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U of Minnesota vs U of Wisconsin-Madison for MS in Statistics


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Hello and thank you for your time reading this!

       So I have narrowed my acceptance down to two schools: Madison and Minnesota. I am from Wisconsin originally so I will considered in-state at both schools. I completed my undergrad at Wisconsin and I am currently unsure about continuing on to a PhD later. I am leaning towards getting a job in industry, probably in the health care sector. Additionally, I currently have no loans but by graduation, will only have a few thousand left in the bank.

       Wisconsin would be my choice as it is fully funded and a better program. But before April 15th, I may be offered a spot in an, NSF funded, Data Science in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics at Minnesota. I was told I have real chance of getting in but right now, this is tentative. If not accepted, I will probably go to Wisconsin. This is a year long position with a more generous $34,000 stipend along with fully paid fees and health insurance. Additionally, it offers mentoring, internship opportunity's, team research projects and potentially funded travel to conferences. This seems to have huge potential but if it doesn't pan out, I could be paying a lot more money.



  • Two years of guaranteed funding. 
  • A much better school (16th vs 24th nationally). Madison seems to be an echelon above Minnesota.
  • I know the dept, have a good reputation, and have made connections already. 


  • I will be returning to the same school as undergrad and I want to try something new.
  • TA position is only $20,000 for 9 months.
  • Not as easy to stand out amoungst so many great students. 

UM- Twin Cities


  • I have a better chance of standing out, publishing research and attaining higher highs.
  • I could chain this early success into another research/lab position in my second year. 
  • Bigger city means more opportunity and a chance to start anew.


  • More expensive (10k overall); if i fail to get a second year position, it will be $35,000 more in cost. 
  • A worse department and worse institution overall.
  • High risk, this position could be far worse then I am imaging. 


In closing, I'd love your opinion on where to go, how significant the difference in program rankings is and how highly I should think of this training program? 


Mr. Plumbo

Edited by Mr.Plumbo
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