Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone, 

Accepted to: 

Harris (MPP) Scholarship 15k :(

Evans (MPA) some fellowship 

UCSD GPS was not considering it until it gave me full scholarship

Maxwell, Boston (MAEP), GW: no aid

Leaning towards: Harris. for its reputation, courses and faculty members. I  want to work in the quant side of policy analysis which Harris is known for. But I will have to take loan to afford it and it is a VERY expensive school 

Evans: I plan to concentrate on policy analysis for MPA so I can study courses I am interested in without breaking the bank 

I have never been to chicago and liked Seattle. Hoping to work for a think tank!  

What are your suggestions? As a first generation college student having to take all these decisions by myself is very overwhelming. I am always afraid that I will regret the decision of choosing one over the other. 

Thank you! 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know where you want to work?  Evans is a great school, and from what I hear near the quality of Harris.  But its network is obviously strongest on the West Coast.  Harris has more going on in the East Coast.   That said, I don't think you'd find it overly challenging to get a job on the East Coast coming from Evans, it would just be easier from Harris.  Are you able to go to the open houses?  I went to Harris's and almost immediately hated the vibe of the school.  Seemed very pretentious.  And the coffee was shitty.

Another consideration is that if you're planning on doing quant stuff at a think tank, almost all of the policy programs are going to provide the minimum of what you need to make that happen, and you'll be able to supplement whatever you need on top.  I'm at Sanford and you can do as much or as little quant as you want.  Also, for heavier quant stuff, employers are mostly looking for PhDs to handle it.  So you won't really be able to set yourself apart just by going to Harris.  If anything it's the network and name you'll be paying for, so you have to ask yourself how much that's worth to you.  Again, you will be able to get virtually anything with Evans that you get with Harris, it just may take a little more initiative.

Regret is a personal decision.  I know people who are so indecisive that they regret literally every decision they ever make, and every decision they DON'T make on top.  It's awful.  I remember how anxious I was about choosing schools, and how nervous I was when I first got to Sanford.  The spreadsheet and everything.  In hindsight of course it was needless.  Just remind yourself that with two such excellent choices you can't really go wrong.  Best of luck!

Edited by 3dender
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ke7312

Not gonna lie, I think Harris is cool too—UChicago might be pretentious, but it also has a very serious, studious, and grad student-oriented vibe, which I appreciate. It's a well-connected place, a top school in a lot of academic disciplines (including economics), and a lot of people who've passed through Hyde Park have gone on to do important work.

At the same time, Harris has really huge class sizes, and if you want individual attention from advisors who are specifically invested in helping you find work, Evans is going to be a better place for that. Also, if you want to do government work in the public sector, Evans is probably going to be better for government connections.

It really depends where you want to live and work. At almost any school, you're likely to have the most employment opportunities near the program's home city. (Even though UChicago is probably more of a "national name".) Luckily, your top programs are both in world-class cities with plenty of employment opportunities (though very different weather). If you want to get to DC, though, you might be better off breaking the bank for Trachtenberg (where I think the tuition is significantly lower than Harris).

Link to post
Share on other sites

@3dender has the correct take here. Overall, UDub is probably the highest thought of school in the NW by the average person and there's no public sector job up there that would look down on a UW degree. U Chicago is going to have much better name prestige nationwide.

Now, if your career path is D.C. think tank or bust, Harris will probably help you out a bit more but you're not losing in either direction. You're in a great spot to be debating whether you want to go to UDub or Harris and no matter what you do, there'll be moments you regret the decision, but that's life and every decision we make.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Which program at Harris? From what I remember, the PhD-level classes are reserved for MACRM and that quant-heavy policy program. idk if MPPs can get into them, even if they are technically allowed to take them. 

Regarding quantitative work, it's not only reserved for PhDs (especially the low-level stuff), but if you're definitely committed to it, I'd reconsider doing a policy degree at all. If you have a strong enough math and programming background as is, you can get a low-level policy quant job now (depending on the prestige of your undergrad, that will take more to less cold-calling, but it's totally feasible). Likewise, if you're fixated on getting another degree, I'd get a degree in stats, economics or DS. You can build a quantitative background at most policy schools right now, but the rigor is definitely geared towards humanities majors, which may work for you if you're very good at math or you're a humanities major, but if you're in between, I think you'll struggle to get a deep enough understanding to succeed in a quanty job. 

I wouldn't take out 6 figures for a policy degree. That's an unnecessarily high debt load for almost any degree. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

Which program at Harris? From what I remember, the PhD-level classes are reserved for MACRM and that quant-heavy policy program. idk if MPPs can get into them, even if they are technically allowed to take them. 

