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Cornell vs Brown vs CMU ?- PhD Materials Science Engg


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Hey guys,

I am looking for some advice on selecting a university and I'm worried now as I haven't decided yet and the 15-Apr deadline is approaching.
All programs are fully funded. I am thinking about working on semiconductor or energy materials area.

Cornell:- Pros- high reputation?, Ivy, research facilities/ 
               Cons- 5-5.5 yr PhD

CMU:- Pros- 4yr phD program/ 
            Cons- profs that I was interested in working with are too old and probably not take in any new students

Brown:- Pros- Ivy, one prof is good (I felt good vibes with him), 4yr PhD/
              Cons- Engg. prorgram not as reputed as other 2?

I am thinking to give more importance to university reputation and leaning towards Cornell.
Any suggestions are most welcome^^

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Hey Sam,

I'm not in the mechanical engineering field, so I can't attest to any programs specifically.  But I will say that faculty is the most important factor in choosing a PhD program! Even if your program is 4 years, if you are not interested in the project/have a bad PI, it will feel like an eternity in comparison to having to do an extra year at a different institution.

From here, I'd definitely consider prestige/funding, depending on what career path you want to go on outside of grad school.

I definitely think that time-to-degree (TTD) statistics are important, but I wouldn't place it above the other important things, as long as you are finishing around a 5 year time-line. 

Good luck with everything!

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