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About yogi77

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  1. I agree that it is lab-dependent, but there is also a different vibe overall (more competition) than what I've heard about on the west coast. Personally, I would stay with what I know is good - Stanford has a great program and is just as well-respected as Harvard BBS.
  2. On the other hand, what generalizable data can you really gather from a site visit? Current students and professors may not be completely upfront if you ask them directly about the presence of a competitive culture. It's unlikely that a school with a reputation for being competitive is actually not.
  3. Are you only interested in the MIT PhD program? There is a good chance you would still get accepted to other PhD programs, depending on your background, even though you were rejected from MIT. I agree with the above posters that it is not worth going into debt for a masters degree.
  4. You won't be able to pick up on the competitive vibe from just a site visit - I would either trust the reputation that you have heard of or try to get more specific information.
  5. I would honestly go for the funded program. TA jobs hardly make a dent in tuition cost of an un-funded program, and frankly they can be a major distraction from coursework/research.
  6. I would think about the cost and duration of the program as well. These are all good choices academically, but if one is significantly less expensive than the other I would choose that one. Keep in mind that while you are a masters student in an unfunded program, you are paying for your research experience.
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