May 17, 2018
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Officially committed to Harvard! Though I'm going to need $25k in loans, I have no regrets. They were the most generous amongst all my choices and their program suits my interests very well.
Good luck to everybody who is still to decide. Hopefully somebody will be given the $$ I had been offered by Columbia and BU.
 
Feb 6, 2019
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I chose Hopkins so i'm a little biased - the one year program is *huge* for me. It's less time out of the workforce and a huge immersion into the experience. I've started emailing faculty whose research I'm interested in and they have all responded within 12 hours which is crazy to me. I've heard great things about the hard skills you learn at Hopkins and also CoL is cheaper in Baltimore than NYC. Just my two cents!
Messaging you for some more details :)
 
Feb 6, 2019
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Messaging you for some more details :)
I chose Hopkins so i'm a little biased - the one year program is *huge* for me. It's less time out of the workforce and a huge immersion into the experience. I've started emailing faculty whose research I'm interested in and they have all responded within 12 hours which is crazy to me. I've heard great things about the hard skills you learn at Hopkins and also CoL is cheaper in Baltimore than NYC. Just my two cents!

OK turns out I cant msg you - can you please message me? Thankyou!
 
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celis29

2+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2017
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I just received an interview with Dartmouth ...I’m so excited! Can someone give me advice as to what kind of questions I should expect ? I would like to hear about your experience! Any tips ? Thank you !
 
Oct 18, 2018
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This may be late for most of you but if you are like me and are holding out until the last minute (NOT my fault I swear, I STILL have not heard back from UNC. It was supposed to be today and now they are saying monday. My heart is actually exploding.) BUT anyways request a waiver for your enrollment deposit!!! I just did with Columbia today (since I was eligible for application fee waivers) and there were no issues- saves me $500 if I commit/get rejected/don't hear from UNC.

Also quick UNC vs. Columbia chat anyone? Or anyone who has committed to either school that wants to talk? Guess it may be more beneficial monday when I find out where I'll be going....
 
Nov 20, 2018
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Hi guys! Could anyone answer a couple of questions about Columbia?
  • Is it possible to switch from Epi to Health Policy within the first semester of enrollment?
  • How is social justice integrated into the MPH curriculum?
Thank you for reading and best of luck with final decisions!
 

Cassatrass

2+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2015
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Is there anyone who has declined their offer to Harvard in favor of another school that is technically ranked "lower"? I am really struggling to make that final decision. My gut is pushing me towards Emory - they gave me a hefty scholarship, I really liked the Atlanta area, and the strong ties to the CDC are a plus. I do have genuine reasons (beyond simply financials) that make me feel like Harvard might not be right for me (program seems fairly rushed, I get the vibe that the curriculum is more content-based and has more of a research focus than a practical focus [I am not planning to pursue a PhD right away]). But even with my gut telling me Harvard isn't the right move, I haven't been able to bring myself to decline it yet. It seems like everyone who was accepted plans to go - no matter how much money they were offered - and I worry maybe I am making the wrong move by not doing it for the name/network... Is anyone else feeling similarly or does anyone have any insight on how you made your decision??
I was in your exact position last year (see my signature-- I was accepted to Hopkins, Harvard, etc) and I haven't regretted choosing Emory a bit! It was the best fit for me and getting CDC internship was a dream come true. I think you'll love it here!
 
