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Global health school comparison: Emory vs Tulane

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Awapi

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So, I've seen similar threads for this before and there are ones for other comparisons, but I was hoping for some fresh and specific thoughts on this subject. For Global Health (or International Health and Development as it's called for Tulane), what do you guys think of Tulane and Emory (or Emory vs Tulane?). I am pretty much set on Emory, but I went and visited Tulane today and was given some interesting information:

1) I can start this summer at Tulane and be done with coursework by May of 2012 (so about 15 months from now), I'm doing Master's International so I would then leave for Peace Corps service to finish my practicum. Emory is a 2 year program, when I thought Tulane would take me until Dec 2012 to finish it was only one extra semester to go to Emory, but with this new info it seems that it would be an entire extra 12 months and I will still be doing Masters International there as well. What do you guys think of this? Do you think Tulane's program would be too much of a rush and smash too much information into too little time? Or do you think that getting coursework out of the way quickly and then getting hands-on experience is better than stretching out my studies for 2 years at Emory?

2) What do you guys think of the schools' reputations with regards to Global Health specifically? Tulane told me they think they have a better reputation specifically for international work but I was skeptical, what do you guys think?

3) Do you think that the name "Emory" is worth going to school longer and/or incurring more debt (it will end up being about 10K more to go to Emory if I don't receive a scholarship)? As in, if I were to apply for a job at the CDC after my Peace Corps term, would having a degree from Emory greatly increase my chances of gaining employment over a degree from Tulane?

4) Tulane told me that they have smaller class sizes (general core classes tend to have 50-60 at Tulane as opposed to 100+ at Emory) then they get smaller from there for electives and concentration-specific courses. For those at Emory, is this true in your experience? I got those numbers from Tulane so I want to make sure they're correct. Did you guys find the "larger" class size to be a hindrance to you in those courses?

I'm still pretty set on Emory, I just want to make sure that I think everything through thoroughly and consider all the options so that I don't regret my choices later. I guess I kind of want to hear that, although it would be cheaper and faster to go to Tulane, that I'm making the right choice choosing Emory, haha, but I really want honest opinions, I can handle the truth!! Thanks for the thoughts and advice!
 

nanku

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I am in a similar situation trying to decide about the two years. I read this on the Emory website- read below. Since most students are working it can help reduce the debt . I also think, this would help you get a job after the MPH


Most RSPH students work at least part-time during their enrollment in the program, either within the Emory system or at neighboring agencies such as CDC, American Cancer Society, the Georgia Division of Public Health, other local non-profit public health organizations or in the private sector. Many opportunities are available for incoming students to learn about jobs. Positions are typically announced closer to the start of each semester and throughout the year.
 

Awapi

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Good point, however, both schools offer work study programs. You could argue that potential work study with an organization like the CDC would trump available organizations in New Orleans, but I don't know if that's enough to justify the extra time and money for Emory. From what I've heard, the max $$ you can get for work study isn't anything impressive, like taking an eye dropper of water out of a full bucket :).

Thanks for the thoughts! Keep 'em coming, I can't be the only one torn between these two schools :)
 

JMM051

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The max you can get per semester from the practical experience grant is 2k/semester. Working part-time you will probably not hit that/just hit that at the end.

I would personally not want to shorten my time and cram everything in. Sometimes I wish I had more than 2 years (but without the extra costs of course).

I have a friend attending Tulane now and while she likes her specific program (CH) she has said that she would not attend Tulane for IH. That may be her personal preference, but from what I gather she really doesn't like the way the program is set up. I don't know how plentiful the work opportunities are at Tulane, as she mentions opportunities but they don't seem as plentiful.

As for having a better name for global health? Ehhhh not so sure about that. Emory has a ridiculous amount of global projects going on as well as big players in int'l PH. I wouldn't go as far as saying Emory is more renowned but they are definitely at least equals. The USAID summer internships are some of the most competitive out there. Here is a list of the interns from 2010
http://www.ghfp.net/doc.fsp?filename=/docs/2010intbio.pdf

You will see a trend. Certain schools pop up pretty frequently.
 

Awapi

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I knew I could count on you JMM, it seems like Emory and JHU pop up frequently on the link you provided. Interesting point about wishing you had more than 2 years, I spoke on the phone with another RSPH student who told me the same thing (when I asked her about the three semester vs. four semester set up she said it took more than a semester to do her general courses and couldn't imagine having less than 2 full semesters of course openings to work on her specific track work). The people I met at Tulane said that they felt good about the compressed schedule and they thought that getting the coursework out of the way quickly and getting into the field was preferrable for them, but they both continually commented that the schedule/classes were "running their lives" - I'm sure that having that extra time could be very beneficial, it would be difficult to maintain that kind of pace.

