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Boston Decisions


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So it seems like a lot of us are deciding between Boston schools. How are you making your decision? I feel like I change my mind every day! And the accepted students days have just confused me more!

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I made my decision for the MGH program for several reasons:

1. Even though they don't publicize it really, MGH has a great set of assets in terms of medical speech-language pathology. I'm more interested in this part of the field than anything, and I feel it's going to better prepare me for what I'll encounter in my career.

2. The elective choices at MGH are a lot more broad and interesting than most of the other Boston schools, which I like.

3. The simulation lab is a unique feature for MGH, and I couldn't get over how cool it was.

4. I love living in the city of Boston, but having gone through four years of undergraduate work, having somewhere quite, like the Navy Yard, to do my work is something I appreciate.

5. Having the two people in charge of finding clinical placements and following up with you on a regular basis is something that I really love that MGH does.

This is all my opinion, and I'm not trying to bash other Boston schools (I do go to BU and love it here). MGH just stood out more to me, and it seemed like a perfect fit. All the Boston programs are amazing, so in the end, picking where you think will suit you the best for two years while simultaneously preparing you for what you want to do for a career is the place you should go.

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I'm still choosing between MGH and BU at this point. Waiting for BU's open house to make a decision. I was leaning heavily toward BU for a while but after MGH's open house I'm feeling conflicted again because I thought MGH was completely fabulous.

I'm coming from out of field and am still figuring out my place within the field; though I lean generally towards more literacy/education based stuff, I am interested in learning a lot about the medical aspect of speech pathology. I was worried going into MGH's open house that it was a completely medically based program and I'd be out of place, but I talked to some current students who assured me that while we would be thoroughly trained medically people go in all sorts of directions and I'll be prepared for whatever I want to do. Anyone else in the same boat as me? What are your thoughts?

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Thanks for starting this thread! I've also been doing a lot of thinking about this. 

I was admitted at BU, Emerson, and MGH. Right now I'm leaning strongly toward BU. Here's my reasoning:

 

It was easy for me to take MGH of my list. I didn't get any sort of funding, making this program pretty expensive. I'm not as interested in the medical aspects of this field as I think many people choosing MGH are. While I know MGH offers a variety of opportunities, I still think it's best suited to people with more medically inclined interests. Also, I think the program lasts about 6 semesters and that's a bit too long for me. However, I really liked MGH when I visited it and while I don't think it's a good fit for me, I think it'd be a wonderful choice for many people.

 

I have been going back and forth between BU and Emerson for a while. I received a scholarship from Emerson and a scholarship + an assistantship from BU, making them roughly the same cost. What I like about Emerson is friendly everyone I've talked to from the department is. Also, I think the location is great and the Robbins Center is really nice. However, it concerns me that Emerson doesn't have a lot going on in terms of health sciences beyond SLP. Another problematic thing is their class selection. They have fewer class options and it seems that they don't focus as much on giving students a somewhat personalized curriculum. Also, all classes are later in the day. But they do offer an Early Intervention Certificate. On the other hand, I really like BU's selection of classes. I also think it's good that Sargent College doesn't just have SLP but also strong programs in PT and OT, I think this could provide more resources and chances for collaboration. I also think interdisciplinary rounds sound really cool. It seems that the program gives you a lot of support during clinical practicums as well. And I think the BU name is more well known, which could be helpful if I come back to work in Illinois. I like that BU is the smallest program in Boston, I think that will make it easy to get to know everyone and get individual attention. I talked my dilemma through with my mom who is an SLP and we went over both programs. She said it seems to her that BU would provide a stronger and more comprehensive theoretical background. 

 

Does anyone have any other thoughts on BU vs. Emerson or any "insider" knowledge about either of those? 

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Thanks for starting this thread! I've also been doing a lot of thinking about this. 

I was admitted at BU, Emerson, and MGH. Right now I'm leaning strongly toward BU. Here's my reasoning:

 

It was easy for me to take MGH of my list. I didn't get any sort of funding, making this program pretty expensive. I'm not as interested in the medical aspects of this field as I think many people choosing MGH are. While I know MGH offers a variety of opportunities, I still think it's best suited to people with more medically inclined interests. Also, I think the program lasts about 6 semesters and that's a bit too long for me. However, I really liked MGH when I visited it and while I don't think it's a good fit for me, I think it'd be a wonderful choice for many people.

