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Applying to NPSIA - MUNK - Fall 2020


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12 hours ago, Potter445 said:

Hey does anyone know when the deadline for accepting the NPSIA offer is? Or is there no actual "expiration"?

Because when I called uOttawa about their acceptance deadline they said that admission offers don't really expire- you just need to accept before the term starts.

 

 

You have 21 days after receiving your offer, at least thats what mine said. 

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I just got an unofficial offer as well. Congrats everyone!!!!!!!!

I just got an email with an unofficial offer!!!

Some background:               I came to Canada as an international student and did my undergrad at SFU. Considering Canada’s favorable immigration processes and the fact that I had already staye

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17 hours ago, Potter445 said:

Hey does anyone know when the deadline for accepting the NPSIA offer is? Or is there no actual "expiration"?

Because when I called uOttawa about their acceptance deadline they said that admission offers don't really expire- you just need to accept before the term starts.

 

 

My letter says to respond within like 21 days or something of when the letter was dated so Im assuming there is but it's a very strange way to do it imo.

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4 hours ago, irnerd said:

Do you have to pay a deposit when accepting your offer? I'm still weighing up my options at the moment but my deadline to reply is next Thursday, so not a whole lot of time left... 

At least at Carleton, no deposit required. You don't have to pay anything until at least late August.

Edited by theGoodGhosts
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On 3/24/2020 at 8:25 PM, ElleG said:

I don't think last years timeline precedent will work. Because I just got an emial from UoT saying if I want to get an extension on my decision they are happy to give it to us. So I think the second round/wait list people are going to be waiting for longer than usual.

Are you domestic or international student, if you don't mind me asking?

I received an offer from Munk last week. I'm an international applicant

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On 3/26/2020 at 6:30 PM, theGoodGhosts said:

At least at Carleton, no deposit required. You don't have to pay anything until at least late August.

Thanks!  I didn't want to accept the offer, particularly if there were financial costs for doing so as I'm still thinking it through... Bit surprised there's no deposit though. 

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Side note. Now that I've got into the program I'm looking at the program requirements even more in depth. 

I'm aware we have to complete 5 credits in addition to a language requirement. So do students typically finish the program in four terms (across the two years) ? And if you do co op for a term are you paying reduced fees? I assumed most people did terms each year, and worked in the summer, with the ability to take an additional term if needed if you wanted to do co op or an internship during the year 

Edited by irnerd
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Hey there,

I have yet to receive a response on my NPSIA application (I know that offers have been going out for some time now). Should I be worried?

Have they sent out wait list responses and/or declined admission responses? If so I have not received either of those. 

 

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Still at “Recommended for Assessment”, however, I ve just noticed that “Third Party Release” s been added as one of the Required Documents. (although #required says 0) 

Anyone? 

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10 minutes ago, rkb said:

Still at “Recommended for Assessment”, however, I ve just noticed that “Third Party Release” s been added as one of the Required Documents. (although #required says 0) 

Anyone? 

Mine is review in progress by department. No third party release

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Congratulations to all the applicants, wherever you may choose to go. I initially joined this forum in 2015 when i was applying to IR programs. Having graduated from Munk in 2017 and working in the industry, I'd be happy to answer any questions and provide advice. Feel free to post on here with any questions or send me a private message as well. (Also i came to Canada as an International Student). I'm honestly here to provide objective information regarding any doubts you may have, based on the options available to you. 

Profile below for those who are interested: https://www.linkedin.com/in/menonatul

Cheers

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3 hours ago, IRbuff said:

Congratulations to all the applicants, wherever you may choose to go. I initially joined this forum in 2015 when i was applying to IR programs. Having graduated from Munk in 2017 and working in the industry, I'd be happy to answer any questions and provide advice. Feel free to post on here with any questions or send me a private message as well. (Also i came to Canada as an International Student). I'm honestly here to provide objective information regarding any doubts you may have, based on the options available to you. 

Profile below for those who are interested: https://www.linkedin.com/in/menonatul

Cheers

Hello Atul,

Thank you for give us some insight. 

Would be able to elaborate on your experience at Munk. Some upsides - what you enjoyed, what made you chose the program? What were some drawbacks of your experience? Also what were your thoughts on the internship?

Elle

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1 hour ago, ElleG said:

Hello Atul,

Thank you for give us some insight. 

Would be able to elaborate on your experience at Munk. Some upsides - what you enjoyed, what made you chose the program? What were some drawbacks of your experience? Also what were your thoughts on the internship?

