKS and the other programs because I have a complicating personal factor that would make living in Cambridge more difficult than the other cities.

The ONLY potential reason for you not to go to HKS is what your thoughts are on community. I have family members who went to HKS + met there friends. Among those comes from a less aggressive workspace (lets be honest most non-profits are), they have found HKS to be impersonal and a bit too competitive/susceptible to FOMO with too many things to get involved in.

If for some reason that concerns you and think will dampen your ability to perform despite the advantages of HKS, then I recommend you go to Duke Sanford by virtue of its insanely strong community.

The rest of your options have good, but not great (U. Chicago Harris) or various versions of lackluster community (almost everywhere else).

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Coming from: International tech policy role

Deciding between:

-Columbia SIPA - 30k (asked for more)

-Columbia Area Studies - 20k (could also work FT or PT, work would provide $25k)

-Georgetown SFS - 0 aid

-Indiana Area Studies - Full Ride

-Keep working, apply again next year

Leaning:

-Not accepting anything, after getting admitted I'm not feeling too motivated by any of these programs.

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Coming from: 3 years of experience in the non-profit sector and have research experience at a think tank 

Deciding between:

-Harris 25K 

- SIPA 0 funding 

- Maxwell full ride 

Leaning:

- Leaning towards Maxwell because of their strong research in academia and alumni network in DC. However, I want to gain more quant skills that are marketable so I’m conflicted about Harris, but I’m also thinking is the debt at Harris worth it over Maxwell? Also, SIPA is an Ivy and has a great network in NYC and DC, but the cost is egregious of course. 

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10 hours ago, Jackrowe said:

Coming from: 3 years of experience in the non-profit sector and have research experience at a think tank 

Deciding between:

-Harris 25K 

- SIPA 0 funding 

- Maxwell full ride 

Leaning:

- Leaning towards Maxwell because of their strong research in academia and alumni network in DC. However, I want to gain more quant skills that are marketable so I’m conflicted about Harris, but I’m also thinking is the debt at Harris worth it over Maxwell? Also, SIPA is an Ivy and has a great network in NYC and DC, but the cost is egregious of course. 

I don't think the Ivy league advantage really applies outside of undergrad. Most graduate programs are cash cows for these schools. 

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Hi everyone, 

I am seeking advice. I have recently been accepted into 4 PHD programs. 3 are sociology and 1 is gerontology. My top choice is the gerontology program however it is the one with the lowest funding offer. Any advice on deciding between two different programs and different funding packages? 

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38 minutes ago, Kole_Kolt said:

I don't think the Ivy league advantage really applies outside of undergrad. Most graduate programs are cash cows for these schools. 

I suggest you take a close look at the recruiters and what placements look like: at the upper tier, Harvard and Princeton, whether it’s correct or not, have an outsized influence in many think tanks, foundations and larger non-profits.

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8 minutes ago, Boolakanaka said:

I suggest you take a close look at the recruiters and what placements look like: at the upper tier, Harvard and Princeton, whether it’s correct or not, have an outsized influence in many think tanks, foundations and larger non-profits.

Those are strong programs, for sure, but their Ivy League status might as well be divorced from their graduate programs. That poster mentioned SIPA. And while Columbia is a great undergrad, SIPA doesn't place better than Georgetown MSFS or even Hopkins SAIS, neither of which are Ivy. I would also argue that HKS is a cash cow for Harvard proper. But in the end, all of these programs are cash cows to some extent and not worth sticker price.  

