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15+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2003
Toronto, Centre of Canada
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I am pursuing a MPH degree with my dental degree in a combined fashion with the hopes in the future of having a private practice, and doing some work part-time in the policy field, or something similar either with the government, WHO, PAHO, or a university. I have been accepted to both Columbia and Temple and they both offer the combined DMD/MPH degrees. I know Columbia's program is one of the best, but the difference between getting the combined degree at the two schools is around $100 000.

SOOO...my question is.....woudl going to Columbia make a huge difference in achieving these goals? Or if I goto a lesser name MPH like Temple, but do good work, would that be just as good? For my impression, the field of dental public health is not very saturated, so I thought any work I do would allow me to stand out.

Coming from Canada, I dont know the impact of the Ivy League label, but Ive heard its large. So would it be worth spending the extra $100 Gs to get the slight advantage of this MPH field, or does the actual work I do on my MPH mean more than the name of the school??? Please be as honest and straightforward as you can! I really appreciate any input in helping me make my decision!


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15+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2003
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it's tough to ignore finances when making a decision like that. i take it Columbia isn't giving you financial aid?

i would say you may need to do a lit search just to see where the people in your future field are. part of going to grad school isn't so much the coursework as the networking opportunities. if the big wig in dental public health is at Temple, then even though Columbia has the better name as an Ivy, for your field, Temple may be the better choice. and just like any other career, the ivy name helps open some doors...but it doesn't keep them open. your work has to speak for itself, irrespective of where you study. just my 2 cents.


Nobody Summons Megatron
15+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2003
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One thing you might want to look into is the financial crisis Columbia Dental has been having recently. Look at Georgetown and Northwestern, big name schools are not immune to closing down due to financial problems.
2nd, Temple is a very good school. Atleast their DMD program, I'm not sure about the MPH aspect but I dont see how it makes a big difference.
Do you intend to practice in USA or Canada. It seems to me that the patient population in the states really dont care where their dentist graduated from, not sure how it is in Canada.

After saying all that, I forgot to mention, go where you feel comfortable.


10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 19, 2003
Bay Area
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I think the "ivy" name is only valuable if you plan on working in an industry that is tangentially related to public health. Everyone in public health knows which schools are the good ones, and most of them arent "ivy's". Go where your career will be futhered the most, that being the school that will provide you with the best public health education.
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