Elle

Some background:

              I came to Canada as an international student and did my undergrad at SFU. Considering Canada’s favorable immigration processes and the fact that I had already stayed here for 4 years, I decided that it would be better to choose a Canadian school of any of my other options. From the options before me, I wanted a program that was both academic and professional in its tint. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to spend more time in academia, but wanted to keep the option open. While deciding b/w the schools, the only real contenders for me were Munk, LSE, and UOttawa. I said no to LSE but because I wanted a 2 year degree experience over the 1 year offered by the school. Plus I knew that immigration would be an issue in London. If I was going to spend money and time on a degree I wanted to do it right and not rush through it for the sake of having a diploma in hand. The two year experience provides ample time to be involved in a host of different activities, network, take more courses and really take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. UOttawa, while cheaper and with funding, was out for me because as an international student, I knew that government was never going to be my first entry point into the professional world. But besides that, Toronto has opportunities, life, and a network that Ottawa cannot match….especially if you want to keep your employment options flexible. It is for this same reason that I did not bother applying to NPSIA either. I don’t think the program is oriented towards sufficiently attracting international students (period), let alone high caliber international students.

Munk Upsides:

-          The program does attract some very smart students with an array of different background and experiences (e.g. global health, neuro science, Polis ci, IR, engineering etc.). In this sense I think it provides students with exposure to how different subject areas mesh together in policy arenas. In addition, it meant the intellectual environment was quite diverse as well, rather than just being saturated by poli sci people.

-          Considering the school has only been around since 2011, in such a short period of time, it has been able to establish itself quite well. Munk alumni are recognized and sought after various professional environment from consulting, health policy, government (federal and provincial), international institutions etc. In this sense, the alumni network is quite wide and varied.

-          The simple fact that it is located in Toronto and associated with UofT speaks for itself. On top of that, UofT considers Munk as one of its star schools/programs, so that exposure upward trajectory for the school will only continue.

-          The program and courses are designed in such a way that it forces you to go outside your comfort zone. I initially started as a global security buff but through the Munk courses and other opportunities, I was able to dabble with other global affairs areas and topics such as risk, money laundering, global tax policy, global markets etc. When I first joined Munk, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this, but It has turned out to be a blessing. Security was an area I already knew, but my exposure to these other subjects provided a more comprehensive understanding of global affairs.

-          At the same time students are given ample opportunity to customize their courses in year 2 and focus on whichever areas they would like to.

-          The Munk Fellows, Board of Directors and other individuals affiliated with the school are a boon in terms of networking. They are well connected and but underutilized by the student body.

-          Munk does have a variety of events and conferences that take place throughout the year. Due to its location in Toronto and association with UofT (and the Rotman school’s MBA, UofT Law etc.), the school gets some real top notch speakers.

-          Building on the previous point, the school allows you to take courses with the law, MBA, environmental studies, health policy, and other well established UofT depts.

-          The school also has some really good global exchange programs that continue to grow and develop.

-          The school is associated with some great thinkers and leaders. Stephen Toope was our previous head (now the VC of Cambridge University in the UK) and now Michael Sabia’s name, experience, and reputation speaks for itself.

-          The Munk Internship program has grown and expanded since I attended in 2015. While I obtained my own internship independently (I was a threat intelligence analyst with Scotiabank; political risk), I have since tried fostering stronger ties b/w the internship and the school. Other alumni have done similar things and the internship program continues to grow. Students go everywhere from the private sector, govt, to international organizations. The reach is pretty wide.

-          Besides internships, the school offers ample paid research opportunities on a variety of interesting topics, along with international experiences (conferences, trips etc.).

-          I think the capstone component is brilliant. My team did ours with Export Development Canada, looking at risk and opportunities associated with Canadian companies trying enter into the Chinese markets for renewable energy (waste water treatment, solar, wind, nuclear) and transportation (shipping, aviation, auto, trains). We had the opportunity to work closely with an EDC mentor, produce a report, and present our findings to the EDC chief economist in Ottawa. While applying for jobs and in interviews, hiring managers loved to hear about this kind of work experience and I did not shy away from sharing the report we published (as an example of the type of work conducted by Munk students).

-          The program attracts many international students from different background, which enriches the insights and experiences you have throughout your 2 years.

