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Harvard or Stanford?


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Hello all! So I count myself lucky to be in the position of having to choose between these two great schools. Money issues aside, how would people compare these two schools generally, and also as they relate to the ed policy programs?

As a small aside, is one school perceived as more prestigious/harder to get into than the other?

Thanks in advance!

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I am also considering Stanford and Harvard, but for International Ed Policy. From what I have read and heard, Harvard's program is a little more theoretical than Stanford's-- classes involve a lot of student discussion of articles, theories, and cases. Stanford approaches the degree from a slightly more real life problem-solving perspective. The lengths of the program are slightly different: Harvard requires 32 credits over two semesters, while Stanford requires 48 credits over 4 quarters (for my program at least). In my opinion, you can do a lot with 16 extra credits.


I have read that Harvard students will frequently intern during their Master's program, while Stanford grad students do not. For my degree at Stanford, a research methodology class is recommended, but not required. At Harvard, you must take one research methods class, in addition to a microeconomics course. This leads me to belileve that Harvard's program may be more quantitiate in nature, or at least emphasize the importance of familiarity with statistical tools in research. I would definitely recommend checking out the course offerings/requirements for your program at both schools, and see which combination of classes most closely aligns with what you want to study/accomplish.


In terms of prestige and competitiveness, both schools are top notch. They are both internationally recognized names in the field, with distinguished faculty. I would imagine that depending on the year, either program could be more competitive than the other.


Lastly, location may or may not be important to you. They are both fairly short programs after all. However, Harvard, being on the east coast is closer to the more international cities of New York and DC, both great centers for policy work. Would you see yourself wanting to stay on the east coast after graduating?


Stanford is in Silicon Valley, in the middle of tech country. If you are interested in technology in education, you couldn't pick a better place.


Hopefully this gave you a couple new ideas to consider!! Best of luck with your decision!

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