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Columbia QMSS or Harris MPP?

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Hey everyone!

I've been admitted both to the Columbia Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences MA program and the UChicago Harris MPP program. While they are very different programs, I'm very torn on where to go and would like to get some input.

I am straight out of undergrad and want a career in public policy research, perhaps leaving open the possibility of a Public Policy PhD in the long-run. 

QMSS (2-3 semesters):


  • Cheaper, can live at home (60k)
  • Flexibility to take econ, math, stat, poli sci, sociology, policy, etc courses. 
  • RA opportunities


  • Not a lot of courses between undergrad and PhD level. Especially in economics, it seems like I'd be stuck taking many of my courses at the "advanced undergrad" level. I'd rather not waste my time with that.
  • Weak connection to the economics faculty
  • Very compact, especially if done in two semesters

Harris MPP (2 years):


  • Ability to take multiple levels of master's level classes, or PhD courses in public policy 
  • Internship opportunity between year 1 and 2
  • Good RA opportunities
  • Well-connected to economists and econ department


  • Twice the cost of QMSS

Any thoughts/help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Personally speaking, if you want anything related to policy research, MPP is a great program. Also, UChi is good for academic/research training. You actually don't need to worry too much about the extra tuition because the second-year students really have a lot of chance to be student assistant (I mean TA...) all well-paid, and waive a great amount of tuition! But if the program is one-year, you don't have a chance to do this. So, I recommend you to choose Harris.

Also, when it comes to career service/academic advise etc. Harris is way better because it is an actual "school" with a lot of resources! while Columbia program's career service or any other support seems ... a little too weak. 


Edited by Katiefle
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  • 1 year later...

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