Jump to content

Berkeley MDP or Columbia SIPA MPA-DP


Recommended Posts

Hello guys. I have been debating which to pick over the other. I intend to work with the UN, World Bank or Government desiging and implementing development solutions across the country or region. SIPA is popular for students choosing development track, plus the Ivy thing (Columbia). Berkeley's brand name is way stronger, its top 10.

My concerns are: (1) best training for my career path (2) strong alumni network (3) most likely to secure full (external) funding in Berkeley vs half-tuition in SIPA Columbia.

This is open to the house and any alumni or current student who can share thoughts on this. I appreciate your comments

Edited by Greene
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an amateur, but my understanding of Berkeley is that while it's policy school, Goldman, has an elite brand, neither the school nor university are known for their international training.  SIPA, on the other hand, is considered more elite for programs of international relations/development.  Georgetown and Johns Hopkins are also top programs.  Just geographically speaking, even if both programs were equal it would make more sense to study on the east coast for its proximity to Europe.

But take this with salt.  Somebody please correct my inexpert impressions if they're way off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@3dender thank you. I also got admitted to SAIS, although I place SIPA above SAIS because I feel SIPA will give me an all-round knowledge of development. SAIS seems to be heavily focused on economics. I am now trying to weigh between Berkeley and Columbia since in the next few days I will have to decide if I will choose full ride to Berkeley or go for Columbia and take some loan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Greene said:

Hello guys. I have been debating which to pick over the other. I intend to work with the UN, World Bank or Government desiging and implementing development solutions across the country or region. SIPA is popular for students choosing development track, plus the Ivy thing (Columbia). Berkeley's brand name is way stronger, its top 10.

My concerns are: (1) best training for my career path (2) strong alumni network (3) most likely to secure full (external) funding in Berkeley vs half-tuition in SIPA Columbia.

This is open to the house and any alumni or current student who can share thoughts on this. I appreciate your comments

Hi @Greene i am actually in the same boat as you. the only difference is i applied for the MPP program. I got into columbia for MPA(without funding) and Berkeley for MPP (close to getting a mastercard scholarship, fingers crossed on that). I actually like Columbia because of its location and proximity to most International organizations where i would want to pursue m career. But  did you apply for the Mastercard scholarship as well?

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Greene I'm debating the exact two programs, too. Unfortunately, I have financial difficulties in either of the two programs. I'm wondering if you have already know that the MDP program at Berkeley is STEM designated and it will allow you almost 3-year OPT after graduation. If you want to stay and work in the U.S., I think this factor cannot be ignored. The MPA-DP program at Columbia is not STEM designated and it only gives you 1-year OPT. Plus, the weather at the Bay area is way much better than NY city. 

 

However, I do like the curriculum and faculty better at Columbia. And the alumni network of Columbia is stronger than that of Berkeley, I feel. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Daniel XU said:

@Greene I'm debating the exact two programs, too. Unfortunately, I have financial difficulties in either of the two programs. I'm wondering if you have already know that the MDP program at Berkeley is STEM designated and it will allow you almost 3-year OPT after graduation. If you want to stay and work in the U.S., I think this factor cannot be ignored. The MPA-DP program at Columbia is not STEM designated and it only gives you 1-year OPT. Plus, the weather at the Bay area is way much better than NY city. 

 

However, I do like the curriculum and faculty better at Columbia. And the alumni network of Columbia is stronger than that of Berkeley, I feel. 

Daniel, do you know any other similar programs that are stem designated? I didn't know about the mdp and find it very interesting

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ella16 STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Many programs in the above 4 areas are STEM designated. For most social science programs, they are not STEM designated. Most DP programs are not STEM designated, either. The only STEM designated DP program I can ever find is the one at Berkeley. Other similar programs at Columbia, JHU, Minnesota-Twin Cities etc., are not STEM designated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Abby22 said:

Hi @Greene i am actually in the same boat as you. the only difference is i applied for the MPP program. I got into columbia for MPA(without funding) and Berkeley for MPP (close to getting a mastercard scholarship, fingers crossed on that). I actually like Columbia because of its location and proximity to most International organizations where i would want to pursue m career. But  did you apply for the Mastercard scholarship as well?

Yea. I love Columbia because of location and the organizations around it. I did apply for the MasterCard scholarship. Have you heard any feedback?

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Daniel XU said:

@Greene I'm debating the exact two programs, too. Unfortunately, I have financial difficulties in either of the two programs. I'm wondering if you have already know that the MDP program at Berkeley is STEM designated and it will allow you almost 3-year OPT after graduation. If you want to stay and work in the U.S., I think this factor cannot be ignored. The MPA-DP program at Columbia is not STEM designated and it only gives you 1-year OPT. Plus, the weather at the Bay area is way much better than NY city. 

 

However, I do like the curriculum and faculty better at Columbia. And the alumni network of Columbia is stronger than that of Berkeley, I feel. 

Oh thank you for the enlightenment. I didnt know it's STEM designated, I felt it was a bit different though. Okay so faculty and alumni, better at Columbia :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Greene said:

@Daniel XU why not ask the departments for aid. I hope you dont want to give up just like that.

I did ask the department for financial aid, and I was given $8,000 for 2 years. However, the estimated number of total costs (including tuition and living costs) for 2 years is near $140,000. There is a huge gap I need to cover. I won't give up. I will be either in Columbia or Berkeley. What about you? Have any clue about which school you will go?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Daniel XU said:

I did ask the department for financial aid, and I was given $8,000 for 2 years. However, the estimated number of total costs (including tuition and living costs) for 2 years is near $140,000. There is a huge gap I need to cover. I won't give up. I will be either in Columbia or Berkeley. What about you? Have any clue about which school you will go?

No clue yet. But I know I will surely enrol few weeks from now

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2017 at 7:00 PM, Greene said:

Yea. I love Columbia because of location and the organizations around it. I did apply for the MasterCard scholarship. Have you heard any feedback?

yes. Had an interview this week. Final decisions should be out next week.

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Abby22 said:

yes. Had an interview this week. Final decisions should be out next week.

Okay. I had no interview

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Abby22 said:

@Greene but you mentioned you have full scholarship with Berkeley already or?

Most likely. I am assuming it will come out positive. So I started early to deliberate on the 2 options and to know what people think about the programmes.

How was the interview by the way? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...
On 5/1/2017 at 11:36 PM, Greene said:

I decided to chose JHU SAIS over Berkeley and Columbia. Based on program fit.

Okay great! All the best with that... I'll do well to get in touch anytime i come to Washington :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Abby22 said:

Okay great! All the best with that... I'll do well to get in touch anytime i come to Washington :)

Do same when you come to California.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Bumping this thread to find out more about Berkeley's MDP course. 
 

I know it's a new course but Im really interested in finding out how willing Berkeley are at funding their students. $48k/year does seem a lot. Do many students get aid here? Berkeley's MDP is a STEM course and being an international student, that factor is simply too big to ignore. However, the cost of the programme is overwhelming! 

Any current MDP students here? Or anyone with any idea how one can possibly fund this course?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.