Feb 27, 2018
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Is there anyone who has declined their offer to Harvard in favor of another school that is technically ranked "lower"? I am really struggling to make that final decision. My gut is pushing me towards Emory - they gave me a hefty scholarship, I really liked the Atlanta area, and the strong ties to the CDC are a plus. I do have genuine reasons (beyond simply financials) that make me feel like Harvard might not be right for me (program seems fairly rushed, I get the vibe that the curriculum is more content-based and has more of a research focus than a practical focus [I am not planning to pursue a PhD right away]). But even with my gut telling me Harvard isn't the right move, I haven't been able to bring myself to decline it yet. It seems like everyone who was accepted plans to go - no matter how much money they were offered - and I worry maybe I am making the wrong move by not doing it for the name/network... Is anyone else feeling similarly or does anyone have any insight on how you made your decision??
For me it came down to, I want to go to a great school and public health is not the only thing I am interested in learning. My interests are diverse, I see my self taking courses in at least two other graduate schools. I am interested in conferences, hackathons, pitch competitions that might be offered through the greater university not just the school of public health because I want my career to be interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial and interesting. Harvard is not just for the name, I'm going for the chance to take a class at the Kennedy school and do work through the Harvard iLab, for the Africa Business Conference the Harvard Business school hosts which attracts a lot of people thinking about African development and for the numerous research partnerships between Harvard Chan and universities worldwide which will allow me to have a truly global health experience. I am fine never telling anyone that I am going to Harvard or that I went there. In fact, right now most people in my life just know I am going to grad school. I don't need reactions or prestige, I want the skills, experience that I can use to build the career I want.
 
Mar 20, 2018
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Anyone else still deciding!? I am completely on the fence between Hopkins (MSPH SBI) and Harvard (HSB)!
I didn't apply to Harvard (HSB) but some folks here mentioned that the program is very content-based?

I was deciding between SBI and GDEC at Hopkins and got a chance to chat with a lot of alumni from both programs. Everyone in SBI absolutely loved it- it's a very skills-based program. You will have training in both quality and quantitave skills. Of course the strength of the program is qualitative but there are plenty of space in your schedule to take more quant courses too. Alumni also mentioned that they still find their class notes from SBI useful for their work/PhD !

I chatted with both the program director and coordinator and they really cared about what I was interested in and helped me make the right decision, whether it was Hopkins or somewhere else. I'm super grateful to get that mentorship even just as an admitted student.

Overall I was super impressed by SBI and plan to take a lot of courses with their professors, perhaps working with them too. I ended up with GDEC since the schedule allows me to take more classes that aligns with my interests, but I have nothing against SBI.

SBI cohort will probably be younger (median age:24) than HBS at Harvard since the MSPH program accepts staight-out-of-college students. However, everyone that I met at admitted students day had been working for 2-3 years since they graduated.
 
Nov 20, 2018
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Is there any intel on average age of students at Columbia epi vs Mich global epi?
I don't know about Columbia but everyone I met at Michigan at admitted student's day was right out of college (including the current students who went straight on to their MPH)
 

wwmmkk

2+ Year Member
May 21, 2016
397
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Other Health Professions Student
I don't know about Columbia but everyone I met at Michigan at admitted student's day was right out of college (including the current students who went straight on to their MPH)
Might be worth asking an admin for that info. Events like admitted students days often attract younger people (both prospective and current students) who are less likely to have jobs/family responsibilities/etc. that prevent them from taking time out from their schedule.
 
Apr 14, 2019
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Anyone else still deciding!? I am completely on the fence between Hopkins (MSPH SBI) and Harvard (HSB)!
I'm in a really similar boat! Between Hopkins MSPH PopFam and Harvard HSB! Leaning Harvard but still so torn!! If anyone on here is in either program or has thoughts on the merits of both that would be super helpful!!
 

oacljv

5+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2014
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Just committed to UCLA and turned down my other offers. The earlier nerves about making the decision have definitely settled down and I feel like this will be the best program for me in several ways!

It's also time to unsubscribe from Emory's emailing list, because I'm waking up to emails about their program every day :rolleyes:
 
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Nov 8, 2018
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Hey guys! Just made it official! JHU in June! Thank you all for your support on this crazy crazy ride!
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Congrats to everyone on making it through this process and making decisions!! It's been great to be a part of this supportive forum, and I know you will all go on to do awesome things wherever you are headed in the fall. I feel like there needs to be some kind of secret signal to identify other SDN-ers in the real world :laugh:, as I'm sure some of us will cross paths in the future!
 