 

I have been going back and forth between BU and Emerson for a while. I received a scholarship from Emerson and a scholarship + an assistantship from BU, making them roughly the same cost. What I like about Emerson is friendly everyone I've talked to from the department is. Also, I think the location is great and the Robbins Center is really nice. However, it concerns me that Emerson doesn't have a lot going on in terms of health sciences beyond SLP. Another problematic thing is their class selection. They have fewer class options and it seems that they don't focus as much on giving students a somewhat personalized curriculum. Also, all classes are later in the day. But they do offer an Early Intervention Certificate. On the other hand, I really like BU's selection of classes. I also think it's good that Sargent College doesn't just have SLP but also strong programs in PT and OT, I think this could provide more resources and chances for collaboration. I also think interdisciplinary rounds sound really cool. It seems that the program gives you a lot of support during clinical practicums as well. And I think the BU name is more well known, which could be helpful if I come back to work in Illinois. I like that BU is the smallest program in Boston, I think that will make it easy to get to know everyone and get individual attention. I talked my dilemma through with my mom who is an SLP and we went over both programs. She said it seems to her that BU would provide a stronger and more comprehensive theoretical background. 

 

Does anyone have any other thoughts on BU vs. Emerson or any "insider" knowledge about either of those? 

 

 

I also, am between Emerson and BU. MGH's costs was too high in comparison when factoring in my assistantship from BU. I did attend MGH's open house and thought their facilities were amazing and the current students were all very knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. The faculty was also very friendly and were definitely leaders in their fields. The main reason I will not be attending aside from cost, is that I'm not very medically focused (yes even as cool as their sim lab was). Ideally I'd like to study pediatrics and while MGH offered great  class offerings, as well as specialty tracks, I can't justify the extra cost for MGH based on what they could offer.

 

In terms of Emerson and BU, I find myself going back and forth. At BU interview day, I did have the opportunity to speak with many of the BU current students and found that they were all very happy and spoke of the numerous opportunities for external placements. I found that MGH and BU had similiar opportunities for external clinical placements. Emerson it seems has a lot of externships as well but I found it odd that they chose not to name drop any of the opportunities. It seems like there's a lot of connections to schools, but that they may be lacking in medical placements. I think that all of the Boston area schools offer similiar things (since they're also so similiar in rank) and unfortunately I feel like my decision is going to come down to holistic feels to the schools. At the risk of sounding incredibly cliche, I think that many of our decisions will come down to "feel" which will obviously differ based on whats best for each person. I'm currently leaning very much toward BU. As Kozo said above, I also enjoyed the interdisciplanry approach that BU has (which MGH is currently developing as well). I fear that at Emerson, I will not gain as many experiences since aside from CDIS, they offer creating writing, journalism, and theatre.

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It's nice to find someone in the same boat, SLP2013. I wish I could decide based on the feel of the schools, but unfortunately I couldn't go to the Emerson open house and will not be able to go to BU's. I visited both two years ago during the summer but I still wish I could go. I got a good impression of both when I visited, I just don't want to end up making the wrong choice. I'm interested to see what people on here will have to say about the BU open house.

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I was wait listed at BU, and accepted to MGH and Emerson.   I still have to visit Columbia, but if I don't love it there, I'm 85% sure I'm going to MGH this fall.  BU is out of the running because while I feel their program was excellent, I didn't love it enough to deal with the wait list heartache. 

 

I was really excited about Emerson. The area is great (and very easy to get to from my apartment), I like the pediatric focus, it's a very friendly school, and it's cheaper than MGH.  But after the open house, I just felt overwhelmingly underwhelmed.  Plus, considering I'd need to do an extra summer since I'm coming in without all the pre-reqs done and no observation hours, the price difference between Emerson and MGH doesn't seem so daunting. 

 

I went in to MGH's open house feeling pretty lukewarm about the school, but I absolutely loved everything. The longer program doesn't matter to me. The facilities and faculty are amazing and I love their medical focus and more unique clinical placements. I get the feeling that it's easier to complete pre-reqs (both ASHA and CSD) through them as well, which is a bonus for me. I was also offered an assistantship, which while it isn't a lot monetarily (~$2,000 for the year), it still is heartening to feel that they apparently have some deeper faith in my abilities.  Taking out $80,000 in loans is hugely daunting, but I'm fortunate because after I find a job, I can put all my salary toward paying off loans since my husband can support us alone. It's still such a hard decision, though. 

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I was wait listed at BU, and accepted to MGH and Emerson.   I still have to visit Columbia, but if I don't love it there, I'm 85% sure I'm going to MGH this fall.  BU is out of the running because while I feel their program was excellent, I didn't love it enough to deal with the wait list heartache. 

 

I was really excited about Emerson. The area is great (and very easy to get to from my apartment), I like the pediatric focus, it's a very friendly school, and it's cheaper than MGH.  But after the open house, I just felt overwhelmingly underwhelmed.  Plus, considering I'd need to do an extra summer since I'm coming in without all the pre-reqs done and no observation hours, the price difference between Emerson and MGH doesn't seem so daunting. 

