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Class sizes/faculty attention at MPP programs

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I'm interested in the down-low on class sizes and faculty attention at some of the top MPP programs. I'm curious about faculty attention; do students in larger programs get sort of "lost in the shuffle"; do students have better research opportunities and/or smaller class sizes in small programs? What have you all heard and/or experienced?

Personally, I'm a little Ivy-adverse, so I don't think I'll apply to the usual suspects -- but I would welcome feedback on any programs. For now, I'm looking at the Harris School, University of Southern California, Brandeis, Berkeley, the Evans School at the University of Washington (MPA), U of Texas - Austin, and U of Michigan. (I'm also looking closely at MSW/MPP dual degree options.)


If it seems particularly relevant, my stats are 3.9 GPA, 86th percentile Quant, 99th percentile Verbal, 6 on the Analytical writing, and 6 years nonprofit work experience.

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  • 1 month later...

Your stats are very impressive. I've only looked into a few of your listed schools, but here's what I know. Berkeley has a small class size, and everything I've read/been told suggests that the program has an intimate feel. Their deadline has passed, though, so I guess you've already made your decision! Harris, on the other hand, seems quite large, with first-year core courses having 70+ students/class. UT-Austin is supposed to have an amazing social work school

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You didn't list GPPI but I'll throw this out there in case you end up considering it. Each cohort has around 100-120 full time MPPs depending on the year, and about 20 evening program/part time MPPs. The class of 2014 was closer to 120 full time and the largest entering class so far.

Core courses have 20-25 students and electives are 10-20. I have gotten to know several professors quite well even though I am just finishing my first semester. I only have my undergrad experience as a reference, so it's not really a fair comparison, but I'm pleased with my professors and can tell they enjoy teaching. If you are interested in social policy, you can look up Bill Gormley, Harry Holzer, Donna Morrison, and Mark Rom.

There are quite a few students with RA/GA/TAships. I don't know exactly how many are available, but a majority of people work/intern so the competition for them isn't as cutthroat as you would think. I have a GA position through the end of the year but will be looking to get some more diverse experience over the summer and going into next year. However, I feel like if I needed something more low key I could land another assistantship here without much difficulty.

Also I just noticed the OP was well over a month ago, but I already typed this out so I'm going to post it anyway in case it helps someone.

Edited by Azrou
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