Sep 23, 2018
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Can we make our SDN MPH thread, fb group? There are many I would like to know better perhaps.
Would add to the diversity!
 
Oct 25, 2018
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I have been a bit quieter as options became more solidified (this forum was a way for my to communicate with ANY applicants--now that I've gone to some admitted student days and met others applying, I haven't felt the need to share as much!), but I wanted to provide an update!

Basically, I thought Columbia was set--I really liked their visit day, and thought that it would be worth it to attend due to the excellent prospects post-graduation. My boyfriend also got a job offer there, so we were planning our lives out, thinking about what area we'd like to live in, etc... However I was still playing the long game and hoping that as people declined offers, schools might be willing to send more funding my way. I had sent a few emails out but wasn't really expecting anything.

Long story short, last week I got FULL TUITION at University of Michigan! It was a complete surprise, but an amazing one, and a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I know I can graduate debt-free (and still with savings). Yale also increased my scholarship, but I turned it down and hope that someone else was able to get extra funding!

I haven't officially hit the accept button yet, but I will be joining the wolverines come fall!

For applicants in future years--leverage your offers! Schools are competitive, and they want the best students, and some schools are willing to negotiate to entice you to come. If you have shown your interest and make it known (tactfully) that increased funding would change your mind....

A hearty congratulations to all as we near the end of this very long process. CHEERS to all--I know we all deserve a good drink!
 
Jul 21, 2018
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Accepted Columbia's offer! Thank you so much to every single person in SDN, for asking questions I never thought to ask, and to those who responded -- you guys helped me along this almost year-long journey!
I would love it if anybody who is deferring admissions could reach out to me by the way, especially to Columbia's MPH in Epidemiology program!

Or really, to anybody who deferred, I just want to know about funding and scholarships - now that I have one more year, do you guys think I should be able to find a way to get scholarships, etc., to contribute towards tuition? Anybody here who would like to pass on wise words about obtaining funding aside from saving up job salary?
(Not leaving SDN without milking a few more answers, as you can see :p )
 

JDGBruin1317

2+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2016
297
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Accepted Columbia's offer! Thank you so much to every single person in SDN, for asking questions I never thought to ask, and to those who responded -- you guys helped me along this almost year-long journey!
I would love it if anybody who is deferring admissions could reach out to me by the way, especially to Columbia's MPH in Epidemiology program!

Or really, to anybody who deferred, I just want to know about funding and scholarships - now that I have one more year, do you guys think I should be able to find a way to get scholarships, etc., to contribute towards tuition? Anybody here who would like to pass on wise words about obtaining funding aside from saving up job salary?
(Not leaving SDN without milking a few more answers, as you can see :p )
Congrats on accepting your offer to Columbia! I deferred last year and will be attending school this fall and can answer some of your questions! I'm unable to message you for some reason, so shoot me a DM!

I believe another gives you a lot of time to search for scholarships and extra funding!
 
May 7, 2018
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Just made my deposit at GW. It's official!

My reasons:
  • Location - the majority of my friends and family are in the area and having that support network will be great. I will also be living at home and saving on the general COL in DC, minus transport costs. DC in general has tons of opportunity and GW is the only school in DC, so they claim there is little competition for jobs/internships. It also seems like there are at least a few students at each institution every year that help pull in students in newer cohorts. Being blocks away from the PAHO was quite impressive and I look forward to making the most of having these institutions so nearby.
  • Work - Given that all of their classes start at 3pm or later, there is ample time to work full- or part-time which will be great to help offset tuition costs and get more experience.
  • Faculty - Though their faculty is definitely more policy-oriented, their more recent hires had research interests that were much more aligned with my own and that was a big pull. I'm also interested in getting to try more policy-oriented research and gauge my interests in it.
  • Academics - Even though it's not the highest ranked program (and I think there is too much emphasis placed on this), GW is still a top academic institution and I still expect the highest levels of academic rigor and learning standards.
Even though I was offered more scholarship money at other institutions (WashU, Emory), the structure of GW's program really encourages/allows you to work during school which was a big factor since I figured I could come out on the other side almost breaking even which may not have been possible at other institutions. Despite GW not being as "highly ranked" I still think the faculty are exemplary and it seems like no matter what program you ultimately choose, you really get out of it what you put in. Ultimately, if I do decide to pursue further education (PhD) where funding will be less of an issue, then perhaps I can go after the greater name recognition. For now, I'm very happy with my choice.
 
Dec 21, 2018
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Officially Johns Hopkins MSPH in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control:biglove: :hello:Would love to chat with others who will be there as well!!
 
Mar 20, 2018
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Officially Johns Hopkins MSPH in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control:biglove::hello:Would love to chat with others who will be there as well!!
Yay Congrats! I will be at Hopkins for GDEC too! Can't seem to send you a message though
 
Oct 14, 2018
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Happy decision day and happy marathon Monday to all my fellow Bostonians on here. I have officially committed to Columbia SMS and would love to chat with future classmates about moving plans, classes, etc!
 
Nov 20, 2018
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Officially Johns Hopkins MSPH in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control:biglove::hello:Would love to chat with others who will be there as well!!
Also headed to Hopkins for GDEC!!!
 
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Nov 20, 2018
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Writing this up for future applicants because I wish I had more resources to navigate the decisions process.

I ended up placing Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and WashU St. Louis on my list of top considerations - all others were simply not the best fit for me at this time. I ended up consulting some epidemiology professors, including a director of a big NIH epi study, for their opinions at each of the schools. All stated that I wouldn't go wrong with any of those choices, so it came down to a matter of fit. I ended up selecting Hopkins. Here is the evaluation:

Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis - MPH (Epi/Biostat)
  • Visited school as part of their merit scholars day.
  • All teaching faculty, first and foremost, are educators. You can tell that these people are at the Brown School because they genuinely care about mentoring students. In fact, many students report that faculty mentors have been instrumental in recommending them for research and practicum opportunities.
  • Since the MPH program is only 10 years old, it does not have the full resources of a school of public health. Career services expertise is stronger for the Brown School's MSW students, however, public health students fair well overall (due to honing the professional network of the public health professors). Furthermore, the MPH program bears the ideas of the social work program (social justice, public policy, etc.). I would argue that this is a strength of the program as there is an emphasis of translating public health knowledge into practice while maintaining a drive toward social equity.
  • The program has some of the nation's experts in implementation science. Oftentimes, public health researchers leave their research up in the ivory tower of academia, so it takes a while to actually utilize that stuff for real world impact. Putting theory into practice is a strength of WashU's program as you can see from their abundance of research centers dedicated to serving the St. Louis community (you can also get involved in this work as a masters student).
  • The Brown School tends to be SUPER generous with their financial aid (just look at my signature). At risk of coming off as cocky, I did receive scholarships at a bunch of other schools, but I met plenty of students with lower stats and less experience than me who also got a good amount of merit aid.
  • Research is pretty easy to get here. Faculty readily invite students into their research teams. You can also do research at WashU's medical school, which is pretty great.
  • I loved this school! My only concern was the small number of epi/biostats faculty. I studied economics and applied math in undergrad and wanted continued quantitative rigor in my graduate education. I got wind that the Brown School is hiring a bunch of new epi faculty, so this is likely to change in the future.
  • A PhD candidate told me that "St. Louis is cheap as ****."
Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University - MPH (Epi), Certificate: Undecided
  • I didn't get a chance to visit this school, so I have less info here.
  • Students tend to enjoy this program. One student told me that the negative reviews tend to come from students who have the entitlement mindset. Grad school is what you make of it - do not expect anything to be handed to you.
  • I'm intrigued by the Core Curriculum. As public health professionals in training, we need an interdisciplinary understanding of our work, and the Core Curriculum does that pretty well. Additionally, transdisciplinary problem solving, leadership training, social justice, and communication with the public are emphasized the program, which is also very cool.
