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briy61

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Mar 28, 2005
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It's come down to 2 schools: Brown and Columbia (SMS - Health Promotion Track).

I'm aware that this forum tends to view Columbia with high regard, so I think it might be especially helpful to ask your advice, considering I am leaning towards Brown.

Obviously, we all make our decision based on our personal interests and goals, so with that in mind, I've listed the 4 criteria that are most important to me.

1 - Proximity to Boston (where my girlfriend lives): Brown wins because of 45 minute commuter rail line, which means I can live in Boston and commute to Brown.

2 - Curriculum: Brown wins because I can define my own track / have more flexibility with the courses I teach, which is especially interesting to me.

3 - Financial Aid: Brown wins because I am getting a partial scholarship

4 - Has a dedicated School of Public Health: Columbia wins because it has one.

So, on that basis, Brown seems like the right choice for me.

However, I'm finding it difficult to get past the fact that each of these criteria may carry it's own unique weight. And as a consequence, the fact that Columbia has a school of public health might actually trump the other criteria. I just don't know.

So I have three basic questions for you all that will either solidify my decision or make it even harder. Any answer is appreciated:

1) What are the pro's and con's of going to a school without a dedicated school of public health

2) My overall impression is that Columbia's Health Promotion Track is more "practice" or "problem" based, whereas Brown's MPH program is more research based (ie: better if you're interested in pursuing doctoral studies after graduation). Is that an accurate assessment?

3) What do you think are the pro's and con's to being a part of a relatively new program, versus a program that has been around for a long time.
 

erikw

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Apr 11, 2008
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  1. Other Health Professions Student
Attending a new program at an ivy has its advantages. The program should be at the very least worth its weight in paper and the administration will actually care about you :) So you might have more help in your job search, lesser competition for resources and such than at Columbia. I really like how Brown has been corresponding with me. They are also offering better funding (The offered me another scholarship today!).Columbia's approach on the other hand has been the epitome of aloofness.

However, Brown's program seems to be more research based than I would like and I am skeptical/hesitant about being forced to intern with the Rhode Island State Dept in the summer.The opportunities to be exposed to various facets of public health seem to be a bit limited at this point at Brown. I want to work in the private sector for the first little while and at intl organisations later on and I am not sure how Brown will help me meet those aspirations.

Hence despite their funding, and very personal approach I sadly will have to decline Brown's offer.

Weigh your factors. I hope you do will be at peace with your decision.
 

babylon

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Feb 19, 2008
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It's come down to 2 schools: Brown and Columbia (SMS - Health Promotion Track).

I'm aware that this forum tends to view Columbia with high regard, so I think it might be especially helpful to ask your advice, considering I am leaning towards Brown.

Obviously, we all make our decision based on our personal interests and goals, so with that in mind, I've listed the 4 criteria that are most important to me.

1 - Proximity to Boston (where my girlfriend lives): Brown wins because of 45 minute commuter rail line, which means I can live in Boston and commute to Brown.

2 - Curriculum: Brown wins because I can define my own track / have more flexibility with the courses I teach, which is especially interesting to me.

3 - Financial Aid: Brown wins because I am getting a partial scholarship

4 - Has a dedicated School of Public Health: Columbia wins because it has one.

So, on that basis, Brown seems like the right choice for me.

However, I'm finding it difficult to get past the fact that each of these criteria may carry it's own unique weight. And as a consequence, the fact that Columbia has a school of public health might actually trump the other criteria. I just don't know.

So I have three basic questions for you all that will either solidify my decision or make it even harder. Any answer is appreciated:

1) What are the pro's and con's of going to a school without a dedicated school of public health

2) My overall impression is that Columbia's Health Promotion Track is more "practice" or "problem" based, whereas Brown's MPH program is more research based (ie: better if you're interested in pursuing doctoral studies after graduation). Is that an accurate assessment?

3) What do you think are the pro's and con's to being a part of a relatively new program, versus a program that has been around for a long time.


Hi, I lived in Botosn area years ago. As I know, it is not recommended for you to live in Boston and commute to Providence every weekday. Firstly, the commuter rail is mostly for ppl living in Providence and working in Boston. There are lots of trains leaving from providence to Boston each morning, but much less from Boston to Providence. Secondly, it takes you a whole hour from Boston to Providence by the trail. You still need to count the time you spend from your home to the train Boston station, as well as from Providence station to campus. So at least you need four hours to commute every day. I think it is horrible for a graduate student. My recommendation is that you can rent an apartment somewhere between Boston and Providence, so you and your girlfriend both spend two hours on road every day. That would be better. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am going to Brown too. Hope to see you there.
 
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