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Hi all! I wrote this in the Philosophy forum but want to ask here too - I'm hoping you might have some advice/clarity/insight on a decision I'm trying to make. I'll try to make it brief (and hopefully coherent)!

I'm applying to Bioethics + MSW programs at the University of Louisville (where those two are already an established dual degree program) and the University of Pittsburgh (which has both degrees but not integrated yet, so I'd do most of it separately). Both programs would take three years. If I were to qualify for in-state tuition (in either state), Louisville would be significantly less expensive. It also has an MSW specialization that's the only one of its kind and very much in line with my interests. 

The Bioethics program at Pitt is much more comprehensive - there is a two-part practicum (the opportunity to go on Grand Rounds, etc) as well as a thesis component. At UofL, other than the core coursework there is only a group capstone project. I could be mistaken but it seems like a much less rigorous program.

I'm torn because I don't know yet exactly what I'll want to do after graduation. I definitely want to be able to do counseling/work one-on-one with patients and families, and I've read that as far as the MSW goes, the rank/prestige of the program isn't as important as the internship and actual work you've done. (Correct me if I'm wrong!) But I love research and writing, love bioethics, and I know I get burnt out on direct patient contact, so I really want to have those research-oriented options after I graduate. I don't think I see myself working in academia, but I would love to be able to serve on a bioethics committee or do consulting. 

If you have experience around this, essentially my question is how big a factor is the rank/prestige/rigor of the bioethics program? How do you see it weighing in in future social work and/or research-related positions? 

Also, if anyone has personal experience in either program at Louisville or Pitt, I'd love to hear!!

Thank you SO, so much for any and all advice - it is so appreciated! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont know anything about bioethics, so I cannot answer to that.
I do want to drop a line and say that University of Pittsburgh is an absolutely amazing school and their MSW program is terrific! The only reason I didn't apply there is because of location and I got a little scared off with tuition. But Pitt is a great opportunity!

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:13 PM, Neep said:

I dont know anything about bioethics, so I cannot answer to that.
I do want to drop a line and say that University of Pittsburgh is an absolutely amazing school and their MSW program is terrific! The only reason I didn't apply there is because of location and I got a little scared off with tuition. But Pitt is a great opportunity!

Thanks so much for your response!! Ha funny you say that, those are my two reasons for feeling wary too. But I've heard great things about the school and program :) Always glad to read another good review!! 

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