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MPA (Harvard Kennedy School) vs. EdD (Columbia TC)


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I'm an international student from China with an interest in public policy. While I have no intention of entering academia, I want to eventually pursue a career as consultant or policy advisor. Harvard Kennedy School is better known than Teachers College (at least in China) but I'm not sure if a masters (MPA) is as well regarded as a Doctor of Education (EdD). Any advice is appreciated.

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I forgot to mention that I have an MBA from USC (the executive format offered jointly with a Chinese univerity) and not sure if an MPA would add much to my academic credentials considering that I already have a masters. In this case, would a masters from a great school like Harvard be higher regarded than a doctorate from a good school like Columbia?

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What is the EdD in?

"Well-regarded" is a relative term. In my field (public health), an MPA would help me get into consulting or policy but an EdD would mean nothing. In education, it would be the other way round. The EdD in that department focuses on educational leadership and policy, so the answer to this also depends onw hat kind of policy you want to get into. If you want to do educational policy, than the EdD will probably be better. If you want to do policy in any other area or field, then the MPA will work better. An educational leadership and policy degree won't mean much if you are interested in international development or social welfare or something like that.

I would say in most fields, the MPA would be a better choice especially since you have no intention of entering academia - but if you already have an MBA, then why do you need an MPA? It may be better and less costly for you to make a lateral move into policy by taking policy-related jobs with your MBA.

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