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Materials Science UMN vs. UTAustin


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Hi guys :rolleyes:

This is my first post, I have come to seek hagely advice of the gradcafe gurus!

I have been admitted to PhD programs in Materials Science and Engineering at both UMN-twin cities and UTexas-Austin. I have visitied both campuses and feel that both would be a good fit for me, I am kind of in a dilemma of choosing which one to accept. The main factors I am heavily considering are funding, prestige, advisors, location and job opportunities after graduation.


UMN has offered me a fellowship (about 27K per year as stipend) and allows me to choose my adviosr in the first semester. Possibly I will specialize in inorgamic solar cells.

UT-Austin has offered me a RA appointment (~18K per year as stipend) with almost no freedom in choosing other adviors.


the ranking of the MSE program of both universities are pretty the same, yet it seems the Engineering Division of UT-Austin has a higher ranking.

As to the MSE program itself, UMN has a relatively small and elegant program and is well-funded, UTA has a huge program including many faculty in ME, CheE, Chemistry and Physics department and appears to be poorly-funded, I even need to pay dollars on my own to Fedex to have my offer pakage dilivered.:huh:


As I mentioned, my advisor in UMN is not decided, but probably I will join a group (5~6 grad students currently) that has more than 10 years of experience in solar cells and many good publications. :lol:

My advisor in UTA is a starting assistant professor in plasmonics and is very concerned about his students (~ 5 grad students).:lol: Yet his PhD thesis is not quite concentrated on plasmonics (only loosely related), so I think he needs to learn many stuff as well though he has many good ideas in this field.


it seems that Austin has a pleasant climate and low living expenses, and UMN is cold and closer to my friends.:)

Job opportunies:

I would like to seek a postion in the industry and seems UTA has a good relation with the local industry. I don't know what is it like in UMN. Anyone can provide me with some infos? I think employabitity would be the killing factor in my final decision.

Thanks in advance for your insight and advice,

Fielen Dank :lol:

Edited by monkeys
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