or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › Grad School Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grad School Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 260
Thread Starter 
I guess the other important question is, how little debt would make school A better than school B? $25,000 in total? $15,000?
post #17 of 260
why dont you just name the school...
post #18 of 260
Thread Starter 
school A is UVA school B is Virginia Tech
post #19 of 260
do virginia tech, its free! speaking from experience, brand name diplomas don't really open doors unless its hyps/mit.
post #20 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
school A is UVA

school B is Virginia Tech

If you were choosing between a funded offer at VT and an unfunded offer and Stanford or Harvard then it might be a harder choice. In this case, go to VT. It's reputable enough to get you into a top PhD program.
post #21 of 260
I'm near completion of a doctorate in the sciences and my friends in non-technical programs really have struggled without funding. In almost any field the academic job market is abysmal, even coming from top schools. Also, beware of budget issues when selecting a state school. I'm in CA and our fees have gone up over 50% in a single year!

I'd chose based on funding first and faculty a close second. Remember that it is a long haul and a lack of funding could cripple you financially and crush your spirits even before graduation. It is also hugely important to "click" with faculty. You will be working closely with your advisor for several years, and other faculty will fill exam committees which will determine your future in the program.
post #22 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
school A is UVA

school B is Virginia Tech

I have an MA in English from Georgetown, and my experience there convinced me not to pursue the PhD. English faculty are surprisingly hostile towards research that does not focus on race, religion, gender, or smooshy areas like the "history of the book."

I realized too late that I should have worked in social science and you may have a related experience. Choose B and be glad that you will not fall into additional debt.

Incidentally, I've heard nothing but bad things about UVA's English Dept. Specifically that there is little support from faculty or fellow PhD candidates, who are secretive and nastily competitive. It was once described to me as a "snake pit" by a recent UCLA PhD (ca 2004).
post #23 of 260
Gonna dissent here, but my opinion doesn't matter because it was for undergrad. Still, this is styleforum so I am entitled to voice my opinion on everything and everything regardless.

I had a choice between a fully funded program (actually, getting a stipend on top of full tuition) and my dream school with awesome career placement for my chosen field, with practically no funding. At the time, the yearly tuition was just about equal to my parent's yearly income.

I went with my dream school and landed in the career path I wanted. I absolutely do not regret it one bit, and the name brand of the school was amazing for networking. I will have far far more doors open for for the early part of my career as a direct result of my school choice.

The fact that I felt like I was working to make the tuition worth it probably pushed me to succeed.

If your "plan" changes, which degree would you want to fall back on?
post #24 of 260
Thread Starter 
Today I talked with two recent UVA Phd Grads (last 10 years) who work as Professors at my school. One told me to take UVA, one told me to go to Tech.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piato View Post
I have an MA in English from Georgetown, and my experience there convinced me not to pursue the PhD. English faculty are surprisingly hostile towards research that does not focus on race, religion, gender, or smooshy areas like the "history of the book." I realized too late that I should have worked in social science and you may have a related experience. Choose B and be glad that you will not fall into additional debt. Incidentally, I've heard nothing but bad things about UVA's English Dept. Specifically that there is little support from faculty or fellow PhD candidates, who are secretive and nastily competitive. It was once described to me as a "snake pit" by a recent UCLA PhD (ca 2004).
I've also heard mixed things about UVA. I've heard that the MA program is just a cash cow and there's a definite hostility. I've also heard that the program is a great step stopping to a top PHD program and a wonderful experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souper View Post
Gonna dissent here, but my opinion doesn't matter because it was for undergrad. Still, this is styleforum so I am entitled to voice my opinion on everything and everything regardless. I had a choice between a fully funded program (actually, getting a stipend on top of full tuition) and my dream school with awesome career placement for my chosen field, with practically no funding. At the time, the yearly tuition was just about equal to my parent's yearly income. I went with my dream school and landed in the career path I wanted. I absolutely do not regret it one bit, and the name brand of the school was amazing for networking. I will have far far more doors open for for the early part of my career as a direct result of my school choice. The fact that I felt like I was working to make the tuition worth it probably pushed me to succeed. If your "plan" changes, which degree would you want to fall back on?
Without a doubt, having UVA on any diploma would help a lot, especially in Virginia. At the same time Tech isn't too shabby either.
post #25 of 260
If you just want to enjoy 2 years, pick what looks good on that basis.

Since your end game is going for the PhD, play through that set of scenarios. It sounds as if your least risk in all sorts of ways (with no measurable cost to final payoff) is VT.
post #26 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
Without a doubt, having UVA on any diploma would help a lot, especially in Virginia.

At the same time Tech isn't too shabby either.

I should also add that my MA has been surprisingly helpful in getting employed at various nonprofits and NGOs. So in that sense, if you do decide not to pursue the PhD, UVA would look better on your resume.
post #27 of 260
If the point is to go into academia, paying for grad school is beyond foolish. Academia is like the NBA--a pyramid scheme whose base is big as a country but whose top is the head of a pin. If you can't get funding at a top school now, your chances of getting tenure track at even a 3rd-rate school in the middle of nowhere are essentially zero.

Sorry.

Beyond that, I suppose there are other career paths that might earn you enough to pay back $70K in loans with ease and quickly, but they are also very unlikely.
post #28 of 260
Why would you pay that much for a degree with little to no practical purpose?
post #29 of 260
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
If the point is to go into academia, paying for grad school is beyond foolish. Academia is like the NBA--a pyramid scheme whose base is big as a country but whose top is the head of a pin. If you can't get funding at a top school now, your chances of getting tenure track at even a 3rd-rate school in the middle of nowhere are essentially zero.

Sorry.

Beyond that, I suppose there are other career paths that might earn you enough to pay back $70K in loans with ease and quickly, but they are also very unlikely.

not to sound like a dick, but I've been climbing the academic ladder for the last 4 years. I've started from a community college, transferred to a cheap but middling state school and now I'm ready to move up a rung. I am confident that wherever I go, if I put in the work and time, I can be competitive to a top program.
post #30 of 260
The only thing Teger knows is that he wants to use education as a means to convince other people he's smart. He'll figure out what he wants to learn later. Right now it's just about finding out which school he wants to be exploited into debt by.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Business, Careers & Education
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › Grad School Thread