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Yale MPH vs Columbia MPH

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katiekt

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I've been accepted to Yale MPH in Health Policy and Columbia MPH in Health Policy Management. I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. Obviously Yale is cheaper overall. Is Columbia's job placement significantly better than Yales? Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Emma1600

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I would go to Yale. I think their program is undervalued in the rankings and I've been told by students time and again that their professors are not only incredibly supportive, but major players in the job placement process. If you have any doubts or questions about the types of jobs you can get upon graduation, I would contact the department director and professors to ask. Also, as far as Ivies go, I think Harvard/Yale/Princeton networks are unbeatable which will play into your longterm career prospects.

On a side note, I keep talking to students who are really concerned about Columbia's curriculum overhaul. Does anyone with actual knowledge of this have an opinion on it?
 
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VV2RB

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I would go to Yale. I think their program is undervalued in the rankings and I've been told by students time and again that their professors are not only incredibly supportive, but major players in the job placement process. If you have any doubts or questions about the types of jobs you can get upon graduation, I would contact the department director and professors to ask. Also, as far as Ivies go, I think Harvard/Yale/Princeton networks are unbeatable which will play into your longterm career prospects.

On a side note, I keep talking to students who are really concerned about Columbia's curriculum overhaul. Does anyone with actual knowledge of this have an opinion on it?
I too am very interested to the answer to your question.
 

cg122

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Katiekt, I am in your exact same boat (exact same department too!). I had the chance to visit both of the campus' this past January and have been really going back and forth over all the pros and cons.

I want to be in DC, and both Columbia and Yale have a track record of placing graduates there, so its not the biggest issue for me. But if you're interested in staying around New York, Columbia has a strong advantage. The other primary differences between the two is sheer size - Columbia has one of the largest programs out there, while Yale has one of the smallest. The advice I've heard from more people and past grads is that smaller is better, as it equates to a better sense of community with your classmates, more accesses to professors, and more attention overall. While large sizes do have their advantages (mainly in terms of alumni networking), you have to decide for yourself if this is worth it and if you are willing to put in the effort to stand out among an excellent class and attract the attention of the professors.

Columbia does have some great extra specialization certificate programs and a new interdisciplinary curriculum, which is something that I'm impressed by. I've heard Columbia described as a "public health army", one that churns out degrees and jobs and gets things done, but isn't overly individualized. It is also highly ranked and regarded.

Yale on the other hand doesn't have the highest ranking (#13), but the name is still very highly regarded, perhaps more so than Columbia. The ranking was a bit concerning to me, but from what I've been able to understand, the main reason for this is the small class size (which is kept small intentionally). Ranking are decided by surveys of employers and pools of students, and as there is a smaller overall amount of Yale grads, the percentage of the workforce who has encountered Yale grads is smaller, with a result of fewer positive surveys and lower ranking. Stories, an impressive Yale PHD guy on here who posts all the time, put up a great graph somewhere showing the basically linear relationship between school size and ranking. With that, the relatively lower ranking doesn't concern me as much, and I think that the Yale name and program more than makes up for it. Yale has a flexibility and personalized education that Columbia can't match, you can take a high amount of elective classes anywhere you want (such as the incredibly strong medical, law, and management schools), whereas Columbia's curriculum, while innovative, is far more structured and static. I think the jury is still out on their curriculum overall.

But you know, career and networking opportunities is likely my greatest uncertainty about Yale. There is a career department devoted solely to the school of public health, but I can't speak to its effectiveness. While I do not believe the networking and career services at Yale to be poor, from what I can tell Columbia has the upper hand when comparing the two in this aspect. This is something I'm certainly interested in learning more about, and have been reaching out to students at Yale I can find on these forums.

I asked a current Yale student how Yale is regarded by employers when I visited in January. She said that she had just gone through the process for summer internships and got her top choice. She also told me that every employer she spoke with was impressed with the Yale name and she didn't see any pushback in terms of the ranking. She also mentioned that the people to whom ranking matters most to seems to be public health students themselves, but in the working world (especially as public health as such a broad field and involves business, management, fiance, & government organizations), most people aren't even aware of current rankings and only think about name recognition, which is something that Yale certainly has. In other words, having the Yale name on your degree won't hurt, and it in all probability will greatly help the career search. Keep in mind this information is coming from one student's experience, but I've heard similar sentiments echoed elsewhere.

On a purely subjective note, my family went crazy when I got into to Yale, versus a lone congratulatory text when I got in to Columbia. This doesn't say anything at all about the schools, but I think it speaks perhaps towards public perception when comparing the two, which is not insignificant (admittedly the sample size is n = my family, so beware haha). At the end of the day, we are making a choice between two great options, and I don't think either path is necessarily "wrong". Both have their pros and cons, and but I think for the kind of student I am and the kind of environment that would best suit me, Yale is the right path.

Sorry for the impromptu rant, but I have been going over this exact question myself for a while now. Goodluck in your decision, and let me know if you find out anything else!
 
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trnks11

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I've been accepted to Yale MPH in Health Policy and Columbia MPH in Health Policy Management. I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. Obviously Yale is cheaper overall. Is Columbia's job placement significantly better than Yales? Any advice would be appreciated!

Katiekt, I am in your exact same boat (exact same department too!). I had the chance to visit both of the campus' this past January and have been really going back and forth over all the pros and cons.

curious to hear where you guys ended up, since I'm facing this exact choice right now!
 
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