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UCLA vs Gatech vs UIUC ECE PhD


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I recently received three ECE PhD offers from UCLA, Gatech and UIUC. It is really hard to make a decision. Could anyone give me some suggestions. I want to find an industry job after my PhD (Prefer Silicon Valley). 



1. High reputation

2. Good location.

3. Prestigious adviser 


1. Large research group, very few attention from adviser

2. High living expenses




1. High reputation for ECE program

2. Interesting research project


1. Location (Less tech jobs in Atlanta than Los Angeles?)

2. Security 





1. High reputation for ECE program



1. Location

2. Cold

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Well, I think research fit should weigh more in your decision. If you think you are more interested in the research project at Georgia Tech, you should consider it more seriously. Studying in Atlanta doesn't mean you will be stuck in there after finishing school. I am pretty sure Georgia Tech is well regarded in many Silicon valley companies as well. What is your area, by the way? Some schools may be particularly strong in some research areas. 

Also you need to consider the funding provided by these schools. I think you need to make sure you won't suffer economical problems. LA is an expensive city, but the stipend you will receive from UCLA is probably higher to compensate for that. As far as I know, UCLA and UIUC waive both the tuition and extra fees for RA and TAs, but Georgia Tech waives only the tuition. Students still have to pay the fees, which amounts to approx. $1200 per semester. 

Prestige of the advisor is certainly a plus, but I think younger professors are more ambitious in their research and this is more important. 

As for the security, campus of Gatech is pretty safe. But there is a close neighborhood called Home Park, where some armed robberies have occurred recently. Campus police department takes this issue very seriously and increased its patrols in the area. They offer free rides to students at night as well. 

Anyway, all schools are very prestigious. You shouldn't worry about the school prestige too much when making a decision between these schools. 


Edited by slaugh
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