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LSE, Sciences Po PSIA or Johns Hopkins SAIS?


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Hi everyone!

I'm having difficulties choosing between LSE, Sciences Po PSIA and Johns Hopkins SAIS for my masters degree. 

I have received an offer from LSE, for the MSc International Relations. Waiting for response from the other two. I've applied to the International Public Management programme at PSIA and the MA (International Development concentration) at SAIS (first year in Bologna and second in DC).

My background: I'm european and have two bachelor's degrees in Comparative Politics and Journalism. Professional experience from international development/foreign service, politics and news media. Not entirely sure what I want to do in the future, but interested in a professional career in development and foreign policy.

I guess LSE is the uni with the best reputation in Europe and I would be done in one year, but I'm worried the degree is too "narrow" for my interests (no economics, no development classes) and perhaps too theoretical. I'd love to learn French and the courses at PSIA looks great, but I've met several alumni who were not satisfied with the school (large classes, quality of teaching etc). SAIS would give me the economics and development classes I want, but it's terribly expensive and not too well known outside of the US?

Does anyone have experiences from any of these schools? Pros and cons? Grateful for all help!

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This is a tough one. Personally I would choose LSE over Science Po, but I got to admit that Im a little biased since I accepted an offer from LSE and do not speak french ;).

SAIS is a school with an incredible reputation especially in the US. In Europe its a little different (from my subjective point of view, Im German). However, the general public will probably not be familiar with the school, but your future employees should. 

For me, personally, I would probably choose LSE out of financial reasons. Paying "more" in the US will not necessarily get you "more" (in terms of employability). 

Good luck with your choice :)

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First, congratulations! Those are some good options.

If I were you I wouldn't focus on reputation, but I think you've got the right line of thinking that the different schools will likely have much different regional networks. You should check out each of the schools' employment statistics to check where all of their graduates work, compare the salaries, and see if the job titles are the sorts of things in which you'd be interested to do.

One of the main advantages to the two-year program is that you have that summer in between when you can get an internship and try out a job that interests you without having the full commitment. It also may be helpful to have the extra time to search for a job. Just based on my cursory research and personal preferences, I found the jobs out of SAIS to be very interesting and they pay better than those I saw on LSE's employment statistics. 

I'm American and slightly biased in favor of the American system.. Personally, I think the extra year is worth it, but in the end you still have to wait on the other two decisions anyway! Maybe SAIS will give you a sizeable amount of scholarship money. Only then can you decide on all information (most important being your financial situation). Good luck! We should be hearing back Friday!

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On 9.3.2016 at 3:20 PM, monocle said:

First, congratulations! Those are some good options.

If I were you I wouldn't focus on reputation, but I think you've got the right line of thinking that the different schools will likely have much different regional networks. You should check out each of the schools' employment statistics to check where all of their graduates work, compare the salaries, and see if the job titles are the sorts of things in which you'd be interested to do.

One of the main advantages to the two-year program is that you have that summer in between when you can get an internship and try out a job that interests you without having the full commitment. It also may be helpful to have the extra time to search for a job. Just based on my cursory research and personal preferences, I found the jobs out of SAIS to be very interesting and they pay better than those I saw on LSE's employment statistics. 

I'm American and slightly biased in favor of the American system.. Personally, I think the extra year is worth it, but in the end you still have to wait on the other two decisions anyway! Maybe SAIS will give you a sizeable amount of scholarship money. Only then can you decide on all information (most important being your financial situation). Good luck! We should be hearing back Friday!

Thanks for your help guys!

I was admitted to both SAIS (waitlisted for IDEV) and Sciences Po (IPM) so it will be a tough decission. SAIS offered 10K a year but is still more expensive. Wish I had a fortune teller to tell me what to choose :-) 

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