Best MPA programs?

<p>...And is that the field I should really go into? I want to work with international humanitarian aid organizations, especially Doctors without Borders (on the administrative side, but still in the field) or similar. I'm hoping to get my master of public health degree at Yale through their 5 year joint B.A.-M.P.H. program, but would like to also get a degree in public administration for nonprofits. What kind of doors would this course of study open for me career-wise? And would I be able to get another, possibly higher-paying job (to try and save myself from some of the debt I'll undoubtedly incur) after I do "field work" for some time?</p>

<p>My one concern with waiting and working for a few years before I apply to grad school is that it seems like in the field of humanitarian aid, you can't get hired unless you have work experience or a relevant grad degree. Yet it seems to be a catch-22, since most grad programs prefer you have work experience.</p>

<p>This was a very long-winded post, but I'd appreciate any advice or direction you could offer.</p>

<p>If I read correctly you "hope" to do a 5 year program, which means you havn't started it yet, right? if thats the case, it is WAAAAAAYYYYYYY too early to be worrying about grad school, no matter how prepared you want to be. If you want to know though, there are specific MPA programs for administration of Non Profits.</p>

<p>Sweet, thanks. And I know it's way, WAY too early. But I'd like to have a vague idea of where I'm headed. It's just my nature, regrettably.</p>

<p>It's good to look ahead. Don't think that I was criticizing you for that. MPA's are great graduate degrees because they are quite practical and can be very useful on the job market. There also seems to be less competition to get into MPA programs at the graduate level ebcause everyone is busy fighting to get into IR programs.</p>

<p>are the MPA Programs at USC/Stanford/UCLA/Berkeley strong?
Also, are MPA programs supposed to last for 2 years?
I'd like to go over to the sunny west coast after I graduate from Wellesley. Thanks!</p>

<p>I know that Berkeley and UCLA both have good MPAs.</p>

<p>Crap. I just typed a long old response and it got deleted :(</p>

<p>I've found it interesting to go onto the websites of orgs I would like to work for (MSF, The IRC, World Vision, UNICEF), and check out their degree requirements for different positions.</p>

<p>Most positions require a master's in public health, public admin, policy, or social work. Within each of these fields there are some sectors with significant overlap. For instance, I will be obtaining a master's in social service admin from Univ of Chicago where I can carve out an academic path to cater to my professional endeavours in intl work. </p>

<p>To solve the Catch-22 riddle, a lot of undergrads will head off to the Peach Corps for 2 years. I have several friends at a top-tier MPH program who have done just that.</p>

<p>It's good you're curious about this field, but you're interests could change in the next 4 years. The undergrad experience is a transformative period for many, and you may very well find that your interests lie elsewhere (or in a slightly different direction).</p>

<p>Good luck in the process!</p>

<p>Oh, one other thing. Check out a book called Mountains Beyond Mountains about a guy named Paul Farmer. You'll dig it</p>

<p>CuriousKid--Stanford doesn't have an MPA or MPP program. Berkeley and USC both have MPP only, USC has both. They're all pretty good programs.</p>


<p>The difference between the MPP and MPA is not large for most jobs.</p>

<p>thanks guys! i guess i still have to find out whether i really wanna do this or not since i'm only a freshman in college right now, but I'm definitely interested in this field...</p>

<p>though, what kinds of jobs do ppl with MPA/MPP degrees get? are ppl well-paid with a MPA/MPP from a top grad school? Thanks!:)</p>

<p>Curious kid,</p>

<p>If you want to make a good salary, get a MPA. If you want to make a great salary, don't get an MPA or a MPP. Neither of those lead to big payouts.</p>

<p>Also, don't even look into a program based on how much cash it will make you. that can be one of the gravest mistakes of your life.</p>

<p>how is the cornell mpa?</p>

<p>As far as I know, Cornells MPA program is not that well known and is intended more for mid career professionals.</p>

<p>thanks... and another question... why should someone choose a "professional degree" (i.e. MPA, MPP, MALD, MIA etc.) over an MA in government/ politics/ economics etc? Do people end up heading in different directions with the different types of degrees? Are there generally differences in subject matter? Do "professional" degree graduates have an advantage over MA grads in the job market? Thanks.</p>

<p>Yank in Canada,</p>

<p>Regarding your question, my understanding (and it is very limited, so please dont take this as Gospel) is that an MPA is a degree that very clearly directs you towards certain types of work. Alot of people who get MPA's end up working for municipalities or cities and counties doing actual public administration. Hence, I get the feeling it is alot less vague than an MA in Government, for example.</p>

<p>MPA's also seem to be much more pratical than other Political degrees, such as IR degrees or Government degrees. My brother got an MPA (not even from a very well known school, either--Texas, San-Antonio) and immediately found a job in Connecticut that more than doubled his previous salary.</p>

<p>So what's the difference between an MBA and an MPA? Obviously one is more geared towards public service-type jobs than the other, but do they stress the same kind of management skills, or are they pretty much totally different? Sorry if I'm revealing my ignorance here.. I know nothing about business degrees.</p>

<p>I am guessing that MBA's and MPA's are totally different, because one is geared towards management for the sake of profit and the other is based on management for the public interest.</p>

<p>Practically, also, I am guessing the atmosphere in most MPA programs is alot more uh...relaxed..than in most MBA programs.</p>

<p>so with an MA in some social science field (economics/ government) you could potentially go into some of the same things as you could with an MPA/ MPP or if you wanted continue for a PhD?</p>

<p>If you want to do a PhD, I think you might want to do something like an MA in Economics or Government rather than an MPA, since an MPA is a professional degree. But I am not at all an expert on this, so don't take my word for it.</p>

<p>yes that makes sense... but can an MA have as practical an advantage in a professional setting as an MPA can?</p>