  • Transdisciplinary research centers and programs bring together professionals of different disciplines (public policy, sociology, economics, public health fields, journalism, law, etc.). This is how public health should be practiced in the 21st century.
  • Certificate allows you to take you public health discipline and apply that knowledge to a certificate to hone in on a particular interest.
  • New York City cost of living is $$$$. But if you can get into graduate housing, you can get rent at a reduced rate (~$1100/mo).
  • Due to the intensity of the first year, Graduate Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are only reserved for second year students. Overall, you need to be persistent to get a research opportunity. This was ultimately the dealbreaker. I intend to pursue a PhD following my masters, so developing a solid research portfolio from year 1 is very important to me.
  • However, I like NYC so much that I almost accepted the offer just on location.
Bloomberg School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University - MSPH (Global Disease Epidemiology and Control)
  • Visited during official admitted students day.
  • The resources here are UNPARALLELED. Like, wow...
  • Every student and alumni I spoke to did not regret choosing Hopkins (though I'm sure there was some cherry-picking). I know that Hopkins is terrible about giving any sort of financial aid, so I asked students how they were paying for the program. I'm sure I hit a sore patch since they insisted that having Hopkins on your resume is worth the loans.
  • The epi and biostat methods you get here are reshaping the field of public health. Hopkins has internationally recognized leaders in every field of public health. I'm interested in pursuing work in mHealth, and one of the WHO's mHealth leads is faculty in my department.
  • Research opportunities are abundant (every student who wanted paid research was able to get it within the first two terms). Also, Research Assistantships tend to pay $20-25/hr. Can maybe use this to pay off living expenses.
  • Lots of international students in the MPH program, adds diversity of perspective.
  • Hopkins does not have the best reputation among Baltimore's denizens - the university does not do enough to invest in the community.
  • MSPH degrees tend to be fairly specialized, so know that you are really interested in the MSPH discipline before applying. The Hopkins MPH has a more generalist vibe, but requires 2 years of health-related experience to apply (and yes, you are able to count any health experience done in undergrad as "health experience"). A good amount of people go straight into the MPH from undergrad (though I've been told this is a mistake because the reduced MPH practicum is not sufficient enough for fresh grads to be competitive for the job market). The Hopkins MPH is designed as a supplementary degree for people who are already professionals in their field, and want a public health qualification.
  • A major selling point of the MSPH program is the practicum, which takes up the second year of the program. I'm coming straight from undergrad, so having more practical experience is appealing.
  • Global Disease Epidemiology and Control has a very skills-based curriculum, so you can translate your skills to other jobs as well.
  • If you want to work internationally, going to a school with a well-known global health program helps a lot (Hopkins, Harvard, Emory).
  • People at Hopkins are actually pretty friendly. The environment is collaborative rather than competitive.
  • Many felt that Hopkins tends to move you through the program and equip you with your degree as soon as possible. Not exactly the most nurturing program (if you want nurturing, apply to Emory and WashU :)).
  • Baltimore is affordable to live in, but not cheap as ****.
So these are some of my thoughts. When it came down to comparing Hopkins and Columbia, I found that Hopkins will allow me to develop a wider variety of skills in addition to equipping me with a strong quantitative skill set. When you pursue an MPH/MSPH, emphasize skill development over topical courses to improve your chances of employment for competitive jobs. Now for the issue of cost. Hopkins comes out as my most expensive option (as long as we don't talk about Berkeley). However, I'm fortunate to be coming of undergrad without student loans, so I'm willing to take on the expense. Had I been burdened with significant undergrad loans, I would have definitely enrolled in WashU. Visiting Hopkins made me realize that Hopkins was the best fit for my educational and research ambitions.

