- Nov 26, 2019
- Reaction score
I have chosen.
Congratulations on your acceptances! Both are wonderful schools! As someone else with MPH acceptances from Emory and Yale, I have gathered this information from other forums and a current Yale MPH student.
- Although Yale is ranked low for an Ivy League public health school, it has a strong reputation as an institution. If you plan to go into a field outside of science (consulting, business, etc.), the Ivy status is valuable.
- YSPH has a strong focus on quantitative research over qualitative research. If you plan to do qualitative research or mixed methods, this might not be the best program for you.
- The biggest difference between Yale and other programs is the extremely small cohort size. Optimistically, if you plan to do a PhD and want to work specifically with someone at Yale, it would be a good idea to connect during your MPH. However, Yale’s PhD cohort is also very small. They usually only take 5-6 PhD candidates per year, so the chances of you staying for a Ph.D. are not as high as they would be if you went to a larger school with more spots.
- Technically RA/TA spots are reserved for the PhD/Doctorate students (but, you can still get them if something is opened and not claimed)
- Opinions about New Haven are mixed (the downtown area is hip and very foodie centric, but the outskirts of the city where most students live is not great)
- Although not an Ivy, it has a strong reputation in public health, especially in Epidemiology. Within science, Ivy status does not carry as much weight. Remember that the highest-ranking public health school is Hopkins!
- Rollins has a large cohort size of MPH students as well as students in other public health disciplines. If you are unsure exactly what type of research you’d like to conduct, a school with a larger cohort and more research opportunities, like Emory, might be a better idea.
- Obviously, Emory has strong connections to the CDC and many MPH students have internships and practicum experience with CDC. If you want to work for the government, it might be a way to get your foot in the door.
- The MPH program offers opportunities to complete certificates, which are like getting a minor in undergrad. These certificates could be useful if you want to explore other interests in public health and walk away with a more specialized degree.
- The cost of living in Atlanta seems relatively cheap and there are public transportation options.
I understand that homophobia is a concern, but I think the bubble of graduate school will be more accepting than you think, especially for the field of public health! Both Emory and Yale prioritize health disparities in their curriculum, so I think diversity is accepted and celebrated among both student bodies. Although Emory is technically in the south, the campus and the city of Atlanta seem pretty removed from Southern culture. Please keep in mind that Yale's reputation as an Ivy League school is associated with upper-class white, old money families. Racism and homophobia are likely as present in Connecticut as they are in Georgia. Overall, I'd say go to both admitted students days with an open mind and ask specific questions about how the schools address and react to diversity. That will give you more information than you will be able to gather from online forums.
Atlanta itself has a very active and welcomed community of queer people of color! Have you been to midtown? Did you know queer eye was filmed in Atlanta? It’s actually one of the most diverse cities and offers a completely different demographic/vibe than the rest of Georgia.
Emory will have MUCH better work opportunities and connections while you are obtaining your MPH. I can’t speak for Yale, but almost all the students seek and obtain amazing positions alongside their coursework.
Also New Haven is definitely a cute small town, but it definitely does not have as many fun things to explore as Atlanta.
Just my 2 cents!
There was a poster here who often described Yale as being a great place to do research and for applying to graduate school post-MPH (PhD), so I don't think that you'll have a problem getting research opportunities at Yale. Literally, the guy said that as opposed to some other schools which offer a "practical" MPH, Yale offers more research opportunities and opens up doors for doing a PhD.
The reasons you mentioned for leaving the south make sense, if you haven't lived outside of Georgia then going to Yale would be a big move and yes, the regional culture is different. I guess that the good thing is that you got into two solid schools of public health. I'm a big believer of going to a school that you'll feel comfortable being at, though this is hard to tell beforehand, maybe you could visit Yale to make sure you'll like it. I'm sensing some really negative vibes coming from you regarding Atlanta . . . I could argue that at Emory's graduate level program you'll be around much more open minded people, few (if any) would harbor negative biases/attitudes specifically against you, but it sounds like just living in Atlanta isn't very much fun, so, yeah, I'd say go for it and go to Yale and work hard on the coursework and making connections and having friends there already is a good support system.
Thank you for such a thoughtful response! Your first two bullets about Yale were actually very helpful and relevant to my situation, as I may stray from science and care about quantitative research immensely. Thanks again for your insight!
First of all, I really value your response and how you acknowledge my professional and personal considerations--both of which are very important to me. Emory is actually very accepting and I always feel welcome on their campus (I frequent it a lot), I suppose I'm just outgrowing Atlanta. I would love to hear your take on my newest addition to this thread (GWU acceptance). Thank you so much for your response!