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Help! MPH Decision advice

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zawail

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Hi guys,

So I'm having trouble in making a firm decision about where I should go for my MPH and I really need some advice to help me make a decision. I'm from Canada and I've been accepted into a couple of US and Canadian programs, but the ones I'm most interested in are the MPH program in Epi at Emory and the MPH program in Epi at the University of Toronto. Both are two years long and I am trying to decide between these two.

Going to Emory would be quite expensive for me and I'm not sure whether the price is worth the comparative advantage, especially since I'm going to have to take loans to cover my tuition :S Can any one with experience at either university speak to this issue?

Also, in terms of later career prospects and networks , how much better of would I really be if I had gone to Emory versus going to the University of Toronto?

I know these are complex questions but any insight/insider info/perspective anyone could provide would be much appreciated!
 

parapluie

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Wow finally another Canadian student! So U of T got back to you already? I applied for Health Promotion and still have not heard back from them. It doesn't matter much now, since I've already made up my mind to go to Columbia in the fall.

I did my undergrad at U of T. I know the tuition would be about five times less if I decide to stay in Canada versus going to the US (let alone NYC), but at the end of the day, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. I love Toronto, but after all these years, I think it's necessary for me to experience somewhere new, especially since I'm still young and I think these kinds of challenges are necessary. Also, it's Columbia and it is an Ivy League that is especially strong in what I'd want to learn (health promotion is really weak in Canada, I feel...it's just starting to develop, there's no such thing as CHES, and U of T is not an accredited institution by CEPH--I think the only one is Simon Fraser, and a lot of the health promotion courses at UofT are taught at the Phys.Ed. faculty).

I'm less sure about Emory, since it's not quite as well known in Canada beyond the public health academic circle (this is a personal opinion of mine, however). I think it really depends on whether you want to do research (i.e. PhD) later on or not. If you intend to go into academia, then definitely go to Emory. But if you just want to find a job in a public health unit in Canada after you get your MPH, then I think it's better for you to contact some PH units in Ontario and see if Emory grads indeed have the upper hand in terms of employment. If ppl who normally work in those units have no idea where Emory even is, then your U of T offer is the one to take for sure. I'm unfamiliar with other jobs for epi MPH grads though. It does seem that a lot of them go on to get their PhDs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that jobs at CDC and NIH are often restricted to US citizens. I did ask before about the possibility of getting a practicum position at the CDC as a Canadian student, and it does seem possible.

Pro's about U of T: I love downtown Toronto. I've been here for five years and the place really does grow on you. The Discovery District has so many hospitals and is a research hotspot that's bound to have what you're looking for. If you do decide to come here, the networking opportunities will be aplenty. Dalla Lana is quite closely affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, the Bloomberg school of nursing and HPME (health policy, management and evaluation), the latter two both being in the same building as DLsPH. It's just a hub of health-related activity and it's really exciting. I think your classes will be a lot smaller (versus Emory), and you'll have a lot of opportunities to interact with faculty members, attend interdisciplinary talks, etc. That being said, I do think Canadian schools like to recruit post-docs and PhDs from US schools to be faculty members. So going to Emory in that aspect will give you an advantage for sure.
 
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zawail

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Thanks for getting back to me Parapluie. And congratulations on your Columbia acceptance! I got a reply from U of T last week (email).

I do want to pursue a Phd., but probably not immediately after my masters...I'd prefer to work for a few years before I jump into a Phd.

I should have clarified this, but I did my undergrad at UofT too and I know that the DLSPH is situated well in terms of networking and I do love downtown Toronto. However,I'm actually interested in International health (not so much working at a public health unit within Canada). Interms of this I just have a feeling that there are more opportunities in the US. But then again, it may be a bit restricted for International students. Jobs at governmental orgs like the CDC and NIH may be restricted to US citizens, but there are many more opportunities in terms of academic research positions and NGOs etc.

How important is the CEPH accreditation, especially in terms of doing international work?(i.e if I wanted to go teach or do research with an organization or university in India, would the accreditation matter?)
 
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