student@dss Posted February 20, 2014 Share Posted February 20, 2014 It's worth applying to the top schools just to see if you can get in, but once you've been accepted and have options you move from thinking about prestige and start thinking about whether or not you want to spend the next ten years of your life in debt. I had a hard time finding schools that offered programs specifically geared toward defense, intelligence, counterterrorism, and security instead of just generic IR. I found enough to apply to and was accepted into four out of five. But I only had one school that was affordable. I'll tell you about my experience and if you know about other schools that offer quality education for a reasonable price please add to the discussion. Hopefully this will help save some prospective students from getting starry eyed about the big programs and ending up drowning in debt. I applied to the Monterey Institute, Georgetown, George Washington, Institute of World Politics, and Missouri State University Defense and Strategic Studies-in Fairfax VA. All of the schools except Monterey are in the DC area. I didn't get into Georgetown but got in everywhere else. I ended up selecting Missouri State Defense and Strategic Studies. It is a small school that I just stumbled across on gradschools.com, but it fit my field of interests and is in the DC area. Most importantly it's affordable. The program is directed by a former Georgetown professor who decided he wanted to see a program that offered the same level of education as the big expensive schools while still being affordable. MSU DSS also offered me the most financial aid. I pay about a tenth of what Monterey would have cost and about a fifth of what the other schools cost. If you somehow don't get any financial aid, DSS (Defense and Strategic Studies) is still only half as much as the top ranked schools in DC. I've enjoyed classes so far. I'm in my second semester. The faculty are on par with the best of any other program. The professors are still working professionals and range in experience from ambassadors, retired general, CIA, and other government positions. The program also hosts students from the National Defense University. I've had the privilege of taking classes with army majors and captains who bring years of experience to the classroom discussions. Basically, you don't have to go to a big expensive school with name recognition to get the real deal. http://dss.missouristate.edu/default.htm student@dss 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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