PHealthMan

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Aug 7, 2007
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columbia is a world class public health school and has a world class university at your disposal.
 

BogglestheMind

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Sep 20, 2007
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Hi guys,
i need to make a decision soon.

T/f:

-the columbia hpm program is geared towards mid-career professionals
Thank you.
I would go to Columbia over BU. BU has the worst group of advisors I have ever met, they truly couldn't care less when it comes to helping out students who have specific interests or projects in mind, if you just want to plod through MPH school, attending one of the most decaying schools in the country, and pay a fortune in tuition for a low quality education then go to BU. If you want to be a public health professional, then you would go to Columbia. PM me if you want details but the faculty at BU are lackadaisical and get into a competitive relationship with students who have TRUE interest in public/global/health which is threatening to such an undistinguished and abusive cohort of pseudo-faculty. Really. I wouldn't recommend BU's public health school to anyone. Many of the faculty are really mean and WILL have you pulling your hair out and crying after not being able to arrange simple electives that most students should be allowed to get and are getting in other public health programs.
 

johnnyquest2009

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Jan 13, 2008
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Boggles:
Wow you need to give it a rest! Half of the postings you have submitted are anti-BU. Why are you dedicating so much time towards attacking BU? It’s a little old now. Your coming across as a disgruntle applicant who wasn’t accepted into this program so decides to take it out online like a 5 year old. BU is ranked high, and you’re not the only one that knows professors and students from this program. Before you stated you got your info from some former professor. I don’t see how this makes you qualified to make such strong statements about the school! Its funny how you attack anything about BU that you can find from the noisy neighborhood, to faculty.

You can really see a person’s true nature when reading their postings.
I can see why BU didn’t accept you!

Again, I am going to BU, and I have been in contact with MY ADVISOR many times already. He has been very helpful.

You say that it is a low quality education, but it is accredited, and ranked high, and every year 100s of students still go there. If it was that bad why wouldn’t you hear more negative comments about the program?

Word of advice to anyone that reads comments on these boards: You have to remember that people don’t always have the best intentions when it comes to their postings.
 

BogglestheMind

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Sep 20, 2007
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Boggles: Your coming across as a disgruntle applicant who wasn't accepted into this program so decides to take it out online . . . BU is ranked high, and you're not the only one that knows professors and students from this program. . .
. . . Again, I am going to BU, and I have been in contact with MY ADVISOR many times already. He has been very helpful. . .
. . . If it was that bad why wouldn't you hear more negative comments about the program?
LOL johnny:laugh::laugh:, I decided NOT to apply to BU's public health school, it is a waste of time interacting with these people if you have great grades and are hardworking, I don't want to have to spend years trying to drum up support for my public health work which WILL help people in the developing world. If you don't like such negative opinions of the school, wait until you matriculate. Classic, your advisor is communicating with you before you start there, hmmm, looks like they are still afraid of not being able to get enough applicants, the song changes when you are actually there and they own you. I am sure there are plenty more students who depise how the faculty operates there, have you ever heard of the tip of an ice berg? I don't think it is childish to offer realistic critiques of a school that people are applying to, better to know the type of people you will be working with before you get there. I most certainly did NOT feel like I was treated with respect or courtesy by faculty there, Good Luck if you think you can far better as you seem to be headed there. BTW, I never said I got my info from some "retired faculty" or whatever, I always stated that it came from direct experience, so it seems you have taken to making up things about me to bolster your opinion, learn how to do a post-search before you make such grossly false statements.

Noticing how you arrogantly and blindly attack people who have real experience with a school that you have spent 0 days at as a student, and in addition to your poor abilities to report accurately what a person told you I would wager I know why a place like BU accepted you, LOL.
 

Andrea86

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Apr 5, 2008
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Pre-Dental
I was debating between Columbia and BU myself.

About BU: I was unable to make it to accepted students day, but I was able to visit the campus. I thought it was in a beautiful area and loved that it was right across from their medical school. I had to call BU several times and always spoke with someone who was very supportive and excited about my acceptance into the program.

