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On 3/21/2021 at 1:27 AM, 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?

 

 

 

Lol, no and it's not even close, purely because of money. In addition, UCSD can give you just as good of career options as Georgetown and if anything would be a competitive advantage for Asia and Pacific-focused jobs. 

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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

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

I think Goldman is a slam dunk for what you want to do. Columbia's bread and butter is health or international affairs policy, whereas Berkeley's reputation is more along the lines of your background/

On 3/31/2021 at 4:37 AM, Thanapoomped said:


- 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.

 

UCLA's a quarter system school, so there's more academic terms and more classes to take relative to a semester system school. It's still a 2-year MPP, so I wouldn't judge a program purely based on its unit count. 

I did quarter system for undergrad and I'm now in a semester MPP program. I miss the breadth of the quarter system and the chance to take lots of different classes with different faculty, personally. 

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Coming from:
Bay Area, CA. Will have 5 years post-grad work experience when I start my graduate program.

Deciding between: 

  • UCLA Luskin, MPP - 100% tuition + stipend for 1st year only
  • U Chicago Harris, MPP - 65% tuition
  • CMU Heinz, MSPPM - 80% tuition

Other factors:

All three schools are ranked #13. My focus has been California-based policy, but I’m open to going to DC for the right position.

How I'm leaning:

Order as follows. Leaning towards UCLA Luskin based on costs/ funding and strong connections to the campus. Also, I have the most experience in California policy and it’s the only California school. I’m nervous about the alumni network, name recognition in policy circles, and connections to DC.

I like Harris, especially the policy labs and the city of Chicago. They’ve been extremely communicative and they have extensive faculty. Despite the scholarship, it will be the most expensive. I’m curious to hear thoughts about alumni network.

CMU Heinz is offering huge scholarship but I’m not sold on Pittsburgh. I applied to the DC track but admitted to 2-year Pittsburgh. I know CMU Heinz has connections to DC.

Hope to hear thoughts/ experiences with these programs.

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Hi everyone, so in some ways this might be a less "where should I go" post and more a "am I shooting myself in the foot" post, since I think my mind is pretty close to made up. I was accepted into Harris (15k/year, tried to appeal, they declined) and McCourt (27k/year), and although I don't disagree with the discourse here that Harris is more academically rigorous and has a better managed program, I think I'm leaning towards McCourt for a number of reasons:
1. The weather. I was in upstate New York for undergrad, and I would absolutely love not to deal with frigid weather again.
2. I did a semester in DC during undergrad and really liked living there, whereas I've spent almost no time in Chicago.
3. Social network/support system. Nearly everyone I know is in the tri-state area (or in DC), and it'd be far easier and cheaper for me to visit home, or for friends and family to visit me, if I was in DC. 
4. I'm pretty sure I want to work in the federal government (possibly PMF) after I graduate, and it seems like McCourt is at least as strong as Harris in that path. 
5. The money, obviously, since I don't think the higher cost of living in DC won't come anywhere close to closing a 25k gap vs Hyde Park.

Like I said, I don't dispute that Harris is somewhat better managed and has a better rep, but given all these other factors, it seems like that trade-off isn't worth it, given external factors and that I've always imagined myself working in the DC public sector after I finish my degree. Basically what I'm asking is, is this clearly the wrong choice? Is the difference in prestige and program management worth giving up all these upsides? I'd love any advice (I can already guess what GradSchoolGrad is gonna say, haha). Thanks!

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On 4/3/2021 at 11:50 PM, MPP_2021 said:

Coming from:
Bay Area, CA. Will have 5 years post-grad work experience when I start my graduate program.

Deciding between: 

  • UCLA Luskin, MPP - 100% tuition + stipend for 1st year only
  • U Chicago Harris, MPP - 65% tuition
  • CMU Heinz, MSPPM - 80% tuition

Other factors:

All three schools are ranked #13. My focus has been California-based policy, but I’m open to going to DC for the right position.