This post is a bit lengthy, but I hope it helps you MPH hopefuls down the road. Best wishes and I look forward to being your colleague in the future!

-Darth Kermit
 
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Dec 17, 2018
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Officially committed to Yale SPH for health policy!
 
Nov 17, 2018
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Hi I'd like to discuss about Columbia on campus housing too.
I applied for on campus last night, but will only accept if I get apartment style, unfurnished. I think it would be so helpful not to have to go to New York to look for housing or deal with brokers and getting my parents to be my guarantor, but I’ve been out of school for a little bit and I don’t want to live with a kitchenette and dorm furniture. I’m wondering about how to go about finding a roommate to look for off campus housing with. Do we have a Facebook page for that?
 
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Feb 18, 2019
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Medical Student
I can only speak for my school, but in my experience, I would say the formality level is between college and business casual for just normal classes. Most people don't wear sweatpants anymore, but a clean pair of jeans are okay. I have seen people in leggings but not often, and typically it's clear that they're going to or from the gym.

And like someone else said before me, if there is an event like a poster session, people do tend to wear business casual or, if it's something really important, even a level above that.



My school teaches Stata mainly, but here's my impression of the three packages from a year of study:

  • Stata - Very easy to pick up with a lot of online tutorials and support, but less common in the "real world"; many teachers say they can read Stata code but don't work in it themselves. Personally, I like Stata a lot. Not free, as wwmmkk said.

  • SAS - MANY people here use SAS in their day to day work. Not Apple/mac compatible. Can't speak to how difficult or hard this is to learn.

  • R - Many people have commented that they think people are moving towards R in the future. Free. The barrier to entry is high, though - "R makes easy things hard but makes hard things very easy", is how I've heard it described. I definitely intend to take an R programming course in the future.

  • Python - A few of the more statistically-oriented people I've met here (PhD students and professors) have mentioned wanting to pick up Python. Don't know much more about it than that.
Does anyone know what sort of programs harvard teaches? Also, if I have apple ios, will I need to buy windows for SAS?

EDIT: So I had to change the formatting so that my question didn't appear in the original post
 
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Mar 3, 2018
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Does anyone know what sort of programs harvard teaches? Also, if I have apple ios, will I need to buy windows for SAS?

EDIT: So I had to change the formatting so that my question didn't appear in the original post
HSB students mainly learn STATA from what I've heard. An epi student I talked to actually learned all SAS, STATA, and R. According to someone's post on the admitted students' Facebook group, the school will help you set up a virtual desktop so you have free access to all software needed for your classes. So don't go buy a PC!
 
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Feb 23, 2019
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I applied for on campus last night, but will only accept if I get apartment style, unfurnished. I think it would be so helpful not to have to go to New York to look for housing or deal with brokers and getting my parents to be my guarantor, but I’ve been out of school for a little bit and I don’t want to live with a kitchenette and dorm furniture. I’m wondering about how to go about finding a roommate to look for off campus housing with. Do we have a Facebook page for that?
I don't think we specifically have a Facebook page(although that would be so helpful!) but I am a part of the "Columbia University Off Campus Housing" page which has different people posting about apartments near campus
 
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Feb 18, 2019
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HSB students mainly learn STATA from what I've heard. An epi student I talked to actually learned all SAS, STATA, and R. According to someone's post on the admitted students' Facebook group, the school will help you set up a virtual desktop so you have free access to all software needed for your classes. So don't go buy a PC!
Thanks! I wonder if I could take additional coursework in SAS/R as part of an elective.

Also, tangentially, does anyone have any opinions about Shattuck House at Harvard? It seems like expensive, but then again, Boston is $$$...
 