Regarding quantitative work, it's not only reserved for PhDs (especially the low-level stuff), but if you're definitely committed to it, I'd reconsider doing a policy degree at all. If you have a strong enough math and programming background as is, you can get a low-level policy quant job now (depending on the prestige of your undergrad, that will take more to less cold-calling, but it's totally feasible). Likewise, if you're fixated on getting another degree, I'd get a degree in stats, economics or DS. You can build a quantitative background at most policy schools right now, but the rigor is definitely geared towards humanities majors, which may work for you if you're very good at math or you're a humanities major, but if you're in between, I think you'll struggle to get a deep enough understanding to succeed in a quanty job. 

I wouldn't take out 6 figures for a policy degree. That's an unnecessarily high debt load for almost any degree. 

I got into MPP. I want to concentrate on developing quant skills to work in think tank so i may not need the intensity level of a PHD level but would like to develop marketable skills as well. I am an international student, struggled almost a year to look for research assistant position and I figured more intense classes and networking options might help. Besides I do like studying. 

I agree with your point regarding economics. That was my undergraduate major and I love it@ !But most of the schools that I looked into had economics for PHD which I dont feel ready for. So Lets see how it works out

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, indecisivemf said:

Yes, I did. Did you apply there too?

@indecisivemf yeah, for the MACRM program. 
I'm not sure if I'm a competitive applicant.
Undergrad GPA 3.6 -Legal Studies/Public Policy UC Berkeley
Grad GPA 3.5 -Political Economics Georgetown
GRE Q 160
GRE V 160
AWA 4
Worked in public policy for like 6 years, 2 RA positions, and some other research.

Thoughts?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2019 at 1:16 PM, 3dender said:

Do you know where you want to work?  Evans is a great school, and from what I hear near the quality of Harris.  But its network is obviously strongest on the West Coast.  Harris has more going on in the East Coast.   That said, I don't think you'd find it overly challenging to get a job on the East Coast coming from Evans, it would just be easier from Harris.  Are you able to go to the open houses?  I went to Harris's and almost immediately hated the vibe of the school.  Seemed very pretentious.  And the coffee was shitty.

Another consideration is that if you're planning on doing quant stuff at a think tank, almost all of the policy programs are going to provide the minimum of what you need to make that happen, and you'll be able to supplement whatever you need on top.  I'm at Sanford and you can do as much or as little quant as you want.  Also, for heavier quant stuff, employers are mostly looking for PhDs to handle it.  So you won't really be able to set yourself apart just by going to Harris.  If anything it's the network and name you'll be paying for, so you have to ask yourself how much that's worth to you.  Again, you will be able to get virtually anything with Evans that you get with Harris, it just may take a little more initiative.

Regret is a personal decision.  I know people who are so indecisive that they regret literally every decision they ever make, and every decision they DON'T make on top.  It's awful.  I remember how anxious I was about choosing schools, and how nervous I was when I first got to Sanford.  The spreadsheet and everything.  In hindsight of course it was needless.  Just remind yourself that with two such excellent choices you can't really go wrong.  Best of luck!

Hello 3dender, 

Thank you so much for your reply! 

I hate being in the position of making decisions but you make excellent points. I need to chill!

It really put me in ease to think that in Evans I would still find opportunities that is available in Harris. Its just that I dont think Evans is as well known as Harris, even in gradforum discussion I dont hear much about Evans which made me very skeptical of it even  though Evans has excellent ranking. It is true that each degree is what you make of it! 

I plan on going to admission day for Chicago. Cant make it Evans since it s on the same day.Lets see how I feel after that. I will make note of the coffee thing though ;) 

Thank you!!!!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, marksheppard said:

@indecisivemf yeah, for the MACRM program. 
I'm not sure if I'm a competitive applicant.
Undergrad GPA 3.6 -Legal Studies/Public Policy UC Berkeley
Grad GPA 3.5 -Political Economics Georgetown
GRE Q 160
GRE V 160
AWA 4
Worked in public policy for like 6 years, 2 RA positions, and some other research.

Thoughts?

Hello, 

I think you are an excellent candidate! Especially considering your work experience. My GRE was identical to yours and I worked on a research for 2 years as well for a professor

I think what worked for me was that I worked really really hard on my SOP and my letter of recommendation were written by my economics professor and research advisor. Obviously I donot know what they wrote, but I am fairly confident that it was positive. So if i were you i would make sure that the essays are top notch ( i think there were 3?) and letter of recommendation is written by someone who knows you well

Do you know when you will hear? Also, I had applied to MPP so that may be different? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

Which program at Harris? From what I remember, the PhD-level classes are reserved for MACRM and that quant-heavy policy program. idk if MPPs can get into them, even if they are technically allowed to take them. 