How I'm leaning:

Order as follows. Leaning towards UCLA Luskin based on costs/ funding and strong connections to the campus. Also, I have the most experience in California policy and it’s the only California school. I’m nervous about the alumni network, name recognition in policy circles, and connections to DC.

I like Harris, especially the policy labs and the city of Chicago. They’ve been extremely communicative and they have extensive faculty. Despite the scholarship, it will be the most expensive. I’m curious to hear thoughts about alumni network.

CMU Heinz is offering huge scholarship but I’m not sold on Pittsburgh. I applied to the DC track but admitted to 2-year Pittsburgh. I know CMU Heinz has connections to DC.

Hope to hear thoughts/ experiences with these programs.

Hmm, UCLA is offering you a full ride AND you want to focus on California policy? I don't see how this is even a question. Enjoy LA!

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23 hours ago, van_96 said:

Hi everyone, so in some ways this might be a less "where should I go" post and more a "am I shooting myself in the foot" post, since I think my mind is pretty close to made up. I was accepted into Harris (15k/year, tried to appeal, they declined) and McCourt (27k/year), and although I don't disagree with the discourse here that Harris is more academically rigorous and has a better managed program, I think I'm leaning towards McCourt for a number of reasons:
1. The weather. I was in upstate New York for undergrad, and I would absolutely love not to deal with frigid weather again.
2. I did a semester in DC during undergrad and really liked living there, whereas I've spent almost no time in Chicago.
3. Social network/support system. Nearly everyone I know is in the tri-state area (or in DC), and it'd be far easier and cheaper for me to visit home, or for friends and family to visit me, if I was in DC. 
4. I'm pretty sure I want to work in the federal government (possibly PMF) after I graduate, and it seems like McCourt is at least as strong as Harris in that path. 
5. The money, obviously, since I don't think the higher cost of living in DC won't come anywhere close to closing a 25k gap vs Hyde Park.

Like I said, I don't dispute that Harris is somewhat better managed and has a better rep, but given all these other factors, it seems like that trade-off isn't worth it, given external factors and that I've always imagined myself working in the DC public sector after I finish my degree. Basically what I'm asking is, is this clearly the wrong choice? Is the difference in prestige and program management worth giving up all these upsides? I'd love any advice (I can already guess what GradSchoolGrad is gonna say, haha). Thanks!

Definitely Chicago, especially as you want to compete for a PMF, though you'll want plenty of backup options. My advice: apply again in a year or two - to the same schools - as well as a few others, including at least a couple public unis. Hopefully you'll have a better resume (+ some savings) and be able to leverage that into at least one full tuition offer.

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On 4/9/2021 at 2:44 PM, van_96 said:

Hi everyone, so in some ways this might be a less "where should I go" post and more a "am I shooting myself in the foot" post, since I think my mind is pretty close to made up. I was accepted into Harris (15k/year, tried to appeal, they declined) and McCourt (27k/year), and although I don't disagree with the discourse here that Harris is more academically rigorous and has a better managed program, I think I'm leaning towards McCourt for a number of reasons:
1. The weather. I was in upstate New York for undergrad, and I would absolutely love not to deal with frigid weather again.
2. I did a semester in DC during undergrad and really liked living there, whereas I've spent almost no time in Chicago.
3. Social network/support system. Nearly everyone I know is in the tri-state area (or in DC), and it'd be far easier and cheaper for me to visit home, or for friends and family to visit me, if I was in DC. 
4. I'm pretty sure I want to work in the federal government (possibly PMF) after I graduate, and it seems like McCourt is at least as strong as Harris in that path. 
5. The money, obviously, since I don't think the higher cost of living in DC won't come anywhere close to closing a 25k gap vs Hyde Park.

Like I said, I don't dispute that Harris is somewhat better managed and has a better rep, but given all these other factors, it seems like that trade-off isn't worth it, given external factors and that I've always imagined myself working in the DC public sector after I finish my degree. Basically what I'm asking is, is this clearly the wrong choice? Is the difference in prestige and program management worth giving up all these upsides? I'd love any advice (I can already guess what GradSchoolGrad is gonna say, haha). Thanks!

