Jump to content

PhD instead of MPP


intihuatana
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'll give you my 2 cents, but I'm by no means as experienced as some of the posters I've read on here.

I think the PhD programs are much more selective. They seem to be small and, at least for the top programs, look for much more quant skills than the MPP programs. I assume this is because you will be expected to do more rigorous modeling work. It also seems like they often take applicants who already have completed an MPP.

I've been thinking about the tradeoffs between a Phd in Public Policy and an MPP too, but I'm really not convinced about the value of a PhD. There are few academic positions for such a degree and the econ phd's are always going to have a leg up. With opportunity costs, it's probably better to get the MPP at a top program, or get a PhD in a more traditional field (econ is best, it seems).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or PhD in government. Equally lucrative, especially if you want to stay in the public/government sectors for years to come. I applied to the PhD program in political science at MIT this year, having been out of undergrad for 2 years. DEFINITELY overshot that one -- rejected and rightly so. I don't know what possessed me to shoot that high.

Moral: master's first, especially if you're younger (below 32), then PhD. My thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll have to disagree on this one.

Yes, statistically, doctoral programs are harder to get into. This said, that doesn't mean that the solution to getting into a doctoral program is by gaining more work experience than would be required by a master's program. What's important to note here is that whereas the primary purpose of doctoral programs is to train people for academia (though, obviously, people go on to do different things), master's programs in the field are primarily for professional advancement. As such, the important thing to prove to future advisors that you're cut out to do the research, not that you have general exposure to the field. Undergraduate academic record becomes important here (publications in your field are a plus), and if you want to supplement that with a master's or work experience, just be sure that these are conducive to this end; look for master's programs that have a research (i.e. thesis) component or job experience that's relatively research-oriented.

Just my 2 cents, but, considering the different purposes of doctoral and master's programs, make sure that money isn't the only thing that's making your decision. After all, if you do end up pursuing a PhD, you'll be in a highly academic environment for 5 years (or more!), and, apart from the opportunity cost of giving up this time, this requires a lot of patience/dedication.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

El Diplomatico Verde is right that the career path and environment for which you prepare yourself depends on the degree program. My mistake for not making that distinction.

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.