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BU vs. American - MA IR and Environmental Policy


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Hey! I was secretly hoping only one of these schools wouldn't accept me because I absolutely hate making decisions. Obviously, I am going to do a little bit of research again before I decide but I wanted to know if other people had any advice. I got into:

  • Boston University - MA International Relations and Environmental Policy (with a tiny bit of $)
  • American University - MA Global Environmental Policy (no funding)

I want to try to make my concentration centered around wildlife conservation. I want to work in a place like the World Wildlife Fund or something similar. My problem is, which is actually the best school for international relations/environmental policy?

  • BU - offers flexibility with the program. I can take classes in any of the departments meaning I can take wildlife biology or something like that along with my IR and EP classes. It's also a well-known school. (other reasons: I have family there, know the area, friends are here, etc.)
  • AU - it's in the middle of Washington D.C. basically where all of my dream organizations to work are based. The center of policy, but I'm not sure if I will be able to get any sort of wildlife conservation concentration there. (other: It also might be cheaper to live here with my dog if I'm being honest.)

These are just the bare bones, but I don't really know how to compare these schools yet. It was always a tie for me. More people know what Boston University is, so that's something I'm taking into consideration. I'm also applying to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, so if I get in there that's an even bigger decision on my hands.

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I would go with the program offering you funding, so I'd go to BU. You could always do a summer internship or job in DC at one of the zillion environmental organizations there if you want to. There are also a bunch of cool nonprofits working on conservation in the Boston area (and throughout New England) so you could potentially work that into your program.

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  • 11 months later...

I am in a similar dilemma, and what I am focusing on is the career outcomes and networking opportunities either from the location or faculty. For my situation, the curriculum varies minimally (Security Studies), so I am focusing on which school will help most after I graduate.

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