I actually am in a somewhat similar situation and think I have made up my mind to go to McCourt, although I have the additional factor of already living in DC and being able to do McCourt's program part-time and keep my job. I think you're right that if you want to work in the federal government McCourt and Harris seem to stack up pretty equally (although maybe a bit less so for the PMF program as @went_away mentioned). Also I'm not sure what your background is, but if you haven't had experience with the federal government already the opportunity to get that experience through internships during your time there will definitely be valuable. 

I think the cost and your personal reasons for leaning toward Georgetown also make a lot of sense, although I will say Chicago is a great city and personally I would take frigid winters over the miserable DC summers (I'm from Michigan though so take that with a grain of salt haha).

That said, if you're at all unsure about wanting to end up in the DC area and/or the federal government, especially if there's a chance you'd be interested in the private sector, then I think it may be worth reconsidering Harris.

I've lived in the DC area for almost 3 years now and have been working for the federal gov for 2, so feel free to message me if you have any questions about the area or that experience! 

 

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Longtime lurker, first time poster! 

Coming from: A few years in business strategy and operations in the tech industry

Deciding between: MPP programs

  • Duke Sanford (full tuition)
  • UChicago Harris (~50% tuition)
  • Michigan Ford (~50% tuition)

Other factors: I’m looking to focus on technology policy issues such as antitrust, privacy, misinformation, etc. Though not opposed to tackling these issues from within a public sector org, I intend to return to the private (read: tech) sector upon graduation. Still debating whether it’s worth pursuing a concurrent MBA or JD, but that’s a separate issue for another post.

Currently leaning: Duke -- it wasn’t initially my top choice, but I was pleasantly surprised by their funding offer, and having attended a number of their admitted students’ sessions, the extent to which they’ve invested (and continue to invest) in research and scholarship in the tech policy arena is seemingly unmatched this side of Stanford FSI and perhaps HKS. While most schools have clearly defined curricula in traditional policy areas (social, educational, health, international, environmental, etc.), tech policy instruction remains nebulous -- unless I’m missing something?!

That said…

UChicago Harris and Michigan Ford are incredible programs with larger student bodies and alumni networks, and seemingly more robust quant offerings. Harris in particular has the distinct advantage of being proximate to a large city, which implies numerous opportunities for internships/part time jobs. 

In sum, I’m wondering how Duke Sanford stacks up as a policy school, and whether either Harris or Ford are worth the $50K+ tuition differential?

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11 hours ago, excxn said:

I actually am in a somewhat similar situation and think I have made up my mind to go to McCourt, although I have the additional factor of already living in DC and being able to do McCourt's program part-time and keep my job. I think you're right that if you want to work in the federal government McCourt and Harris seem to stack up pretty equally (although maybe a bit less so for the PMF program as @went_away mentioned). Also I'm not sure what your background is, but if you haven't had experience with the federal government already the opportunity to get that experience through internships during your time there will definitely be valuable. 

I think the cost and your personal reasons for leaning toward Georgetown also make a lot of sense, although I will say Chicago is a great city and personally I would take frigid winters over the miserable DC summers (I'm from Michigan though so take that with a grain of salt haha).

That said, if you're at all unsure about wanting to end up in the DC area and/or the federal government, especially if there's a chance you'd be interested in the private sector, then I think it may be worth reconsidering Harris.

I've lived in the DC area for almost 3 years now and have been working for the federal gov for 2, so feel free to message me if you have any questions about the area or that experience! 

 

 

On 4/10/2021 at 2:34 PM, went_away said:

Definitely Chicago, especially as you want to compete for a PMF, though you'll want plenty of backup options. My advice: apply again in a year or two - to the same schools - as well as a few others, including at least a couple public unis. Hopefully you'll have a better resume (+ some savings) and be able to leverage that into at least one full tuition offer.

Thank you both for your responses! I'm curious as to why @went_away thinks that Chicago would be more helpful with the PMF, since the MPP programs in each school sent the same number of students into the program last year despite Harris being 3-4x bigger than McCourt. I definitely want to be in DC post-graduation, even if it ends up being in a nonprofit research role or a non-PMF federal position, and building up a DC network is definitely one of the reasons why I think McCourt might be worth going to the (slightly) inferior program. 

