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This is a sort of a me-specific question but hopefully, it'll help someone else out as well who happens to be in a similar predicament. I want to get a Master's degree that'll help me improve my skills in health policy research and program evaluation. The best schools in my region (I'm limiting myself geographically bc I'm married) offer MPP programs in which you can focus on health; the MPH programs just aren't that great. I have 3 years of work experience in health policy and will soon have another 2 in the Peace Corps (so not totally relevant) but my undergrad grades in key classes relevant to policy work (economics and other quantitatively-based courses) are the worst I received in college. Should I reconsider applying to MPP programs given their emphasis on quantitative skills (my GRE quant score was 740)? Are B- grades in intro micro and macro economics my freshmen year going to ruin my chances of getting into a good program? Since most of my undergrad courses were in anthropology, public health and Spanish, I don't give the MPP admissions committees much else to look at for a sense of my quantitative ability. Thanks for your suggestions!

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As someone who currently works as a policy analyst on health care issues, I am relatively familiar with the discussion of MPH vs. MPP. Quite honestly, I think either degree can go a long way in furthering your resume and giving you the skills to conduct more advanced research and policy analysis. Although I can't speak to your complete academic record, I wouldn't be overly concerned about a few poor grades in quantitative classes early in college, assuming you have a generally strong academic record. I think the 740 GRE will demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are capable of doing math, and hopefully you can illustrate in your statement how you have already been using statistical methods and such in your research and analysis.

Given that you are limited geographically, you may want to apply to both MPH and MPP programs in your region (I don't know how many programs you are interested in). I am of the opinion that if you could see yourself benefiting from and enjoying the program, you might as well apply. The main disadvantage of applying to more schools, is that you'll have more to choose from once admitted(and obviously the money and effort that goes into applying).

Best of luck!

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