washndry Posted April 7, 2010 Share Posted April 7, 2010 I was fortunate in that I was accepted to all the programs I applied to, however only 4 of them offered any sort of funding, so they are the ones I am now giving consideration. RIT gave me a full tuition assitantship, but I don't see anything they do that I couldn't also get out of Albany, so I'm only considering the latter. Just as background, I have a BA in History and Science, worked in IT consulting for 6 years, and now want to work in (federal) government/NGOs/public-private on science and technology policy, policy analysis, and as much econ as I can reasonably pick up (my undergrad was light in this, I've taken a la carte courses to help). In the back of my head I'm mulling a PhD (Econ is my thought), but I don't think that's something I'm going to dive into at this time. That said, here are the pros and cons I've been able to list for each: Syracuse Maxwell (MPA) Pros: Excellent reputation/#1 ranking 1 year program, so lower opportunity costs, and cheaper has the option of a concurrent Econ MA (which I'm very interested in, I just haven't heard back from the director on details) on visit day, both professors and current students seemed very enthusiastic, friendly, and approachable Syracuse has relatively cheap cost of living Alumni network one of (if not the) best around Cons: 1 year program, so intense and no room for a job/summer internship in Syracuse, which has crappy weather but is also not near any major hubs of activity generalist MPA, though this could also be a good thing depending on how you look at it worst financial offer of the 3, 5k for the entire program University at Albany (MPA) Pros: Grad Assistanship with full tuition + stipend for the first year, 2nd year program requires students to get an internship outside very cheap overall to live, I'd be graduating with essentially no debt I visited them first, and was actually surprised how much I liked the professors, they really seemed like they were enjoying their jobs they have a specialization in technology policy, however it's focused more on government informatics and IT than on policy analysis very focused on placing students after school Cons: Doesn't have the overall reputation of the other schools has alumni connections, but very heavily focused on NYS/NYC, not sure how they are about Federal stuff (they mentioned they have good success with Presidential Management Fellowships) in Albany, crappy weather, though it's the state capital so better location wise than Syracuse was not hugely impressed with the other students I met GW Elliott (MA-Intl Science and Technology Policy) Pros: Offering half tuition merit aid, making it the middle option financially (cost of living may throw this off though) Good reputation alumni network seems strong, with lots of practitioners on faculty Program is very specialized towards what I want to do, though more internationally focused, the other programs seem more domestic based Study abroad option for a semester in DC, so right where a lot of the action is Cons: My experience with them is colored a bit, since I haven't been to official visit day (it's the 16th), though I did attend an informal info session + tour. That can only tell you so much, and also I get the impression the administration team is somewhat disorganized based on how they've handled the admission process. The focus of the degree could be a liability in the future if I decide to try a different area (at least that's my thinking) No idea on how econ/quant heavy I can make the curriculum, or if I can register for courses in other depts. DC is very expensive There are a lot of these threads floating around I know, but any thoughts are appreciated. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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