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2 hours ago, d2ear said:

Would you mind sharing the list? would be interested in knowing the target schools for top orgs.

No. Just know that in my roles that touch hiring, I have never seen American  targeted period. I have been involved in both domestic and international policy.

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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On 3/21/2021 at 7:31 AM, GradSchoolGrad said:

No. Just know that in my roles that touch hiring, I have never seen American  targeted period. I have been involved in both domestic and international policy.

Have you seen Maxwell and Harris frequently?

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On 3/20/2021 at 11:59 PM, mjmcflurry said:

Thanks for the quick response and the extra insight!

So much to consider, so little time. 

I went to American SPA for undergrad (which is obviously not the grad program), but I have been reading many of GradSchoolGrad's comments about AU vs Georgetown with bewilderment.  Yes, Georgetown's undergraduate program is SIGNIFICANTLY more prestigious than AU's (I have no reservations in saying that as an undergrad alum).  But I have a few friends who tacked an MPP or MPA on to their bachelors as we were finishing and they're doing great in DC right now.  No one has had any issues getting jobs that they want or are interested in, in politics or policy (even as we graduated into a global recession; zero of them are waiters, or have ever needed to take food service jobs along their career paths).  Of course, it always depends on what you're planning on doing with the degree -- each school has its strengths and weaknesses. But the GU program appears reasonably new to me and I think this idea that it is SO much better than AU is not really fleshing out.  My friends in public policy/political science academia have been confirming this (I initially was considering GU myself, it is now very likely off of my own list).  

Inside the Beltway, AU is very well known and my understanding is that GU's grad programs are not considered wildly better than the other DC schools (this fleshes out in the rankings, right?). Now, if you want leave DC, AU's brand is not as well known, admittedly. That is definitely something to keep in mind. Before I went to law school, people I encountered had not heard of the school (lawyers and law students tend to be aware of AU-WCL)-- I think that has changed a bit since I attended way back in the day (when I mention it to people now, they look far less bewildered, but who knows), but the name recognition is definitely different compared to GU.

AU threw a lot of money at us as undergrads; I went on a very sizable scholarship.  They asked us to look away from their USNWR ranking at the time and promised that they would be making strategic improvements to the school's academic program.  They made good on that promise and it is now a harder undergraduate program to be admitted to than GW across town.  I was there when they were building like crazy (it was a huge mud pit, ha)-- that money was specifically donated to AU with building in mind. It was not as if they got a pot of money and spent it on buildings rather than academics.  But they literally ran out of undergraduate housing and needed more space.  

As for Maxwell, I am considering them myself right now and am really, truly, sadly totally underwhelmed.  Everything is so disorganized.  They can't even send us an email without having a typo in their school name in subject line. I'm personally not convinced that their new data analytics program/certificate has stood the test of time. They threw me lots of money, but can barely answer an email with questions within a week's time. They can't figure out an organized Zoom meeting after a year in this pandemic climate (were you on last night's call; what did you think?)? What are they going to be like when we get there?  Plus, compare their hiring data with AU's -- which program sends students to more interesting jobs? I had to email Syracuse for their data (because their website is so abysmally terrible that they've allegedly been updating it for 2 years and the site is locked to improvements, which is a real thing they said to me) -- I personally don't think that 20% of the class going on for more schooling in 2019 makes any sense (they can't all be PhD placements, right?). I want them to be a strong program but I think they might just be getting by on being a long established program with lots of faculty, because so many departments are under the Maxwell umbrella.  I otherwise can't figure out why they're #1.   

I'm not here to tell you what program to go with, I do think GU has a decent emphasis on quant if that's what you're going for (it's what I'm focused on), but some of this discussion seems pretty  made up (for example, there was a comment in one post about never meeting an AU student in internships or employment in DC -- an interesting one because I met lots of GW, CUA, HU, GMU students/graduates when I was in DC, but literally not 1 non-GULC GU student/graduate. Does that mean the school is shit other than the law school? Or maybe that was just my anecdotal experience).  There is a culture of DC schools looking down on each other, and I think this is really only an example of that. Fair enough; everyone wants their school to be the best. 

 

Edited by MPPNYC
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1 hour ago, MPPNYC said:

I went to American SPA for undergrad (which is obviously not the grad program), but I have been reading many of GradSchoolGrad's comments about AU vs Georgetown with bewilderment.  Yes, Georgetown's undergraduate program is SIGNIFICANTLY more prestigious than AU's (I have no reservations in saying that as an undergrad alum).  But I have a few friends who tacked an MPP or MPA on to their bachelors as we were finishing and they're doing great in DC right now.  No one has had any issues getting jobs that they want or are interested in, in politics or policy (even as we graduated into a global recession; zero of them are waiters, or have ever needed to take food service jobs along their career paths).  Of course, it always depends on what you're planning on doing with the degree -- each school has its strengths and weaknesses. But the GU program appears reasonably new to me and I think this idea that it is SO much better than AU is not really fleshing out.  My friends in public policy/political science academia have been confirming this (I initially was considering GU myself, it is now very likely off of my own list).  

