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Decision..Decision... What's yours?


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Congrats to all who got into the prestigious schools you dreamed of!

 

Now we all have to decide where to go, and there is no doubt it is going to a hard one. 

I'd like to open up this thread to hear about decisions of all and our opinions about each school. 

 

I will go first. 

 

NYU Wanger MPA

Columbia SIPA MIA

UChicago Harris MSCAPP

UT Austin LBJ MPAFF

 

NO FUNDING....! :(

So, even though SIPA is my top choice, my worries about the $$$ is getting in my way. 

I am also concerned about the large size of class at SIPA.

 

What are your options, decisions, and opinions?

 

 

 

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I'm still waiting to hear from Georgetown's SSP program, as are the other SSP applicants.  So that's really the only x-factor for me.  

 

I was rejected at Harvard's Kennedy School, and Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School.  I was waitlisted at Columbia's SIPA program so that pretty much equates to me not going there even if I were to miraculously get accepted off the waitlist seeing as waitlisted students generally receive no funding consideration.  Uprooting to New York would mean quitting my job, breaking my apartment lease, and moving to another equally expensive, big city (I live in DC right now) that is further away from the places I'd want to be working at post-grad (Washington, DC :) )

 

I was accepted at American University's School of International Service, but with no funding consideration.  I was also accepted to George Washington's Elliott School with a decent merit scholarship.  Thus the decision becomes pretty easy.  Though there seems to be some people on here that cast GW's Elliott School in a rather negative light, I feel that one could be successful at either American or GW in their IR MA programs and the Elliot School is a literally a 20 minute walk from my office.  Also, I plan to work full-time and attend full-time so that kind of proximity is a nice bonus, plus their classes all generally start after 5PM, which is also great!  Just waiting to hear from Georgetown to see if I get in/receive a better offer.

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I was accepted at Korbel with funding, and waitlisted at Fletcher (I only applied to three programs). I hope to get off the waitlist at Fletcher. I'm waiting to see about the Pickering fellowship. If I get it, I'll most definitely go to Fletcher if they accept me but otherwise Korbel is fine. If I don't win it, I'll work on improving my profile to become a more competitive candidate for next year.

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I've decided on Georgetown's MSFS.

 

At the outset of the admission's process, I had my heart set on Johns Hopkins -- mainly because I'm a little quant challenged and I was determined to prove to myself that I could do it.

 

After I was waitlisted at JH (again, for being quant challenged) -- and before finding out I was accepted to Gtown -- I figured I'd probably just go to SIPA. While Columbia's SIPA is a fantastic school, I'm not keen on New York and I'm trying to move OUT of the NGO world and into government. That combined with the large class sizes and the mandatory management classes, however, had me less than enthused. But I figured that because I'd been waitlisted at JH, I'd be flat out rejected from SFS. 

 

Turns out that I got into SFS with an unexpected merit scholarship and I realized, after spending just a bit of time mulling, that SFS is actually the perfect program for me. I want to be in DC. I want small classes where I can get to know my peers and professors. Those were reasons I seriously considered UChicago's CIR over other schools for a while. I came into the process thinking of Hopkins as a reach school and Georgetown as unattainable. But the universe works oddly, and it worked in my favor this time.

 

All that said, not receiving funding from any school but Georgetown also made this a pretty easy decision. But it was the icing on the giant molten lava cake that embodied (emcaked?) the end of my admissions cycle.

Edited by it's an IR world
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I think funding just might be the decision-maker or breaker for me. I worked jobs I really didnt like in order to pay off my undergrad loans and do not want to be in such tight financial straits again.

So I'm currently looking at:

*SIPA (no $ but most prestigious program I was accepted into, although I don't really care much for prestige)

*Fletcher ($, but Id need more to offset cost of living in Boston, not sure about Fletcher's reach in Asia, where I want to return post-degree)

*IRPS ($, and second year I can get in-state tuition rate, strong focus on Asia, but SD also has high COL.

*Elliott ($$, in DC, good networking/interning possibilities, but also unsure about its reach in Asia)

As the title of this thread so adequately puts it: Decisions, decisions...

