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fenderpete

The American SIS Fall 2012 Thread

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Figured I'd start this thread as I've been really impressed by how friendly the professors I've contacted are and also y how quick the admin staff have been to confirm various things (GRE score receipt etc.).

I really don't understand why American isn't more highly rated outside the beltway, it seems like they've got a mix of great faculty and great student support.

Anyway... Anyone else applying for Fall 2012?

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Hi fenderpete

Im from india and applying to American too for the MA-ID program (interested in focusing on program M&E, social entrepreneurship,policy design, microfinance, social/gender impact assessments). But unfortunately im only just getting started on the process...got GRE in a week almost 0 prep so far...work full time :( Still working on SOP's and reco letters, so its a maddening time for me this month.

What are your specific interests and can you share more on your background other than GRE scores ofcourse. Still having a hard time narrowing down my school list given that getting funding is going to be huge concern for me. Nyway right now its a mix of MPA/MPP & ID programs

1)American SIS - MA ID

2) GWU Trachtenberg - MPP

3) U Maryland MPP

4)USC - MPP

5) Cornell CIPA

6) Carnegie Mellon MSPPM - its a free app so i figured what the heck

7) Brandeis - MA ID

8) UT Austin - LBJ - MPAff

9) U Conn - MPA (generous on funding)

10) SUNY Albany MPA

11) IU-SPEA -MPA or IU-Purdue SPEA

12) Maybe georgia state MPP, UCLA MPP????

Love the IDEV program at SAIS but im afraid its too expensive and stingy on funding...same goes for NYU or SIPA. So itd be great if u can give me ur perspective on these schools based on my interests - got to bring it down to 8.

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I am :)

I'm from India too, but did undergrad in Cali.

My top choice is NYU and and I'm still contemplating on SIS.

GRE is coming up soon and I'm working full time too so just trying to squeeze in time to prepare for it :S

Still looking at schools that will provide funding.

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Figured I'd start this thread as I've been really impressed by how friendly the professors I've contacted are and also y how quick the admin staff have been to confirm various things (GRE score receipt etc.).

I really don't understand why American isn't more highly rated outside the beltway, it seems like they've got a mix of great faculty and great student support.

Anyway... Anyone else applying for Fall 2012?

This is just what was going around during the Fall 2011 app cycle but some applicants who went to the open house at both SIS and GW's Elliott School were not as impressed with SIS as they were with Elliott. If I remember correctly the complaint about SIS was that it seemed less friendly...I don't know something like that. I personally didn't go to either, but I wasn't impressed with SIS's application process, it was the most cumbersome out of the schools I applied to...not that that's necessarily an indication of the quality of the program, but it just comes down to personal preference and impressions. I even remember not particularly liking SIS's website for some reason...not quite as inspiring as Elliott's. But again, it's all personal. It's obviously a fine school with a solid reputation.

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I've applied for the Master's in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs (through the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program). I've spoken to an alumnus to American, who said good things about the program but more for it being a huge program that gets people jobs. I'm not sure if it covers all the departments and programs, but most students are working a lot in addition to their classes. For me, this sounds pretty nice since I'm going to grad school to get a job, not for the sake of further academia. However, it is a huge program, so it doesn't seem like you get that personal touch that smaller schools have. Just depends on what people like, and I think maybe there are a lot of people who want those smaller cohorts.

I'd be stoked to get into the EPGA program (if I got funding) because I think it's unique and exactly what I would like to do (I want to work with refugees/IDPs from conflict areas - both directly and through advocacy/policy). But early on, I was VERY confused by the AU website and trying to figure out which program was best for me, until I found EPGA. There are just so many to choose from, and some seem quite similar. I even emailed someone about the differences in the departments and never got a reply. Obviously, that hasn't deterred me from applying (and luckily, Peace Corps volunteers get application fees waived there) but it did concern me.

Edited by bgreenster

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Yeah I too sent an email asking for clarification about a program or two and never got a response. I know a few people at American SIS and they're happy and about ready to finish up so I'm sure once you get in there it's a different experience than the application process, which is exasperating all around. But that waiver is actually a really nice touch. Well hope it works out for you!

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I applied for their CRS Masters so that I could focus a bit more on the Middle East... A rep there told me he expects their decisions to do out in "early/mid March".

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I applied for their CRS Masters so that I could focus a bit more on the Middle East... A rep there told me he expects their decisions to do out in "early/mid March".

Good to hear it from someone on the inside. Thank you for the info!

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Good to hear it from someone on the inside. Thank you for the info!

Yeah no problem! Although that intel is exactly one month old, now that I looked at it...

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What I love about SIS is that they encourage study abroad, which a lot of the top tier schools don't allow.

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I'm figuring out today when the EPGA candidates find out!

Please do! I haven't heard a thing from them since I applied, minus the "you have applied" email. I keep almost forgetting I've even applied there :P

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I'm currently here IP student, last semester, and I can't wait to get the HEL* out of here.

For a number of reasons. However, on the bright side.. we just got a new Dean, they're changing a lot of the requirements for the incoming class. For instance the incoming class won't have to defend their theses, you'll have the option to do a practicum instead of a thesis, etc. Hopefully they improve things for the better.