Inside the Beltway, AU is very well known and my understanding is that GU's grad programs are not considered wildly better than the other DC schools (this fleshes out in the rankings, right?). Now, if you want leave DC, AU's brand is not as well known, admittedly. That is definitely something to keep in mind. Before I went to law school, people I encountered had not heard of the school (lawyers and law students tend to be aware of AU-WCL)-- I think that has changed a bit since I attended way back in the day (when I mention it to people now, they look far less bewildered, but who knows), but the name recognition is definitely different compared to GU.

AU threw a lot of money at us as undergrads; I went on a very sizable scholarship.  They asked us to look away from their USNWR ranking at the time and promised that they would be making strategic improvements to the school's academic program.  They made good on that promise and it is now a harder undergraduate program to be admitted to than GW across town.  I was there when they were building like crazy (it was a huge mud pit, ha)-- that money was specifically donated to AU with building in mind. It was not as if they got a pot of money and spent it on buildings rather than academics.  But they literally ran out of undergraduate housing and needed more space.  

As for Maxwell, I am considering them myself right now and am really, truly, sadly totally underwhelmed.  Everything is so disorganized.  They can't even send us an email without having a typo in their school name in subject line. I'm personally not convinced that their new data analytics program/certificate has stood the test of time. They threw me lots of money, but can barely answer an email with questions within a week's time. They can't figure out an organized Zoom meeting after a year in this pandemic climate (were you on last night's call; what did you think?)? What are they going to be like when we get there?  Plus, compare their hiring data with AU's -- which program sends students to more interesting jobs? I had to email Syracuse for their data (because their website is so abysmally terrible that they've allegedly been updating it for 2 years and the site is locked to improvements, which is a real thing they said to me) -- I personally don't think that 20% of the class going on for more schooling in 2019 makes any sense (they can't all be PhD placements, right?). I want them to be a strong program but I think they might just be getting by on being a long established program with lots of faculty, because so many departments are under the Maxwell umbrella.  I otherwise can't figure out why they're #1.   

I'm not here to tell you what program to go with, I do think GU has a decent emphasis on quant if that's what you're going for (it's what I'm focused on), but some of this discussion seems pretty  made up (for example, there was a comment in one post about never meeting an AU student in internships or employment in DC -- an interesting one because I met lots of GW, CUA, HU, GMU students/graduates when I was in DC, but literally not 1 non-GULC GU student/graduate. Does that mean the school is shit other than the law school? Or maybe that was just my anecdotal experience).  There is a culture of DC schools looking down on each other, and I think this is really only an example of that. Fair enough; everyone wants their school to be the best. 

 

I am not from Washington DC. I did not go to undergrad in DC. I don't subscribe to DC undergrad school games. Nor have I highlighted that Georgetown's MPP is much better than AU's... Georgetown's MPP has its own problems that I regularly highlight.

I was speaking specifically to SPA vs. the rough competition they have NOW vs. all other top policy schools given the supply and demand issues in the market place NOW. 

Yes, I never met an AU SPA graduate (emphasis on graduate student... as the American as an undergrad is completely different story) at prime competitive opportunities stemming from the policy world.

We can look at this from many angles - just some examples (again for GRAD non-PHD AU SPA only):

1. National Security - Top Fellowship: https://www.whs.mil/McCain-Cohort1-Finalists/  (no one from American SPA or SIS) 

2. Tech in a policy/ir related field - I never met any at my time at Silicon Valley - I'm sure you can probably find onesies and twosies on LinkedIn

3. OMB's Annual competitive Summer internship (not counting PhD - which American does send some to OMB every now and then)

4. As a target pipeline school among major consulting firms with federal business (emphasis on the words major and target pipeline school). SPA is not on the target list for them. (AU's MBA is depending on firm). 

Look, I'm sure there are bright American U. grad students at SPA like there are in every program. In no way am I the end all and be all, but the results (both published) and what I seen speak for itself. 

I have met SPA graduate students in certain policy wide events at DC schools (GU, GWU, Heinz DC, and AU combined activities) --> Again - not impressed by comparison to the other peers I encountered. I can speak to that at length. 