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I'm on the fence right now between three schools: 

 

Duke ($25k aid in total)

Carnegie Mellon (Roughly $30k in scholarship aid)

SUNY Albany Rockefeller (may qualify for a $6k scholarship, but the fact that it's about $25k total for two years, including room and board, makes this quite the attractive offer). 

 

As it stands, it's really a choice between Carnegie Mellon and SUNY Albany. 

Your thoughts? 

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I'm on the fence right now between three schools: 

 

Duke ($25k aid in total)

Carnegie Mellon (Roughly $30k in scholarship aid)

SUNY Albany Rockefeller (may qualify for a $6k scholarship, but the fact that it's about $25k total for two years, including room and board, makes this quite the attractive offer). 

 

As it stands, it's really a choice between Carnegie Mellon and SUNY Albany. 

Your thoughts? 

Great schools. But isn't CMU far more prestigious (both curriculum and the name) than SUNY Albany? 

It looks like CMU is the best bet.

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First off, I am an Army Officer and I am in a program where my graduate school will be fully funded.  Upon completion of Grad School I will return to my "day job" in the Army.  I still have not made a decision on where I will attend this fall.  The primary factors shaping my decision are prestige, quality of the education, internship/networking opportunities, and quality of life.  My academic interests are in the realm of International Security and Grand Strategy.  Most of my work experience has been in counterinsurgency, security force advising with host nation security forces, and military operations.

 

I have been accepted to the following schools:

 

Edmund Walsh @ Georgetown, MA Security Studies Program

Fletcher @ Tufts, MALD

Korbel @ Denver, MA International Security

Bush @ Texas A&M, MA International Affairs

(still waiting to hear from GWU, MA Security Policy Studies)

(I was rejected by Jackson @ Yale, MA Global Affairs)

 

Any advice or recommendations out there on these programs based upon my interests/background listed above?  Right now I feel that I have a tough decision between Georgetown and Tufts.

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First off, I am an Army Officer and I am in a program where my graduate school will be fully funded.  Upon completion of Grad School I will return to my "day job" in the Army.  I still have not made a decision on where I will attend this fall.  The primary factors shaping my decision are prestige, quality of the education, internship/networking opportunities, and quality of life.  My academic interests are in the realm of International Security and Grand Strategy.  Most of my work experience has been in counterinsurgency, security force advising with host nation security forces, and military operations.

 

I have been accepted to the following schools:

 

Edmund Walsh @ Georgetown, MA Security Studies Program

Fletcher @ Tufts, MALD

Korbel @ Denver, MA International Security

Bush @ Texas A&M, MA International Affairs

(still waiting to hear from GWU, MA Security Policy Studies)

(I was rejected by Jackson @ Yale, MA Global Affairs)

 

Any advice or recommendations out there on these programs based upon my interests/background listed above?  Right now I feel that I have a tough decision between Georgetown and Tufts.

 

I feel that with your background, being an Army Officer (means you have your TS), you'll be successful regardless of which school you pick.  You already have experience in the field, which is huge, you have a clearance - equally huge and you'll get veteran's preference on your applications to other government agencies when you leave the military so I'd say you're in a good position in general.  That being said, I think that Georgetown may have the edge on Tufts for prestige and opportunities it would present to you, especially being located in the DC area (close to the Pentagon :)).  I'm debating between GWU's Security Policy Studies program ($20k merit scholarship) and Georgetown's Security Studies Program (no funding) myself.  I feel like I'm leaning towards GWU because of the scholarship offer, but at the same time Georgetown is... Georgetown.  (Sighs) I don't know!

Edited by Atlas445
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@SnakePliskun207 and @Atlas445: From what I have read, Fletcher's humanitarian and security studies is considered to be best amongst its peers. As such, is there a real distinction of prestige between fletcher and georgetown? I could be wrong again but it seems like the fletcher mafia comprises of more diplomats and foreign ministers than any other school, including G'town.  I'd be glad to be corrected since I am in the midst of making the same decision myself and all the research I have done is online. 

