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Immunology (Host-Microbe) PhD: Pitt PMI vs Duke


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I am deciding between Pitt PMI and Duke for Immunology and cannot seem to decide. I did my undergraduate degree at Pitt and if I do decide to stay I will probably stay with the same PI who I have been doing research with for 3/4 years. Duke presents an interesting opportunity, I have met with 2 PIs and their research does intrigue me but I feel more interested by my research here at Pitt. Duke also has a much longer average time until degree, whereas at Pitt I could probably finish pretty early. Also, I have heard about some issues with the Duke graduate program with regard to prelim exam, mastering out, and strained relationship between grad students and faculty although there have been some strides in these areas at Duke I am worried if I matriculate I could have a poor experience. Additionally, there seems to be more PIs here at Pitt whose research I find interesting and fit my goals but I am not as familiar with the PIs at Duke. In terms of area I was not the biggest fan of Duke's area because of how quiet it was as compared to Pitt's campus but that could be because I am used to being in the city. Lastly, Pitts program is in both Micro and Immunology and my interest lies in Host-microbe interactions while Duke's program is mainly in Immunology. Duke does have a more prestigious name but Pitt's program is ranked higher according to US news and Pitt has more NIH funding. 


My decision changes pretty frequently and I feel Duke presents an exciting opportunity but I have recently been leaning towards Pitt. Any thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Edited by youtacnt01
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