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2 hours ago, van_96 said:

 

Thank you both for your responses! I'm curious as to why @went_away thinks that Chicago would be more helpful with the PMF, since the MPP programs in each school sent the same number of students into the program last year despite Harris being 3-4x bigger than McCourt. I definitely want to be in DC post-graduation, even if it ends up being in a nonprofit research role or a non-PMF federal position, and building up a DC network is definitely one of the reasons why I think McCourt might be worth going to the (slightly) inferior program. 

You have to think about the funnel. The number of people applying to Chicago are way less because there is a lot more state and local policy interest (from what my friends tell me). At McCourt almost every American student and their mother applies to PMF. I don't have hard numbers, but I would be surprised if the application to acceptance rate for McCourt is higher than in Chicago. 

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13 hours ago, excxn said:

I actually am in a somewhat similar situation and think I have made up my mind to go to McCourt, although I have the additional factor of already living in DC and being able to do McCourt's program part-time and keep my job. I think you're right that if you want to work in the federal government McCourt and Harris seem to stack up pretty equally (although maybe a bit less so for the PMF program as @went_away mentioned). Also I'm not sure what your background is, but if you haven't had experience with the federal government already the opportunity to get that experience through internships during your time there will definitely be valuable. 

I think the cost and your personal reasons for leaning toward Georgetown also make a lot of sense, although I will say Chicago is a great city and personally I would take frigid winters over the miserable DC summers (I'm from Michigan though so take that with a grain of salt haha).

That said, if you're at all unsure about wanting to end up in the DC area and/or the federal government, especially if there's a chance you'd be interested in the private sector, then I think it may be worth reconsidering Harris.

I've lived in the DC area for almost 3 years now and have been working for the federal gov for 2, so feel free to message me if you have any questions about the area or that experience! 

 

If you are committed to going to Federal government, McCourt makes sense for you --> especially since they gave you a fatter scholarship. Just be prepared to Lone Ranger it if you want to be professionally successful since your peers may not be the best at motivating you. 

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On 4/10/2021 at 2:34 PM, went_away said:

Definitely Chicago, especially as you want to compete for a PMF, though you'll want plenty of backup options. My advice: apply again in a year or two - to the same schools - as well as a few others, including at least a couple public unis. Hopefully you'll have a better resume (+ some savings) and be able to leverage that into at least one full tuition offer.

I 100% agree with this (in terms of applying late).

Also, another trick to getting a PMF is to go to a top MBA school. MBA is seen as more desired than MPP/MPA, but relatively few MBAs apply to PMF. Ever MBA from a top 25 program that ever applied to PMF I knew has gotten it, but I know MPPs with better grades and arguably better achievement did not. 

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29 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

You have to think about the funnel. The number of people applying to Chicago are way less because there is a lot more state and local policy interest (from what my friends tell me). At McCourt almost every American student and their mother applies to PMF. I don't have hard numbers, but I would be surprised if the application to acceptance rate for McCourt is higher than in Chicago. 

Sure, I wasn't trying to imply that the PMF acceptance rate was higher at McCourt, just that whatever difference there may be wasn't significant enough to overcome the other factors. Obviously, we just have to estimate since we don't have actual data on how many people from each school apply, though like you I have no doubt a higher percentage of McCourt students apply than Harris's class. 

 

Anyway, like I said, it's not PMF or bust for me, it just seems like the most straightforward path. I'd be happy in a pretty wide variety of analyst roles in the fed/fed consulting world (which, correct me I'm wrong by your own admission is a relative area of strength for McCourt), or in a DC nonprofit. I'm concerned that if I choose Harris, the increased brand and rigor compared to McCourt will end up essentially canceling out with my lack of a solid DC network, and I will have spent more money over two years in a city that I don't like nearly as much just to reach the same end result. 