Thanks for the info! The longer I'm away from the visit at Tulane the more I feel good about the decision to go to Emory. Hopefully my visit at Emory goes well and then I'll likely be thinking "What's "Tulane"?"
 

jaya88

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Hi,
There are some disadvantages to a shortened master's program. The most significant one is you don't have time to work on your thesis on campus. It is very, very easy to keep putting your thesis aside after you leave campus. Depending on where you are in the PC, you may or may not have good access to a computer, on-line research, etc. If you don't have good resources, when you go into the capital you are going to want to hang out with other volunteers, take warm showers :) and other things like that. Not to mention, your peers will be traveling, etc. while you have that thesis hanging over you.

I say this as a former PC volunteer and having friends in the MI program.

That all being said, I think you should go to school that you like the best. If you want to work at the CDC when you return, you will already have non-competitive eligiblity and have an edge wherever you go.

Good luck!
 

Awapi

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jaya88, where did you serve? I'm an RPCV as well, but I can't wait to do it again with MI :). I just got back from the Philippines 3 months ago.

This is another point where Emory and Tulane differ. Emory requires a thesis, but Tulane does not. I was told that your 300 hours of practicum for Tulane are covered with reports every 4 months (so basically you could just send them a copy of your VRF - quarterly reports). This isn't necessarily a good thing, I'm sure that your thesis could be used for something in the future and also would keep your writing skills sharp. Who knows. It's a good point though, I don't know if not having a thesis would cheapen the degree, I suppose I don't know enough about that portion of it to make an informed decision. My personal experiences in the past have told me that the harder you have to work for something the more worthwhile it generally is...so Tulane's lack of a thesis was something they told me as a selling point, but it was kind of a turn-off for me.
 

Seci

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Are there any opportunities to work with Emory Healthcare for acute care infection control/epidemiology experience during the MPH?
 

Awapi

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Seci - I just visited yesterday and had a great/informative time. I got to speak with three GH faculty members and several students. I got the impression (and two students told me straight out) that the faculty and staff genuinely care about what you want to do in the future and will help you find something for your GFE (Global Field Experience) that works with what you want to do in the future. A couple of the students I spoke with were able to do theirs with faculty of the school, but another girl said that a faculty member had set her up with a colleague of his not associated with Emory who was doing work in the field that fit her future plans. So it seems that available projects change every year, but that they will help you to find something that fits your needs.

After visiting both schools I can say that they are night and day different programs (not necessarily a good or bad thing)...

A cool thing I found at Emory is that the tuition schedule is built so that you can take courses from the undergrad (and maybe the other graduate schools - I forgot to ask about that) portion for free (you can take 9-16 hours to be full time for one set semester price, so some of that can be courses from other parts of the University as long as you are fulfilling your MPH requirements at the same time). You wouldn't want to take 16 hours every semester or jeopardize your MPH work loading up on courses from other sections of course, but a class now and then could be beneficial. This is cool for someone like me who wants to work internationally/do the Peace Corps again because I can take language courses for free (which one of the girls I spoke with at the school was taking French for that purpose this semester). Obviously there are other benefits to this opportunity, but this is the one that applies best to me.

The three faculty members I met with at Emory all asked and seemed genuinly interested in my plans for the future, whereas at Tulane I started to tell the one faculty member I spoke with and she cut me off and started talking about something else. I felt really at home at Emory, the falculty and staff seem to be approachable, caring, and involved. Even though I'm not a current student (and haven't sent in my decision form), every faculty member I spoke with had looked at my file and had something to say/talk to me about that they knew about me.

I felt good about both schools, but the visit really decided it for me...Emory it is!!
 

ReproHlthPlz

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A cool thing I found at Emory is that the tuition schedule is built so that you can take courses from the undergrad (and maybe the other graduate schools - I forgot to ask about that) portion for free (you can take 9-16 hours to be full time for one set semester price, so some of that can be courses from other parts of the University as long as you are fulfilling your MPH requirements at the same time). You wouldn't want to take 16 hours every semester or jeopardize your MPH work loading up on courses from other sections of course, but a class now and then could be beneficial. This is cool for someone like me who wants to work internationally/do the Peace Corps again because I can take language courses for free (which one of the girls I spoke with at the school was taking French for that purpose this semester). Obviously there are other benefits to this opportunity, but this is the one that applies best to me.


This is very very interesting information. I too want to learn a language during my time as an MPH student (learning Spanish now, but I think French makes more sense for my intended career path). Agh, yet another variable to add to the equation of coming to the right decision.
 
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