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Deciding between 4 schools-MPH


Guacemole

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Hi everyone,

So basically I have been admitted to Johns Hopkins, Upenn, Drexel and Temple University for their MPH program. While all of these programs are exceptional, now I cannot decide where to go? None of the programs have offered me any funding (except for Drexel, which is a meager amount anyway). Hopkins is probably the better choice as it is THE BEST SCHOOL for Public health. But it is so expensive and I don't want to get out of grad school with a lot of debt. Also I live in Philly where the latter three schools are, so not in the mood to move to Baltimore as well.

Anyone in the similar boat with me? How did you decide where to go? Kinda freaking out as April 15th is around the corner...

Thanks!

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@GuacemoleI'd have to say Hopkins. I'm sure you can get great training at any of those schools, but I think Hopkins will open up the most doors for you after graduation. Hopkins has a huge alumni network which can be particularly helpful when trying to find a job. There are a lot of part time RA positions at Hopkins, which could at least help you offset some of the cost of going there. Debt is obviously a serious consideration, but Baltimore is fairly cheap (especially with roommates), and as the program is only one year you'll be back to making money full time fairly quickly. 

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Hi there! I also had to decide between JHU and Drexel. Although I am well aware JHU is #1, and I enjoyed my time at the admitted students day, I decided to go with Drexel. First, is because I did not even get enough loan money from JHU for tuition, let alone costs of living. I'm coming straight from undergrad and don't have any savings so I would have to take out private loans which is terrifying. At Drexel, I got a decent scholarship, as well as decent work study/enough loans to cover the rest of tuition and COL. Also, the cost of living in Philly is way cheaper than Baltimore in safer neighborhoods. All of this aside, I just really like the Drexel program. The focus on community involvement, the accessibility of the professors, and the proximity for work opportunities in my field were the ultimate deciding factor. I would advise you to take the rankings with a grain of salt and go to the school that feels right for YOU. I believe that Drexel is the right choice for me, but the decision is entirely yours and no one else's. 

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My PhD is in public health. Yes, JHU's school of public health is ranked #1 in the field, but different schools and programs have strengths in different areas, and I wouldn't automatically go to JHU just because it's number 1. I chose Columbia (#4) over JHU because of its strengths in my research area, and I didn't even bother applying to Harvard (#2) because none of its concentrations or research appealed to me.

However, if expense is your primary concern, that doesn't seem to set JHU apart. UPenn's MPH tuition is easily $40K a year, which for a 2-year program will come out to $80K (not including living expenses). JHU's 11-month MPH program is $70K. They're not that different in price. Drexel and Temple are both considerably cheaper for their whole program. If you intend to live in Philadelphia after you graduate, there's also something to be said for the local networking/connections you can make there if you stay.

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