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Funded Msc Or PhD @ Princeton


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i'm applying again this year, and since i partially changed my field of interest i'm applying to princeton, but really hesitated between applying to funded Ms or Phd directly (my concern is which would be easier to get accepted)

I've two research posters at a big international conference(SIGGRAPH) one of them was an ACM SRC semi-finalist at the conference, and two papers under review at medium international journals(~IF 1.5)

GRE : 790/420/3.5

not-known, outside US undergrad school,topper, graduated at 2010 (finished courses year of Ms in my school)

i know an advice would be, don't apply there from the beginning : D, but i'm applying anyway, just hesitated between the two choices, if someone can confirm that they consider failed PhD applicants for funded Ms, then problem solved


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You should write to them and ask if they consider PhD applicants who don't clear the bar for the MS program. I think you should apply to princeton given that you actually 2 papers at SIGGRAPH!(omg).

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2 posters, not papers... posters generally aren't competitive.

I don't actually think it is easier to get into the MS program at Princeton than the PhD program because they are both fully funded (I don't actually know, though). I think you should apply to whichever fits your life's goals. You seem to have a lot of research experience, so if your research was good and your letters of recommendation have very positive things to say about you and your research then I would encourage you to apply.

Edited by OH YEAH
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my goal is for PhD, but a major lesson learned from my last year round is that foreign unknown recommenders do kill regardless of what they really say, still i'm not able to get around unknown recommenders + school. only solution seems to be quality publication which i'm working on currently but it takes time : D, which made me think an M.sc might have lower acceptance requirements (but, for me, must be funded : D ). also still not satisfied with settling for a top~60 dept and aiming higher.

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Funding for M.S.E at Princeton would be through TA/RAships, whereas PhD funding will also include a fellowship (for the first year at least). I don't know if you can call that a funded M.S.E, but I guess what you mean is it is more likely (probably even assured) to get TA/RAships at Princeton. Since CS @ Princeton is such a small dept., it is difficult to draw a distinction between the relative difficulty of getting MS and PhD admits. i.e They are both very difficult and even MS applicants will be judged in pretty much the same way PhD applicants are. MS admits might only be marginally easier to come by. Their overall intake of MS and PhD students combined in CS is 30 - 50, and most of them are PhD students from what I know. If you feel that you have a decent shot, you should apply for a PhD.

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