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Environmental Management and Policy 2021


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I AM IN AT SEAS!!!!!!

Just declined my offer to YSE MEM program in favor of an Environmentally focused MPA degree with better funding elsewhere.  As someone who was admitted off a waitlist for undergrad, I feel everyone's

Omg I got in, congrats to all of us!!! I genuinely wasn't expecting this and idk what to do with myself now that my admissions pessimism turned out to be a lie.

41 minutes ago, prokem said:

And Gerald Torres! YSE is slowly overtaking/equaling SEAS in terms of EJ curriculum and opportunities.

I would say in terms of overall programming and the other elements of the total Yale academic community -yes. But, Dorceta is the GOAT, and still has produced and continues to produce on the most seminal study on the topic. And I say this as someone who is double blue.

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Just now, Boolakanaka said:

I would say in terms of overall programming and the other elements of the total Yale academic community -yes. But, Dorceta is the GOAT, and still has produced and continues to produce on the most seminal study on the topic. And I say this as someone who is double blue.

YSE poached Dorceta this year ;)

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3 minutes ago, Boolakanaka said:

I would say in terms of overall programming and the other elements of the total Yale academic community -yes. But, Dorceta is the GOAT, and still has produced and continues to produce on the most seminal study on the topic. And I say this as someone who is double blue.

Gerald brings real  gravitas and explanation to the role of Indian Country and its juxtaposition to conservation topics.

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3 hours ago, anxiouslyinlimbo said:

Anyone considering Columbia's Sustainability Management program? Would love to chat!

I am! Still waiting to hear back (I applied in Feb) Right now probably a tie for me between columbia and duke. Different pros and cons for me for both schools. Would be curious to hear your perspective, but this is what I'm thinking:

Duke: Longer program, more interdisciplinary, more opportunity to get to know your cohort, more "college"y vibe, better opportunity to take courses at other grad schools at duke (ex. Fuqua), but likely less connections / less name recognition than Columbia for where I want to be. Cheaper cost of living and NICE ass apartments in durham area. Would need a car - I don't currently have one. Option to Ski and beach!! and only 4 hours south of DC. 

Columbia: Opportunity to work a part time job, better connections, perhaps more night / odd hour classes? I want to work in the northeast so Columbia would likely have a better network with where I'm thinking. Shorter program, but cheaper? Seems like maybe an older cohort with far more working professionals taking the program part time, so less of a "community" aspect in the program i think. Better location personally (my S.O. lives in boston) but far more $$$ for apartments, food, etc. Would not need to buy a car. I have lots of friends in the city, so thats a + for me. 

Won't have to make a decision if i don't get in though ;) 

If anyone else has thoughts on pros or cons for either program please share !

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40 minutes ago, yeeeeeeee said:

I am! Still waiting to hear back (I applied in Feb) Right now probably a tie for me between columbia and duke. Different pros and cons for me for both schools. Would be curious to hear your perspective, but this is what I'm thinking:

Duke: Longer program, more interdisciplinary, more opportunity to get to know your cohort, more "college"y vibe, better opportunity to take courses at other grad schools at duke (ex. Fuqua), but likely less connections / less name recognition than Columbia for where I want to be. Cheaper cost of living and NICE ass apartments in durham area. Would need a car - I don't currently have one. Option to Ski and beach!! and only 4 hours south of DC. 

Columbia: Opportunity to work a part time job, better connections, perhaps more night / odd hour classes? I want to work in the northeast so Columbia would likely have a better network with where I'm thinking. Shorter program, but cheaper? Seems like maybe an older cohort with far more working professionals taking the program part time, so less of a "community" aspect in the program i think. Better location personally (my S.O. lives in boston) but far more $$$ for apartments, food, etc. Would not need to buy a car. I have lots of friends in the city, so thats a + for me. 

Won't have to make a decision if i don't get in though ;) 

If anyone else has thoughts on pros or cons for either program please share !

