St. Louis University Vs. Penn State University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by soupbone, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Most of you already know that I've applied to Penn State's MPS in HLS. The MPS in HLS has concentrations in Public Health Preparedness, AgBio, Geospatial intelligence, etc. The path I've recently become interested in is the Public health preparedness option--- Penn State | Online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security | Public Health Preparedness even though I've applied to the AgBio option.

    Anyway I was comparing the two programs and I find the St. Louis program very interesting as well. It's located here--> Center for the Study of Bioterrorism - Saint Louis University,-School of Public Health

    I may be considering St. Louis as well now because I like how they include Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness. Both schools are highly ranked (Penn State 47th...St. Louis 88th...National rankings according to US World and News). Penn State beats St. Louis in name recognition or it does at least where I'm located. The costs are similar (pretty high) with Penn State being $24,500 and St. Louis being $28,000.

    I was just curious what your thoughts were in a school to school comparison. These may be my last options unless you guys know of a cheaper option from a school that has at least some degree of name recognition. Thanks!
  2. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    Both_are_good_schools._Keep_in_mind_those_rankings_you_are_referencing_is_for_undergraduate_rankings,_not_the_university_as_a_whole. You_may_want_to_see_which_school's_faculty_is_more_highly_regarded_in_the_sector_you_are_interested_in_working_in.
  3. PennStateMommy

    PennStateMommy New Member

    I'm at PSU for my MPS in HRER and I will have to agree with the previous poster about checking on the professors. Good luck to you.
  4. Glor1295

    Glor1295 New Member




    Arkansas Tech
    California U of Penn
    Eastern Kentucky University
    Jacksonville State University
    New Jersey Institute of Tech
    Penn State
    Tulane University
    UColorado Denver
    U Connecticutt
    University of Denver
    U Illinois Springfield
    UNC Chapel Hill (not accepting students)
    Virginia commonwealth university
    OK State

  5. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Thanks for always commenting on my posts. I'm probably annoying a few folks with my constant questions. I don't see any rankings for this type of degree because I believe it's only recently (last 5 years) become popular. I will search for faculty names and look at their qualifications. My guess is Penn State hires some pretty decent professors. I also understand that these professors are the same ones that teach on campus. I really am trying to find the perfect complement to my BS in HLS/Em from TESC, and I think breaking into a concentration will accomplish that. Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2010
  6. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Thanks! I've actually looked at all of these as well. So far most of them just don't hold the same name recognition as the Penn State. A few of them obviously do. Have you decided on one yet? I can't believe it's this tough.
  7. Glor1295

    Glor1295 New Member

    No, I still have some time to decide while finishing up my current program. My workplace sponsors attendance at the NPS, but the slots are limited and I've heard it is difficult to get selected. I don't care for the MPS so that also limits my options. I've actually been thinking about an MPA with a specialization in HD or Emergency Management. That makes my short list consist of Penn State (not sure if homeland defense is offered as a specialization though), UC-Denver, UI-Springfield, and Northwestern for their MPPA. My workplace also sponsors a number of certificates in HD, so that opens up some other options (particularly the Northwestern program). I've been over-analyzing the situation - weighing degree names, school housing the program, etc - and probably will continue to until I start whichever program I choose. So you are not alone in that sense.
  8. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I too have thought about the Naval Postgraduate School but I've also heard how selective they are. If it means anything to you I've been told that the professors from the NPS helped create the programs for Penn State.

    Are your plans to stay in government work? I ask because I'm interested in what the private sector has available at some point.

    Why do you dislike the MPS? I've wrestled with the title designation and its lack of recognition compared to the MS/MA. I'm not sure if it would hurt in the long run.

    I've looked at the MPPA from Northwestern and it looks great. Northwestern has such huge name recognition. However, I've wondered if the MPA/MPPA would serve me in the private sector too. I don't want to get a degree without utility on both sides.
  9. Glor1295

    Glor1295 New Member

    I plan to stay in government work - my private sector experience is limited. I will soon finish an MS in Operations Management (my position title is actually "Operations Specialist"), so I can always fall back on that if I do end up in the private sector.

    The only thing I dislike about the MPS is that it seems to close off my options after the degree. I have some GI Bill to burn and that Voldosta State DPA looks quite nice, provided that I have the intelligence and diligence to take that route. The MA or MPA should feed well into such a path. I would also like to develop general knowledge in public policy, thus my interest in the unconventionally named MPPA.

    I really don't think you could go wrong with the Penn State MPS. I'm not sure how much utility it would have outside of government work but it would certainly have just as much if not more than an MA/MPA.
  10. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I am interested in the MPPA too. I don't know why except that the curriculum interests me. I just don't know what I would do with it career wise. You certainly can't beat the name recognition of Northwestern. I believe they are ranked 13 in undergrad. I'm not exactly sure where they are in grad school rankings.

    I think in the private sector the AgBio might be limited. I am exploring the Public health side which I believe could be very useful in the private sector. I think hospitals would be the biggest private sector employer. Also, maybe a large company (like a theme park) would have a use for someone with a degree that gives you the knowledge to protect large groups of people.

    I love theme parks... :D
  11. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I've been reviewing the St. Louis curriculum and I can honestly say that all the courses look interesting. Communicable Diseases and Infection Control really interests me. When looking at Penn State's curriculum it doesn't appear to get that much into the epidemiology side of public health. I also like that they (St. Louis) incorporate disaster management into it as well. I really think this would cross-transfer into the private sector.

    There's also the MPS/MS debate. The MS is more recognizable but the MPS has more courses that directly apply to the field. The St. Louis program is 42 hours while the Penn State one is 33. That makes a big difference to me in time of completion.

    There is a big plus to the St. Louis degree in that it leads directly to a PhD program offered through the university--> School of Public Health | Saint Louis University

    I like to think I make informed decisions and I'll strongly consider my options yet again. What are your thoughts on the St. Louis program?

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