-          One of the strongest components for me is the Munk Community. The program is designed in such a way that you are forced to jump head first into work and spend copious amounts of time with fellow classmates. In terms of program design, whether by purpose or pure coincidence, Munk has created a very tight knit and deep community. I have noticed cohort after cohort, these relationships endure well after people graduate. I myself spend most of my time with Munk alumni who graduated before me, in my year, and after me…and continue to interact with new students and alumni. These people truly are smart and ambitious. Im not sure whether to credit Munk (the institution) with this observation though.

-          I think the recent integration b/w the public policy program at UofT (top notch) and the MGA is also a good strategic step to pool resources and create a comprehensive high quality institution.

-          Lastly the ability to obtain a MGA/JD, MGA/MBA, or MGA with other degrees in 3 years (just 1 extra year for 2 degrees) is a big plus. Largely because these other programs are also world class in terms of their reputation, quality of education, and networking opportunities.

 

 

Munk Downsides:

-          Now this is pretty obvious. Tuition at Munk is very high + cost of living in Toronto is also obviously more expensive in Ottawa or Waterloo etc. I reached out to the school and they have assured me that they have been and will continue to try raising money in order to provide more financial aid to students. I personally think the tuition is very high, but I do have to acknowledge that the UofT affiliation, Munk name brand, and networks are all substantial. At the same time, the school needs to do a lot more in terms of offering financial aid to smart students who would find it hard to attend the school. While everyone at the school was very friendly generally, I did notice certain cliques with some student groups who obviously came from wealth. While this isn’t bad, id hate to have Munk become a program for those who can afford it. I’d personally like smart students from a variety of socio-economic background represented. It is very apparent that Munk is trying to brand itself as an “elite” program and looking to compete with US schools. I just worry often, that this should occur at the expense of making it less accessible to the lower rungs of society.

-          I will admit that the cost of tuition is my biggest gripe with the program. They want to compete with the Oxfords, Cambridges and Ivies without currently being able offer the same level of financial aid. And while the quality of education is good, with stellar faculty, the quality of education still has miles to improve to be world leading.

-          Building on the previous point, I think that those who do best at Munk are generally people who are independent, entrepreneurial, and go getters. The program doesn’t have streams that are as specific or as well defined as NPSIA (from what I have noticed on their site) for example (though it does still have streams), but it will still offer students the opportunities to build their experience out of Munk. For example I made my degree about risk and risk governance, though that is not an “official stream”. Other have focused on global health, climate policy, migration, development and designed their degree to focus on professional areas that range beyond what the school has classified as official streams. So if you are looking for a well-structured, highly organized, and efficient program with easy A to B to C degree path/experience, I would think about it. And that ultimately boils down to the type of student you are. Some prefer structure and organization, while others prefer flexibility and adaptation. There are no right answers, merely preferences.

-          The school is still relatively new (less than 10-12 years old) and as such, there are still growing pains. First year courses (like statistics) are being changed based on student feedback, in order to account for and combat weaknesses. The program structure has also changed slightly since I first started. There are more streams, courses, and opportunities being offered, even since 2017. These changes can sometimes seem a bit haphazard and disorienting. You definitely do get the feeling that the program is still trying to find its place and establish its identity.

-          I think that the admin needs to do a much better job with the program’s post-Munk career help (considering the amount students pay). For example, all of the private sector interviews and opportunities I was able to leverage, occurred by tapping into the rich Munk alumni network. While it’s great that Munk alumni are eager to help out, admittedly, Munk’s career center did little for me while I was looking for work. This point builds on my previous statement about the program paying dividends for people who are go getters and entrepreneurial. The opportunities are there, but you have to work hard and hunt for them. At this point you have to ask about what you are paying for. The Munk alumni and networks are valuable, but you will still need to put the work in. But the rewards are potentially very very high, as are the risks.

-          While the program has produced alumni in many different sectors (e.g. Climate risk in finance, political risk, provincial govt, fed govt, defense, consulting, intl institutions etc.), I do think the school needs to do more when it comes to building its practice in the humanitarian field.

-          It is important to note that if you have a poli sci or IR background, many courses in Year 1 will be a bit of a repeat in some areas. For example, Global security does start off with the basics of the security field, but then goes on to delve deeper. So basically your covering intl security knowledge that would span from a Year 1 undergrad course all the way to Year 4 (and higher) in the span of a few months. (Though I will note that the security prof, Jon Lindsay, is stellar and very well established; check-out his profile for yourself). At the same time, the first year mandatory courses will also expose you to global affairs topics you’ve never touched. This is an absolute positive.

