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I realize this is the definition of good problems to have, but it's really stressing me out so any help is appreciated! 

I got admitted to two great programs, Harvard and MIT, and I love both of them for different reasons. I'm applying for a PhD in the general field of biology, specifically microbial ecology. Harvard's program is a direct admit into a lab, and the lab I applied to seems awesome. The PI and I seemed to get along, and he's really pulling for me to attend there. There's a lot of flexibility in terms of projects, but the PI seems to be very busy and other than his lab, there aren't a lot of other people in the department that do similar work, so if something were to happen I would kind of be out of luck.

At MIT, the program is a rotation system, with heavier coursework requirements the first two years. There are a number of labs I'm interested in, but none where I felt the same kind of rapport as at Harvard (maybe because I only met like 2 of them for 30 minutes each). I like MIT as a school, but this program is a little more industry-oriented and while people have told me that grad school is different from undergrad, the rep of MIT concerns me a little. The research fit is great, though, and I might have more options.

So what should I do?? Please help, I have been thinking about this issue for several months now, but I just received MIT's offer so now it's getting a lot more real!

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Hi Mocha,

Congratulations on such great options!  I can only say what I would do: if the person at Harvard is tenured, is pulling for you and if the people in his/her lab are pleased with their choice/have enough support/graduate within a reasonable time-frame etc., I would go with him/her.  You're going to be working hard for the next 5-7 years.  At the very least, when starting out, you should be excited about the work & be paired with a good (and supportive) prof.  I wouldn't bypass that for the security of a few labs that don't bowl me over at another school. 

But, I would do a lot of research into the Harvard lab (and MIT labs) beforehand, leaving no stone unturned and talking to a BUNCH of students...

Congrats again!   

Edited by Chai_latte
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