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Help Choosing Between UNC, UC Irvine, and U. of Washington

  1. Apr 13, 2015 #1
    Hi all. First time poster here. I was hoping that someone could give me some advise about graduate schools. My situation is that I've narrowed down my choices to UNC, UC Irvine, and U. Wash. I'm wanting to work in experimental neutrino physics. My issue is that I'm struggling to decide how my degree will be perceived after graduation. UC Irvine and U. Wash are both bigger names in physics, so I figure that they have that name recognition going for them. A few years ago however, a professor who is relatively well known in the neutrino community moved to UNC, where I worked with him in an REU last summer, and I really enjoyed it. I already have a good relationship with him and he seems to be pushing me hard to choose UNC. So I'm wondering, where does reputation of the adviser rank in importance compared to reputation of the school?

    One more thing. At UC Irvine the professor I am looking at working with is the US spokesperson for a large international collaboration (Super K). At UNC the professor is the spokesperson for another larger collaboration (Majorana). Do these offer any benefits? I figure at the least it would help with getting to know people in the field. The Majorana experiment is also just starting to take data, so I have been promised that there are a wealth of opportunities there. Thanks for any advise!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2015 #2
    Sounds like UNC is your best bet. You for sure know you enjoyed working with this professor at UNC, who's to say what sort of relationship you may have with an adviser at another school? I've heard good things about the Majorana experiment, been to a talk or two about it and what they're looking for. I'd say that the reputation of the adviser is more important; with the physics faculty at my school, they don't talk about other schools, they talk about other researchers. I think having a really good relationship with an adviser already will get you a lot of opportunities earlier on, and with Majorana just starting to take data... If I were in your shoes, I'd do UNC!

    Background: Physics undergrad in a school whose reputation for Physics is not well known (more for its Architecture and Engineering programs). I've found the connections professors/faculty have is a lot more important.
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