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Schools Graduate Program in Same University System Bad?

  1. Oct 6, 2011 #1
    I've heard that some employers/universities look down upon going to the same Undergrad as grad institution (unless the program is top ranked, or circumstances, etc) but what about going to a different university campus within the same university system?

    I would see nothing wrong with that, but a fellow classmate said it is frowned upon too, is this true and if so, why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2011 #2


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    In my experience none of those are negative things.

    Going to different schools for undergraduate and graduate studies has the advantages of exposing you to more people, more teaching styles, and ultimately expanding your network. Staying in the same school can also have some advantages such as being in a location you know you like or keeping you with people you know you can learn from.

    These decisions tend to come down to a choice between which advantages you would prefer.
  4. Oct 6, 2011 #3
    I think the negative connotation you've picked up on has less to do with the university as it does with the overall career path. It's a question of whether the graduate degree was a serious endeavor and a new chapter in your career, or just "sticking around another semester."

    A lot of schools now are doing this combined BS/MS thing where you can double-count your electives as both graduate and undergraduate. The end result can be literally nothing more than one more semester in school. I don't consider that a second degree, I consider that graduating with honors. If, on the other hand, you get a 4 year degree and then go the traditional graduate school approach, taking an additional 10 credits of graduate classes over 2 years while working, either for the university or for some other company, now you did 2 separate things, and therefore are worth more.

    The point is that it isn't "from the same school" or "from two different schools", it's that the combined BS/MS thing is sold to students as a shortcut, and employers know it's a shortcut. An applicant with 5 years of school (combined BS/MS) and no experience, is less desirable than a candidate that did 4 years of undergrad and then did an additional 2 years of graduate classes plus research / TA / working.
  5. Oct 6, 2011 #4
    I don't think that it's a negative from an employment/resume standpoint. It's considered bad because it's bad for you. You learn a ton more stuff if you go to different types of universities for grad/undergrad than if they are the same type. This goes even (or especially if) your program is top ranked. If you go to a big name, prestige institution as an undergraduate, it is a very, very, very good idea if you avoid that type of institution as a graduate student.

    It's not "wrong", but it's bad for you. The problem is that if you go to the same type of university for grad and undergrad, you get to see things done one way, and you don't realize that there are other ways of doing it.

    One reason that I've realized this is that I spend a good deal of my undergraduate years in academic politics, and one thing I realize now was that the Deans, senior faculty, and even the President of the university at the time were under some severe intellectual handicaps because they had spent their entire lives at that university.
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