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man123321us
02-21-2008, 05:06 AM
What's the consensus on the MEDS department at Northwestern? I see a few people have applied to it, but I'm not terribly familiar with it. I just read a paper written by a guy there, and I'm curious.

Zymonick
02-21-2008, 12:23 PM
My opinion might be biased, because I just got an offer from them. Still I am trying to judge them neutrally.

They are among the very best in what they do. They offer good funding (as much as anyone else) and are highly selective due to very few places and the reputation of Kellogg. The downfall is that they are specialized on such a high level. Outside of Game Theory, IO and Micro Theory, there is nearly nothing one can do there.

AstralTraveller
02-21-2008, 12:35 PM
What's the consensus on the MEDS department at Northwestern? I see a few people have applied to it, but I'm not terribly familiar with it. I just read a paper written by a guy there, and I'm curious.

For those who don't know it, the MEDS is the Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences department at Kellogg. Their PhD program (offered jointly with the Management and Strategy department) is called "Managerial Economics and Strategy". Therefore, the program is known both as MEDS and MEcS.

It's an extraordinary program in Micro Theory, IO and Game Theory. Think of a top-5 level PhD program in Econ without Macro. Placement is comparable to top Econ schools. As it is a small program at a B-school, they enroll few people (6-8), each year. Strangely enough, they also have horrendous attrition rates (about 50%), so they end up with about 3-4 graduates per generation. So, yes, it is a really tough program, with extraordinary rewards.

I'd say there are few similar (not equal, though) PhD programs at B-schools which cover similar ground. Stanford GSB's EAP PhD is the closest competitor for the MEDS, and the most comparable to them in focus and placement, followed closely by Harvard's Bus Econ PhD and Chicago GSB's Economics (in placement, not so much in focus).

UCLA Anderson's Policy PhD has two sub-concentration tracks, Strategic Management and Econ Decision Making. The Econ Decision Making track is comparable to the aforementioned programs in scope and focus. Fuqua's (Duke) Decision Sciences program works in the same line. And let's not forget Caltech's Social Sciences PhD, which is similar in scope to all these programs as well.

Wharton's newly conceived Applied Economics PhD simply fused their B&PP, Real Estate, and Insurance & Risk programs into one, and therefore, it seems more "policy driven" and "less theoretical" than the previous programs, but since it's new, I really don't know how it compares to MEDS, or the other Bus Econ programs mentioned. And, please, don't buy the "policy" names behind UCLA Anderson or Stanford GSB programs, for it's almost an euphemism. Those are much more theory driven than policy programs.

Bus Econ programs at Michigan (Intl Bus and Bus Econ) and UCLA (Global Econ Mgmt) are macro/trade focused, unlike the rest. NYU and CMU also offer Economics PhD programs at their Business Schools, but their programs are pretty much straightforward Economics programs, with no clear "business school" focus to them.

I know the OP asked for info specific to the MEDS program at Kellogg, but I found it appropriate to mention the rest of the similar programs of the spectrum, to give a broader vision.

Hope this helps (and please spread some reputation if you like what you read ;))
AT

Zymonick
02-21-2008, 01:32 PM
Strangely enough, they also have horrendous attrition rates (about 50%), so they end up with about 3-4 graduates per generation.

Obviously this interests me quite a lot. Where did you get this from? Looking at their placement record they had 21 placements over the last 5 years. Though it is quite interesting that they place five to seven people in one year and only one or two in another.

But apparently they list only people going into academia. So the unknowns are, how many are sick of academia after such a program and how many did they admit 5 to 10 years ago? Last year they admitted 6 people. However unless they admitted 8 in average and nobody left academia, I don't see an attrition rate of 50%.

Therefore I would be very grateful, if you elaborated a bit more on this matter.

Thanks!

AstralTraveller
02-21-2008, 02:35 PM
Obviously this interests me quite a lot. Where did you get this from? Looking at their placement record they had 21 placements over the last 5 years. Though it is quite interesting that they place five to seven people in one year and only one or two in another.

Simply said...with a program like that you aren't a likely target outside academia. I would really be surprised to see alumni from MEDS landing at private jobs. Their training is 100% for research universities.

The attrition information came directly from a current MEcS student with whom I spoke to over the phone, and who was extremely kind, honest and supportive. However, I must admit the attrition info was key for me when I decided not to apply there. Besides, the Econ department seemed really a better fit for me than the MEDS faculty.