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Hi All,

I'm currently weighing the following options and would love any input:

Georgetown McCourt MPP

NYU Wagner MPA

Michigan Ford

I've been working at an IGO in DC for the last 6 years, so am a couple years older than the typical MPP student. I hope to apply to the MBA program at the school I choose and create a dual MPP/MBA degree. I'm interested in how to bridge business, technology, and policy to address gender inequities (when I applied, I was considering an international focus but now I'm considering domestic as well). I don't have a dream job in mind but would consider policy jobs at tech companies or government positions/fellowships like the Presidential management fellowship as of right now. I was pretty set on Georgetown since I already have a network in DC and love the city, but I have heard mixed reviews about the overall experience/career outcomes and want to fairly consider all my options now. Here are a few notes for each school top of mind, but I'm interested to hear from others in this position or who are at any of these schools:

McCourt MPP:

-DC network- ability to go to events/speak to people working in the field

-Ability to do internships during the academic year 

-Research opportunities seem easier to come by than at other universities

-Already established friends/network in DC

NYU Wagner MPA:

-NY network- similar to DC, people working in every field 

-Not as technically focused as MPP; seems like there are more options to go into the private sector or bridge non-profit/private sector together

-Experience of living in NY for a couple years

Michigan Ford:

-Highest ranked of the 3. If I was able to make it a dual with Ross MBA, I'd have 2 top ranked degrees which seems like it would give me good career options

-Seems more domestic/local focused than other two programs which seems slightly limiting for what I want to do

-Seems like the strongest/most supportive community of the 3 schools- people I've talked to seemed to love the entire experience whereas I didn't get that vibe from GU

-College town experience- I went to a small liberal arts school for undergrad so it would be a fun/different experience

-Strongest quantitative education of the 3

 

Overall, I want to develop a strong quant skill-set,  research skills, and enjoy my grad school experience. I know I'll have great options at each of these places, but curious what others would do in my shoes and what else I should be considering! Thanks :) 

 

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3 hours ago, MP22 said:

Hi All,

I'm currently weighing the following options and would love any input:

Georgetown McCourt MPP

NYU Wagner MPA

Michigan Ford

I've been working at an IGO in DC for the last 6 years, so am a couple years older than the typical MPP student. I hope to apply to the MBA program at the school I choose and create a dual MPP/MBA degree. I'm interested in how to bridge business, technology, and policy to address gender inequities (when I applied, I was considering an international focus but now I'm considering domestic as well). I don't have a dream job in mind but would consider policy jobs at tech companies or government positions/fellowships like the Presidential management fellowship as of right now. I was pretty set on Georgetown since I already have a network in DC and love the city, but I have heard mixed reviews about the overall experience/career outcomes and want to fairly consider all my options now. Here are a few notes for each school top of mind, but I'm interested to hear from others in this position or who are at any of these schools:

McCourt MPP:

-DC network- ability to go to events/speak to people working in the field

-Ability to do internships during the academic year 

-Research opportunities seem easier to come by than at other universities

-Already established friends/network in DC

NYU Wagner MPA:

-NY network- similar to DC, people working in every field 

-Not as technically focused as MPP; seems like there are more options to go into the private sector or bridge non-profit/private sector together

-Experience of living in NY for a couple years

Michigan Ford:

-Highest ranked of the 3. If I was able to make it a dual with Ross MBA, I'd have 2 top ranked degrees which seems like it would give me good career options

-Seems more domestic/local focused than other two programs which seems slightly limiting for what I want to do

-Seems like the strongest/most supportive community of the 3 schools- people I've talked to seemed to love the entire experience whereas I didn't get that vibe from GU

-College town experience- I went to a small liberal arts school for undergrad so it would be a fun/different experience

-Strongest quantitative education of the 3

 

Overall, I want to develop a strong quant skill-set,  research skills, and enjoy my grad school experience. I know I'll have great options at each of these places, but curious what others would do in my shoes and what else I should be considering! Thanks :) 

 

So it sounds like you have a lot interests and each of them are best served by a different program / have different set of considerations. That being said, I think I should highlight MPP/MBA combo / comparison.

1. Nearly all MBA/MPP (MPA/MPH in that bucket list) took on jobs that really hinged on degree or the other. So basically, they could have easily gotten their job if they just single degreed rather than dual degreed and the other degree is just conversation fodder at parties. The only exceptions I know are people in certain healthcare and national security roles. I would say 70% of those I know stayed at the MBA side, and 30% went to the MPP/MPA/MPH side (which makes sense, because they pay as little as 50% of an MBA job). 