Another positive is it's the cheapest of all the IR/IP grad schools out there (Master's). And according to the new TRIPs (Teaching, Research and International Policy) survey, AU's SIS program is ranked 8th (only 1 spot behind Elliot school) and actually above U Chicago and LSE for a Master's in International Affairs. In DC most people agree SIS and Elliot School are practically the same thing, when you start talking MSFS or SAIS then you're getting into a different category.

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Anyway, if anyone has any questions about SIS please let me know! Like I said I'm an IP student, 2nd year, 2nd semester.

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washdc, thanks for the offer.

1. Have you started the recruiting process? If so, what are your opinions of the quality of companies that come on campus?

2. You care to elaborate on the negatives of the school? It is hard to get a realistic view of any school. The website shows what the school wants us to think about AU.

3. How is the camaraderie between students? I understand that at some of the top schools, the programs can be pretty cut-throat between students, more law-school-esque.

thanks!

Edited by godlessgael

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I am waiting for SIS decision! Is there a possibility that it will come out this week???

This is killing me! All five schools that I applied for haven't release their decision up til now!

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washdc, thanks for the offer.

1. Have you started the recruiting process? If so, what are your opinions of the quality of companies that come on campus?

2. You care to elaborate on the negatives of the school? It is hard to get a realistic view of any school. The website shows what the school wants us to think about AU.

3. How is the camaraderie between students? I understand that at some of the top schools, the programs can be pretty cut-throat between students, more law-school-esque.

thanks!

Godless, I actually haven't started the job process as I'm going through apps for a second Master's. However I have gone to the Career Center, which I felt didn't really help me, or offer any helpful pointers for myself (I've spoken with a couple of other students in my program who feel the same.. some have even tried going in two or three times).. I would say that as a graduate student you're expected to really be on your A game and find jobs/internships on your own. I know I hardly ever receive email blasts or information on incoming headhunters to campus.. I generally check the websites myself to see when their campus visit days are. However if you sign up for usajobs.gov or sign up for various job fairs throughout the city, you'll be good to go. I've never had issues with picking up internships on my own.

Negatives.. I would say the biggest negative for me, coming from a small LAC is that, because the program is one of the larger IR programs in the DC area, you kind of feel like just another number.. I didn't get to know my professors really well outside of the class room. They encourage you to come to office hours, yet the times I've tried to go, there are several students already waiting outside to get face time as well. The easiest way I've reached out to professors is via email. In addition I am doing the SRP this semester, and it was EXTREMELY difficult for me to find a professor to be my advisor because there were only 8 professors designated to be SRP advisors this semester, each is given a quota of 5 students. Naturally the IP program is very large, and I imagine more than 40 students are trying to graduate and write SRPs this semester.. as a result every professor I went to was double their quota, I even went outside of my program.

I've never met with my faculty advisor in person.. he's either always on vacation, out of office ,not in his office during office hours, responds to emails once a week or every other week, or doesn't return phone calls. I've tried changing advisors, but the Dean of the school didn't really go for that idea (I think because they have so few faculty advisors for each student, that it's relatively difficult to change once you've been assigned one).

Like I said, I've spoken with my program director, who's actually really nice.. and we have a new Dean of SIS now.. they have done a ton of studies and are overhauling a lot of the issues I've had to go through for the incoming Fall class. One of the items they're changing are the grad requirements because again, it's difficult to complete them when every professor is saying "no" because they're quotas are full. So they're going to have more options for students, and more workshops available for students to attend to get started.

Between students.. Everyone I've met has been really great. You're of course going to encounter individuals who make you roll your eyes.. there's always one person per class who talks so much you can barely get a word in; however students really work together well on group projects. Most people I've met are really great and nice and willing to network with you if they're working at an organization where you'd like your resume to be passed along, etc. You probably won't have many classes with people more than once though, due to the size of the class.. So it's a little difficult to make friends in that sense.

Some positives:

Very good price. Excellent location.. even though I did my internship in NYC (ha). You can have professors that are currently in the CIA, DHS, etc. So it's great for networking. One of my professors was really cool, and I recommend him, he worked for the CIA and now works for the DIA.. he brought in a lot of higher ups in the Intelligence field. Another professor I had works for the DoD as a nuclear engineer and also brought in a lot of excellent speakers.

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I just got my decision. Admitted for the MIA - Comparative and Regional Studies Asia

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I just got my decision. Admitted for the MIA - Comparative and Regional Studies Asia

Congratulations! May I ask how you received your decision? There was talk that American only sends notifications by snail mail so I'm curious.

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I just got my decision. Admitted for the MIA - Comparative and Regional Studies Asia

Congrats!!! Also curious on how you were notified. We're you notified of funding?

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Congrats!!! Also curious on how you were notified. We're you notified of funding?

They send a email saying the decision is available in your application. After logging in there will be a link that opens a pdf letter. For financial aid you have to register on their student website (I have a AU email now hehe) to view it. I've registered but my financial aid is not available. The deadline for the decision to matriculate is April 20th, so plenty of time.

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Congrats!!! Also curious on how you were notified. We're you notified of funding?

Just got into IPCR - emailed to check the website, and was also told about funding. Good luck to everyone else who's waiting.

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