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Prestige vs Location?


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Usually the two go hand in hand, but I am decipering between the two following programs and am wondering if anyone can offer insight:

1. Boston University MS Applied Biostatistics. This is a 12 month (full time) program is in a School of Public Health, but incorporates a research component (500 hours total).


2. Northwestern University MS Biostatistics. This is also a 12 month (full time) program in the School of Medicine. 


My goal is to work as a data analyst in a hospital or university, with specific interests in clinical epidemiology.  Although I’m still open to pursuing a PhD (most likely in Epidemiology), I also want a robust quantitative background that would allow me to work after the Masters.  Both are similar in that they are more applied biostatistics programs that are flexible if I choose to later on work full or part time during the program.  I feel as though Northwestern has a better name/prestige but BU’s main draw is the location in Boston which has so much opportunity in the biomedical sector. However I’m worried that even if I were to choose BU that I would be overshadowed by those with more prestigious degrees or schools in the Boston area. If you have any advice, please help me in my decision.

Edit: In terms of program “fit”, I’m attracted to BU because I’ll be closer to my long-term partner who was also accepted to another school in Boston. In terms of research interests,  Northwestern has an edge (and less competition for opportunities due to the smaller program).

Edited by Natalie139
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Northwestern is 14 miles north of Chicago and the distance is easily traversed by train, as I understand it. Google Maps tells me trains leave every 12-20 minutes. Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, with an GDP that surpasses Switzerland's and Belgium's. I think there are tons of opportunities in the health/medical sector of Chicago. Northwestern also has great health/medical resources itself as a university.

By your own admission, Northwestern has more pros and BU's only draw has little to do with the program itself. For a 12-month program, I agree that I'd choose Northwestern.

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