 

 Besides, how many students are actually able to do part-time internships? I mean isn't grad school curriculum very rigorous? 

 

Thanks!!

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@SnakePliskun207 and @Atlas445: From what I have read, Fletcher's humanitarian and security studies is considered to be best amongst its peers. As such, is there a real distinction of prestige between fletcher and georgetown? I could be wrong again but it seems like the fletcher mafia comprises of more diplomats and foreign ministers than any other school, including G'town.  I'd be glad to be corrected since I am in the midst of making the same decision myself and all the research I have done is online. 

 

 Besides, how many students are actually able to do part-time internships? I mean isn't grad school curriculum very rigorous? 

 

Thanks!!

 

Well, I suppose it depends on perspective.  The difference of being located in the DC area would have a pretty large impact on career outcome by virtue of the networking opportunities available to you.  In terms of how many students are able to do part-time internships, I don't have any figures on that.  However, programs like GWU's Elliot School specifically schedule their classes after 5pm so their students can intern/work in the day.  I find that approach to be extremely smart because that's one of the best things you can do to help yourself secure employment somewhere - especially with the federal government.  

 

I will be working full-time and attending full-time so, it benefits me.  :)

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I'm leaning towards GWU Elliott.Excluding Georgetown, I feel that GWU is one of the fewest security programs that offers a thorough niche those aiming to get into the internatinal intelligence community along with the opportunity to have a regional focus. I noticed that American SIS offered several intelligence courses. However, I feel that American's curriculum in global security focuses more on quantiative skills/econ/stats compared to what I want to do for my career. GWU's Security Policy program allows me to pick 2 fields of specialization (18-24 credits) compared to American where you can only take 3 courses (9 credits) in your concentration/career interests.

 

Curriculum matters to me a lot. I want to attend a program that will present me with many courses and opportunties that will aid me towards my ultimate career goal. For now, I have not received any funding from GWU. But, I feel that their program will benefit me the most career wise. It sure as hell costs less than Korbel school@ Denver as well.

 

I also love GWU's option of having night classes and intend to work during my studies as well.

Edited by Guest
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@SnakePliskun207 and @Atlas445: From what I have read, Fletcher's humanitarian and security studies is considered to be best amongst its peers. As such, is there a real distinction of prestige between fletcher and georgetown? I could be wrong again but it seems like the fletcher mafia comprises of more diplomats and foreign ministers than any other school, including G'town.  I'd be glad to be corrected since I am in the midst of making the same decision myself and all the research I have done is online. 

 

 Besides, how many students are actually able to do part-time internships? I mean isn't grad school curriculum very rigorous? 

 

Thanks!!

 

Fletcher is not known for Security Studies. If your goal is to work in international development, Fletcher would be a good choice. However. there is far more prestige for Georgetown, GW, etc. for security studies and there is the added advantage of being in DC. I also believe that Georgetown likely has had more diplomats and foreign government officials attend although it's probably close. Overseas, Georgetown is more well known than Fletcher. However, Fletcher has a good reputation within many government offices in DC (although not related to security policy). State and USAID have many Fletcher grads.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

I got accepted to Ford School, Chicago Harris, and Cornell's CIPA. I am mainly in between Ford and CIPA. However, Ford is quite a bit more expensive than CIPA but is ranked a lot higher. I am not sure how to make this decision. Does anyone know of the kind of job opportunities one can expect coming out of either Ford or CIPA? I am very interested in academia, but would also like to be able work in private/public sector.  

 

Is it worth paying more to go to Ford or will CIPA give me enough opportunities? Please help!! :(

Edited by priyadino
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I appreciate the feedback from the forum. I'm still trying to decide between Gtown SSP and the Fletcher MALD. I was very impressed with Fletcher after visiting this week. From what I can tell their security studies program is fairly robust, at least in terms of the classes I want to take. I do like their holistic approach towards IR and security studies in general, trying to teach students to view the complex problems of the world through multiple lenses (law, diplomacy, Econ, historical, then your fields of study like security studies). In my line of work we can often have stove pipe thinking.

