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Washington vs Michigan Biostats


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I guess it kind of came down to this for me. Either University of Washington or University of Michigan biostatistics PhD.

Some of the differentiating factors (in no particular orders):

1. Money. Michigan gives more money, and it is cheaper to live in Ann Arbor. While money is typically not a big concern for graduate school, it does matter if I would be forced to live in a shady place in Seattle in order to fit my limited budget;

2. Research facility. I like statistical genetics, first of all, and UM has the Center for Statistical Genetics. But UW has the Hutch; I am unsure how prestigious the Hutch is.

3. Course work. Michigan is definitely lighter, which is nice. UW has a lot of different exams to take and a lot more courses to study.

4. Faculty. This can be a hit-or-miss, really. I've seen very famous faculties who are very poor advisers, and not-so-famous faculties who are good advisers. UM seems to have a much higher faculty/students ratio.

5. Ranking (?). This is not too much of a concern for me, but there are other people who might be concerned. I also heard from multiple people that UW biostatistics is slipping. Not sure about this, however.

Any opinions are welcome. Don't worry if you are biased.

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This is a tough choice! Did you have a chance to visit the universities? The vibe I got from schools is what ultimately led me to make a decision. Besides that, it looks like the rank of the schools is what's holding you back from choosing to attend Michigan.

Do you really hold rank in such high regard, especially when Michigan is already in the top 10? At Minnesota, for example, a current PhD student has already accepted a tenure-track, assistant professor position at Harvard. To me, this shows that the relative rank of a school is not as important as you think when it comes to post-PhD plans.

Edited by Arn
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