2. Nearly every person I know who was an MBA/MPP (or MPA/MPH) will say they enjoyed their MBA side better (in terms of experiences, quality of education, personalities and etc.). This is among ALL SCHOOLS. Even those who went towards an MPP/MPA/MPH hinged job will say the same. The only exceptions I ran into are those who parents made them get an MBA as a condition for paying their MBA (true story), so they had no interest in their MBA.

Based off of that, I recommend you think about what matters to you in terms of career destiny - do you want to focus on the range of finance, strategy, operations, marketing jobs - most commonly tied private sector (although increasingly welcome in government and non-profit)? Or would you rather focus on policy analysis and policy administration. When there is an intersection between the 2, usually the MBA degree will take precedence in terms of importance for hiring. 

For example, MBAs have a higher rate of acceptance into PMF than MPP/MPAs. I actually have a friend who is an MBA but his wife was an MPP and got an academic distinction award. He got the PMF and she did not (not sure how their marriage is going). 

3. Right now the easiest way to get into tech policy is to be a lawyer. There is simply isn't an established pathway to get into tech policy unless you come from a technical angle (technical program management stuff) or national security angle (and then do business integrity stuff). Ultimately, what I'm saying is that neither policy school or business school will give you a direct shot to the role.

4. Gender inequality jobs - that is very very popular area of interest in policy schools. So popular, that there are not enough jobs in the area for people to target. Most jobs are either advocacy, research, or non-profit oriented. You also don't need a degree for that. 

5. Anything with an international focus. All three schools you applied to are not strong in international (not counting international development which is its own category). Georgetown MSFS is amazing at international, but Georgetown McCourt is pretty weak at it. The US News higher ranking has to do with how McCourt sometimes shares professors or the halo effect. 

6. The MBA programs. All three of those MBA programs are very different in terms of regional strength, culture, and career matriculation. Even though Ross MBA is a top 15 ranked MBA program (depending on which ranking you are looking at), a disproportionate number of people end up in Industrials  + Chicago from from there. I can speak at length to the various programs.

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On 3/23/2021 at 8:54 AM, Kole_Kolt said:

Those are strong programs, for sure, but their Ivy League status might as well be divorced from their graduate programs. That poster mentioned SIPA. And while Columbia is a great undergrad, SIPA doesn't place better than Georgetown MSFS or even Hopkins SAIS, neither of which are Ivy. I would also argue that HKS is a cash cow for Harvard proper. But in the end, all of these programs are cash cows to some extent and not worth sticker price.  

Hmmmn, divorced from their graduate programs—not sure about that at all. YLS , HLS, Harvard MBA, in short these represent the  benchmark of their respective professional programs, and they are leagues ahead of most programs—this has little to do with undergraduate education.

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Just now, Boolakanaka said:

Hmmmn, divorced from their graduate programs—not sure about that at all. YLS , HLS, Harvard MBA, in short these represent the  benchmark of their respective professional programs, and they are leagues ahead of most programs—this has little to do with undergraduate education.

Fair enough. But this is a government affairs forum and we were talking about MPPs and foreign policy oriented master's degrees. When it comes to JDs and MBAs, I'd acknowledge the game is far different.  

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Deciding between four programs, three of them MPP. In no order:

  • LBJ MGPS - half tuition, would likely get in-state second year. From Austin, which is a bonus financially but I don't want to feel like I'm just going back home; unsure if I want to work in Texas after.
  • Goldman MPP - no funding. How difficult are fee remission opportunities through work on campus? I adore Berkeley, a bit intimidated by the quant curriculum (but hey, they accepted me).
  • USC Price - half tuition. LA could be good for my career interests, but not too familiar with the network or what job opportunities would look like after.