Aug 2, 2018
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Is there anyone who has declined their offer to Harvard in favor of another school that is technically ranked "lower"? I am really struggling to make that final decision. My gut is pushing me towards Emory - they gave me a hefty scholarship, I really liked the Atlanta area, and the strong ties to the CDC are a plus. I do have genuine reasons (beyond simply financials) that make me feel like Harvard might not be right for me (program seems fairly rushed, I get the vibe that the curriculum is more content-based and has more of a research focus than a practical focus [I am not planning to pursue a PhD right away]). But even with my gut telling me Harvard isn't the right move, I haven't been able to bring myself to decline it yet. It seems like everyone who was accepted plans to go - no matter how much money they were offered - and I worry maybe I am making the wrong move by not doing it for the name/network... Is anyone else feeling similarly or does anyone have any insight on how you made your decision??
I have! I've done exactly what you were contemplating; turned down Harvard (and a group of other offers) to attend Emory. Although I had a great visit to Emory, it actually wasn't what I anticipated choosing, but in the end i'm so psyched. I got a pretty bad vibe at Harvard and while it is a big name, the reality out in the work field is that people within a certain field know which programs are good. Those rankings are based on peer reviews and reputation, not necessarily on the value of the program or its "rightness" for your goals and personality.
Why i'm excited for Emory: great program, sense of community, lots of available and well-funded research, beautiful campus, amazing climate, and in terms of the rating, it's still in the TOP FIVE mph programs nationally!!!
Hope to see you there, feel free to reach out if you wanna chat!! Best of luck!
 
Mar 4, 2019
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Current or previous Emory MPH students (or really any school)... what has your job search experience been like? Have you had a hard time finding jobs, or do you feel well prepared for the workforce? Has your degree been essential in the positions you are working in, or are you in positions that you could have had without your MPH? Thanks.

If this post belongs in another thread then feel free to let me know.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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I have! I've done exactly what you were contemplating; turned down Harvard (and a group of other offers) to attend Emory. Although I had a great visit to Emory, it actually wasn't what I anticipated choosing, but in the end i'm so psyched. I got a pretty bad vibe at Harvard and while it is a big name, the reality out in the work field is that people within a certain field know which programs are good. Those rankings are based on peer reviews and reputation, not necessarily on the value of the program or its "rightness" for your goals and personality.
Why i'm excited for Emory: great program, sense of community, lots of available and well-funded research, beautiful campus, amazing climate, and in terms of the rating, it's still in the TOP FIVE mph programs nationally!!!
Hope to see you there, feel free to reach out if you wanna chat!! Best of luck!
There are a lot of problems with the US News rankings, such as failure to take into account the student experience and student debt. The "reputation" score of the rankings is related to subjective measures and could be a popularity contest. It actually doesn't make sense for faculty at one public health school to know so much about a school on the other side of the country, hence you get schools concentrated in a specific area, such as Boston, California or elsewhere giving themselves mutually high scores.

And yes, if schools don't participate, i.e. fill out a survey about other schools, then this penalizes the school, so basically we're looking at a popularity contest here. The rank-obsessed schools trying to see how much they can raise tuition know how to play this game. It is a bit of a scam with super high tuition costs at some of these schools. Schools with known issues regarding harassment of students should be penalized in their rankings too, not just given the OK by professors at other schools that only have a superficial knowledge of the school.

Schools that might want to rise in the rankings might also feel they can justify their high tuition based on the rankings, and schools like Harvard generate a positive feedback loop where you've got a great reputation that feeds on itself that might not reflect what is actually happening at a specific school when compared to other schools. Tulane has a great reputation with global health and other areas and I think should be in the Top 10 easily, but it isn't.

Also, schools campaign for higher rankings and know how to hide the poorer aspects of the student experience. At least one of the schools that paradoxically went up in the rankings also is known for having the highest percentage of accepted students say, "No Thank You", and decide to go elsewhere, which should be part of the reputation score.

People on this forum who hire MPHs say that they school doesn't matter, they are basically looking at skills. This makes some sense if the first job after getting an MPH is sort entry-level into public health. It seems like going to a super expensive MPH school is overkill.
 