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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I am so happy to have got accepted from two great programs, MPP of Chicago Harris and MPA of Columbia SIPA. Although both schools would offer me a great opportunity to study methods of public policy analysis in the field of social policy, I lean on Chicago Harris because of its academic reputation, affordable living expense, and edged program focusing on quant.

When it comes to prestige, Columbia's ivy brand is attractive to Asian like me. I read a paper which insists SIPA is a top tier program along with HKS and WWS in MPP/MPA schools in the United States. Although the paper was published by SIPA, it works well to make me nervous about my decision.

Is it ridiculous to choose Chicago Harris over Columbia SIPA?  

Edited by AZYA0104
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1 minute ago, AZYA0104 said:

I am so happy to have got accepted from two great programs, MPP of Chicago Harris and MPA of Columbia SIPA. Although both schools would offer me a great opportunity to study methods of public policy analysis in the field of social policy, I lean on Chicago Harris because of its academic reputation, affordable living expense, and edged program focusing on quant.

When it comes to prestige, Columbia's ivy brand is attractive to Asian like me. I read a paper which insists SIPA is a top tier program along with HKS and WWS in MPP/MPA schools in the United States. Although the paper was published by SIPA, it works well to make me nervous about my decision.

Is it ridiculous to choose Chicago Harris over Columbia SIPA?  

Chicago  is definitely the better school for quant period and brand has marginal to minor difference in top schools. 

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Deciding between four programs, three of them MPP. In no order:

  • LBJ MGPS - half tuition, would likely get in-state second year. From Austin, which is a bonus financially but I don't want to feel like I'm just going back home; unsure if I want to work in Texas after. Very good financial position for this one.
  • Goldman MPP - no funding, but it sounds like there are good fee remission opportunities. I love Berkeley as a city, a bit intimidated by the quant curriculum (but hey, they accepted me, so I guess they think I can do it).
  • USC Price - half tuition. LA could be good for my career interests, but not too familiar with the network or what job opportunities would look like after.

I have four years of work experience policy and communications in DC, but am interested in pivoting to something related to tech and media - maybe the policy side of that, but I am not committed to returning to DC. My uncertainty regarding exactly what I want to do is definitely a factor in my decision, I understand it's not very helpful. I have also been accepted to a top tier media & communications program that I am excited about, but also concerned about debt. Any feedback from anyone on the above programs - and thoughts about reasonable salary ranges after - extremely welcome! Thanks in advance.

(Cross-posted from another thread)

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5 hours ago, MPPNYC said:

I went to American SPA for undergrad (which is obviously not the grad program), but I have been reading many of GradSchoolGrad's comments about AU vs Georgetown with bewilderment.  Yes, Georgetown's undergraduate program is SIGNIFICANTLY more prestigious than AU's (I have no reservations in saying that as an undergrad alum).  But I have a few friends who tacked an MPP or MPA on to their bachelors as we were finishing and they're doing great in DC right now.  No one has had any issues getting jobs that they want or are interested in, in politics or policy (even as we graduated into a global recession; zero of them are waiters, or have ever needed to take food service jobs along their career paths).  Of course, it always depends on what you're planning on doing with the degree -- each school has its strengths and weaknesses. But the GU program appears reasonably new to me and I think this idea that it is SO much better than AU is not really fleshing out.  My friends in public policy/political science academia have been confirming this (I initially was considering GU myself, it is now very likely off of my own list).  

Inside the Beltway, AU is very well known and my understanding is that GU's grad programs are not considered wildly better than the other DC schools (this fleshes out in the rankings, right?). Now, if you want leave DC, AU's brand is not as well known, admittedly. That is definitely something to keep in mind. Before I went to law school, people I encountered had not heard of the school (lawyers and law students tend to be aware of AU-WCL)-- I think that has changed a bit since I attended way back in the day (when I mention it to people now, they look far less bewildered, but who knows), but the name recognition is definitely different compared to GU.

AU threw a lot of money at us as undergrads; I went on a very sizable scholarship.  They asked us to look away from their USNWR ranking at the time and promised that they would be making strategic improvements to the school's academic program.  They made good on that promise and it is now a harder undergraduate program to be admitted to than GW across town.  I was there when they were building like crazy (it was a huge mud pit, ha)-- that money was specifically donated to AU with building in mind. It was not as if they got a pot of money and spent it on buildings rather than academics.  But they literally ran out of undergraduate housing and needed more space.  