I have four years of work experience policy and communications in DC, but am interested in pivoting to something related to tech and media - maybe the policy side of that, but I am not committed to returning to DC. My uncertainty regarding exactly what I want to do is definitely a factor in my decision. I have also been accepted to a top tier media & communications program that I am excited about, but also concerned about debt. Any feedback on the above programs - and thoughts about reasonable salary ranges after - extremely welcome! Thanks in advance.

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Part time deciding between Georgetown MPP (33%) and GWU MPP (0%). Costs are almost equal and are both strong with my areas of interest. Leaning more toward GU due to the heavy quant program being more marketable. Either way I'll have loans, so cost isn't as much of a factor. 

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Hi there guys,
I am currently deciding between NYU Wagner MPA and UCLA Luskin MPP. Any insight toward students' experience, coursework, and professor there? I already got a full scholarship from my government, so the price tag is not an issue. Here are some pros and cons. 


NYU
Pros:
- Wagner has a higher ranking and well-known in the field compared to UCLA Luskin
- Internship opportunity in UN and World Bank -> my dream organization that I want to experience
- Both of them have Transportation specialization that I need for my future career for at least the next 4 years
- I partner live in CT. it might be easier for her to find a job on this coast.
- having an upward trend in the global ranking!
- Higher price for education, thus better student resource to access???
Cons:
- NYU has a lower rank than UCLA in general 
- As an international student, I am not sure about the opportunity to get a research assistant or any job around the Uni
- require only 45 credits to graduate while I want to take some more course (like 6 - 9 credits more than I need to graduate)

 

UCLA
Pros: 
- Higher rank and well-renowned for academic performance comparing to NYU in general 
- Very strong in Transportation policy specialization (after a lot of research on schools, it seems like their performance on specialization usually based on the most pressing problem of the city) + one of the professor research match my interest!
- It seems like there is a higher chance for paid research position here
- Experience new city since I have never been in the West coast
Cons:
- the ranking of UCLA seems like it is in the downward trend. And after intensive research toward the school, it looks like the CA state is cutting the budget. Maybe less resource to access
- Might be hard for my partner to find a job there after a pandemic without any connection
- require 80 credits to complete the degree! It seems like it is a bit too much compared to other programs in the whole country for MPP and MPA.
- it seems like the policy and case studies there focus on LA and California context, while NYU seems to have a border focus. Including the fact that most of the alumni work in LA or CA

Any thought and insight to share toward these two schools? Which one will you pick if you are in my shoes? Thank you so much, guys!

 

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On 3/22/2021 at 4:40 PM, Kole_Kolt said:

Coming from: 8 years of work experience - 4.5 in the military and the rest in defense journalism with a break to go to undergrad separating the two jobs. 

Deciding between:

Georgetown SSP - I'm very keen on defense/natsec issues, which this program specializes in. But I also worry that since it's not the flagship SFS program that I'll be left feeling like I missed out on something bigger. 

Johns Hopkins SAIS MAIR - 50% scholarship and a decent security studies concentration

 

Leaning towards SSP.

SAIS offered a good scholarship that, when combined with the GI Bill, makes the program tuition-free. But the econ requirements worry me. If my grades aren't great and my GPA slips below 3.4, I lose the scholarship. 

SSP offered no money, but the program also is much easier to use with the GI Bill and offsets the extra costs through an internal fund, so this would be nearly tuition-free, as well, and I don't have to worry about grades so much. The only downside to SSP for me is that it doesn't have a language requirement and seems less rigorous than SAIS. I wonder how that will impact career prospects?

Sounds like SSP is the perfect fit for you, provided you don't have to pay for it. It is THE program for security studies (don't worry about the flagship issue). It won't solve a weak resume, but yours sounds pretty strong so you should have plenty of options, especially if you want to be a fed/FSO/DoD civilian (as you probably know you'll want to check out OSD Policy, DSCA, and any of the Service HQs, like SAF/IA, G3/5/7, NIPO).

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