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Feb 26, 2019
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I have! I've done exactly what you were contemplating; turned down Harvard (and a group of other offers) to attend Emory. Although I had a great visit to Emory, it actually wasn't what I anticipated choosing, but in the end i'm so psyched. I got a pretty bad vibe at Harvard and while it is a big name, the reality out in the work field is that people within a certain field know which programs are good. Those rankings are based on peer reviews and reputation, not necessarily on the value of the program or its "rightness" for your goals and personality.
Why i'm excited for Emory: great program, sense of community, lots of available and well-funded research, beautiful campus, amazing climate, and in terms of the rating, it's still in the TOP FIVE mph programs nationally!!!
Hope to see you there, feel free to reach out if you wanna chat!! Best of luck!

Hey! I know this is pretty late, but was wondering if you would care to elaborate on what you mean by a "pretty bad vibe" from Harvard? Was it similar to what others have said about it seeming like they were resting on the laurels of the "harvard" name and not really selling the program itself or something else?
 

cookiemonster333

2+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2015
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Hey y'all, if there are any MD/MPH applicants who happen to see this please, please message me! I am applying this upcoming cycle (I'm an MS3 student) and my school doesn't really have many people who go this route so I'm on my own trying to navigate how to apply and where to apply. I would so, so appreciate any tips/advice any medical students can offer about applying to joint programs. Thank you in advance!
 

Penguin89

7+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2011
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Anyone hear anything off of Harvard or Columbia's waitlists? Or have any idea when we should expect to hear back?
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Anyone hear anything off of Harvard or Columbia's waitlists? Or have any idea when we should expect to hear back?
Also waiting on Harvards MPH Health Management 45 waitlist decision, fingers crossed! What program did you apply to?
 
Aug 2, 2018
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Hey! I know this is pretty late, but was wondering if you would care to elaborate on what you mean by a "pretty bad vibe" from Harvard? Was it similar to what others have said about it seeming like they were resting on the laurels of the "harvard" name and not really selling the program itself or something else?
Sorry, late response!! Yea, it was a bit of an unfriendly feeling from the start, then at the student panel when asked to describe the mph program in 3 words, the students laughed nervously then one answered "stressful, competitive," and one other word I can't remember. That's NOT what I want from an MPH; public health is a field of collaboration, kindness, and the need for creativity and ingenuity. They also wouldn't even accept my application to the global health track as they strictly require a certain number of years of direct international public health experience, so I had to apply to another department (I can appreciate rewarding experience, but for most of us, isn't that why we're first attending an mph program.. to enter the field..?) Overall, just not a good match for me.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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Sorry, late response!! Yea, it was a bit of an unfriendly feeling from the start, then at the student panel when asked to describe the mph program in 3 words, the students laughed nervously then one answered "stressful, competitive," and one other word I can't remember. That's NOT what I want from an MPH; public health is a field of collaboration, kindness, and the need for creativity and ingenuity. They also wouldn't even accept my application to the global health track as they strictly require a certain number of years of direct international public health experience, so I had to apply to another department (I can appreciate rewarding experience, but for most of us, isn't that why we're first attending an mph program.. to enter the field..?) Overall, just not a good match for me.
I definitely believe, I knew a Harvard MPH grad . . . very, very competitive and amazingly poor when it came to teamwork. I would expect to work hard at an MPH program but I enjoy learning the material, but it sounds like there are stresses beyond that with Harvard. I think there is a pressure for people from Harvard to be bold and push the boundaries, but how they go about doing it can sometimes leave something to be desired.
 
Feb 26, 2019
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Ah....pretty disappointing but not exactly unexpected....now I kinda wish I had had a chance to go to the admitted students' day, but ultimately Harvard was still my best option, I think. Still, thanks to your insights I can better use my time during the summer to prepare...Thanks to you both!