About Columbia: I went to Columbia's accepted students day and absolutely fell in love with the school. Like BU, Mailman is right in the middle of the CUMC campus. As a student at Mailman, you even have opportunities to take classes at their medical school. Everything about Columbia from the professors to the other admitted students made me excited to go there. And, its in NYC! I am going to be going to Columbia next year needless to say. We had departmental meetings and it really seemed like the professors truly cared about us. There also seems to be a lot of opportunity for cutting edge research.

I think you will be happy with either school you choose. Both are amazing schools of public health, it just depends on what you are looking for. I would suggest going to visit, although I dont know if you have time to do that. In the end, Im going to Columbia because I loved the people, the area, and the program I will be in. For me it was the perfect fit. Good luck in deciding!
 

johnnyquest2009

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Jan 13, 2008
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Boggles,
These were your words when you were talking about Med programs:

“While Jackie1 makes unfair comments about Princess's review of Boston University, she herself makes a blanket statement about Boston University's favorability although she is not a resident at either program. I really learned about my program after being there for a year as an intern, we should let residents speak for themselves about the merits of their program I guess. You can't trust someone who just states that Boston University is superior, this is a generalization, and such generalizations are unfair.”

In your own words you state that you cant trust someone who makes such generalizations about a program.

I am also a little confused. You said you didn’t apply to BU, but that your criticism comes from direct experience. Where you thinking of applying then? You also stated that my advisor is being nice now during the application process but wont be afterwards. You didn’t apply, so how can you say such a generalization? And if you didn’t apply you wouldn’t have had an advisor who would have been rude to you afterwards.

Your not the only one who knows people that graduated from BU. I have been living abroad from the past three years, and I have met various people at WHO, UNICEF, Red Cross who graduated from BU. So to state that you cant go anywhere with a degree from an accredited program, ranked in the top 15 is a little strange.

I am also sorry if I stated something wrong when talking about your previous posts. Since this is a online message board and I disagree with you 100% I didn’t take the time till now to search your old post.

I actually was a undergrad at BU 5 years ago, and had the ability to take a class at the Public Health School, so that is wrong to say I spent 0 days there. Again, you didn’t apply, so how did you spend time there? BU wont own me. I know it is expensive but I am fortunate to being going for free. I was offered placements at better schools too, but would have to pay.

Again, I too know many people who were happy with their education at BU.

May I ask. Can you please state your experience with BU? Were you a student there? Where you not? If you were a student but didn’t apply, were you a visiting student or what? You state the curriculum is old etc, can you state what classes you took there to make such a generalization. Instead of just making these generalizations, how about stating what your experience was to actually make your points somewhat credible.
 

BogglestheMind

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Sep 20, 2007
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Johnny, I have taken public health classes at BU and talked to faculty in the public health school at BU and have concluded from those interactions over YEARS that it is not a place I would send any friend. . . Obviously you experience may be a bit dated, I am continually refreshed and inspired when I meet so many excellent and positive faculty outside of BU who don't carry around the holy-than-thou attitude of BU faculty. I wouldn't want to make any specific comments to single out faculty there, but many could use a class in social skills is all I have to say. Many faculty there are very politically motivated and will not help out certain students for a variety of reasons, believe me, I know, I had a large plan to do a project in Africa and was basically told that maybe my family in the states wouldn't like it if I was abroad for a year or some other malarky while others were given ample resources and mentoring. If you don't connect with them your life will be made hellish. I am pretty sure I have accumulated more educational experience than you at this point in time, so I won't be responding to the false accusations you have made against me a you continue to pretend that my input doesn't matter. BU is not a top-ranked public health school, i.e. it is number 13, and this ranking doesn't always include the intangibles which include a poor learning environment and poorly planned classes. As you can see, Columbia is ranked much higher than BU and it IS a top-ranked public health school i.e. Top Ten and almost Top Five, it is ludicrous to say BU is on par with Columbia. I would wager to say when you fall down to 13 on the rankings that schools in the 13-25 range are pretty much the same . . . If you care about having faculty that respect your presence as a student and are very helpful then go to Columbia, . . . if you want to have a luke-warm public health experience go to BU, you may not even know what you are missing at BU but when you go to other schools you will realize how poor the education is at BU public health school, it has more of a community college feel than a world-class public health school WHICH COLUMBIA IS!!! If you are smart you really should give other public health schools a look see before committing on BU (not worth the hassle IMHO). Johnny, why don't you do the time at BU and then tell us what you experienced, it won't be as glowing as it is now I would wager . . .

