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Georgetown McCourt MPM vs. JHU SAIS MIPP

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Hi! an international applicant here.

I got admitted to several public policy master's programs and narrowed my decision to McCourt MPM and SAIS MIPP.

I know that their directions are bit different (toward domestic policy vs. international policy), and Georgetown SFS (not McCourt) would be more suitable comparison to with SAIS.

However, I applied to McCourt MPM because I was mainly looking for 1-year midcareer programs, and here I am, looking for your advice.¬†ūüėĄ


So here is my situation:

  • Funding
    • Admitted with 50% scholarship from both
    • McCourt:¬†Waiting for additional fellowship (Tech & Policy Scholars)¬†and going to ask for scholarship reconsideration. I applied for other fellowships as well, but all rejected so far.
    • SAIS:¬†As far as I know, its¬†additional funding opportunities are only for Americans or already closed for application, and there's no scholarship reconsideration process.
    • Unless McCourt grants me more funding, SAIS will be about $2-3k cheaper
    • McCourt requires me to enroll from this summer, which will cost me more
  • Background
    • PhD in chemical engineering from my home country (Korea)¬†university
    • Worked 8 years in government sector supporting public R&D administration and policy analysis (also in Korea)
    • No formal academic training in public policy or social science. This is why I applied to policy schools rather than applying for jobs directly.
    • Prior projects involve¬†climate tech, biotech, agriculture, AI, and space development
  • Goals after graduation
    • Land on a job in international organizations or think tanks as a policy analyst
    • Also interested in government consulting (Deloitte?) if the job aligns with my interests
    • Work in the US for 3-4 years (maybe longer) and transfer to its Korean branch (if possible) or move to similar institution in Korea
  • Fields of interest
    • Domestic policy and international cooperation regarding tech & science around climate change and ESG¬†
      • Well, domestic policy and international co-op¬†are quite different things, but international co-op¬†in R&D is so common, so I have always been interested in both.
    • Mission-oriented R&D policy


And these are my questions:


  • Academic focus - Which one is better to get a job in DMV area?
    • McCourt is generally quant-focused, while SAIS is strong in foreign affairs and economics (not sure, though)
    • SAIS looks fancier to me, but I'm not sure which will be more helpful to land on a job because I read quant jobs like data analyst are higher in demand.¬†
  • Location - Is there any difference between their facilities?
    • McCourt just opened its new building¬†near SAIS and will move to there from this fall.
    • SAIS also moved to a new building recently
  • Alumni network -¬†How much does this matter?
    • McCourt is much younger than SAIS, and¬†it was hard to find many people who graduated from MPM on LinkedIn.
    • SAIS is well-known for decades. I found a few people succeeded in doing what I mentioned above on LinkedIn. So SAIS looks better.
  • Career support - Which school does have better support for students to get a job?
    • I saw mixed opinions on McCourt. Personally I have positive impression on McCourt so far. They have constantly updated me with additional funding opportunities (which is not related to career, though). I attended admitted school online sessions, and professors and staffs looked supportive.
    • On SAIS, I don't have much information. It's definitely prestigious, but I haven't seen a detailed opinion.¬†Admission was notified a few days ago, so I haven't participated in any event yet.


I'm leaned to SAIS at this moment in time because of $$ and longer history, but I guess I should wait until the additional funding decision from McCourt.

Any thoughts or advice other than questions above are absolutely welcome. Thanks!

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