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MPH Columbia vs. Yale vs. JHU MPH in Epi

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desi_ENFP

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Hello all,
just wanted to ask those who are in either of these programs or know of people who are to elaborate on Columbia vs. Yale's vs. JHU MPH program. I know that this is probably a very individualized decision based on career needs, etc. so I've provided my goals as well as what I've heard about each program. If anybody has better insight, that would be greatly appreciated.

-Things specific to my program needs/interests/goals
*My programs are accelerated programs (1-year long). I have a professional degree already, but would probably be looking at jobs that are more public health specific.
*Preferred areas of work would include: NYC, DC, Boston/New England, SF Bay Area
*Interests are in epidemiology with a foundation in health disparities/racial disparities.
*Post graduate interests include working in a public health department capacity (including city, state, federal-maybe the NIH and FDA eventually :)) or a hospital affiliated with an academic institution
*Things I'm looking for in an education: good classes, but more so prefer good opportunities such as research, involvement, TA, work-study, student activism, etc.

-Columbia Pros for me: love the idea of living in NYC-seems like there will be lots of learning/networking/activism opportunities both within and outside the university. Good name in public health. Good Epi department and areas of specialization in health disparities available. Good as far as job placement goes. NYC is a post-grad location of preference as well.
-Columbia Cons: large cohort sizes but also means large alumni networks. Have heard about it being a bit competitive as far as research opportunities go? Mixed reviews about faculty approachability. Since I'll be there for only a year and if it's kind of competitive as far as opportunities within the program go, I am worried about how difficult it would be to get the opportunities I need in a short amount of time.

-Yale Pros: the small class size/faculty approach is probably what is the most compelling to me about the program, hopefully translates to finding what I need in a short amount of time. Strong faculty/peer connections post grad as well. Good name as far as school goes. Heard that epi there is good and that almost everybody focuses on some kind of disparity research.
-Yale Cons: From what I gather, it sounds like there's less variety as far as the education goes. Less learning opportunities and a smaller pool of networks. Ranking is lower than Columbia (not sure how much this matters in real world) Not much available outside of campus. Unsure if opportunities in NYC will be as easily available vs. Columbia. Unsure how easy it is to get to NYC in the case of events, lectures/etc. going on in the city

-JHU Pros: I know that JHU is considered #1, I've heard it has tons of resources as far as public health/epi goes.
-JHU Cons: Not very familiar with classroom size/professor-faculty interaction, etc. Also not familiar with the Baltimore area.
(While JHU was on my top choices, I actually don't know quite that much about the program as far as classroom size, faculty connections to be honest)
 
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Pudu2009

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-JHU Pros: I know that JHU is considered #1, I've heard it has tons of resources as far as public health/epi goes.
-JHU Cons: Not very familiar with classroom size/professor-faculty interaction, etc. Also not familiar with the Baltimore area.
(While JHU was on my top choices, I actually don't know quite that much about the program, to be honest)

Find out as much as you can about the program, location, cost of living etc. before you try to make a decision. Don't blindly put it at the top of your list just because it's ranked #1 by USNWR.
 

moonwave89

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Hello! I would also suggest taking a look at their curricula. I made a comparison chart for my schools and it really highlighted what the programs are like and made me think about what I wanted out of my courses. e.g. one of my programs has 7 required courses and 6 electives, whereas another has 4 required vs. 8 electives. Are you also looking into a more research or practice based program? Are there potential faculty you'd like to work with at one school vs another? Those sorts of things. Hope that helps!

PS Does the "ENFP" in your username refer to the Myers Briggs? If so, I am your introverted counterpart (INFP)! :laugh:
 

desi_ENFP

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Find out as much as you can about the program, location, cost of living etc. before you try to make a decision. Don't blindly put it at the top of your list just because it's ranked #1 by USNWR.
yea, for sure! I was actually mostly considering it because it was probably really good for NIH/FDA opportunities and had a lot of variety and opportunities within the program, I'm going to have a lot of research to do
 

desi_ENFP

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Hello! I would also suggest taking a look at their curricula. I made a comparison chart for my schools and it really highlighted what the programs are like and made me think about what I wanted out of my courses. e.g. one of my programs has 7 required courses and 6 electives, whereas another has 4 required vs. 8 electives. Are you also looking into a more research or practice based program? Are there potential faculty you'd like to work with at one school vs another? Those sorts of things. Hope that helps!

PS Does the "ENFP" in your username refer to the Myers Briggs? If so, I am your introverted counterpart (INFP)! :laugh:
haha yea :). I'm probably more INFP in real life.

Yea I have a comparison chart ready, time to get researching lol (exciting surely, but stressful). want something more practiced based but don't mind doing some research while in school with a faculty to get to know what public health research entails
 
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Pudu2009

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Hello! I would also suggest taking a look at their curricula. I made a comparison chart for my schools and it really highlighted what the programs are like and made me think about what I wanted out of my courses. e.g. one of my programs has 7 required courses and 6 electives, whereas another has 4 required vs. 8 electives. Are you also looking into a more research or practice based program? Are there potential faculty you'd like to work with at one school vs another? Those sorts of things. Hope that helps!

Yeah, this was actually the deciding factor in the GW vs USF debate. I was torn between the location of DC and the cheap tuition of USF (even for OOS, like I still would have had money in may savings account cheap). I ultimately chose GW because the epi concentration was run by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which meant two required biostats courses in addition to the core, and many biostats elective options. For epi concentrators, the more quantitative skills you have, the more employable you are.
 

TheRealOzzyOsbourne

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I'm actually in your exact same situation. I think I'll end up going with Columbia, the opportunities are out there and I really want a school that emphasizes real-life experiences. If you speak with Liliane at the epi department, you'll begin to see just how easy it is to work at Presbyterian/ UN while in your 2nd year of the epi program. They did say that in-house research opportunities may be more competitive, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. Just put your best foot forward and begin emailing profs early.
I just felt as though Yale was too removed from the bigger cities/ head offices where I wanted to work. Geographically, it is difficult to work for the UN (per se) when you're in New Haven vs in Manhattan. I also felt a bit misled by Yale- in the undergraduate program, they key feature of Yale is their residential college system. Everyone is assigned to their own smaller college (about 300-400 people in a college). UG students live and work with their department deans and have career offices available 24/7. Graduate students do not receive that kind of support, you live in relatively far away graduate housing and are still using the general career services. You may or may not get the intimate experience Yale is known for, but the professors may be more open to chat with you because the entire MPH at Yale has 153 people, and Columbia's Epi program is the smallest program with 100 students/ year.
 

TheRealOzzyOsbourne

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Whoops OP, didn't read you'll be there for a year only. I'd recommend going with the program that offers you the most intimate experience in that case. In 1 year you won't get too much research done via MPH because it's a course-based masters, so at least aim to have good references by the end of it.
JHU really depends on program. I applied to Environmental Health department, and there are only 20 people in the program.
 
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