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Grad Schoolage - Transience Divine
March 13th, 2010
11:16 am


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Grad Schoolage
The admissions committee for Columbia's PhD in Sustainable Development contacted me yesterday to tell me that I've officially been offered admission!

The program only admit six people a year, it's connected to the hugely famous Earth Institute, it's almost the only PhD available in international development, and it's the most immensely interdisciplinary program mixing topics from engineering with social science. I probably couldn't do better... except maybe for the other programs that I'm still waiting to hear from. Columbia sent me an email to talk "if I need any help making my decision", but I'm torn.

The other programs issue:
I also applied to American University's Development Management program, which is also unique, more geared toward going out and doing things, and part of the School for International Service, a world-renowned hotbed of people working to better the world. And I took the LSAT so I could apply to Duke's combined Law and Development degree, and be able to lawyer good into a world defined by its laws. How do you compare apples to hammers?

The Flame issue:
Flame and I both applied to schools in DC and NYC so we could keep doing our thing. But she hasn't heard back from anywhere yet. If she doesn't get into NYU, and we both get into AU, that probably tilts the balance. Except that her program is six years and mine is just two. Is a great relationship more important than a great degree?

The money issue:
Columbia will probably offer me $22,500 a year. That's just enough money in NYC to eat rice and beans for the next six years. Or I can try to work part time at my current job remotely, doing good for a little more money. Or I can get some contract work at a for-exploitation company for more money. I didn't work during semesters for undergrad, and it meant so much more energy I could put toward projects I cared about. Is it even possible to live in NYC on 22k, or do I need to invest myself just partly in my education?

I'm very excited that No matter what happens, I *will* be going to grad school! But I can't stop thinking about all the unknowns.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
WOW that is fantastic! I don't have any advice on your decisions, I'm just sitting here being completely jealous of them.

[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Aww, that's so sweet. You can be sure that I'm jealous of you too.
[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
I also have absolutely no useful advice to share. But I just had to comment to congratulate you on moving on to a new and exciting part of your life, whichever city it may be in. Woot!
[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! Whatever happens, I know it'll be interesting.
Date:March 14th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC)
How awesome! Congrats! :)
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! What are you up to nowadays???
[User Picture]
Date:March 16th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Congratulations! Either option sounds like a good fit for you...
Date:March 18th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Well: I'll be NY, so if you move to the city we can be poor together! I fully intend on (and am actually excited about) leading a bum-ish life.

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