Dang some compelling reasons for Duke! I didn't apply because I was nervous about the location and wanted to be in an area closer to family/friends. So I had only applied to YSE (rejected), Columbia and UCSB. Decided between the last two. My thoughts are similar to yours between both programs. UCSB is compelling because smaller, college feel in comparison to Columbia, and lower cost of living compared to NYC....but Columbia seems to have an extensive network and the brand name does help open doors. My family friend got a MS in Environmental Science from UPenn and they would go to the career fairs at Columbia because recruiting is super strong. I'm pretty 50-50 right now because I do like how Columbia's program is flexible so can take time to decide on interests and also option to work full-time....only a couple more weeks to decide!

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13 minutes ago, anxiouslyinlimbo said:

Dang some compelling reasons for Duke! I didn't apply because I was nervous about the location and wanted to be in an area closer to family/friends. So I had only applied to YSE (rejected), Columbia and UCSB. Decided between the last two. My thoughts are similar to yours between both programs. UCSB is compelling because smaller, college feel in comparison to Columbia, and lower cost of living compared to NYC....but Columbia seems to have an extensive network and the brand name does help open doors. My family friend got a MS in Environmental Science from UPenn and they would go to the career fairs at Columbia because recruiting is super strong. I'm pretty 50-50 right now because I do like how Columbia's program is flexible so can take time to decide on interests and also option to work full-time....only a couple more weeks to decide!

From what I've seen in this thread and others is that Bren is an amazing school if you want to live and work in California post grad. If you want sunny Cali vibes and to live on the beach and stay on west coast, Bren is your best bet. I think Columbia would have more recognition and a larger network on the east coast. Def more pricey for cost of living but as you said it does seem very flexible in terms of working - also may end up being less expensive overall if you factor in the program length and tuition of 1.5 yrs at columbia v. 2 at Bren. Cali is expensive too lol. I work in the intersection of env non-profit and finance field, and I know a lot of people have gotten their MS at Columbia. 

When you were accepted to Columbia did they give a deadline for when you have to decide? Or do you have to decide in a few weeks because of Bren?

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5 minutes ago, yeeeeeeee said:

From what I've seen in this thread and others is that Bren is an amazing school if you want to live and work in California post grad. If you want sunny Cali vibes and to live on the beach and stay on west coast, Bren is your best bet. I think Columbia would have more recognition and a larger network on the east coast. Def more pricey for cost of living but as you said it does seem very flexible in terms of working - also may end up being less expensive overall if you factor in the program length and tuition of 1.5 yrs at columbia v. 2 at Bren. Cali is expensive too lol. I work in the intersection of env non-profit and finance field, and I know a lot of people have gotten their MS at Columbia. 

When you were accepted to Columbia did they give a deadline for when you have to decide? Or do you have to decide in a few weeks because of Bren?

You have to decide within 4 weeks after Columbia's application decision. But yes, need to decide before 4/15!

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Hey folks! Like many of you I've heard back from schools and am struggling to make a decision by Apr 15. Considerations include Mich SEAS (EJ track), ASU SoS, Penn MES, CU Boulder MENV, New School Env. Policy & Sustainability Management, American SIS (International Affairs/Natural Resources & Sustainable Development), and Oxford NSEG. 

If any of you has considered or decided between any of these schools and has any insights, I'd love to chat! Also happy to help bounce ideas around as we make our decisions. 

I'm beginning to lean towards SEAS, SIS, and Oxford, but each will send me in a different direction career-wise--SEAS is very susty/justice oriented, SIS is more UN, international environmental/development work, and unlike the other two, Oxford is research-based so would be good if I go on to get a PhD. 

I guess one big question I have is about the usefulness of UK graduate degrees in terms of getting jobs in the states. SIS and SEAS have strong career services, alum networks, and overall US job outcomes. One of my hesitancies with Oxford is that it wouldn't set me up the same to get a good environmental job state-side. Does anyone have experience with or thoughts about this? 

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On 3/25/2021 at 2:53 PM, anxiouslyinlimbo said:

You have to decide within 4 weeks after Columbia's application decision. But yes, need to decide before 4/15!

