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Amer. Studies-- Purdue vs. William & Mary


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I have been accepted to both Purdue and William & Mary for a Master's in American Studies. I'm from Houston so I would like to live in a place that's not insanely cold (like my undergrad school in upstate NY) but is also a great community. Which has a better program? Any ideas?

To further complicate matters, I am still waiting on Univ. of Texas for Women's Studies (my other undergrad major). Would it be better to attend UT for WS and get to work with the AMS people there (and save SO MUCH $$) or go for a true AMS program?

any advice would be GREATLY appreciated, as i have no idea! (but i think i am leaning towards w&m...any other W&M people out there?)

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My personal advice would be William and Mary over Purdue.

West Lafayette is not the most exciting place in the world. I've not lived there, but have spent a decent amount of time in various parts of IN and can tell you that it's pretty stereotypical of the midwest.

On the other hand, Williamsburg is a cool little hamlet and it's a great location close to Newport News, Hampton, Va Beach, etc. If you're a history buff and like an old European feel you're in like Flynn. If you like beaches, estuaries, marshes, and things like that you're in paradise.

West Lafayette is going to be significantly colder and snowier than Williamsburg, though Williamsburg will get quite cold at times. The winter will be rough in both places, but Williamsburg is at least 1) on the water so somewhat more moderate, and 2) not in the snowbelt.

Plus, while both schools are reputed William and Mary's far exceeds that of Purdue, IMO. Of course, I also always tell ppl not to choose based on school rep, but rather how well the program fits you.

Both good schools, both beautiful campus. Not a bad decision to be had I think?

Good luck!

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I don't know anything about the Purdue program, but William and Mary is a great place to do American Studies (especially Colonial studies), because surprise, surprise, it is right next to/in Colonial Williamsburg! If you are doing Southern Studies, it is also a good place to be.

The winters are really mild, and the summers are extremely hot and humid...in fact, they seem to go on forever. It wasn't cold until November this year.

If you want to do American Studies, I would accept one of the masters programs in AMS if they are offering enough funding. If you don't want to do specifically Women Studies, you will probably be unhappy trying to make all your american studies aspirations fit into the women's studies structure.

Plus, there are a lot of people who think reading and teaching Women/Gender Studies stuff is the best thing since sliced bread, and they would love the spot. They can sit at a table for an twenty-four hours straight discussing Judith Butler. If you are not one of them, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable position. I myself am interested in historical women's issues in relation to literature, but some of the theory would drive me crazy.

Anyway, best of luck.

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