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I'm an international student from India and I've been offered admission to Duke and USC for an MS in BME. I've spoken to a lot of people from both colleges, and I seem to get the general idea that USC is a great place primarily because of its location in California where there are a lot of BT/Biomed companies. But I'm still pretty torn between them, since Duke has a great program and offers me the flexibility to really explore what I like. As somebody who wants to enter the industry, I'm not sure if I should pick the much lower ranked program/good location, or great program/okay location. Any sights?

Edited by scared
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Durham is a really pleasant place to live. Low cost of living for a college town. The food in Durham is phenomenal. Lots of cultural events like arts/theater/bars. Chapel Hill and Raleigh are also nearby with lots to offer. Cary, North Carolina (nearby) has a large Indian population if that is important to you. 

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Duke has a pretty big alumni network, so you could probably get great connections, but I think there are a lot less biotech jobs in that area. You'd probably be very employable wherever you choose...maybe ask yourself, would you be more proud to say you're a grad of Duke or USC?

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  • 11 months later...

(you might also want to think about where you'd like to land up, actually Raleigh NC is one of the best job markets right now. -> https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-the-jobs-are-11551441214?mod=article_inline, obviously California is the US' tech economic engine...)

also - maybe think about your political sensibilities. you may feel far more "at home" in one of these locations...

Great programs. Good luck!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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