-          The school, however, does offer many different career development workshops, specifically designed for Munk students: talks, resume writing, interviews & networking etc. I think that its good that the school is able to offer tailor made workshops for perspective global affairs professionals, but in general, I think the quality of the workshops need to improve. At least that was my feeling in 2015/16. It may have changed drastically since then.

-          While I think the program is doing very well and has accomplished a great deal over a short period of time to set itself up for success, I sometimes worry that its administrators are faultily trying to imbue an inflated sense of self-worth. The program is good, has accomplished a great deal, but has miles to go in order to compete with the best of the best. I think this is a double edged sword. If not done properly it can lead to ignorance and a focus away from students and the programs as a main focus of the degree. However, it is very encouraging to also hear that they have their sites set at competing with the best of the US and global schools, beyond Canada. Either way, they have miles to go before they get there.

 

All in all, these are my thoughts. Ultimately, Munk was the best decision for me because I wanted career flexibility outside of government, along with the scope to go global. Munk students work everywhere. That being said, if you are hell bent govt and Ottawa, maybe one of the other programs might be better, especially if you are sure this is what you want. I have tried to provide the most objective and balanced opinion on the program. If you have any further specific questions, do let me know.

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Weirdly, nearly everyone I know, with a single exception, who went to NPSIA (either for the MA or the joint JD-MA with UOttawa) is now in private industry or NGOs, while the one person I know who went to Munk works at GAC... granted, that's purely anecdotal.

EDIT: I also know two people who went through GSPIA, and they're split 50/50 between gov't and private

Edited by theGoodGhosts
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On another note, anyone interested in Munk alumni statistics can also go over here: https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/mga/alumni-page/

As I stated earlier, my most prominent gripe was the fact that tuition is too high and I absolutely detest that. All the other contentions I have with the program are not unusual for newly established institutions. Having said that however, I think the quality of the experience (even compared to just its Canadian peers) and its trajectory is on the up. Having seen what the program has achieved in less than 10 years, I can only imagine where it will be in the next 10+ years. Since its initial cohort, the program has grown exponentially in reputation, influence, quality, coverage, scope, and offering. If you consider the degree as an investment or stock equivalent, I'd say it will continue on the up. 

 

Edited by IRbuff
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Hi! I've been lurking this forum for some time :) I've also been accepted to Munk for the MGA program. Congratulations on all the acceptances especially during these difficult times.

I am leaning towards accepting this offer - does anyone know if there is a FB page for accepted Munk students? It would be nice to connect with fellow peers before fall! 

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Hi! I'm back again to wish everyone luck, both those who have accepted the MGA offer and who are on the waitlist. I'm an international applicant who first received an entrance award of $15K which was later raised to $25K (got an email last week) but unfortunately had to decline my MGA because I've accepted an offer elsewhere with more funding+scholarly degree. Hope those on the MGA waitlist hear back soon! :D

Edited by dag17
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On 3/25/2020 at 10:52 PM, Pipealone said:

Hi! I got the official online letter from the BSIA about a week or so ago for the PhD program, but I calls went out quite a few weeks ago now.

Congrats!

Edited by ElleG
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On 3/17/2020 at 11:00 AM, sushikate said:

Hello everyone! Has anyone here applied to phd programs? I applied to BSIA and am wondering when they are reaching out to students. 

I got a call today - he mentioned that everyone will hear back by this Friday (hopefully)

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:29 PM, uoftears said:

Hi! I've been lurking this forum for some time :) I've also been accepted to Munk for the MGA program. Congratulations on all the acceptances especially during these difficult times.

I am leaning towards accepting this offer - does anyone know if there is a FB page for accepted Munk students? It would be nice to connect with fellow peers before fall! 

Hey @uoftears!

Great idea! Just searched for a FB group and it doesn't exist so I made one.

Munk MGA 2022 - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1083032558744469/

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Hey everyone, 

Have you heard that the Ontario government has suspended all future rentals after May 1? I just found out through a property manager i'm speaking with about a potential apartment. My partner and I are still in Calgary, so that is pretty lame. I feel worse for any international students. 

At the end of the day, we are all in the same boat. If this hold on leases continues past August, then our respective grad schools will have to adapt to accommodate somehow...

Sorry if i'm the bearer of bad news here. It was pretty anxiety-inducing when I heard this morning too.  

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