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1 year program vs 2 year program


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Hello,

I would like some insight on the difference of a 1 year program vs 2 year program.

I am interested in pursuing a PhD after my master degree. However, I am not 100% sure. Which is why I am interested in pursuing a masters first. 

However, would it hurt my chances of getting into a good PhD program later if I choose a 3 semesters master program at a higher ranked school vs a 2 year master program at a lower ranked school? I know people have said that 2 year program typically have more theory classes than 1 year classes. However, when I've been looking at the courses for each individual program (1 year vs 2 year), they do not seem to differ by much. But, do PhD schools weigh the difference more heavily? 

I'm hoping someone with some experience will be able to help me as I am in the process of making my decision. 

Thank you. 

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* I'm a current applicant to PhD programs and my advice is based on talking to various faculty*

If even part of the reason you are pursuing a masters degree is to see if a PhD might be for you then you should do a program that has a thesis component. If coursework looks about the same then the thesis will 1) help you decide if research is what you want to do and 2) let schools know you know what you are getting into and a letter of recommendation from your adviser will be important.

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I'm going to piggy back on this thread - how much does the ranking/reputation of Masters institution matter? Let's assume that the programs are nearly identical - same courses, both require thesis, and you perform well in both programs - does going to school ranked in the 1-20 range really make you significantly more competitive for PhD applications than a school in the 20-50 or even 50+ range? 

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14 minutes ago, Taheel said:

I'm going to piggy back on this thread - how much does the ranking/reputation of Masters institution matter? Let's assume that the programs are nearly identical - same courses, both require thesis, and you perform well in both programs - does going to school ranked in the 1-20 range really make you significantly more competitive for PhD applications than a school in the 20-50 or even 50+ range? 

Yes. One, the courses will hold more weight in the better program. You will also have letters and research from more well-known professors. 

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Well, we could be more helpful if you could tell us specifically the schools/programs you have in mind. Does the 1 year program have a thesis component?  Does it cover theoretical aspects of stats?

If your end goal is to get a job, then it probably does not matter if it's a 1 year masters/2 years matter e.g. the MS Applied Biostats at BU probably has good placements. But if your goal is to pursue a PhD, I would lean heavily towards a 2 year program. Another thing you can do is contact the school and ask them if they would be willing to give you alumni stats, and you can see for yourself how many of their students end up in a PhD program.

Edited by Cal1gula
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