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Harvard vs. Princeton

Derrick Rose

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Hey people

Between Harvard and Princeton, can you guys give some pros and cons for each?

Congrats if you got into both! That's incredible! Both schools have great reputations and both have giants working for them. Academically and professionally you can't go wrong in either department (unless someone knows something I don't, which is certainly possible). I don't know. It probably just depends on what you want to do. You're going to get a great job coming out either way.

If you're taking votes, I'd say go to Harvard. It's too legendary to turn down. You'll get to drop the H-Bomb on folks for the rest of your life! ("Yes, I went to Harvard. No big deal. Where did you go?") Again, congrats!

Disclaimer: I'm totally biased in telling you to go to Harvard.

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You need to ask this question in context of your research interests at least. People can't offer legit opinions on this unless they know what you want to do while there; plus a big issue in grad school is finding good advising matches and again, context matters a lot. For example, Princeton might be better in soc of religion, while Harvard might be better in quantitative poverty stuff. So I guess my response is a non-response :)

And as to the H-bomb, I'd add that (1) Princeton is a pretty big bomb to drop, (2) Choosing a school that's not as good of a fit just to drop the H-Bomb is kind of silly and may set you up for failure. Sociology jobs are hard to come by even for grads at top schools if their records aren't tight. If you're more likely to get a solid record at Princeton - or Michigan or Columbia, for that matter - than at Harvard, you may be screwing yourself over just for a name. (And this is coming from someone likely to go to Harvard next yr)

Edited by socme123
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tough call. I think they are currently both at the very top of the field. Princeton has destroyed every other school in job placements over the past few cycles, so thats one thing to consider. For immigration, soc of religion, etc. definitely princeton...for neighborhoods etc. definitely harvard. crime, inequality/poverty, culture etc. its pretty much a wash. ethnographers and demographers should prob choose princeton, organizational behavior folks should prob choose harvard. Princeton nj is pretty boring, but its a very nice place to live and is under an hour to NYC (and given that pton grad students have a pretty posh funding package with VERY little teaching and NO RA requirements, most folks are quite mobile after their second year--many move to NYC or further afield). I think you should get in to the nitty gritty details of funding, graduation requirements, placement, etc. But in the end, you'll be well served at both schools. Good luck!

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