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Having Trouble Deciding Between Schools NEED HELP!


tmor6

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I'm having a really tough time norrowing my list. I'm trying to decide between Louisiana State, University of Oklahoma, and University of Delaware. All are with funding.

My area is criminology, of which there are great people at each school I could see myself working with. The offers are all about the same (minor variation in stipend amounts corresponding to relative cost of living). I have no ties to any of these states, and no relatives. I tend to enjoy warm weather (LSU) but also enjoy a change in seasons (UDel, and OK).

I will be visting each program in the next few weeks, although I expect to be impressed by all of them. I know "fit" is important, but how much "fit" can one really ascertain over a one day visit? I've been in touch with current students in all three programs and they all say similar things (this program rocks, the faculty are great! ect...). I've also been in touch with some faculty at each program, they all same similar things to (the work is great, we love students, blah blah blah). I've also begun enlisting the help of my mentors at my current instituion. So I am trying to proceed accordingly, and in an informed fashion.

I'm looking for any advice on these programs--ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME! I know there are people here deciding between Harvard or Princeton (boy, how terrible I feel for you...), but these middle-of-the-tier school choices are tough, too. HELP! Which one's would you go to? Which one would you eliminate?

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I direct you to this thread:

I think it's a good base to start with, assuming you like numbers! But you still have your visits to go, and I think you'll have a rapid change of mind when you visit each one. It's surprising how much you may or may not like a place once you visit.

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I think this elusive "fit" will become more clear once you visit. Are faculty around and collegial? Are graduate students friends with one another? Where do people live and what do they do? Are there people whose work really speaks to you and do they have a history of working with graduate students? What classes would you be interested in?

That said, if you're a criminology person, I'd probably choose Delaware.

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The visits really will help make things clear. It's amazing what you can learn in a day!

But it also probably depends on what your secondary interests are. Delaware's got a great program, and Ben Fleury-Steiner should be a big draw for you. But it looks to me like all three programs have really interesting faculty.

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I direct you to this thread:

I think it's a good base to start with, assuming you like numbers! But you still have your visits to go, and I think you'll have a rapid change of mind when you visit each one. It's surprising how much you may or may not like a place once you visit.

Thank you for the link--I've been trying to best quantify these programs. Although the poster used relative values, and I substitued absolute values. I think it's cleaner:) That really helps!

I appreciate the other input, too. I hope the fit will become more clear during the visits.

Edited by tmor6
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