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PhD vs. MPP (Unsure of career path) (Public Policy/Political Science)


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A short background: I originally began applying to ONLY masters program in the Fall. As I got more excited about pursuing research in Eastern European politics, I became more excited about get my PhD. It's a goal I kind of have, but it's not necessary for my happiness that I'm 25 with my PhD. I applied to dual-degree programs at University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Indiana University. And PhD programs at Washington University in St. Louis, Wayne State University, and Loyola University Chicago. I've been accepted everywhere except for WUSTL and am waiting to hear back from Michigan's Ford School and Loyola's PhD program.

Wayne State has offered me a guarantee of two years of funding for my PhD (tuition, stipend, and insurance around 17k stipend the first year and it can change based on my performance in year 2 with a verbal agreement for year 3 funding)

University of Chicago-CIR admitted me with no funding, and the Harris School has yet to notify me.

Indiana University wait-listed me for the Russian and Eastern European Studies program (really not the end of the world or a defining factor in my decision-making process at this point) and accepted me to the Masters of Public Affairs (still no word on funding).

MIchigan accepted me to the Russian and Eastern European Studies program (no word on funding, waiting for the Federal government's FLAS on that one) and I"m still waiting to hear about the Ford School

To top it all off, I'm a recommended candidate for an ETA in Poland with the Fulbright fellowship.

Anyways, I'm seriously considering turning down the PhD offer at Wayne State. I liked the program well enough, but I figure if I'm not incredibly excited about getting the PhD, I should go for the 2 year Masters program, especially since I've been accepted into two top 10 programs for public policy. I'm currently leaning towards Indiana based on costs, but Michigan would be in-state tuition so I think that would be best. Am I crazy? I know some people would kill for a fully funded PhD program from anywhere, especially a school with a professor that has a very similar interest. However, it just doesn't attract me. Kind of like when you meet a guy that is everything on paper, but there's just no chemistry.

Finally, my last sort of reasoning for turning down the PhD is this. I would like to teach at some point in the future, but I would like to work in the private/public sector for a while first. If after 2 years, I decided I didn't really want to be in school anymore I could get an MA in political science from a PhD program. However, a MPP is significantly more marketable than an MA and the programs I would be graduating from have a considerably higher placement rate into government jobs.

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