 

I went in to MGH's open house feeling pretty lukewarm about the school, but I absolutely loved everything. The longer program doesn't matter to me. The facilities and faculty are amazing and I love their medical focus and more unique clinical placements. I get the feeling that it's easier to complete pre-reqs (both ASHA and CSD) through them as well, which is a bonus for me. I was also offered an assistantship, which while it isn't a lot monetarily (~$2,000 for the year), it still is heartening to feel that they apparently have some deeper faith in my abilities.  Taking out $80,000 in loans is hugely daunting, but I'm fortunate because after I find a job, I can put all my salary toward paying off loans since my husband can support us alone. It's still such a hard decision, though. 

Are you visiting Columbia during accepted students weekend?

 
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Are you visiting Columbia during accepted students weekend?

 

 

Right now I'm just attending the Open House the SLP department is having on April 5th, since I'll be in the area anyway. If I really love it though, I'll ask if I can also go to the accepted students' weekend on April 12-13th as well. I wish the bigger event weren't so close to the deadline! 

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I'm still choosing between MGH and BU at this point. Waiting for BU's open house to make a decision. I was leaning heavily toward BU for a while but after MGH's open house I'm feeling conflicted again because I thought MGH was completely fabulous.

I'm coming from out of field and am still figuring out my place within the field; though I lean generally towards more literacy/education based stuff, I am interested in learning a lot about the medical aspect of speech pathology. I was worried going into MGH's open house that it was a completely medically based program and I'd be out of place, but I talked to some current students who assured me that while we would be thoroughly trained medically people go in all sorts of directions and I'll be prepared for whatever I want to do. Anyone else in the same boat as me? What are your thoughts?

 

Just gonna repost this question, haha.

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Just gonna repost this question, haha.

 

MGH has a great literacy-based program, and Dr. Haynes is doing some really interesting research with literacy. That's one of the reasons why I applied to MGH. It seems that at MGH, you wouldn't be out of place at all, and I am sure they would prepare you to succeed in any setting. MGH has been my first choice form the start, but I can't justify paying an extra $40,000 to go there. Ultimately, every school will prepare you to work in any setting. I think that the individual education and training you get really depends on the experiences that you seek out in grad school. Good luck with your decision! 

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Just gonna repost this question, haha.

As a BU undergraduate myself, I can tell you that while BU has great resources for literacy and reading, it doesn't really prepare you for medical speech-language pathology other than through your medical placement. As much as I would love to stay at BU, because it really is a great program, I felt that MGH would prepare me better in terms of the medical side of the profession. That's ultimately my goal. Also, MGH has the reading certificate which BU doesn't. As wonderful as the BU program is, I feel that MGH definitely has it beat in some regards like these.

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I officially declined my other offers at Boston area schools today. It feels great to have a made a decision. Ultimately, I took a leap of faith and went with my gut. Finances did make it easier to decline MGH though. Ultimately at the end of the day, I realized that my indecisiveness was clearly just a sign that I would have been happy at any of the Boston area schools.

 

Looking forward to meeting many of you at BU's open house!

 

Best of luck weighing all your options!

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Congrats on making you decision, SLP2013! 

 

Is anyone else leaning towards Emerson? I was worried about the research opportunities there so got in touch with some current students doing research. They seemed to suggest that you have to advocate for yourself if you want to do research, but both of them seem to have had great research experiences at Emerson. Every student I have talked to so far from Emerson has told me that they love it!

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Lele,

 

Sounds like you gotta go for Emerson :) 

 

You have a scholarship, you get to be in Boston, what is it about Emerson that doesn't convince you Or that makes you hesitate?  Furthermore, in my experience, if you want to do research, then just make it happen. You know what I mean? If you want it, you'll get it type of thing.

 

Keep pushing, I think you're close to a decision :)

 

Ee. 

 

By the way, I'm all the way for MGH for many of the reasons expressed by FutureMSSLP

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haha. It's just that this whole last year I was so set on getting into and going to MGH, but now in the last few days, I've been doing a complete 180, and it's taking some getting used to.

Congrats on your decision to attend MGH! :D

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lele, I think making that psychological shift is probably the hardest part, but Emerson sounds awesome, and your scholarship opportunity is amazing!

 

I only know Emerson from my yearly trips to Boston, but I absolutely love the location and the feel of the school.

 

Best of luck in your decision, but I truly think you can't go wrong with any of the Boston schools. It's win-win.

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so im not sure if any of you were also wondering about this, but i called BU and asked if there's any chance for merit funding if you didn't already receive it (basically--is there a funding waitlist). And there's not. So if the people they offered funding to don't accept, they don't offer it to anyone else. I know MGH does this as well (and emerson might too, not sure). it kind of upsets me though. you would think that if they have the money to offer, they shouldn't just keep it if someone declines. especially considering their tuition is already so high! oh well!

