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MPP Chicago or Georgetown


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I am choosing between UChicago and GTown for an MPP (focus on social welfare, labor and tax policy). I have visited both schools. Chicago is better-ranked and is generally thought to be more rigorous, and really just a better school in general. On the other hand I enjoyed visiting Georgetown tremendously and feel that I would probably be happier there -- the students seemed happier and more like my type of people, actually. Plus it's in DC. If it were not for the situation I'll describe in the next paragraph, I would most likely pick Georgetown.

Now for the complicated part. I have a prior commitment this summer that does not end until mid-September this year, and it requires me to be in Chicago. It's a long story, but basically, both morally and professionally, I cannot get out of this commitment. UChicago classes start late in September, and their coordinators have told me I do not have to go to the math camp and language camps they provide starting in August. Georgetown classes, on the other hand, start in August, with orientation in the middle of August.

Because I obviously cannot be in Chicago and DC at once during this four-week overlap between my commitment and Georgetown's classes, it looks like If I choose Georgetown I would have to defer for a year. That sucks. It seems dumb to not go to graduate school and wait a year just because of some four week overlap.

What do you think you would do -- would you just go to Chicago since it's a better school anyway? Can you think of any other options?

Thanks :(

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Chicago. Don't look back over what might have been. It's a magnificent school. You are blessed by the opportunity. Just figure on wearing warm coats for a few more years. You know in your hears it is the right choice, other wise you'd have bailed on the other "obligation" and skipped to DC. You sound like a rare person with a heart and a soul. Cherish these and please don't trade them in for short-term pleasures.

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I am choosing between UChicago and GTown for an MPP (focus on social welfare, labor and tax policy). I have visited both schools. Chicago is better-ranked and is generally thought to be more rigorous, and really just a better school in general. On the other hand I enjoyed visiting Georgetown tremendously and feel that I would probably be happier there -- the students seemed happier and more like my type of people, actually. Plus it's in DC. If it were not for the situation I'll describe in the next paragraph, I would most likely pick Georgetown.

Now for the complicated part. I have a prior commitment this summer that does not end until mid-September this year, and it requires me to be in Chicago. It's a long story, but basically, both morally and professionally, I cannot get out of this commitment. UChicago classes start late in September, and their coordinators have told me I do not have to go to the math camp and language camps they provide starting in August. Georgetown classes, on the other hand, start in August, with orientation in the middle of August.

Because I obviously cannot be in Chicago and DC at once during this four-week overlap between my commitment and Georgetown's classes, it looks like If I choose Georgetown I would have to defer for a year. That sucks. It seems dumb to not go to graduate school and wait a year just because of some four week overlap.

What do you think you would do -- would you just go to Chicago since it's a better school anyway? Can you think of any other options?

Thanks :(

Call Georgetown. Although you might have no options and likely have to go to Chicago, it's worth a shot to at least talk.

My good friend missed 2 weeks from the start of the semester at the Ford School, and they ok'd it. I'm not sure if thats normal, but in the end it's worth it to ask, explain your issue, and see what they have to say. Sometimes places are willing to work with you.

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You should go where you feel you'd be happy. Who wants to look back in a year and realize that the program, the people and the city are not for them AND they still have to move to D.C. and make contacts, etc. Plus all that money for an experience you hate. In addition, your long-term goals are important. Sure you could make either school translate, but you have to ask if it would take more work. If one program is more academic/private/non-prof oriented, is that good for your career? Rank is great and everything, but if a school doesn't have a program that matches your interests and hasn't placed many people in the area you hope to acheive you won't be happy longterm. You'll have to pay back debt and maybe, hopefully have the opportunity to get into a position you want at a salary you can handle. Just keep in mind your degree is supposed to work for you, not against. And in policy is not a profession to be in for the money. If that were the case you'd be in business school. Forget the contribution you want to make and personal satisfaction if all you want is money. There are better ways to accomplish that. No one is going to say, "Oh, you ONLY went to Georgetown." It's a great school and the ranking difference is minimal. So my point is, go with your gut. Weigh what factors are important to you--why you applied to each program and what you liked/ did not. Then you will have your answer. I have never known one's own intuition not to lead where one wants to go, but arbitrary rankings say nothing except that someone liked their program. Not that you would like it. Basing your decision on some number (not that I'm saying that is what you are doing) is like handing the decision over to that other person and saying, "please decide my future". Anything could come of that....

I'm sorry for going on , but I just get tired of coming on here and hearing the same advice of "go with the higher rank and more money." It's a bigger decision than just that... so that's my forty-five million cents.

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sorry... I didn't think it was misleading. i'm not asking people to opine on chicago or georgetown but on my complicated situation...

Not a problem. I wasn't trying to chastise you, only to keep the "Which program do I choose?" threads clearly marked and separated from the small minority of other topics people start around this time of year. While the former are important, there are also a gajillion of them, and it's nice to be able to avoid them if you want to skip to other topics for a while.

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