right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Concerned about how to pay for college amid COVID-19 economic changes? Join us for a webinar on Thu, Apr. 9 at 5pm ET. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.
Check out our newest addition to the Student Lounge. Go to the "STUDENT HERE: Ask Me Anything!" and connect with fellow students who can answer your school specific questions!
Most of the decisions are in by now. Connect with fellow students and share support for those who didn't get the best news.

Anyone know if Northwestern's masters programs are good?

TracyJacksonTracyJackson 177 replies22 threads Junior Member
I am in the process of applying to Northwestern's Master in Public Policy Administration, which a part of the School of Professional Studies. I graduated from college last May and is planning on getting a Master's in order to get a boost in my future career search, hopefully.

What I'm concerned about is that while Northwestern is a recognized and prestigious school...their MPPA program does not seem to be part of any public policy ranking for USNews' graduate school list. Should I be concerned that I'm potentially applying to a school with a top undergrad reputation, but an unknown within the master in public policy world?

I'm not too concerned by it, but my parents said they're looking all over to see what Northwestern's MPPA is ranked at on USNews and can't find where it sits, so are telling me to drop the application, haha (they agreed to pay for my grad school studies, so their opinions kind of override mine right now). Anyone know if it's a concern at all?
6 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Anyone know if Northwestern's masters programs are good?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13061 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited February 27
    SPS is more for working adults. NU has many stellar graduate programs but tenured faculty generally won't be teaching in SPS. The SPS MPPA looks more aimed at mid-career working adults who want to gain some knowledge and/or check a box for promotion and/or network some. Why are you looking to get a MPP?
    edited February 27
    · Reply · Share
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13061 replies29 threads Senior Member
    On the other hand, taking classes that are taught by adjuncts (mostly industry professionals) and with other working professionals isn't necessarily bad (though a decent number of your fellow students would be online, so more difficult to network with them) as that does allow you a chance to network more.
    · Reply · Share
  • MWolfMWolf 2205 replies14 threads Senior Member
    There are adjuncts, and there are adjuncts.

    There are the adjuncts who are working for pennies since they are unable to get their heads around the fact that there is life and work outside of academia. They teach all the intro courses that the TT and tenured faculty don't like, or which is too heavy a teaching load for TT and tenured faculty because of the new research requirements that the administration has suddenly decided are appropriate for a primarily teaching school, or because the administration refuses to hire enough TT faculty to teach these courses.

    Then there are the adjuncts (who are actually the majority of adjuncts), who are professionals and teach because they enjoy teaching, because they want to stay connected to academia, wanting to help early students, because it pays well as a side gig, etc. Obama worked as such an adjunct at UChicago for a few years. For students who are looking to become professionals, these adjuncts are a lot better than TT or Tenured professors whose experience is mostly theoretical.

    PS This second group also includes retirees who teach for some extra money and to get out of the house, faculty spouses who do not need a FT job, new PhDs who need temporary employment, etc.
    · Reply · Share
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13061 replies29 threads Senior Member
    BTW, with the SPS programs, it seems like how good the classes and faculty are could vary a lot. I never took any class in SPS but personally, I would reach out to currents students and alums of the program to get their opinion.
    · Reply · Share
  • TracyJacksonTracyJackson 177 replies22 threads Junior Member
    Thank for the insights. I graduated from university last May, and have been interning at a small local company since late September (though I doubt if 5mo of intern work is considered "mid-career", haha). The main reason I wanted to get a MPPA is to get a leg up once I'm out of grad school and started looking for work. A lot of the higher paying political and policy-related jobs I want to get into require (or heavily recommend) a master's degree. And public policy admin is the most closely related degree at NW to what I wanted to do.
    · Reply · Share
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13061 replies29 threads Senior Member
    OK, they may be more early-career.

    If you're in Chicagoland, the U of C Harris School has various degree programs too.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity