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Policy schools in NYC


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Hi all 

I am an international student currently living in NYC. I graduated with a degree in Economics from the best school in my home country, and have worked in the education sector there for the last three years. I am now based in NYC and would like to apply to MPA/IR programs for Masters. I need to live in NYC for personal reasons and other than Columbia SIPA and NYU Wagner, which other schools are options for me?

I got a decent GRE score, >80 percentile in both sections, but nothing mind-blowing. Apart from that, I have a decent GPA, good work experience and great volunteer positions at school. I have been very lucky to travel over the world as the child of a diplomat and my recommendation letters should be pretty neat. 

Of course SIPA is the dream, but there is no guarantee of getting in. Plus, applying only to two schools does not fit well with my anxious self, so I need backups. I'm putting below the schools I've looked up so far. Any and all advice on their programs would be much appreciated, along with if there are any other schools that I am missing. I am okay travelling 1-1:30 hours each side to get to school and don't mind if its in another state - 

1. The New School

2. CUNY (Baruch seems to be the best of the lot)

3. Fordham 

4. Rutgers Newark campus

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CUNY Baruch has a great MPA program. It doesn't have the name recognition of SIPA or NYU, but it's highly ranked, very affordable, and has a lot of interesting policymakers on as faculty. It's a really solid program, from everything I've heard.

I also know John Jay is supposed to have a good MPA. 

What specifically do you want to do with your degree?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey @yellina122 sorry for the late reply. Essentially I am looking for 2 things to do with my degree - a. Gain an international focus (I want to work around the work after graduating, so don't want to get stuck with a school too focused on domestic issues), b. Gain a practical skill set that say be applied in a developing country setting. Coming from this background, and being a person who is not the best 'student', I do not want to get stuck in a highly theoretical course load.

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Thanks. Yeah I checked out Maxwell and though it seems like I great program, there is no way I can live at home in NYC and attend. What do you think of Princeton WWS and Yale Jackson? Of course both highly prestigious in their own right, but are they known for their international focus? Both will take me around 2 hours to reach one side which is difficult but not impossible. 

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Yale Jackson's student bios have a lot of international development-focused students, from what I can tell. The benefit is that you can take courses across different disciplines all across Yale because the Jackson Institute doesn't have many required classes attached to the degree itself. Since the Institute is new, it will take time for it to grow a course catalog that rivals that of the Kennedy School.

As for Princeton WWS, I think it's a great program and confers possibly the most elite public policy degree in the United States, but the admissions process is highly competitive (~10% admissions rate). You would need stellar credentials to get in, so if you're not sure about your ability to get SIPA (about a 30-40% acceptance rate, from what I hear) then WWS is definitely out of bounds for you.

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Thanks for your inputs. Is admission to Yale Jackson as competitive as WWS? 

TBH I didn't know that SIPA had such a high admissions rate before I started frequenting these forums. At this point of time I am more confident of getting in but what I meant in my original post is that I feel with any Ivy it's a gamble. Stellar credentials don't always guarantee admission. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/27/2017 at 12:45 AM, aaprabhakar said:

Thanks for your inputs. Is admission to Yale Jackson as competitive as WWS? 

TBH I didn't know that SIPA had such a high admissions rate before I started frequenting these forums. At this point of time I am more confident of getting in but what I meant in my original post is that I feel with any Ivy it's a gamble. Stellar credentials don't always guarantee admission. 

I hear the admissions rate to Yale Jackson is around 20% whereas WWS has an acceptance rate of around 12%.

With any school, nothing is guaranteed but stellar credentials do make it easier.

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