In terms of Gtown SSP, I am still a little baffled that you can only take 3 classes a semester as a full time student, where at Fletcher you take 4 (and you can audit more). There are tons of courses at Gtown that are intriguing, but they like to cap classes at 18 students and again only 3 courses a semester. Fletcher has no cap on classes and they encourage cross pollination of the students (MALD, MIB, etc) attending the classes. Fletcher also provides a great deal of flexibility in their MALD where you can essentially create your own field of study. I have some concerns about the Gtown night class atmosphere and the fact that an adjunct might be teaching the class as opposed to one of the big name professors. I'm curious how much of a student body community you can create when everyone meets at night and then does whatever they are doing in the day.

I guess my point in all this rambling is that if any student is putting forth a significant amount of money towards these programs, you would think that there wouldn't be a high degree of restriction and that you are getting "your" experience out of it. Maybe I missing something here or I'm just not looking at this the right way.

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I like where you are pointing at. On the one hand D.C. is the place where all the opportunities, internships, networks are - on the other hand it might as well turn out to be a very anonymous place where you have to struggle on your own to make your way (be it at the university itself or for your potential job), everybody is solely focused on their own career, socializing might be hard. That is why in the beginning I was leaning towards Fletcher MALD myself because of the great sense of community everyone there seems talking about. But right now I came to the conclusion that I would - regardless of the program - rather stay in D.C. (because it is one of my favorite cities, wheatherwise etc).

 

Another thing that came to my mind is the question of credits: I saw that GWU/Elliot MAIA has only 40 credits whereas Georgetown has 48. Is this one of the reasons why tuition differs so much? Is GWU/Elliot more about the work-experience/Internsthips than Georgetown is? Maybe someone can provide me with some answers! Happy to hear them!

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I appreciate the feedback from the forum. I'm still trying to decide between Gtown SSP and the Fletcher MALD. I was very impressed with Fletcher after visiting this week. From what I can tell their security studies program is fairly robust, at least in terms of the classes I want to take. I do like their holistic approach towards IR and security studies in general, trying to teach students to view the complex problems of the world through multiple lenses (law, diplomacy, Econ, historical, then your fields of study like security studies). In my line of work we can often have stove pipe thinking.

In terms of Gtown SSP, I am still a little baffled that you can only take 3 classes a semester as a full time student, where at Fletcher you take 4 (and you can audit more). There are tons of courses at Gtown that are intriguing, but they like to cap classes at 18 students and again only 3 courses a semester. Fletcher has no cap on classes and they encourage cross pollination of the students (MALD, MIB, etc) attending the classes. Fletcher also provides a great deal of flexibility in their MALD where you can essentially create your own field of study. I have some concerns about the Gtown night class atmosphere and the fact that an adjunct might be teaching the class as opposed to one of the big name professors. I'm curious how much of a student body community you can create when everyone meets at night and then does whatever they are doing in the day.

I guess my point in all this rambling is that if any student is putting forth a significant amount of money towards these programs, you would think that there wouldn't be a high degree of restriction and that you are getting "your" experience out of it. Maybe I missing something here or I'm just not looking at this the right way.

 

I think you can take 4 classes a semester at Georgetown's SSP, you'll just finish the program in three semesters.  The financial aid package they put together for me recommends a borrowing amount that would accommodate four classes a semester assuming the maximum full-time credit hours being 12 per semester.  I think the limiting factor to the classes you can take is the credit hours required for graduating in the program, but I do think you could take more credit hours than needed while enrolled as long as you paid for the differential?  I'm not sure on that but anyone else who knows feel free to clarify.

 

As far as the night classes go, for me I view it as a benefit since I'll be working full-time while pursuing my masters.  To compensate my plan is to enroll part-time so I can take fewer classes and focus more on the material from each and engage with the program more in terms of events, guest speakers, networking, etc.  It would be awesome if I didn't have to work, but unfortunately that won't be option.  Are you going to be working while attending?

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Another thing that came to my mind is the question of credits: I saw that GWU/Elliot MAIA has only 40 credits whereas Georgetown has 48. Is this one of the reasons why tuition differs so much?

