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I'd be grateful If people could give me their opinion regarding my current dilemma.

I have recently got admitted into :

1. Graduate Institute of International and development studies (IHEID) for Masters in international Economics

2. LSE for MPA in Public and Economics policy.

I am currently in my final year of my undergrad Bachelors in Economics and have been admitted for this fall 2012 batch, so basically I'll be right out of undergrad and going for my masters.

I am interested in working in the International trade and development sector and policy making. International organisations like world bank, UNDP etc

I really like IHEID's course since International economics is what I really what I want to do and the location couldn't be any better to network and get access in terms of internships and job opportunities with all the international organisations. Plus thinking from a financial point f view, the tuition fees are extremely cheap as compared to LSE.

However LSE on the other hand has an excellent MPA programme but there are three problems I see with it: it seems to me a more of professional degree that usually people apply for after a few years of work experience and even though I feel really great in having been accepted, I really don't know whether it's the right degree to do without any work experience. Secondly it doesn't leave the possibility of an econ phd open for me. Not like I have an plans, since I definitely want to work after my masters for a few years, but I'd still want to keep that option open. Lastly it's highly expensive as compared to IHEID.

So what I'd really like to know is whether if I decide to go for IHEID will I be giving up on a really good offer?

Which of the two degrees are a better fit for me right now nd open up the job prospects in the field I want to work in?

Thanks :)

Edited by n.1991

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I fell like you already answered your own question and am just looking for validation. The MS IE is highly respected (at least in Europe), with a specialization in International Macro, which seems to be what you want to do. In addition, for international trade, UN etc. Geneva is THE place to be in Europe and the Grad Institute has great connections to UN agencies etc. I only know about the Geneva course (since I applied to the Grad Institute as well, but for another degree), I have no knowledge about the MPA at LSE.

However, you seem like you're more interested in econ and would like a more econ-centric experience than a MPA. The Geneva program is very macro, i.e. economic policy-centric and also offers you electives in politics. I feel that for the jobs you're looking at, Geneva is a very good, viable option and might even be better than LSE.

I see how it might be hard/confusing to give up LSE (the best school for Econ in Europe, according to many), but I really think Geneva is the place for you to be.

Hope that helps.

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IRToni thanks a lot. That did help.

Ya I agree that giving up on LSE is difficult mostly because of its brand name plus I'd also like to know from someone how rigorous is this MPA PEP course.

But I think Geneva is right as you pointed in terms of its specialisation in macroeconomics and access to all the international organisations.

So did you get an offer from IHEID as well?

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Glad to be of help.

I got an offer for the MIA, waitlisted for funding. Not sure I'll take it since I was admitted to my dream program and IHEID isn't as strong in my area (international Political Economy, China). I'm also going to explore the Fletcher exchange option though, so I don't know yet.

Regarding the rigorosity of the MPA at LSE, I don't really know. However, there's an option for you to go to Singapure for a semester and do MPP/MPA coursework there as part of your Geneva degree. It might be worth looking at it. While turning down a brand like LSE might sting a bit, IHEID is also nothing to scoff at. They don't have the reputation LSE has, but if you count all the other factors, it can still come out on top.

You could also look at classes at each school to decide, but I feel that your decision for IHEID has been made, you just need some validation about not being crazy (which I totally get)...

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I've been accepted into the LSE MPA and am trying to decide between this course and Johns Hopkins SAIS MA in IR/Int Econ. I can't speak much for reputations in Europe, but I can give some insight on the rigor of the LSE MPA. I've heard that it is tough and takes a lot of work, but it is only particularly tough for those who don't have much of an econ background. Also for your concerns that it is too professional, in comparison with courses in the USA, it is more theoretical/academic (compared to Harvard's MPA, but that's in a league of its own) and some people go onto to do PhDs after - not sure if in econ though. This is the opinion of someone on the course, and I'm pretty sure this person is European:

"Hi I am a current MPA student in the PEP stream.... [to person asking about the program] You have an econometric background and therefore I suppose you also have an economics background. In that case 50% of the first year courses will be repetition. Think about it. The MPA teaches you to be a critical consumer of economic research. If that is something you don't have then come.

Also, it is very theoretical and highly demanding. The quality of the students is very high. The LSE MPA is very well regarded amongst faculty and students. We have a very active MPA Student Association and I believe that only the MSc Economics students are more hard working that us, although probably more "nerdy". Non MPA core courses, from other MSc tend to have weaker students/content. We are very well at the top of what LSE offers. I can't speak for other Top MPA but this one is certainly not a joke. We have around 15% dropping out every year cause they were not well aware of how rigorous the program is.

Question do you have working experience? A good chunk, say 20% don't. I believe that is not a good decision, but if you where admitted you are probably exceptional." - abaravelli on gradcafe

Edited by smirrah

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