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Can't decide between two offers with deadline fast approaching


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I thought I had made my mind up, but I keep second guessing myself. Here is some objective information about the two programs (they are English Language and Literature doctoral programs, in case that's relevant):

School 1: There is a faculty member here whose work I really admire (and admired before I even knew I wanted to go to graduate school). His area of interest and approach both reflect the kind of work I hope to do. I have corresponded with him and he has been beyond generous with his time and advice, and is very excited about the prospect of me enrolling. That said, there is only one other faculty member there who interests me at all. I also feel that the program could have the potential to track me too narrowly and not facilitate the kinds of interdisciplinary work I'd like to do (particularly, bringing in Philosophy and French language and literature). The program is not as highly ranked as the alternative, but they have offered me a special fellowship that they give to one student each admission cycle, which gives me six years of guaranteed funding and a huge stipend.

School 2: There are quite a few faculty members who I'm interested in, but none so passionately as the person from school 1. The program here will allow me much more latitude in terms of building my own course of study. It will also facilitate my exploration of other areas, with an ethos that encourages cross-disciplinarity. The program is much better ranked and has a better job placement record. Everyone whom I've met from here has been kind and generous. The school is in a much smaller city than school 1, and cost of living is higher, but the stipend is still very generous (more than the base stipend at school 1, but not quite as much with the fellowship) and I'm guaranteed funding for 6 years.

I thought  I had settled on school 2, but now I'm second guessing myself--based on my descriptions, where does it seem I should go? Are there any important factors I'm neglecting?

Thanks!

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5 hours ago, Anonymous Questioner said:

I thought I had made my mind up, but I keep second guessing myself. Here is some objective information about the two programs (they are English Language and Literature doctoral programs, in case that's relevant):

School 1: There is a faculty member here whose work I really admire (and admired before I even knew I wanted to go to graduate school). His area of interest and approach both reflect the kind of work I hope to do. I have corresponded with him and he has been beyond generous with his time and advice, and is very excited about the prospect of me enrolling. That said, there is only one other faculty member there who interests me at all. I also feel that the program could have the potential to track me too narrowly and not facilitate the kinds of interdisciplinary work I'd like to do (particularly, bringing in Philosophy and French language and literature). The program is not as highly ranked as the alternative, but they have offered me a special fellowship that they give to one student each admission cycle, which gives me six years of guaranteed funding and a huge stipend.

School 2: There are quite a few faculty members who I'm interested in, but none so passionately as the person from school 1. The program here will allow me much more latitude in terms of building my own course of study. It will also facilitate my exploration of other areas, with an ethos that encourages cross-disciplinarity. The program is much better ranked and has a better job placement record. Everyone whom I've met from here has been kind and generous. The school is in a much smaller city than school 1, and cost of living is higher, but the stipend is still very generous (more than the base stipend at school 1, but not quite as much with the fellowship) and I'm guaranteed funding for 6 years.

I thought  I had settled on school 2, but now I'm second guessing myself--based on my descriptions, where does it seem I should go? Are there any important factors I'm neglecting?

Thanks!

Unless you're independently wealthy, or don't care whether you get use your graduate education in your career, this is a big deal. Its a rough market in the US for the humanities PhDs. Not enough people think about life after graduation when following their passion. Good to see you are. Since there are no obvious landmines (in fact, it has a lot of pluses) at School 2, I would go there.

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