Rank/School Average assessment
score (5.0 = highest)
1. Johns Hopkins University (MD) 4.9
2. Harvard University (MA) 4.7
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill 4.7
4. University of Washington 4.5
5. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 4.4
6. Columbia University (NY) 4.1
7. Emory University (GA) 4.0
8. University of California--Berkeley 3.9
University of California--Los Angeles 3.9
10. University of Minnesota--Twin Cities 3.8
11. University of Pittsburgh 3.6
12. University of Texas--Houston Health Sciences Center 3.4
13. Boston University 3.3 (Really tied with tulane and due to a tie above is more like #15!!!)
Tulane University (LA) 3.3
15. University of Illinois--Chicago 3.2
16. University of Alabama--Birmingham 3.1
Yale University (CT) 3.1
18. University of Iowa 3.0
19. George Washington University (DC) 2.9
20. University of South Florida 2.8
21. Ohio State University 2.7
 

johnnyquest2009

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Jan 13, 2008
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Boggles:
First. I want to apologize for letting our exchanges get out of hand. I am sorry for that. You are right your input is important, as I believe all input is. I am sorry if you took offense to anything I have said.

First though, I don’t think 13th rank is bad. You cant say 13-25th is the same. (also yes it is ranked with Tulane, tied, so 13/14th) but not 15th because although two schools are ranked 8th, there is no 9th place. But that is so minor it doesn’t matter.

Regarding Columbia, I never said it is better or worst or whatnot. I was just saying that your statements are a little generalized and I think a little unfair. If the staff was really that bad don’t you think there would be so many complaints that people would stop applying there etc which in return would force the administration to look into the situation. I have friends that graduated in 2006 (not that outdated) and they say good things. Sometimes a program ranked lower ends up being better for a person than the higher ranked school

I believe that each school is a fit for someone. BU maybe a great program for one person and may not be that good for another. I personally am not going to school to make friends with my faculty. I am there to get my degree and get back to the field. I have all the connections I need, I just need my degree to break the glass ceiling I have encountered at this point in my career. Since I have been accepted I am able to look at the course websites and found that a majority of the classes I am interested in are fairly decent. Also BU offers so many classes after 5pm it fits my lifestyle.

Are you located in Boston? Maybe someday I can treat you to a beer and can debate this in person. Haha.

Also, I would love to hear more about what you wanted to do in Africa (maybe this discussion we can move to personal emails, as I am sure people are sick of our bickering)


-later






 

BogglestheMind

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Sep 20, 2007
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Boggles:

If the staff was really that bad don’t you think there would be so many complaints that people would stop applying there etc which in return would force the administration to look into the situation. I

I am there to get my degree and get back to the field. I have all the connections I need, I just need my degree to break the glass ceiling I have encountered at this point in my career.

Are you located in Boston? Maybe someday I can treat you to a beer and can debate this in person. Haha.
I think if you just want the degree, i.e. MPH after your name and already have all the connections you need then BU is ok for that, . . . however, if you already have all the connections you need then there wouldn't be a glass ceiling, but what do I know. Most struggling middle-tier schools try to hide and obscure the complaints cocerning harassment that students face, BU is no different in that. I don't know if you'd want to debate in person with a guy who's nickname is "Tiny" and is anything but:laugh::laugh:, let's just say I've walked some of the most dangerous streets in the world without fear . . .
 

jkatpp

10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2008
46
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NYC
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Other Health Professions Student
This is an interesting thread... I was accepted at Columbia, Brown and BU. I actually committed to attending at Columbia before I had even heard from BU... it took so long for them to respond to my application; it was a little ridiculous. I think BU is a good school of PH, but I don't think it's on the same playing field as Columbia. I guess I feel as though the fact that I committed at Columbia before even hearing from BU said everything about the difference between these two schools. I also like the fact that you complete a practicum and a thesis at Columbia vs. only a practicum at BU (and the practicum is actually a requirement of all accredited schools of PH). I didn't feel that the BU program was very challenging, at least for me. Having completed an undergraduate thesis, not having the opportunity to do so in a graduate program would have been a step backwards. In all honesty, it depends on who you are and what you are looking for in a graduate program. Of course, these are just my own personal opinions and thoughts, but I think Columbia and BU are on two totally different levels as far as PH schools.