 

It's that and the fact that credit hours at Georgetown cost more. The price of one credit hour at GW/Elliott costs $1,600. At Georgetown it costs $1,989.

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Hi all,

I have been wavering on a decision for quite a few weeks now. I think I'm almost there but I would welcome thoughts/comments on my situation:

I have over 5 years of work experience and a graduate degree already. I applied for Public Policy programs and was accepted at: HKS ($0); Berkeley ($0); Chicago Harris (full tuition); Georgetown ($20k)

Funding is my biggest concern so clearly Chicago comes out top. My only concern is, given my career interests in international policy/development, being in DC I realise presents a significant advantage (even though I'm an international student I understand it is possible to work for international organisations) in terms of part time work/networking the usual stuff. So I'm really confused about what to do. Does going to Georgetown MPP over Chicago's at twice the cost make sense?

Any thoughts/suggestions would be very very welcome. Feel free to post here or direct message me.

Huge thanks.

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Hi all,

I have been wavering on a decision for quite a few weeks now. I think I'm almost there but I would welcome thoughts/comments on my situation:

I have over 5 years of work experience and a graduate degree already. I applied for Public Policy programs and was accepted at: HKS ($0); Berkeley ($0); Chicago Harris (full tuition); Georgetown ($20k)

Funding is my biggest concern so clearly Chicago comes out top. My only concern is, given my career interests in international policy/development, being in DC I realise presents a significant advantage (even though I'm an international student I understand it is possible to work for international organisations) in terms of part time work/networking the usual stuff. So I'm really confused about what to do. Does going to Georgetown MPP over Chicago's at twice the cost make sense?

Any thoughts/suggestions would be very very welcome. Feel free to post here or direct message me.

Huge thanks.

 

 

I'd pick Georgetown. D.C. has so many advantages and opportunities that you could really get a leg up on and experience in what you wanna do in the future. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on Harris and their program seems to be doing a lot of restructuring, plus I've heard their employment outcomes aren't necessarily all that great. I'd definitely choose Georgetown and being in Washington. D.C., it's the pipeline to everything. 

 

Plus, Chicago (the city) is great, but not all that great. And definitely not as great as D.C. Take it from someone who did undergrad near Chi-town. 

Edited by crisisdiplomacy
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I'd pick Georgetown. D.C. has so many advantages and opportunities that you could really get a leg up on and experience in what you wanna do in the future. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on Harris and their program seems to be doing a lot of restructuring, plus I've heard their employment outcomes aren't necessarily all that great. I'd definitely choose Georgetown and being in Washington. D.C., it's the pipeline to everything.

Plus, Chicago (the city) is great, but not all that great. And definitely not as great as D.C. Take it from someone who did undergrad near Chi-town.

Thank you Crisisdiplomacy - that is very helpful and exactly the sort of point of view I was looking for.

To be honest, it is how I have been looking at it too but leaning towards Chicago mainly due to funding - as I said since I'd have to borrow all of what I need. The difficulty for me has been that putting a price on the DC given that I have never lived there.

It seems to me from what you have said (which reflects the views of most people I have spoken to) that DC is the place to be.

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Thank you Crisisdiplomacy - that is very helpful and exactly the sort of point of view I was looking for.

To be honest, it is how I have been looking at it too but leaning towards Chicago mainly due to funding - as I said since I'd have to borrow all of what I need. The difficulty for me has been that putting a price on the DC given that I have never lived there.

It seems to me from what you have said (which reflects the views of most people I have spoken to) that DC is the place to be.

 

 

Definitely, plus, look at what you are borrowing as an investment. It's better to go to GU and come out with a great job, than to go to UChicago for free and struggle to find a job in your field later on.. 

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Thank you. To be more specific, while Chicago is full tuition, I'd still need to borrow for living, health etc costs. Under my current funding situation this would mean total borrowing over two years of:

1) Chicago $50k

2) Georgetown $80k

So I take it you're saying that the $30k in additional debt (if I can manage it after finding a US cosigner) would be worth it for being in DC?

Edited by economixed_policy
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