werd814

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Mar 25, 2007
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Howdy all,

I thought it'd be a good idea to start this thread as I imagine at least some of us are trying to decide between these two for masters work. I know what you're thinking: "You dufus, Harvard is in a class of its own... that it shares with JH, UNC, UMich and UW... so not really it's own class per se, but certainly not the same class as Yale." But, I what I'm finding out is that it really isn't as clear cut as what I think this forum, with the exception of a few posts, has made it out to be.

*disclaimer: My conclusions/info are based on my interest in the Departments of Environmental Health and may, at times, reflect only the stature of this department.*


Anyhue, I myself have been trying to tease apart the pros and cons of attending these two institutions. To do so, I've spent many an hour researching (online researhc, interviews with professors at HSPH and YSPH and even UW and Berkeley, youtube viewing, pamphlet reading, etc.). But the biggest breakthrough came today whilst (please, this is the ivy league; let's show some class) I was visiting Harvard. I met a 7th year HSPH doctoral student who received her MPH from Yale. And this is, basically, what she said:

+Regardless of what the USNWR seems to imply, Yale and Harvard are both extremeley strong academically (challenging coursework, are very good at providing students with important fundamentals of PH, etc.). BUT, Yale's small size and geographic proximity to other Yale prof schools/the College allows for an intimacy of which Harvard is wanting.

+Yale's masters thesis is a fantastic opportunity to really get involved with the world of public health and cut your teeth (or add another notch to the belt) in public health research.

+HSPH has been pumping out leaders in the field of public health for (for all intents and purposes) forever. So, the connections that Harvard offers in the public health world are collosal and practically unmatched-- really good for finding jobs right out of school if you're considering a masters as terminal degree.

+While Harvard may have intimacy issues (in bed? awkward.), the professors here are just about the friendliest professors I've ever met. Though, I say that feeling that, in my experience, the faculty at Yale, Harvard, and UW are on par for friendliest. All around good vibes from the EH programs I've visited.

+While Harvard professors are (super) friendly, they are apparently a bit difficult to track down and meet with. They are often flying out to cool projects or jammed with projects/research. From what I hear, Yale professors are very accesible (again, a part of the intimacy dealio).

+As far as a Yale MPH goes, folk who know Yale's public health program will understand that it truly is a top tier program with a unique ability to foster very successful students... it's just finding folk who know about it that's the problem, I guess. As for the rest of society, Yale is still a dope name. Sweet. Going to Harvard? Well, anyone and there brother (including all public health professionals, I gather) will think you are the veritable sh***, so to speak. As has been discussed on the forums, both will surely open up a good bit of doors. Unfortunately, when it comes to the public health world, Yale seems to be less well-known (at least partly due to their small class sizes/alumni output) and will probably not be as flashy as a Harvard degree. Again, see above ("As far as Yale MPH goes...").



Okay, so that's the good majority of my take thus far. I'll be visiting Yale (again) the day after tomorrow for their admitted students' open house, though, so I'll probably have more to say later.


Please, if you've got some insight, share it. But don't do it for me; do it for the children (a.k.a. future prospectives trawling the great expanses of the SDN search archives).
:zip:


Bias disclosure: Admitted to Harvard 2-year masters of science (SM80) and Yale EHS MPH and desperately trying to make a decision.
 
Last edited:
Oct 15, 2009
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I have nothing to add to the debate. But for you...I know you got a sweet deal from Yale. As you have just finely illustrated they are very similar in many ways. Follow the funding. If you have received it from both I say flip a coin:laugh:. In all seriousness, I think you are going to do extremely well no matter which one you choose. You could always go on to the other if you go the doctoral route. That is why I say go for the money. I wish you luck with this hard choice (could be way worse, eh?)
 

Stories

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I met a 7th year HSPH doctoral student who received her MPH from Yale.
Oh god, I hope that is never me.

+Regardless of what the USNWR seems to imply, Yale and Harvard are both extremeley strong academically (challenging coursework, are very good at providing students with important fundamentals of PH, etc.). BUT, Yale's small size and geographic proximity to other Yale prof schools/the College allows for an intimacy of which Harvard is wanting.
The small size and intimacy is also Yale's biggest problem. Without expanding the size of the school considerably, there are going to be large gaps in Yale's expertise and resources. The work that the Yale faculty are involved in is absolutely top notch (and per capita, near the top of productivity in terms of biomedical research), but if an area of interest a student may have might not be covered by a single professor at the school, in which case, expertise in that area might be sorely lacking. So that's why it's always important for a student to research his/her own interest and make sure that the school he/she is thinking of attending has expertise in that area.

werd814: Maybe we'll run into each other at the Open House on Friday.
 

werd814

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Mar 25, 2007
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haha, thanks JMM! :laugh: Still working on Harvard funding.

Oh god, I hope that is never me.
but if an area of interest a student may have might not be covered by a single professor at the school, in which case, expertise in that area might be sorely lacking. So that's why it's always important for a student to research his/her own interest and make sure that the school he/she is thinking of attending has expertise in that area.
Fantastic point, me thinks. I guess for me, this is part of the Environmental Health disclaimer-- they have some really good research going on in my areas of interest. That's definitely a very good consideration.

And, perhaps we shall meet! I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'll be arriving tomorrow afternoon to hang with some buddies at Yale. Hooray for a night on New haven!
 
Feb 3, 2010
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I wish I would have glanced at this thread before hand. I coulda kept an eye out for you guys at the open house. It would have been neat to meet some other forum goers.

I was at the open house yesterday too. I loved it. I think I'm leaning towards Yale.

The intimate faculty looks great, the faculty interests are great for me (in health policy), and during the global concentration presentation the professor was mentioning how the program differs from other programs like a Harvard, Columbia, etc.. and I loved what I was hearing.

Super day.
 

werd814

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Mar 25, 2007
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Deem! What a shame-- it definitely would have been cool to meet. I also tagged along for the Global Health info sesh, and it's funny to think I saw you/maybe even chatted with you.

I particularly loved when the presenter casually dropped "Well, when I was in Libya (or did she say Libera?)... I wrote the internationally televised speech for the Minister of Foreign Affairs that outlined and explained their new healthcare infrastructure... Oh, and did I mention our program designed their healthcare infrastructure from the ground up?"