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Advice and what to consider when choosing a graduate program

  1. Apr 11, 2014 #1
    Hi everybody,

    Like many people at the moment, I'm in the position of having to choose where I'm going to go to graduate school for a PhD. I'm contemplating two different schools. The first school is my undergrad institution, where I would work with a well known and influential advisor that I've really enjoyed working with in the past. The second is a very reputable school, which I'm sure I'd have no trouble finding a good advisor at. Both have offered me roughly equal funding (when taking cost of living into account), so finances are not an issue.

    I realize that I have to make this decision myself, so my question is really this: what were/are the most important factors that you took into account when choosing your graduate program?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2014 #2
    Having recently found myself in the same situation and just having made this decision, I feel qualified to respond:

    If funding and cost of living is the same, the personal impression of the faculty was the same, and you like both fields of research in both schools equally, I would look into networking possibilities that each department has. Where did the past students from potential advisors end up, particularly in recent years? How much and how early did they manage to publish? If even that is the same among both schools, another tie-breaker could be the quality life at the school, a question to ask yourself is 'can I see myself living here for ~5 years even if I wasn't a grad student?'
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