Decision Time - Need Advice

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2005
Reaction score
I'm in a tough situation, and I need some advice.

I've been accepted to Dartmouth, Tufts (Health Comm), Columbia (SMS - Health Promotion) and Brown. Each of these programs interest me for different reasons, and now I have to pick one.

I'm still waiting to hear from BU, but Columbia requires a deposit by Tuesday so BU is out of the running unless I hear from them tomorrow.

From what I've seen online, and heard through discussions with people, Columbia is probably the strongest program. Dartmouth is also extremely appealing to me because I like the idea of finishing in one year.

The one major downside to both programs is that I live in Boston with my girlfriend. She can't really do her current job in NY, and it would be unfair for me to ask her to move anyway.

So, we would basically be living apart for the next 2 years if I chose Columbia and 1 year if I chose Dartmouth (which despite's its close proximity to Boston, is so intense that I wouldn't be able to commute)

Living away from eachother would really suck, especially since I have the opportunity to pursue an MPH right here in Boston at Tufts.

Brown is possibly the most appealing because it's a unique program, recently received a 7 year accreditation from the CEPH, and seems to have an interdisciplinary approach insofar as students basically define their own "tracks". In terms of proximity to Boston, Brown is actually only a 40 minute commuter train ride from downtown Boston.

Also, Brown is giving me a scholarship for 25% of the tuition, which will certainly help out alot.

The major downside to Brown, at least from my perspective, is that it's a relatively new program from what I understand and I simply don't have any knowledge of how well respected it is in the public health community.

If I had to make a choice right now, I would go to Brown for the reasons I've mentioned, but I want to make sure I am making an informed decision, and not turning down an otherwise more beneficial experience.

Any advice is appreciated.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2008
Reaction score
Hi briy61. I was accepted at Columbia and Brown and I'm actually still waiting to hear from BU. I had some of the same concerns about Brown as you seem to have. The program is very new and I'm not sure about the strength of the program compared to some others such as BU and Columbia. I don't really know anything about Dartmouth's program so I can't help you there.

If I were you, I would call Columbia and ask for an extension of time to reply yes or no. I was at Admitted Student's Day and someone said that their friend received an extension of time. I believe if you are still waiting for decisions they might help you out by extending the deadline. It's worth a shot...

I did visit Brown a few times and its a great school with very nice people. It was hard for me to turn them down, however, the program at Columbia was stronger considering my specific interests, so I had to do what was right for me.

Hope this helps you a bit :)