 

Postponing isn't really an option, as I have a decent amount of savings built up from living with my parents during the pandemic and my current public sector job is pretty dead-end. Rather just go and start building my quant toolkit and professional network now than keep my life on hold for 2-3 years just to maybe knock another 50k off my tuition. 

 

Please let me know if anything I've said is wrong or misinformed. Thanks, as always! 

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Just now, van_96 said:

Sure, I wasn't trying to imply that the PMF acceptance rate was higher at McCourt, just that whatever difference there may be wasn't significant enough to overcome the other factors. Obviously, we just have to estimate since we don't have actual data on how many people from each school apply, though like you I have no doubt a higher percentage of McCourt students apply than Harris's class. 

 

Anyway, like I said, it's not PMF or bust for me, it just seems like the most straightforward path. I'd be happy in a pretty wide variety of analyst roles in the fed/fed consulting world (which, correct me I'm wrong by your own admission is a relative area of strength for McCourt), or in a DC nonprofit. I'm concerned that if I choose Harris, the increased brand and rigor compared to McCourt will end up essentially canceling out with my lack of a solid DC network, and I will have spent more money over two years in a city that I don't like nearly as much just to reach the same end result. 

 

Postponing isn't really an option, as I have a decent amount of savings built up from living with my parents during the pandemic and my current public sector job is pretty dead-end. Rather just go and start building my quant toolkit and professional network now than keep my life on hold for 2-3 years just to maybe knock another 50k off my tuition. 

 

Please let me know if anything I've said is wrong or misinformed. Thanks, as always! 

If you are trying to anything Federal government of Federal consulting - yes McCourt makes sense for you. 

If you are trying to go non-profit, depending how you define Non-Profit, McCourt and MPP in general makes less sense for you. Non-Profit is one of the most over-credentialed spaces out there.

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5 minutes ago, van_96 said:

Sure, I wasn't trying to imply that the PMF acceptance rate was higher at McCourt, just that whatever difference there may be wasn't significant enough to overcome the other factors. Obviously, we just have to estimate since we don't have actual data on how many people from each school apply, though like you I have no doubt a higher percentage of McCourt students apply than Harris's class. 

 

Anyway, like I said, it's not PMF or bust for me, it just seems like the most straightforward path. I'd be happy in a pretty wide variety of analyst roles in the fed/fed consulting world (which, correct me I'm wrong by your own admission is a relative area of strength for McCourt), or in a DC nonprofit. I'm concerned that if I choose Harris, the increased brand and rigor compared to McCourt will end up essentially canceling out with my lack of a solid DC network, and I will have spent more money over two years in a city that I don't like nearly as much just to reach the same end result. 

 

Postponing isn't really an option, as I have a decent amount of savings built up from living with my parents during the pandemic and my current public sector job is pretty dead-end. Rather just go and start building my quant toolkit and professional network now than keep my life on hold for 2-3 years just to maybe knock another 50k off my tuition. 

 

Please let me know if anything I've said is wrong or misinformed. Thanks, as always! 

I also want to highlight that I think a determining factor for you is how much you think you can do well with a weak peer group. Like honestly, the things going on in Chicago simply blow my mind in terms of research, activities, and just simply how get at them professional attitude they have.

If you are good with Lone Rangering it, sounds like McCourt is missile lock for you. If you think you would struggle with Long Rangering it, then you need to do a real gut check. No joke, everyone who was flat out awesome (and by that, I am not counting Federal consulting) professionally at McCourt led a lonely life - as in apart from their peers outside of class. 

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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15 hours ago, van_96 said:

 

Thank you both for your responses! I'm curious as to why @went_away thinks that Chicago would be more helpful with the PMF, since the MPP programs in each school sent the same number of students into the program last year despite Harris being 3-4x bigger than McCourt. I definitely want to be in DC post-graduation, even if it ends up being in a nonprofit research role or a non-PMF federal position, and building up a DC network is definitely one of the reasons why I think McCourt might be worth going to the (slightly) inferior program. 

Prestige, ranking, perceived intellectual caliber, differentiation coming from outside DC

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