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UNC Biostatistics Ph.D. vs. UW Madison Biomedical Data Science Ph.D.


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Hi everyone,

It's near April 15 now. And I still can't decide on this two programs. 

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UNC pros:

Higher rank in biostatistics, and better location (triangle area). I do believe UNC is more than well-regarded in this field. Does it mean their student will have better opportunities in finding academics and industry jobs?

UNC cons:

As an international student, I still haven't received any funding. And it looks like it has always been a problem for UNC. To me, it kills the creativity when you have to worry about money in PhD life. 

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UW Madison pros:

It's full-funded. 

The curriculum of UW Madison seems legit to me. They provide 3 course sequences in Biostatistics Theory and Methods, Computer Science, and some Specialization Topics. I really like the CS sequences, because I'm major in Statistics now, and didn't get much CS training, which I think will be of huge importance in graduate study & research.

UW Madison cons:

As opposed to the UNC pros, it's not as highly ranked. The location and weather are not as good I guess? And it is a new program. I literally can't find any insider's experience. There are too many uncertainties.

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Any thoughts on this two programs? Please help me, any comments or thoughts will be much appreciated. Thanks!!! 

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If you work with a stats faculty and take a lot of stats courses, you should still have decent job prospects are Wisconsin, especially if you want any role that isn't being a methodologist at a top department (although that wouldn't be out of the question). UNC might have better weather for you, but Madison is an awesome town. I'd go with UW. 

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Don’t accept an unfunded offer from UNC it’s a bad idea and I don’t think they have a lot of incentive to fund you later on.  Maybe send one last email asking about funding and see what they tell you.  Even if you get full funding later years at UNC (which may not even happen) paying for a year of UNC at approximately $55k with living expenses is a bad idea.  Plus funding is going to give you teaching/research experience that you might not have otherwise.  

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16 hours ago, DGcitizen said:

I guess UNC will not provide (TA) funding for most of the international students. And without funding from UNC, it is better to choose fully-funded UW Madison.

 

14 hours ago, bayessays said:

If you work with a stats faculty and take a lot of stats courses, you should still have decent job prospects are Wisconsin, especially if you want any role that isn't being a methodologist at a top department (although that wouldn't be out of the question). UNC might have better weather for you, but Madison is an awesome town. I'd go with UW. 

 

10 hours ago, Bayesian1701 said:

Don’t accept an unfunded offer from UNC it’s a bad idea and I don’t think they have a lot of incentive to fund you later on.  Maybe send one last email asking about funding and see what they tell you.  Even if you get full funding later years at UNC (which may not even happen) paying for a year of UNC at approximately $55k with living expenses is a bad idea.  Plus funding is going to give you teaching/research experience that you might not have otherwise.  

Thank you all so much!!! I did some research on the UW Madison after posting this thread. And yes, I think I will eventually go to UW Madison if I don't receive funding from UNC before April 15. But I'm also actively reaching out to some of the faculties of UNC to seek RA opportunities. What do you think if I do get the funding from UNC? 

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