Andrea- congrats on Columbia... I agree, I was sold on Admitted Students Day. I could tell right away that Columbia is where I belong. What dept will you be in? I'm in the SMS Dept and so excited about beginning classes!
 

Cster0905

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Mar 5, 2008
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This is an interesting thread... I was accepted at Columbia, Brown and BU. I actually committed to attending at Columbia before I had even heard from BU... it took so long for them to respond to my application; it was a little ridiculous. I think BU is a good school of PH, but I don't think it's on the same playing field as Columbia. I guess I feel as though the fact that I committed at Columbia before even hearing from BU said everything about the difference between these two schools. I also like the fact that you complete a practicum and a thesis at Columbia vs. only a practicum at BU (and the practicum is actually a requirement of all accredited schools of PH). I didn't feel that the BU program was very challenging, at least for me. Having completed an undergraduate thesis, not having the opportunity to do so in a graduate program would have been a step backwards. In all honesty, it depends on who you are and what you are looking for in a graduate program. Of course, these are just my own personal opinions and thoughts, but I think Columbia and BU are on two totally different levels as far as PH schools.

Andrea- congrats on Columbia... I agree, I was sold on Admitted Students Day. I could tell right away that Columbia is where I belong. What dept will you be in? I'm in the SMS Dept and so excited about beginning classes!
I agree and disagree with this. I was admitted to Columbia; however, I have decided to not attend. I never applied to BU so I can't speak to the school. I have already earned a degree from UNC's SPH and I've completed a practicum and thesis, as well, so I feel I have some pretty decent academic and field experience -- and subsequent perspective.

I was fortunate to be able to visit/consider several Schools of Public Health: Hopkins, Harvard, UCLA, Emory, UNC, Columbia, etc. I noticed a few things. The best SPHs (which include all the above listed) have several similarities (affiliations with world-class medical schools and research facilities, great resources, published faculty, etc); however, there isn't much differentiating them. Public Health is still so new that it really is what you make of it, wherever you go.

I chose to go to UCLA after seriously considering Hopkins, Emory, and Columbia (out of the 10 schools I was admitted to). After pouring over questions and speaking with mentors of mine who are MD/MPHs, it became clear to me that I will be no better "educated" at UCLA than at Hopkins. I was very lucky to have that decision to make.

My point is this: It is somewhat arbitrary and misleading to deem one school as a step above another. Yes, schools like Harvard, UCLA, Columbia, Emory are going to have tons of resources that others may not. But, you're almost guaranteed a great opportunity if you find a program that is supported by accomplished affiliated institutions and have plenty of resources. Boston is a great town with plenty of opportunities and health institutions and BU is a decent medical school.

What's more is that certain curriculum structures appeal to different people. BU not having a thesis does not mean it is a less-quality program. Hopkins is "ranked higher" than UCLA yet its condensed schedule was unappealing and UCLA's more flexible quarter system was better positioned to allow me to do research and take extra classes for medical school.

I could sit here and list several negative things I've heard about Columbia but that doesn't mean UCLA or Harvard are better -- every school has negatives. If someone chooses to go to BU and asserts themselves, they can do just as much as someone who goes to Columbia.

I'm speaking in theory here but I, myself, thought I had to go to Columbia or Yale or Hopkins because they are Ivies or 'ranked higher' and that just doesn't mean so much when you're deciding between world-class medical and health institutions like UCLA and Hopkins.
 

BogglestheMind

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Sep 20, 2007
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This is an interesting thread... I was accepted at Columbia, Brown and BU. I actually committed to attending at Columbia before I had even heard from BU... it took so long for them to respond to my application; it was a little ridiculous. I think BU is a good school of PH, but I don't think it's on the same playing field as Columbia. I guess I feel as though the fact that I committed at Columbia before even hearing from BU said everything about the difference between these two schools. I also like the fact that you complete a practicum and a thesis at Columbia vs. only a practicum at BU (and the practicum is actually a requirement of all accredited schools of PH). I didn't feel that the BU program was very challenging, at least for me. Having completed an undergraduate thesis, not having the opportunity to do so in a graduate program would have been a step backwards. In all honesty, it depends on who you are and what you are looking for in a graduate program. Of course, these are just my own personal opinions and thoughts, but I think Columbia and BU are on two totally different levels as far as PH schools.