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so im not sure if any of you were also wondering about this, but i called BU and asked if there's any chance for merit funding if you didn't already receive it (basically--is there a funding waitlist). And there's not. So if the people they offered funding to don't accept, they don't offer it to anyone else. I know MGH does this as well (and emerson might too, not sure). it kind of upsets me though. you would think that if they have the money to offer, they shouldn't just keep it if someone declines. especially considering their tuition is already so high! oh well!

 

Yeah, I was pretty upset to learn this too.  Dr. Mentis just kept saying that they're only given so much by the school to give the initial scholarships and they can't offer "additional" money...but it makes no sense not to pass them along the line if the people given them decline their offers (which they're somewhat likely to do -- the people who get merit money likely have multiple enticing offers!).  I'm not sure what you meant by MGH does this as well, but I was told by a professor at MGH that they would in fact offer declined scholarships down the line.

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so im not sure if any of you were also wondering about this, but i called BU and asked if there's any chance for merit funding if you didn't already receive it (basically--is there a funding waitlist). And there's not. So if the people they offered funding to don't accept, they don't offer it to anyone else. I know MGH does this as well (and emerson might too, not sure). it kind of upsets me though. you would think that if they have the money to offer, they shouldn't just keep it if someone declines. especially considering their tuition is already so high! oh well!

Just fyi, I know for sure Emerson will reassign merit funding. On the information sheet for my fellowship it said to let the apartment know ASAP if I want to decline so that they can give it to someone else. I am almost certain that I will decline, so someone's gonna get lucky :]

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Hey everyone,

 

So I'm in a similar boat to some other people here on this forum, but I'm deciding now between Emerson, MGH and BU, although my decision has been made a bit easier as of late.  I recently received a fellowship from Emerson, which I assume may even be thanks to Kozo (thanks!) and I have got nothing from BU or MGH.  When I was applying I was sure I wanted to go to either MGH or BU b/c I loved the sound of their programs and the facilities on campus.  I was stunned as I was walking around and knew I wanted to be at one of those places.  However, now that it's decision time, it seems like all 3 programs offer fantastic studies and that I would be fine coming from any of them.  I don't know for certain what aspect of speech pathology I want to work in, but I think I may want to work with children, so that is a plus for Emerson, I don't think I necessarily want to do research at the graduate level and it seems like BU and MGH push that a bit more, and Emerson is $40,000 cheaper than the next cheapest, MGH.  I'm pretty sure I know that Emerson is the way, so what I'm wondering is if anyone can just make me feel like it's 100% correct.  Are the programs all really equally great for graduates coming from them?  Would I be able to get a job anywhere in the country coming from a less well-known program like Emerson's?  I sort of just need to hear that everything is going to be ok coming from Emerson's program even though it wasn't my top choice.

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Hey sklimas42,

Based on your comment:"Are the programs all really equally great for graduates coming from them? Would I be able to get a job anywhere in the country coming from a less well-known program like Emerson's?"

i think all the programs are great, but I don't think they're equal. MGH is obviously more Medical focused, BU is perhaps more research focused, Emerson might be more pediatric focused, but at the end of the day you have to feel good with your decision. Somebody in this thread already made a point which was, all the schools in Boston are really great, and they have very fantastic things to offer.

Given the field of speech pathology is so in need, I do think you will have many choices regarding jobs after you graduate. All things equal, it is what you make of it.

I think if you decide to go to Emerson, it will have been the right choice no matter what choice you've made.

One thing I am 100% certain of is that You're going to be just fine :-)

Congratulations,

Ee.

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I'm in a similar place that you are and have decided on Emerson. Like Eerich said, the programs each have a different feel to them, but each will prepare you to be an SLP.

 

The thing that I keep coming back to is that grad school is what you make it. If you are focused, work to connect with professors, and seek out opportunities to expand your clinical skills and education, you will do well anywhere and with the nearly 100% job placement rate for all of these programs, you will get a job when you graduate. And, IMO, if you are focused and driven, you have to sacrifice very little if anything by going to Emerson. If you are set on going into the medical SLP field and have a specific interest in that direction, then MGH would be a better choice, but if not, then any of the schools are good options. For the most part, each of the schools has similar opportunities. It's just that they are not as abundant at Emerson, so you have to step up a bit more if you want a specific medical placement or want to do specific research.

 

Seriously, though, all of the Boston programs are great, and it will work out wherever you go :)

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For those who received scholarships from BU, do you mind tellings us how much? Also, for assistantships, is this position just paid hourly for you? I'm thinking of applying for one to reduce the cost of attendance

 

Thanks!

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