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Help! Stay at undergraduate university or apply to a better school?


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Hi all!

Though it may seem like an obvious decision (as most people would say to go to the better school), let me just brief you on my predicament. I applied to a 5-year joint B.S./M.S. program at my undergraduate university (UCSD) and was accepted. They told me that I need to confirm my acceptance into the program by August 1. This is all fine and dandy, except that I really want to go to Carnegie Mellon for their Robotics institute (something that UCSD definitely doesn't have). The joint B.S./M.S. program at UCSD requires that I apply during my junior year, so I have not yet applied to CMU -- that will be happening this fall. However, I also don't want to be left grad-school-less if I turn them down and end up not being accepted into the other school. I might also add that staying here for the B.S./M.S. is my 2nd choice, so I would in most cases be staying here unless I get accepted into CMU.

So my main question is, would it reflect badly in some way to accept the B.S./M.S. offer, and then withdraw later in order to go to a different school? Should I still apply to CMU?


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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think it would reflect badly at all. You have to apply before you really have a chance to explore any other schools, and IMO, it's a great way to get some graduate classes under your belt in the MS program if you do decide to leave. I'd imagine you wouldn't be the first to do that.

Since UCSD is your second choice and you're already in, what I would do is accept the program, and go next year. Then in the fall, you only have to apply to Carnegie Mellon. If you get in, you can decide whether you want to leave (how many credits you can transfer, etc.) or whether you want to finish up at UCSD. If not, well, you just stay at your second choice school and get your master's!

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