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Fletcher, SIS, SIPA?


ayo1990
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Hi all,

Now that admissions are in, I have been able to narrow down my top three and would love to get some opinions on each of the programs, especially SIPA because it’s the one I haven’t been able to visit.  Some background, I want to go into the non-profit/public sector world in human rights advocacy especially in the area of gender based violence prevention in conflict.  I wrote some pros and cons below.

 

Fletcher (Human Security and Humanitarian Assistance fields of study most likely)

Pros: Scholarship money, plus AmeriCorps grant means my tuition would be more then cut in half the first year; Flexibility in the curriculum which I think I could work to my advantage, plus I really like the curriculum; I get the sense that there is an awesome community; Career Services seems strong; Can audit language classes and have more than one chance to pass language exam; Strong faculty working in my area of interest; They have funding opportunities for international internships; Ability to take classes at Kennedy 

 

Cons: Not sure if I want to trade DC or NYC for Somerville, and the schedule rigidity in that it would be substantially more difficult to work a part time job while studying (working is a must as I am fully supporting myself in this endeavor)

 

SIS (Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs)

Pros: I love all of the pieces of the program (curriculum, ability to do a practica, professional development ect.); I’ve always wanted to live DC ; When I went to campus I had a great conversation with many students/prospective students and felt very welcome and generally got good vibes and the schedule flexibility; I could work during the day.

 

Cons: DC is expensive and did not receive a lot of funding

 

SIPA (Gender and Public Policy paired with Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy)

Pros: Curriculum in the concentration and specialization is exactly what I am looking for; Faculty interests match my academic interests; NYC, connection to the UN which is something I am looking towards in the future; Global reputation; I’m from NYC and have the option to live at home for a substantially lower cost than Boston or DC

 

Cons: No funding (or well no funding as of yet); Substantial quantitative requirement (I’m not a math person, but I know that it’s necessary to develop these skills so its more like a programmatic pro and personal con); One shot at the language exam (would be taking Arabic...a little worried); Bigger school and I’ve heard it’s more impersonal but I would like some more substantive opinions to back that up.

 

I know I can’t really go wrong with any one and its a lucky choice to have but I would love to get thoughts? Opinions? 

 
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Hi all,

Now that admissions are in, I have been able to narrow down my top three and would love to get some opinions on each of the programs, especially SIPA because it’s the one I haven’t been able to visit.  Some background, I want to go into the non-profit/public sector world in human rights advocacy especially in the area of gender based violence prevention in conflict.  I wrote some pros and cons below.

 

Fletcher (Human Security and Humanitarian Assistance fields of study most likely)

Pros: Scholarship money, plus AmeriCorps grant means my tuition would be more then cut in half the first year; Flexibility in the curriculum which I think I could work to my advantage, plus I really like the curriculum; I get the sense that there is an awesome community; Career Services seems strong; Can audit language classes and have more than one chance to pass language exam; Strong faculty working in my area of interest; They have funding opportunities for international internships; Ability to take classes at Kennedy 

 

Cons: Not sure if I want to trade DC or NYC for Somerville, and the schedule rigidity in that it would be substantially more difficult to work a part time job while studying (working is a must as I am fully supporting myself in this endeavor)

 

SIS (Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs)

Pros: I love all of the pieces of the program (curriculum, ability to do a practica, professional development ect.); I’ve always wanted to live DC ; When I went to campus I had a great conversation with many students/prospective students and felt very welcome and generally got good vibes and the schedule flexibility; I could work during the day.

 

Cons: DC is expensive and did not receive a lot of funding

 

SIPA (Gender and Public Policy paired with Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy)

Pros: Curriculum in the concentration and specialization is exactly what I am looking for; Faculty interests match my academic interests; NYC, connection to the UN which is something I am looking towards in the future; Global reputation; I’m from NYC and have the option to live at home for a substantially lower cost than Boston or DC

 

Cons: No funding (or well no funding as of yet); Substantial quantitative requirement (I’m not a math person, but I know that it’s necessary to develop these skills so its more like a programmatic pro and personal con); One shot at the language exam (would be taking Arabic...a little worried); Bigger school and I’ve heard it’s more impersonal but I would like some more substantive opinions to back that up.

 

I know I can’t really go wrong with any one and its a lucky choice to have but I would love to get thoughts? Opinions? 

Congrats! In my humble opinion, Columbia SIPA is the best fit for you. Here is why:

 

you want to do humanitarian work at the global level, that requires a school that has the highest global reputation. Fletcher and SAIS are only known to be ultra-prestigious by people within the I.R. field. The general public, especially people from other countries know Columbia better. You need Columbia because it is perceived to be much better by those internationals that you have to work with in the future.

 

Also, SIPA is in NYC and UN is right there. Fletcher has a very bad location which almost immediately eliminates it from the competition in my opinion. SAIS has a great location and great network in the world bank/IMF, but if you are aiming for a really international career(working overseas, etc), Columbia still has the upper hand.

 

Hopefully this is helpful. I also got into all three, but my field is I.R./security so I am turning down Columbia.

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Thanks for the help!  I was definitely leaning towards Columbia (still am) but now, I am torn because I received almost full funding for Maxwell at Syracuse (MAIR).  I have no idea what to do now.  The Maxwell program is so different from SIPA.  SIPA is everything I want, but its really hard to turn down all of that money.  Not that I'm complaining, this is such a good problem to have, but now the decision is that much harder.  Gah.  

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Thanks for the help! I was definitely leaning towards Columbia (still am) but now, I am torn because I received almost full funding for Maxwell at Syracuse (MAIR). I have no idea what to do now. The Maxwell program is so different from SIPA. SIPA is everything I want, but its really hard to turn down all of that money. Not that I'm complaining, this is such a good problem to have, but now the decision is that much harder. Gah.

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Id say, follow your interest and passion.

Congratulations on the funding from syracuse, but do notice that if you take syracuse you are making two compromises:

1. Choosing a different concentration that you are not that passionate about

2. Choosing a much less prestigious school that no one likely heard about in other countries.

The money factor is indeed huge, but from my reading of your post, if seems to me that the cost of attending SIPA is not forbiddingly taxing on you I guess?

If money is the only thing turning you away from sipa, then i would recommend taking a deferral year with SIPA and use that year to work on a job or a combination of things to save up a small fortune, and perhaps SIPA will allow you to re-apply for aid next year.

Again, if money is all that is turning you away from SIPA, it's better to do some maths, and see how attending SIPA affects your financial future, and for how long

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Hopefully this is helpful. I also got into all three, but my field is I.R./security so I am turning down Columbia.

 

Hi @Northernlightgradcafe,

 

I also applied and got into the SIPA Security policy program and saw your above statement that you got into the same one but you are turning it down. I'm curious of why and what reasons you would give someone like for turning it down. (I assume from the schools you listed that GW is where you will go)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think for what you want to do, all the schools have enough name-recognition. That being said, most of the work on getting a good job will depend on your abilities to network, to sell yourself, and to develop/learn skills that your future employees will want to pay for.

 

We tend to think that a degree in a certain school will have far more weight than it really will.

 

My reccommendation (as someone going through somethink kind of simmilar) is: follow your heard and listen to your wallet.

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