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Columbia/Brown/LSE Public policy and social work


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Hi guys!

So this is my first forum and I'm really hoping to get some feedbacks.

I got accepted to Brown University 1 year MPP program at the end of Feburary and I was super thrilled because the program is only a year and looked practical with studying abroad sections with policy makers.

Pros: Ivy League, 1 year, good location (Rhode island), great program.

Cons: not as famous as othe other two in China (where I am hoping to get a job after). Super high tuition cost, 7,8000 a year. Also the program ranking is relatively low.

Then I got into Columbia school of social work about a week ago. It's a 2 year program MSs in social work in NYC!

Pros: the name! And program ranking number 5 in U.S. Location !

Cons: It's 2 year, and its social work which is not my first choice of field to study. Cost is also highly cuz it's columbia!

Then I got accepted to LSE's social policy and development yesterday ! Which now is just making it more complicated than ever.

It's one year! In London which the program that's fits my interest.

Cons: I'll have to move to a whole different country, and perhaps the masters degree from Uk is less recognized than in U.S since it's always one year ?

Please please give me any feedback or advise! What do you think of these three schools in general?

I also got into NYU (international relations) and USC (sol price - public administration)

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Man you have some tough decisions! I don't know how much help I can be, but I will say that LSE is highly regarded among IR professionals in the US. I wouldn't worry about the fact that it's only one year (less $$ overall - I'd consider that a plus!). If you're goal is to get a job in China, I'd look at which program will provide you with the best network, exposure, and opportunities to get you there:

- Do faculty members do research or work in your area of interest?

- What types of internships/field practice options would you have access to while you study?

- What is the alumni network like? Where do most alumni from the program end up?


I'd also weigh in cost-benefit - how much debt are you willing to take on for any given program and what kind of salary can you expect to earn after graduating to help pay that off?


The good news is, there is no *wrong* choice here. Grad school is all about professional development. Unless you're going into academia, employers will not likely be looking at your grades, they will be looking at your skills and experience. The working world is also about who you know. The best school is the one that will provide you with the types of skills and experiences you need to advance in your career as well as the professional connections to help you get in the door. Good luck!

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I think a lot of it depends on what you want to study because all of your degrees are different programs. If you don't really want to study social work I don't know if I would go to Columbia, though.

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