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Can advisor make up for the lower ranking of the school?


VanillaLattte
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I was accepted into 2 Computer Science PhD programs. When applying I had a favorite school, but back then I thought that ranking was the most important thing.

Now I am struggling a lot with my decision, especially because I find the advisor in the lower ranking program I got in (90s according to USNews), the best match. I also saw that previous students seem to have gotten excellent placements post graduation. I talked to some of them and they were very enthusiastic about their experience. While in the highest ranking program i got in (ranking around 50th), my advisor is new and therefore does not have previously graduated students and only 2 current ones (one being co-advised). Not many students from the program replied to my emails and therefore it is very difficult to get an impression of the overall atmosphere. And unfortunately, I can not visit because I am an international student.

I don't know how important the ranking is in this situation especially since I want to try to get into academia after I graduate.

Any suggestions/advice?

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Yes, advisors can definitely make up for lower rankings. Your advisor is going to be a key component in your training and your career connections post-graduation. Sometimes, very talented and well-known (or well-connected) professors end up at lower-ranked schools...for all sorts of reasons.

What's really important is the advisor's placement record and research.

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