I got accepted to Columbia MSSM!! With my admission, I dove deeper in my research into the program. There is such little external information I kind of had to my own research in order to properly compare to duke. I typed up this and thought it may be helpful to share:

Been around for not long (only 10 years), 
Time: Three semesters. Can do in the summer and complete in 1 year.
Tuition: 2,346 per point (credit) Full-time students are registered for 12 or more points in a given semester. Per semester = ~28,151. Total = 84,450 
Alumni network: 2k. ¾ of graduates in private sector. 
Courses: are held primarily in the evenings; over 200 courses offered
Cross-school: Can take classes across Columbia’s graduate schools, including the School of International and Public Affairs, the Mailman School of Public Health, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia Business School, Columbia Law School, the Graduate School of Arts and Science, and the Fu Foundation Graduate School of Engineering.
Cohort: Only ¼ of students with less than 3 years of professional experience (but ~50% is 0-6 years) Only 30% of students do it full time. Cohort size?
Cost of Living: high. Apartments = $$$ but no car required
Final project: Capstone workshop: Students must draw on both the practical skills and the analytical knowledge they have gained in order to address crucial sustainability management issues as consultants for a real-world client. Basically you work as a consultant for a real client.
 

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On 3/28/2021 at 10:01 AM, coffeebean13 said:

For those folks who were accepted to YSE...what's the vibe amongst the admits? Are most people accepting, undecided, or declining? And any major themes? 

I'm still choosing between YSE, Harvard (HKS), and Duke, but am leaning to YSE. Most people that I've chatted with seem to be accepting. The YSE admitted student group on FB is quite small (~120 people) and less than half the size of Duke's (250+), so it seems to have been a more competitive admission process. All those at YSE I've talked to are definitely more centered on EJ issues, and i've found that the YSE incoming class is far more diverse and progressive than what I've seen from other schools so far, especially HKS. That's a huge plus for me, since I'm focusing on Env Policy and Justice. This tracks with the pronounced focus on EJ at YSE and how it integrates with the other specializations. 

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11 minutes ago, coasterontherun said:

I'm still choosing between YSE, Harvard (HKS), and Duke, but am leaning to YSE. Most people that I've chatted with seem to be accepting. The YSE admitted student group on FB is quite small (~120 people) and less than half the size of Duke's (250+), so it seems to have been a more competitive admission process. All those at YSE I've talked to are definitely more centered on EJ issues, and i've found that the YSE incoming class is far more diverse and progressive than what I've seen from other schools so far, especially HKS. That's a huge plus for me, since I'm focusing on Env Policy and Justice. This tracks with the pronounced focus on EJ at YSE and how it integrates with the other specializations. 

Thanks so much for this insight! And, my partner went to HKS and that sounds about right...

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On 3/25/2021 at 10:31 AM, prokem said:

And Gerald Torres! YSE is slowly overtaking/equaling SEAS in terms of EJ curriculum and opportunities.

The two of them as new faculty were 90% of why YSE was my top choice, haha. Congrats to everyone who will be taking classes with them, I'm really excited for you! 😄

Bren admit day is this Friday and I'll be attending, but I've gotten my full financial packages from SEAS and NSOE at this point and will make my final decision within the next week so waitlist spaces can be freed up! I'm almost definitely going to commit to Nicholas because of the funding, but the lack of a full EJ program really has been my major concern. (To the point where I briefly considered just reapplying to YSE this fall lol)

I've spoken to current students and alumni over the past week, though, and it seems there genuinely is active work being done to build one, and even without that the student EJ groups are thankfully more radical than I had assumed. In the Dean's welcome session, she was surprisingly blunt about racial justice and environmental justice, so I have hope that they're actually dedicated to fully integrating EJ.

If anyone else in EJ plans to attend Nicholas, we should connect! My EJ background is southwest USA nuclearism and Downwinders, as well as energy equity (which I hope to focus on in grad school in terms of policy).

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Hi everyone! I've been lurking on this forum for a while and figured I'd post as decision day is approaching (yikes!) and I'm still torn. 