Regarding quantitative work, it's not only reserved for PhDs (especially the low-level stuff), but if you're definitely committed to it, I'd reconsider doing a policy degree at all. If you have a strong enough math and programming background as is, you can get a low-level policy quant job now (depending on the prestige of your undergrad, that will take more to less cold-calling, but it's totally feasible). Likewise, if you're fixated on getting another degree, I'd get a degree in stats, economics or DS. You can build a quantitative background at most policy schools right now, but the rigor is definitely geared towards humanities majors, which may work for you if you're very good at math or you're a humanities major, but if you're in between, I think you'll struggle to get a deep enough understanding to succeed in a quanty job. 

I wouldn't take out 6 figures for a policy degree. That's an unnecessarily high debt load for almost any degree. 

Thank you for your insights! And I Completely agree with you regarding the debt thing! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, indecisivemf said:

Hello, 

I think you are an excellent candidate! Especially considering your work experience. My GRE was identical to yours and I worked on a research for 2 years as well for a professor

I think what worked for me was that I worked really really hard on my SOP and my letter of recommendation were written by my economics professor and research advisor. Obviously I donot know what they wrote, but I am fairly confident that it was positive. So if i were you i would make sure that the essays are top notch ( i think there were 3?) and letter of recommendation is written by someone who knows you well

Do you know when you will hear? Also, I had applied to MPP so that may be different? 

@indecisivemf I kinda wonder how I did on my SOP, I mentioned my research interests, but it was also a bit of a personal statement as well. I hope it was well received but I'm not sure.

MACRM would be ideal because I plan to do a PhD after, but I'm not sure if applying in the 2nd round was a good idea. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2019 at 4:37 PM, marksheppard said:

@indecisivemf I kinda wonder how I did on my SOP, I mentioned my research interests, but it was also a bit of a personal statement as well. I hope it was well received but I'm not sure.

MACRM would be ideal because I plan to do a PhD after, but I'm not sure if applying in the 2nd round was a good idea. 

Good Luck!  I hope you hear good news soon

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/29/2019 at 8:09 PM, went_away said:

UCSD is the clear winner with Harris a distant second and all the others not even visible in the rear-view mirror. 

Lol why though? UCSD's program is relatively new so I am little hesitant about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, indecisivemf said:

Lol why though? UCSD's program is relatively new so I am little hesitant about it.

$$$

UCSD is a perfectly decent school. In fact, it's quite great and the weather's better. Barring ridiculous amounts of family money, it's hard to overstate what an easy choice this is (though I would strongly consider Harris with an 80% tuition scholarship).

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, MPPKollege said:

Do not take excessive debt for a public policy/public affairs degree. Unless the school is Kennedy or SAIS, it is not worth spending close to $100,000 for a masters. 

I would rank Harris a fair bit higher than SAIS (on par with or higher than Kennedy) and would say going into big debt to go to any of those schools is an outrageously bad life choice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, MPPKollege said:

Amen brother/sister

Noted. I negotiated with Evans and they gave me a better deal since I wanted to be in Seattle than in San Deigo. At this point, I donot even see the point in negotiating with Harris so looks like my decision is made :P 

But thank you so much for everyone's support and thoughts! 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/2/2019 at 4:32 PM, went_away said:

I would rank Harris a fair bit higher than SAIS (on par with or higher than Kennedy) and would say going into big debt to go to any of those schools is an outrageously bad life choice.

This is a strange dick-measuring contest. Both Harris and HKS have constrained programs that are objectively quanty and competitive and therefore have separate admissions processes, but the vanilla MPP at any of the three programs is going to be the same 200-person bullshit humanities deal that isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You can take your American Foreign Policy class with the risen spirits of all 44 former US presidents and it's not going to matter because no employer cares about that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

This is a strange dick-measuring contest. Both Harris and HKS have constrained programs that are objectively quanty and competitive and therefore have separate admissions processes, but the vanilla MPP at any of the three programs is going to be the same 200-person bullshit humanities deal that isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You can take your American Foreign Policy class with the risen spirits of all 44 former US presidents and it's not going to matter because no employer cares about that. 

Your verbiage and hostile tone are uncalled for.

Having said that, I share your general skepticism about the professional utility of these programs, but wouldn't go quite so far as to say it doesn't matter which one you go to. Some schools and programs do produce better professional outcomes on average than others and these conversations are an attempt to shed light on that and bring a greater sense of accountability. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2019 at 4:16 PM, went_away said:

Your verbiage and hostile tone are uncalled for.

Having said that, I share your general skepticism about the professional utility of these programs, but wouldn't go quite so far as to say it doesn't matter which one you go to. Some schools and programs do produce better professional outcomes on average than others and these conversations are an attempt to shed light on that and bring a greater sense of accountability. 

Only if you perceive the verbiage as hostile in itself, which is a strange choice in our life and times, but whatever.

Given the paucity of data, any employment effects comparison between these schools is untempered speculation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.