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Need Help for Final Decision - PhD Kinesiology


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I am in the final week of having to make my decision for which program to attend. Below are the three programs I have narrowed it down to: 

Program A: ~25 in ranking, awarded 19k RAship and renewable 5k scholarship and summer funding ~5k, cost of living is super cheap and I would have free room/board my second semester and after, mentor is fairly hands off and has you begin developing your own projects from the first year however is the least "productive" lab of the three and focuses more on industry research. The most attractive aspect is that I would only be 2 hrs from my long-term SO who has one year left in his masters. 

Program B: top 3 in rank, awarded fellowship of 21k stipend with summer funding of ~6k and I would only have to TA during my 2nd/3rd year while the other 2-3 years i focus on my research, housing is fairly expensive but everything else is cheap, mentor has you work on a project they have during your first year as you move to developing your own ideas later on, productive lab that allows opportunities to work on grants, has lots of opportunities for professional development through my fellowship and dept, and staff member to specifically help for things like cv, job negotiations, etc. However, this would be 6hrs from my SO.

Program C: top 5 in rank, awarded RAship of 16k with summer funding of 5k, cost of living is cheap, this is the most productive lab with many projects and publications, mentor has you work on a project they have during your first year then move to more independence. This would be about 3ish hrs from my SO. 

Any insight on this would be really helpful and whether school/dept prestige matters on your ability to attain academic positions at R1 institutions, thank you!

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  • 1 month later...

If I was you, I would choose variant C. Great opportunities, and close to SO:)

I come from the business world where the rankings mean a lot. Now, I am in OT school, where rankings mean nothing as long as you have your license. I don't know what you want to do with your PhD after. This will determine why you need to worry about rankings

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