I'm interested in environmental policy and am deciding between UM SEAS (EPP specialization) and the UW Evans MPA (Environmental Policy and Management). I received a one-time $15k fellowship from UMich and unfortunately nothing from UW, but I do have some savings that will slightly lessen the load debt-wise. Including the fellowship, tuition and fees would be ~$8500 cheaper for the entire UMich program. I'm fresh out of undergrad, so honestly I was just happy to receive admission offers from my top choices.

When I was applying, my heart was with UW–I've always dreamed of living in the Pacific Northwest, and the program seems to have excellent faculty and a great reputation in public policy, as well as strong connections to local government. The location is a huge pull for me; I've heard nice things about Ann Arbor, but it's hard to resist the idea of living in a larger city so close to the mountains. But I do have some misgivings about the curriculum being too prescriptive during the first year and not being able to delve into sustainability until year 2. 

However, I was pretty impressed by the faculty and flexible curriculum at the SEAS Virtual Accepted Students' events. Their Environmental Justice curriculum seems interesting, and liked that there's flexibility to take classes with the Ford School as well. Their emphasis on social sciences also aligns strongly with my interests. 

I'm also a bit surprised that this forum doesn't seem to mention UW too often, considering their high ranking in environmental policy. Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the relative reputations and employment prospects of the two schools? 

If anyone is in a similar boat, or has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

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@tiaki I’ve essentially decided on Nicholas too! Glad we’ll be in the program together :)

I was pretty undecided about whether to attend grad school this year, but the NSOE info sessions and website were really useful. I’m interested in geospatial analysis and data visualization, and I feel like Duke’s the best place to go for that. There are also opportunities to get involved with well-organized student working groups, project teams, and research centers that aren’t as present at other schools. 

I’ve talked to a couple of current students and some people familiar but unaffiliated with the Nic School to see if there were any pressing issues with the program—with the original intent of convincing myself not to go—but came up short. People are generally pretty happy with their outcomes and time on campus here. 

I do wish I’d applied to Yale, but my very first post on here was on a YSE applicants’ thread from 2015, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with its existence. I feel like my Duke vs. Yale reasoning would be a lot stronger had I actually done that (and been a cross-admit!) but I’m not going to spend an additional cycle trying to prove that point, lol. 

Anyhow, I’m excited to see people in Durham, and I'm hopeful the rest of us will get to cross paths! 

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@ratatatis an amazing duo and I'm from the Pacific Northwest so I thought I'd try to answer this! The Evans School is a 30-minute drive from my house. 

I would really look into the GSI/GSR and tuition remission policies at UW, because that can end up covering the entire cost of your entire degree. I think Berkeley is the best about this, but it looks like Washington does something similar. The question would be how difficult these grad TA/RA positions are to get, because I know at Michigan it's unfortunately not that easy. 

If it looks like they're pretty much equal on that front, and Michigan's offered you more funding (and you're not really considering reapplying), I would probably choose SEAS. I think their program is stronger, there's a broader alumni network, and they have a stronger social science/environmental justice emphasis for sure. I think Evans is a lot more quantitative and most people tend to stay in the area after they graduate.

Ann Arbor is awesome! I might be biased because I went to undergrad in a similarly crunchy college town, but it's a lovely place to spend two years. Good luck with your decision! 

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3 hours ago, chaparralcountry said:

@ratatatis an amazing duo and I'm from the Pacific Northwest so I thought I'd try to answer this! The Evans School is a 30-minute drive from my house. 

I would really look into the GSI/GSR and tuition remission policies at UW, because that can end up covering the entire cost of your entire degree. I think Berkeley is the best about this, but it looks like Washington does something similar. The question would be how difficult these grad TA/RA positions are to get, because I know at Michigan it's unfortunately not that easy. 

If it looks like they're pretty much equal on that front, and Michigan's offered you more funding (and you're not really considering reapplying), I would probably choose SEAS. I think their program is stronger, there's a broader alumni network, and they have a stronger social science/environmental justice emphasis for sure. I think Evans is a lot more quantitative and most people tend to stay in the area after they graduate.

