Choosing between 2nd and 3rd tier schools

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In summary, both Ohio University and West Virginia University offer excellent science programs and are of equal standing in rankings. The stipends are comparable, so this is not a discriminating factor. The choice comes down to personal factors such as where you want to live, etc... but in the end, go with the school that you think you will enjoy the most.
  • #1
ptabor
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I'm considering Ohio University (where I did my undergrad) and West Virginia University for my phd. Currently, I'm a msc student at a podunk university in Dayton, OH - Wright State U.

As far as I know, both OU and WVU are of equal standing in rankings. I know faculty at both schools, and both schools have some excellent scientists. It seems they have more of a research orientation at wvu whereas OU is more rounded.

Their stipends are comparable, so this is not a discriminating factor.

My question is that given their comparable status, which should I choose? Obviously I must consider personal factors such as where I want to live, etc... but does anyone think one school would be superior to the other?
 
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  • #2
Ohio comes first alphabetically, so the obvious choice is West V.
 
  • #3
ptabor said:
I'm considering Ohio University (where I did my undergrad) and West Virginia University for my phd. Currently, I'm a msc student at a podunk university in Dayton, OH - Wright State U.

As far as I know, both OU and WVU are of equal standing in rankings. I know faculty at both schools, and both schools have some excellent scientists. It seems they have more of a research orientation at wvu whereas OU is more rounded.

Their stipends are comparable, so this is not a discriminating factor.

My question is that given their comparable status, which should I choose? Obviously I must consider personal factors such as where I want to live, etc... but does anyone think one school would be superior to the other?

You forgot to indicate what you will be majoring in.

Zz.
 
  • #4
My bad.

Physics... as far as my specific research area, I am looking into either experimental (preferred) or computational condensed matter.
 
  • #5
look at the list of faculty, and their research interests, and at the course offerings, and the degree requirements, and at the job placement records if available. consider also the housing availability, the stipends, the proximity to thigns of interest to you and your wife.

go with the one that you think yuo will enjoy the most. a PhD is along ahrd road - you havr to be having some fun to complete it well.

don't worry, you'll do fine. as sylvanus p thompson said, what one fool can do, another can!
 

1. What are the main differences between 2nd and 3rd tier schools?

The main differences between 2nd and 3rd tier schools are typically related to reputation, selectivity, and resources. 2nd tier schools are often more well-known and prestigious, have higher admission standards, and offer more resources such as research opportunities, well-known faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. 3rd tier schools may have less name recognition, lower admission standards, and fewer resources.

2. How do I determine which tier is the best fit for me?

Choosing between 2nd and 3rd tier schools ultimately depends on your personal goals and priorities. Consider factors such as the specific program or major you are interested in, the location and campus culture, and the cost of attendance. It's important to research and visit both types of schools to get a better understanding of which one aligns with your academic and career goals.

3. Will attending a 3rd tier school hurt my future career prospects?

Attending a 3rd tier school does not necessarily hurt your future career prospects. While 2nd tier schools may have more name recognition and perceived prestige, what matters most in your career is your own dedication and hard work. Many successful individuals have graduated from 3rd tier schools and have gone on to have successful and fulfilling careers.

4. Are there any advantages to attending a 3rd tier school?

One advantage of attending a 3rd tier school is the potential for more personalized attention and smaller class sizes. This can lead to a closer relationship with professors and more opportunities for hands-on learning and research. Additionally, 3rd tier schools may have a lower cost of attendance, making them more financially feasible for some students.

5. Can I transfer from a 3rd tier school to a 2nd tier school?

Yes, it is possible to transfer from a 3rd tier school to a 2nd tier school. However, the transfer process can be competitive and dependent on a variety of factors such as your academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and the availability of space in the program or school you are interested in. It is important to carefully consider your reasons for transferring and to have a strong academic record before attempting to transfer.

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