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Washington State or U of Florida


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I've been admitted to a few PhD programs this cycle, and I'm now struggling with making a final decision. I'm currently in the stage of soliciting advice from anyone and everyone on what to do next. I know many of you have (or are currently) gone through this same thing so I figured I'd post a thread here. I've mostly narrowed it down to these two, though I'm leaving the door open on a couple other programs I was accepted into in case I have a last second change of heart (I'm hoping to finalize this decision soon so I don't interfere with the opportunities of students on the WL, but I also don't want to deprive myself of an opportunity if I happen to change my mind) The issue is both programs seem like equally good fits. I'm focusing on right-wing extremism and I found great advisers at both programs. I've talked to students in both programs and they've all had nothing but great things to say about each professor I'd be working under, and the quality of the programs in general. Relationships between cohorts seem very positive at both schools. Florida's stipend is a bit larger, but WSU offered a two-year scholarship so overall pay is basically identical over 4-5 years (health insurance is also included at both schools). Reported placement records seem pretty similar. I think either would be a solid choice, but what concerns me is that I wasn't able to visit either campus. I made a point of applying exclusively to schools outside the region I'm in (I'm currently in a master's program in Ohio), and both schools are 1000+ miles away, which makes visiting in the middle of the semester kind of difficult. I've researched both towns, but obviously nothing can replicate the experience of physically being there. I've wanted to move out west for a while, but Gainesville is significantly larger and more active than Pullman. 

In short, I'm absolutely 50/50 right now. I'm not at the point yet where I can choose one and accept losing out on the other. So I'm trying to gather as much information as I can as quickly as I can. I really don't even have a specific set of questions here, but if anyone's had experiences with these schools (graduate or undergraduate) and/or towns, I'd love to hear it. I would gladly take general advice as well.

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5 hours ago, tacosforbreakfast said:

Reported placement records seem pretty similar.

Keep in mind the difference between what they report and what actually happens. What's going on with the people they didn't report? If they've anything like "adjunct" or "adjunct assistant" in their titles, then stay away. "Independent Scholar" is often a bad sign too.

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I went to UF undergrad and had a wonderful experience. Gainesville is a nice city with a great school culture. Beautiful campus, wonderful sports, nice people. Fairly inexpensive place to live. Travel can be difficult as the Gainesville airport only connects to Miami, Atlanta and Charlotte, but pretty easy to get anywhere from all of those places. You also wouldn't be terribly far from Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa which all have major airports. 

I would happy to discuss with you further if you have any other questions! Feel free to message me! 

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