Ann Arbor is awesome! I might be biased because I went to undergrad in a similarly crunchy college town, but it's a lovely place to spend two years. Good luck with your decision! 

Thanks so much for your advice! I attended some virtual events for Evans as well and from what I've heard, GSI positions are very competitive there. I have meetings set up with a current student and an admissions officer to get a better sense of the funding situation. It's hard for me to give up the idea of relocating to the West Coast, but at the end of the day I need to choose whichever program will offer the best career prospects. 

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On 4/5/2021 at 10:46 PM, ratatat said:

Hi everyone! I've been lurking on this forum for a while and figured I'd post as decision day is approaching (yikes!) and I'm still torn. 

I'm interested in environmental policy and am deciding between UM SEAS (EPP specialization) and the UW Evans MPA (Environmental Policy and Management). I received a one-time $15k fellowship from UMich and unfortunately nothing from UW, but I do have some savings that will slightly lessen the load debt-wise. Including the fellowship, tuition and fees would be ~$8500 cheaper for the entire UMich program. I'm fresh out of undergrad, so honestly I was just happy to receive admission offers from my top choices.

When I was applying, my heart was with UW–I've always dreamed of living in the Pacific Northwest, and the program seems to have excellent faculty and a great reputation in public policy, as well as strong connections to local government. The location is a huge pull for me; I've heard nice things about Ann Arbor, but it's hard to resist the idea of living in a larger city so close to the mountains. But I do have some misgivings about the curriculum being too prescriptive during the first year and not being able to delve into sustainability until year 2. 

However, I was pretty impressed by the faculty and flexible curriculum at the SEAS Virtual Accepted Students' events. Their Environmental Justice curriculum seems interesting, and liked that there's flexibility to take classes with the Ford School as well. Their emphasis on social sciences also aligns strongly with my interests. 

I'm also a bit surprised that this forum doesn't seem to mention UW too often, considering their high ranking in environmental policy. Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the relative reputations and employment prospects of the two schools? 

If anyone is in a similar boat, or has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

I decided to attend UW Evans on my side! I really liked all that they had to offer and I feel like with the MPA degree, I'll have better options for employment post graduation. I also think that Evans leads the anti-racism/inclusivity movement more than any other school I applied to which is why I want to go there more (I want to focus on socioeconomic issues between minority communities and how climate change/other environmental issues play a part in that).

I also have heard from other students that they contacted the admissions team and asked if there was any other funding available. I would tell them that another school offered you some funding too. I did this too and secured more funding on my side.

During the UW Evans visit day, it seems like the first quarter will be core classes and then you are able to dive into electives during the winter quarter. I also like the idea of the quarter system vs the semester system. It's only a 10 week commitment of classes and you can take more classes too. UW to me seemed the most flexible in terms of diving into other classes. The downside is that the Evans school isn't all environmentally focused like SEAS but I like the fact I can take other courses in non-profit management or social justice.

Plus, the location pulled me more than any other place I applied to. There are so many close national parks... I am very excited to move to Seattle.

Edited by qrrcl
Added the quarter system vs semester system comment
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25 minutes ago, yeeeeeeee said:

does anyone know if the yale waitlist results get released today? The phrasing on their FAQ is kind of confusing... I have been anxiously awaiting lol.

If there are extra seats, they may offer spots off the waitlist. But I don't think they're going to release a decision for everyone on the WL. Because people have until the 15h (or 14th) to decide, most people (especially those on the fence) will make it at the end. So admissions is unlikely to know if they have extra stops for the WL until the day of the deadline.

However, they're likely to match the number of spots offered for WL to spots available (i.e. if they had 2 open spots, they'll pull 2 people from WL )and give them a short time frame to respond. They'll still keep everyone else on the WL (unless you pull yourself off), because there's still the possibility of someone pulling out who had accepted/put down a deposit. They'd want to fill that seat, and they need people on the WL for that.

Ultimately, some of us may hear back if there are seats, but not everyone will hear today or tomorrow. Though if anyone hears back, that is good for those on the WL because it means that any student declining from then on would likely result in someone getting pulled from the WL.  

 

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