Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

SIPA or Georgetown School of Foreign Service?


fall09
 Share

Recommended Posts

In a nutshell:

I have an offer for the SIPA MIA and one for the SFS MA. An international student, my career (5 years) so far has been in the public sector (Foreign Office and Think Tank) only, but I want to keep the option of moving into the private sector open. I tend to view SFS as academically superior to SIPA, but Columbia has a strong Business School in I think they have more variety in terms of courses. Also, the brand name is an issue. I think people outside the international affairs realm will know Gtown less than Columbia, especially outside the US.

Should this be a no brainer? Any opinions or thoughts are highly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a nutshell:

I have an offer for the SIPA MIA and one for the SFS MA. An international student, my career (5 years) so far has been in the public sector (Foreign Office and Think Tank) only, but I want to keep the option of moving into the private sector open. I tend to view SFS as academically superior to SIPA, but Columbia has a strong Business School in I think they have more variety in terms of courses. Also, the brand name is an issue. I think people outside the international affairs realm will know Gtown less than Columbia, especially outside the US.

Should this be a no brainer? Any opinions or thoughts are highly appreciated!

I think this depends. If you plan on returning home after you finish SIPA, or if you plan on launching a career outside of the US, I think the Columbia brand will carry you further. However, if you plan on staying in the US, I think you'll be fine either way.

Also, in terms of starting a private sector career, both Georgetown and Columbia would work to get you into the private sector - assuming you work in the US. I remember reading on a comment on some forum about how there were more MSFS alumni on Wall Street than Georgetown MBAs. Take from that what you will.

Also, I'd advise that you take a close at SIPA's MIA requirements. While I think SIPA probably offers a greater array of courses than MSFS, depending on what you concentrate in, you might have a lot of core requirements to fulfill, and not that much time for elective courses.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the money situation? Have any of the schools offered funding?

One big difference between the two programs: class size. I'm only basing this off of commends from SFS alums, but Georgetown's program is comparably small and very tight nit so you are likely to receive a very personalized experience. SFS is also the University's marquee program so I'm assuming there'll be less bureaucracy to navigate and that you'll (likely) develop stronger relationships with your professors.

I have more experience with SIPA (I never did the program but have attended another school at Columbia). The SIPA class is HUUUUGE. And the bureaucracy there is a sea of red tape. You've got really big name professor's there, with an even stronger crop of academics in the Political Science department and its affiliated institutes, but their classes are huge. I doubt you will have the chance to get close to them.

This is not to advocate one school or the other but I would urge you to think about these factors, and keep them in mind if you do get a chance to visit the campuses/talk to current students.

Finally, think about what New York and DC mean to you in terms of your intended future career and networking.

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fall09,

I would not worry about the Georgetown brand name outside of the US. I have worked abroad for the last three years in a few countries and would say that the SFS has a very solid reputation. Columbia is a great school also; without question they have one of the top MBA programs in the country, along with IR. But I dont think that the caliber of their business school should be much of a factor in your decision if you will be getting a degree from SIPA. Regardless, you have two great choices!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all and sorry for the long absence.

I've just returned from the SIPA and MSFS open days and was way more impressed with MSFS. The brand name thing remains an issue, though a lesser one. Someone (a Princeton alum) rightly commented that the schools really only matters for the first job upon graduation and that after than no one will really ask you about it. Having said that, it seems that MSFS offers a mores solid network and let's face it, in these economic times that is a factor. I have not made my mind up entirely yet but am leaning towards MSFS.

In any case, thank you so much for the feedback and if there are any additional comments, keep them coming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.