Andrea- congrats on Columbia... I agree, I was sold on Admitted Students Day. I could tell right away that Columbia is where I belong. What dept will you be in? I'm in the SMS Dept and so excited about beginning classes!
The BU BUreaucracy harbors so much antipathy or just plain lack of concern for students it is astounding, BU frequently holds onto applications as many applicants decide to go elsewhere. . . I don't know the Columbia bureaucracy obviously, but anything must be better than BU, and I have had found this to be true at many institutions different from BU which are ranked lower than BU . . . the flimsy and flaky northeastern attitude has found a home at BU while other schools in Boston have modernized. Academics are very poor at BU, and you won't be interacting with leaders in their field or brilliant thinkers that you will find at Harvard, Hopkins and other name brand institutions. It is non-sensical to compare BU with top public health schools, and I believe there is a true difference. Top candidates simply will not interview/apply to BU due its poor learning environment. The childish way you will be treated at BU gives the feeling that BU is like a Little League Team that believe they are in the World Champsionships . . . i.e. they aren't aware of anything outside of BU, i.e. progressive learning styles and a more humanistic approach to the treatment of students. It is definitely not a safe neighborhood to be in, even if you look tough, and I wouldn't dream of sending my kids or family members there to study at all.
 

johnnyquest2009

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Jan 13, 2008
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Boggles,
Again I just must say. Many students go there every year. I have come in contact with 10 plus of them. Even dated one. I have taken one class there as an undergrad. These people also know how BU “really” is and I don’t hear the type of complaints you state from them. Again, I really don’t think anyone who hasn’t studied there longer than a semester can state they are the know all of this program (that includes me as well)

It is a good program, yes not the best, but it is a decent program and I have met many former students in decent positions to know so.

Your degree is what you make of it.

That’s all I have got to say. I am excited about my studies next year, and need to start packing up my bags and leave Cambodia. (It has been over 3.5 years since I have been home in the states. Crazy!)
 

swim2006

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10+ Year Member
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Oct 27, 2005
376
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Resident [Any Field]
The BU BUreaucracy harbors so much antipathy or just plain lack of concern for students it is astounding, BU frequently holds onto applications as many applicants decide to go elsewhere. . . I don't know the Columbia bureaucracy obviously, but anything must be better than BU, and I have had found this to be true at many institutions different from BU which are ranked lower than BU . . . the flimsy and flaky northeastern attitude has found a home at BU while other schools in Boston have modernized. Academics are very poor at BU, and you won't be interacting with leaders in their field or brilliant thinkers that you will find at Harvard, Hopkins and other name brand institutions. It is non-sensical to compare BU with top public health schools, and I believe there is a true difference. Top candidates simply will not interview/apply to BU due its poor learning environment. The childish way you will be treated at BU gives the feeling that BU is like a Little League Team that believe they are in the World Champsionships . . . i.e. they aren't aware of anything outside of BU, i.e. progressive learning styles and a more humanistic approach to the treatment of students. It is definitely not a safe neighborhood to be in, even if you look tough, and I wouldn't dream of sending my kids or family members there to study at all.
It is too bad that you had a bad experience at BU. I just finished my MPH there. I think there may be alittle truth to some of you statements regarding faculty in 1 department. However, in both my departments I had fabulous advisors (assigned) and fabulous professors that acted as advisors as well. I have been able to work with one of the most well known maternal and child health epidemiologist, who also connected me with other well-known professionals in the area. I also was able to work with some very good epidemiologists in the epi department. I am unsure of what you mean by learning environment, classrooms, size of classes, location of the school. Yes the South End may not be the best neighborhood but I have never felt threatened, and for the sake of this thread Columbia isn't in the best neighborhood either. I have visited Columbia so I do know about the area that it is located. I did not apply to Mailman though so unfortunately I cannot offer much advise/knowledge other than I know it to have a good reputation.