As for Maxwell, I am considering them myself right now and am really, truly, sadly totally underwhelmed.  Everything is so disorganized.  They can't even send us an email without having a typo in their school name in subject line. I'm personally not convinced that their new data analytics program/certificate has stood the test of time. They threw me lots of money, but can barely answer an email with questions within a week's time. They can't figure out an organized Zoom meeting after a year in this pandemic climate (were you on last night's call; what did you think?)? What are they going to be like when we get there?  Plus, compare their hiring data with AU's -- which program sends students to more interesting jobs? I had to email Syracuse for their data (because their website is so abysmally terrible that they've allegedly been updating it for 2 years and the site is locked to improvements, which is a real thing they said to me) -- I personally don't think that 20% of the class going on for more schooling in 2019 makes any sense (they can't all be PhD placements, right?). I want them to be a strong program but I think they might just be getting by on being a long established program with lots of faculty, because so many departments are under the Maxwell umbrella.  I otherwise can't figure out why they're #1.   

I'm not here to tell you what program to go with, I do think GU has a decent emphasis on quant if that's what you're going for (it's what I'm focused on), but some of this discussion seems pretty  made up (for example, there was a comment in one post about never meeting an AU student in internships or employment in DC -- an interesting one because I met lots of GW, CUA, HU, GMU students/graduates when I was in DC, but literally not 1 non-GULC GU student/graduate. Does that mean the school is shit other than the law school? Or maybe that was just my anecdotal experience).  There is a culture of DC schools looking down on each other, and I think this is really only an example of that. Fair enough; everyone wants their school to be the best. 

 

Appreciate the extra insight from an American alum. I definitely take all advice on this forum with a grain of salt, but anecdotal advice is still helpful! 

Syracuse and American are currently tied for me right now. I didn't end up applying to Georgetown since the program just wasn't the right fit, and was rejected from GW (stings, but ultimately helpful). In a previous post I did talk about how much American has impressed me through the application process, and both these schools gave me merit aid. 

I did attend the MPA session for Syracuse last night and I enjoyed it (though I joined a few minutes late)! As someone who runs virtual events with 100+ people and multiple hosts every month, I know sessions with breakout rooms can be hit or miss in regards to efficiency and organization, so I never fault anyone for a few mishaps. I've also gotten the impression from the admissions director that planning for 2021 has been like herding cats between their hybrid class structure and so many virtual events (I think I found the email you reference where Maxwell was missing an "L". Since this didn't come from teaching faculty, I wouldn't worry too much about it, and that's me saying that as an English major. We have all made typos!) I ended up in a breakout room with an alum and faculty member who both had projects and research directly related to what I want to do, so had a great session. I'll be attending American's Spring engagement day tomorrow, and will be interested to see the difference.

My main concern with both of these programs is employability. I'm pivoting from the private sector, so whatever program I choose, I want to make sure the experience I gain while in school helps boost a resume that only has private tech sector work experience and volunteer policy experience. This is actually why SIPA is still my number one choice, even without the guarantee of funding: the concentration I chose is directly related to what I want to pursue, their average new graduate salary is higher, and many of their alumni are working for organizations I'd be interested in working for. 

 

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Tangentially related to decision-making: for all those accepted, have you found a relative uniformity to your acceptance offers (i.e., roughly equivalent scholarship values), or has one program offered you significantly more/less than others? If the latter, what do you think caused such a discrepancy?

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On 3/25/2021 at 11:44 AM, AZYA0104 said:

I am so happy to have got accepted from two great programs, MPP of Chicago Harris and MPA of Columbia SIPA. Although both schools would offer me a great opportunity to study methods of public policy analysis in the field of social policy, I lean on Chicago Harris because of its academic reputation, affordable living expense, and edged program focusing on quant.

When it comes to prestige, Columbia's ivy brand is attractive to Asian like me. I read a paper which insists SIPA is a top tier program along with HKS and WWS in MPP/MPA schools in the United States. Although the paper was published by SIPA, it works well to make me nervous about my decision.

Is it ridiculous to choose Chicago Harris over Columbia SIPA?  

I'm an incoming student at Harris and just to reiterate what @GradSchoolGradsaid, it's hands-down the better quantitative program and along with Berkeley's MPP is probably the most quant-heavy MPP program out there. It's also a better school for those interested in academia and health/information technology policy, if those fields interest you. The slight edge in name recognition/Ivy League status is meaningless in your case so I'd advise against letting it play ANY factor in your decision. UChicago's undergrad is still 6th in the nation, above over half the Ivy Leagues, and in terms of graduate school Public Policy Analysis, US News puts it at 4th. Columbia? It's 22nd. I'm just using this to illustrate the dissonance between undergrad-grad rankings and the misleading role that prestige plays in MPP rankings. Fels at UPenn and CIPA at Cornell are other examples of schools trying to leverage their name recognition to attract students to its new MPA/MPP programs despite multiple red flags. I would choose Harris - and if you do, I'm looking forward to being part of the same incoming class! You have two great options either way though, good luck.

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