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MPP/Middle Eastern Studies/International Affairs: SAIS vs Fletcher vs GWU vs Michigan vs Monterey


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Hello, would appreciate thoughts regarding graduate school decisions/comments from people in the same boat. Interested in the Middle East, development, and human rights. I have State Dept. experience and did some volunteer NGO work in Lebanon.

Accepted to: 

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey - International Policy and Development MA program ($14k fellowship over 2 years)

George Washington University - Middle East Studies MA program, concentration in International Affairs and Development ($5k/year fellowship) - waiting on another fellowship that would fully fund 1st year.

Fletcher at Tufts University - MALD program ($24k fellowship over 2 years) 

SAIS at Johns Hopkins University - MA program, no funding 

 

still waiting on a decision from the Ford School at University of Michigan (MPP program). 

 

SAIS was my #1 because I wanted to strengthen my economic/quant skills.. took an online econ course to prepare and started to reconsider haha, and the $0 funding doesn't help. Fletcher seems up my alley with their human rights rep, and they gave me the most funding, but they're also more expensive than GWU and don't have the DC advantage. Michigan would probably be my top choice if I get accepted because of in-state tuition. Their MPP is ranked 3rd after Berkely and HKS, and they offer several international-oriented courses so I'd still walk away with the skills and expertise that I want. Middlebury is great but can't compare with the other schools, especially considering I will still have to take out significant loans to go there, so it's probably out of the running.

I prefer to be abroad post-graduation, and am also considering going the PhD route at some point in the future, so I'd like to be somewhere where I could do an MA thesis. 

and with that I welcome any thoughts/advice :)

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