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UT vs KU for MA


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Hi all,

I’ve narrowed my choices down to UT Austin and KU and I’m having a really hard time choosing.

I have lived in Texas pretty much my whole life. I know UT is supposed to have an amazing program. I have been unimpressed with their level of responsiveness, but that’s pretty par for the course with everyone I know’s experiences with them, no matter the context. The students I’ve talked to all seem to love the program and love the professor I’d likely work with. 

KU has been amazingly responsive and offered generous funding so that it is significantly more affordable than UT, even though I’m a Texas resident. My visit there was jam-packed and they were clearly trying to woo me. I didn’t particularly love it, any more or less than UT.

UT- thesis; KU- no thesis, exam

so my question is to y’all, what is the weight of KU’s program vs UT? If I was to carry on to a PhD (im considering it but I really don’t know and have no intention to commit to the idea until I get back in school) which would serve me better? Or are they equal, all things considering. I think I would prefer to work with the potential adviser at UT than at KU, but at KU I would not be writing a thesis so would not be working so closely with him so maybe it doesn’t matter as much.

both are affordable, but KU is much more so. I’d have to get creative for UT.

thanks for any input!

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I don't have much direct knowledge of KU vs UT's programs, but it's worth considering the fact that UT is decimating its fine arts library (to be fair, I don't know what KU's library is like). The faculty, students, and museum are all very against this, but it seems like an uphill battle to prevent the books from disappearing. 




Edited by curatortobe
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Can you ask to write a thesis KU? If you do decide to continue and do a PhD, that research experience/lengthy writing process/relationship with the advisor will really help you. Of course, for the letter of rec, but mostly for yourself personally. I don't know if you wrote a senior thesis, but if you've never done such a project, it will help you determine how much you actually enjoy doing original research and a lot of writing. I wouldn't suggest going into a PhD before you understand if this is the kind of work you are ready and willing to commit to. And of course, you'll need to prove to the universities you are applying to that you are capable of having an original idea and writing coherently about it. Many of the applicants you will be competing against will have probably written Master's theses. Look at both of the universities' placement rates as well. 

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Page 21 of the Graduate Handbook at KU says there is a MA thesis option. From the handbook:

"A student may write a thesis in the final year of M.A. enrollment. In order to do so a member of the graduate faculty must accept responsibility for supervising the thesis that normally will be developed from a previously written seminar paper. The student must enroll for three hours in HA 899: Thesis, while working on the thesis. Thesis hours do not count as 800 or 900 level seminar hours and must be taken in addition to the required 800 or 900-level seminars. No more than three thesis hours may be counted toward the thirty required for the degree."

I would take the funding and then elect to write a MA thesis for the reasons given by @bakhtingothic. Don't force yourself to get creative with funding/outside work to pay for going to UT. 

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