breeze1220 Posted April 11, 2010 Share Posted April 11, 2010 (edited) I'm looking at getting a professional Masters (environmental program) at either Duke or the University of Michigan. Both grad programs seem to be equally ranked and give similar funding. The differences: The University of Michigan's department seems to be a lot stronger in the social sciences (which I am interested in), and my mentor (this word doesn't have the same connotations as a PhD mentor, but is important nonetheless)) has done case studies in this field for many years and has been described as absolutely amazing by every student there I've met. However, he's going to be on sabbatical during one of my semesters there, and some of the classes he usually teaches (that I would like to take) will be postponed. The students I've spoken to seem pretty content with the program, and the professors seem laid back and friendly. I like the building the program is in, but I literally cannot stand the rest of the campus. Duke seems to have a lot more class options and flexibility than U of M, seems to be priming its students for key leadership and decision-making career positions, and also offers a joint degree at UNC and a marine science program I might be interested in pursing or at least experiencing that U of M doesn't have. It does, however, seem to have more of an emphasis on quantitative and hard sciences than social (and I am not quantitatively-minded) and seems to be a little disorganized. I also haven't made a mentor connection there like I already have at U of M, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to once I went there. More current students during Visitation Day seemed to have more complaints about the program, but this could just be the type of students I happened to speak with. I really loved the campus and the distinct lack of undergrads (as compared to U of M's massive student base), as well as the surrounding area and the cheaper living options I would have. Housing prices and leasing in Ann Arbor are nightmarish in comparison! I've lived near the Ann Arbor area my entire life, have already gone to school in Michigan and have a lot of connections there, and am one of the few people who don't enjoy Ann Arbor or U of M's campus - or the weather - at all. I would REALLY love to challenge myself in a new location that I enjoy and know that Duke could also provide a great program - BUT it wouldn't be as easily laid out a path and with as clear of a mentorship (at least initially) as the program at U of M. Thoughts? Opinions? HELP ME DECIDE!! Edited April 11, 2010 by breeze1220 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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