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Hopkins IH vs Columbia HPM?

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by vangough247, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. vangough247


    Apr 12, 2007
    I've been accepted to a few programs including Yale, Emory, Columbia, JHU... but i've narrowed it down to Columbia and JHU. I want to work in an international health organization and get my PhD.

    I've been accepted to Columbia's Health Policy and Management Global Health track.
    Pros: offer to pay for travel expenses for my internship, they have relatiionships already established thru the UN (therefore i dont have to look for internships), and they seem to have pretty good job connections.

    Cons: doesn't seem academically rigorous compared to Hopkins. and i wonder if JHU is better for PhD track? also Columbia lacks mathematical and quantitative courses - like research methods, statistics, etc compared to JHU

    JHU International Health and Health systems.

    Pros: oldest international health dept in the nation, great researchers,

    Cons: the work is intense. i dont think there is a strong alumni/career connections. also what if i dont want to do PhD? are there career options for me after my degree?

    what should i do??? i have to hand in my deposit tomorrow!!!
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  3. jasmine2018

    jasmine2018 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    Not sure I'm much help, but what it's worth, i did my MPH at Columbia and have been admitted to all 6 PhD programs I applied to (all in the top 10 in terms of rankings), so, at the very least, I can just say that getting your degree from Columbia won't hurt your chances at a PhD if you decide to pursue it later on.;) As for the comparison b/w Columbia's program vs Hopkins, I do have to admit that JHU does have a more rigorous program and is stronger quantitatively. Again though, this is very relative - I think Columbia's program is great but if comparing against JHU, then JHU is better (they are #1 for a reason). Back when I did my master's, I too was deciding b/w Columbia and Hopkins, but in the end, Columbia gave me more $$$, so that's why I chose it.
  4. namazu

    namazu Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2005

    The work is intense, yes, but there definitely are strong alumni/career connections. There will be plenty of options for you with an MHS or an MPH if you decide not to go for the PhD.

    Either school would provide excellent opportunities - go where you think you'll be happiest!
  5. AgentSik007

    AgentSik007 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    New York

    Well I gave serious consideration to Columbia in the same department and I had to rule it out when I compared it to other departments in not only other schools but across the disciplines in Columbia itself. I ruled it out because (1) It is a very large program with many individuals who are employed full-time (aka not a very academic setting); (2) The number of full-time faculty is ridiculously small in that department, around 4 ( for Health Policy in particular, which means almost all of the electives will be adjunct taught… advantage: potential employers are also adjuncts/ disadvantage: null research opportunities at Columbia for PhD track students, you could of course do research in a consultancy role at a hospital); (3) It's weak in all areas for individuals who have a PhD in mind because of not only little research opportunities in health policy/management but also because there is not a lot of quantitative work ( The course administrator was straight up with me about the fact that they do not have any of their students pursue a PhD right after the program since the program is geared towards experienced professionals in the tri-state area).

    Columbia’s real advantage and why I believe it is ranked so highly despite having such a god awful Health Policy department is the fact that there are A LOT of job opportunities in New York. Columbia students are always in demand in all sectors, public and private, in NY. So you won’t have a problem finding work. On top of that, the Health Policy department has a full-time individual whose job is to help the students in the program find internships and jobs.

    I think you will be much better off at John Hopkins. It too has a large alumni network, and for god’s sakes the school is less than an hour from DC! Washington has even more health policy internships and work opportunities than NY (including think tanks where you can do research, if you don’t want to do it at Hopkins). Having said that, Hopkins is also a large program like Columbia and its Health Policy program also has a lot of professionals but I think its more academically rigorous and will put you at an advantage for a PhD track whereas you will be at a disadvantage coming from Columbia ( you will still be able to apply, it’s just that you will have to make more of an effort to get the right experience you need).

    So, without question John Hopkins!

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