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Going to apply for my PhD in the same Institution I might complete my Masters?

Mr. X

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I was recently rejected from two Phd programs, and I now want to pursue my MA in Criminal Justice to strengthen my application. However, one of the things that keeps holding me back to make this decision is if I should stay within the same institution I graduated from during my undergraduate career and most likely want would pursue for my PhD at the City University of New York (CUNY). The type of research being done there is exactly what I want and did not see in other departments.

Career wise it also makes sense to stay in NYC. But I feel like I am not allowing myself to diversify my experience and live somewhere else besides NYC—although I have been lucky to study abroad multiple times. Nevertheless, the tuition for a MA is significantly less when comparing the CUNY program to that of UPENN or Rutgers University. Great programs I would love to go to, but seems also pointless to go anywhere between 30-50k in debt.

I was just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences in their path towards academia.

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