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UCLA Strengths/Weaknesses

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Doe anyone know anything about possible fee remission if you can find a campus job...i.e. some policy like that at Berkeley??

Thanks!!

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Doe anyone know anything about possible fee remission if you can find a campus job...i.e. some policy like that at Berkeley??

That would be interesting, and definitely something to inquire about at their visit day. I unfortunately do not have that much info about UCLA's program. Is it significantly better than USC's?

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I went to an information session last fall and Ronke (Nancy's predecessor) very confidently stated that UCLA is generally accepted as a stronger program than USC. She pointed out how quantitative the UCLA program is and how that is a characteristic of all the other top rated programs. She also mentioned what a bargain UCLA is, but after seeing their funding compared to USC's offers this year, that seems debatable.

Does anyone have information on internship/job placements for USC grads? I'd like to compare it to the info I have from UCLA.

I'd also love to hear why others applied or decided not to apply to the UCLA program.

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Hi Policy applicant,

sorry I am not drunk in fact I don't drink...it was a genuine question...

my sense is Berkeley is better but is it A LOT better? Just want to hear from more opinions...

I apologize if I sounded like I was joking....but I was seriously asking the question.

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No sorry, it was just funny syntax. The question is totally legitimate. My sense is that Berkeley is (obviously) more selective, and therefore attracts higher-caliber MPPs. I actually have very little sense of the UCLA program, though. I plan to go to the UCLA visit day, and I'm very interested to see what the students are like.

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Hi Policy applicant,

I see why you were confused...when I typed too fast I missed out or added one letter or two to the words...

anyway yes I myself have very little sense of what UCLA MPP is like as well...and unfortunately I won't be able to make it to the visit days...perhaps I will ask your opinion later~

: ) Thank you!!

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It's not highly surprising that Ronke said that UCLA is "better" than USC! Much like I would expect USC to say they are "better" than UCLA.

UCLA is a solid program with a horribly unattractive policy building, but hey, esthetics are not the most important thing! They do have great faculty (both in the policy program and economics/political science). Not too impressed with their attention to details and general feel. But, they do have a kind and accessible staff.

For policy, I would probably choose Berkeley over UCLA, both for program/faculty and international reputation. But, I do like Los Angeles more than the SF bay area, so that would go into my decision too. Is Berkeley ALOT better than UCLA, no, it's just got a pool of more selected students and a more renowned faculty.

I would choose USC (more highly ranked by US News in Policy than UCLA, but then again rankings are subjective) over UCLA if I could pay less to go to USC as some of you seem to have that choice.

In the end, I would say, go where it costs less, it's not worth the extra money if you have lower tuition or scholarships elsewhere. In the end most of the major schools have solid faculty and it's what you will make of your time there that matters.

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The question of UCLA v. USC was addressed at the USC Dean's Merit Scholar Event. The general response painted UCLA as the more analytical / theoretical program and USC as the more practical program. The USC faculty and student ambassadors advertised the numerous internships / externships / assistantships, connections with local and regional organizations, etc. SPPD supposedly provides ample opportunity to apply the learning. However, my friend (current MPP student at USC SPPD) said that final job placement services were recently compromised by a less-than-enthusiastic career services director. That director has since left and been replaced (new director now 4 weeks into his job), but the current batch of grads were left somewhat disadvantaged. No idea how long it would take for a new director to get the career services running well again.

That being said, I have yet to attend UCLA's admit day (April 6). We'll see how strong UCLA's internship, job placement and research assistantships fare against USC's advertised strength.

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