Congratulations on landing multiple admits. Now, choose the right graduate school for yourself by understanding what matters the most. It is critical that you do a good research on the university by reading about it, talking to current students (and alum) and discussing with study abroad experts.
Choose right research oriented university from multiple PhD admits
- Go by the reputation of Professors and depth of work in the field of your interest
This determines the quality of your thesis, publications, ability to attend good conferences etc. It also helps you to get good references when you apply for research and academia. Advisor matters the most in PhD.
- Go by the availability of funding for PhD students
Usually most of the good schools are able to offer some sort of funding to their PhD students. You may still want to double check though.
Choose right MS program when you want to join Industry
- Ranking matters because higher ranked schools attract more and better employers – Stanford, UIUC, Cornell, CMU, Columbia have great placements for example irrespective of global economic factors. You can afford to choose a university with higher ranking when you have multiple admits.
- Location matters to the extent that if you are not able to get into a high ranked program, prefer a school in a place that has enough good employers around. E.g. Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, Chicago, Dallas etc. in general. If you are going for a specific field, pick locations that matter for you. Eg. Portland has huge Intel presence, San Diego has Qualcomm etc.
- Tuition and Availability of Scholarships – how costly is it to attend can matter a lot since grad school is pricey. I might love to attend Columbia for its great brand and location but do I have $100K to spare is the question. Why apply to schools you know you cannot attend?
- Curriculum matters – A student of ours left CMU MISM 12 month program in between because he felt he wasn’t learning anything new. Do a thorough study before heading to any program.
Choosing the right University is crucial to your success. Of course, you should have already done a major chunk of this research when you were shortlisting schools for your MS/PhD applications.
For those who are applying for MS – read our guide on Shortlisting Schools for MS
This is what Northeastern University has to say about choosing the right Graduate School.