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advice for schools


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hey everyone, i am an undergraduate student who's about to graduate this semester with a B.S in chemistry. I will be attending graduate school this fall for chemistry Phd and I've been debating between three different schools to attend, Stony Brook, Boston University, and Michigan State University. I was wondering if I can get some advice from which school would be the best option for me and my situation.

First, my research of interest is materials chemistry, specifically within electrochemistry/nanoscience for energy production. For Stony brook, the faculty I'm really interested in do research with batteries and electrochemistry and I really love their work and they even requested for me to join their group which was very exciting, however as a person who's lived in NYC for most of my life, I'm kind of sick of the place (not because I don't like urban cities, but becuase I've lived in new york for too long and I feel its unhealthy for my life being essentially in 1 place for too long) and would like to move somewhere different ( still in a city overall but a new environment and new types of people)  and I'm not a fan of the long island location  (at all) either and I don't think I would be comfortable living there espeically since its the suburbs with high cost of living, however, the prospect of brookhaven national lab is also something to consider and the P.I that I want to join and have a good chance of joining is very distinguished (Esther Takeuchi). 

My second choice is BU, and I do like the location/environment especially the aspect of it being a huge college town with the potential of collaboration of other big universities nearby and also the fact that from what I've heard there are many industry corporations there as well, and although the cost of living is also fairly higher, I would be getting a higher stipend and I know some of the cheaper locations where to live, however, the research and department itself is decent and I dont think its as good as stony brook or Michigan and I don't think they receive lots of funding compared to other two schools. The P.I I'm interested in BU does research in nanoscience and solar cells but again I don't feel confident that I will be able to join because I had the impression that she was limited in space and also there aren't really that many other P.I that im interested in BU. 

Finally for my third option, which was Michigan State, I had just visited the school recently, and I did like the campus and the department, there were three  P.I whose research I was interested in and liked, however, my first two choices whose work I like the most (both do materials electrochemistry) were both not able to attend this past weekend for the visitation, so I actually did not meet them and get a sense of how they were like. Location wise, the city of Lansing wasn't too bad,  from what I've seen and I do think its better than long island but worse than boston and more car driven instead of public transportation, it would be a big adjustment for me (as someone who grew up in literally the urbanest city in America, new york) but I think I would manage, however, it is also pretty far from my family meaning I wouldn't be able to make frequent visits if I wanted to which would be a  tiny problem for me. But again like I mentioend with Boston, I'm not too confident I would be able to join my first choice, or my second as I think they were limited and I didnt even meet them or know their personality so I don't think it seems wise joining a group for someone I didnt even have a chance to speak to. 

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Ok I think you're right,  I am currently trying to contact the professors at Michigan for the ones I'm interested in and hopefully get to speak to them via phone call or Skype, If I can do that that might change my decision, but thanks for the tip 

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