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WSU or UCR


OldGrad2012
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I need advice here. So I have been accepted to both schools, Washington State and UCRiverside. I have accepted the offer from UCR already. However, I just got an offer from Washington State (WSU). I think that WSU has more to offer in terms of POI and research. So can I withdraw from UCR before April 15, 2012 and accept WSU offer. Please let me know. Thanks

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Withdraw!

WSU is a beautiful school, great people, great city. And yes, most importantly, amazing research opportunities there. It sound sunds like you already know what you should do, but I have a soft spot for WSU since they were my #1 pick and rejected me.

Go Huskies! (and down with LA traffic—yuck).

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I think you'll get used to it, and will get over it. It rains, a lot, but assuming you're busting your butt inside, it'll just be a small environmental blip. And an excuse to drink coffee or tea, admire the beautiful landscape from a window...

I bet you'd not be able to stand LA traffic and the smog more than the cold! And you have a friend already (see above). Plus the building where the CS department is located is really nice and they have a cafe on the first floor :) 7 cafe's I believe on campus!

if you're torn for that reason alone, Virgin America has a sale on flights there right now- go for the weekend and get a feel for it. Personally, I loved it. Wish WSU has wanted me though! *tear*

Edited by SixFender
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@SixFender- You are confusing WSU with UW. University of Washington is a top ranked research university in Seattle. Washington State University is a state school with a not-so-great reputation in the middle of cow fields near the Washington/Idaho border. The weather is extreme (HOT in the summer and tons of snow in the winter), and there is very little to do in Pullman.

You'll be 5 hours away from Seattle. Buyer beware. :)

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Would suggest WSU. Having lived in San Bernardino/Riverisde area as I child I would highly suggest avoiding the so-called armpit of California.There's not much to do in UCR, it's rough (crime wise), lots of traffic and I'd assume the programs there aside from philosophy and education ones are small. When I looked at the school for undergrad a few years ago the campus looked a bit rough apperance-wise.

Also, the summers run around 115 and the landscape its always this ugly brown color except for in spring when it floods. The sky is orange and sometimes it smells bad. However, from UCR you can drive pretty much anywhere in southern CA in a few hours.

Don't forget to compare the funding between schools before making your final choice.

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Would suggest WSU. Having lived in San Bernardino/Riverisde area as I child I would highly suggest avoiding the so-called armpit of California.There's not much to do in UCR, it's rough (crime wise), lots of traffic and I'd assume the programs there aside from philosophy and education ones are small. When I looked at the school for undergrad a few years ago the campus looked a bit rough apperance-wise.

Also, the summers run around 115 and the landscape its always this ugly brown color except for in spring when it floods. The sky is orange and sometimes it smells bad. However, from UCR you can drive pretty much anywhere in southern CA in a few hours.

Don't forget to compare the funding between schools before making your final choice.

Pretty much all of this is true for WSU as well. Except at WSU, you'll be 5 hours away from the next major urban hub. Sounds like you have to chose between a not so great urban environment and a not so great rural environment.

On the plus side, WSU is known for their AMAZING cheese.

On a serious note, I agree with the poster above- look at the funding offers and fit, then decide what is best for you.

-J

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But it seem that WSU has a better research program in reproductive biology, DNA repair, and molecular biology dealing with animal models compare to UCR which has more of a plant systems model for their research. My girlfriend does not like the weather there and do not want to move with me. She would rather live in Riverside where she can work. Pullman has no jobs basically for her. So I am torn between too locations. Pullman is cold in winter, but has better research which fit me. Riverside has better weather, but does not have much research that I want. This is a tough choice. The funding are about the same for both, with WSU being hired in the first year though.

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WSU is a really nice school (I know people there), and you'd be able to live right near campus. Don't know anything about UCR -- sounds like you wouldn't have to move to go there. Research interested can change, relationships are important. Is your girlfriend sure she couldn't find a job out in Pullman? I don't envy you your decision.

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Unless your GF is in academia, she most likely won't be able to find a job in Pullman, or even anything an hour or more away. Pullman is a college town in the middle of nowhere. And I mean nowhere. I just drove out there for a half marathon. After you cross the Cascade mountain range (and another college town called Ellensburg), it is 3.5 HOURS before you hit the next town of any substance, which is Pullman.

I'd personally go with Riverside, just because there are more networking opportunities almost anywhere other than Pullman. Plus, the UC schools are all fairly well-known, so you'd have an advantage there, too. The reason why there is so much animal based research happening at Pullman is the fact that there is an on-site dairy and other animal-based programs that make it realistic to. If you're in the middle of a city, I'd assume straightaway that there will be less of those opportunities.

Like the poster above, I agree that your research interests can and will most likely change. Set yourself up for success. That includes access to funding, research opportunities, job networking prospects and frankly, your own sanity. Good luck- this is a tough one.

-J

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I don't know if you can add a poll to a pre-existing thread.

One thing no one has mentioned so far: you say you have already accepted the offer to attend UCR. If you are going to withdraw this acceptance, then you should do so soon, because UCR thinks you are coming and is therefore saving you a spot and possibly not offering a spot to someone else.

It is within your right to withdraw; they can't force you to attend, but usually people do not accept an offer unless they are certain about attending. People do occasionally accept and then change their minds and withdaw, but most do so with much trepidation (and there have been several threads with opinions on this).

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Personally, I would go to UCR. All there is to do is eat cheese and drink PBR in Pullman (or so was the impression I got from people who went there). If you like rural environments, you'll be fine... The location is not ideal, and you'll be fine either way.

Also, I've lived in Washington for 14 years. I have never been to Pullman myself, but I hear a lot about it.

Edited by abc123xtc
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have looked more carefully at UCR and compared the ranking of UCR with WSU on US News and World Report, QS World University Ranking, and Times Higher Education World University rankings. In the field of biological science, which is the field that I am in, all three ranking companies has put UCR in front of WSU. Does this mean that UCR has a better reputation than WSU. I have also contacted some professors at UCR who are doing some research that I liked and they agreed to let me rotate in their labs. So am I making the right choice of choosing UCR over WSU? On the other hand, WSU is offering a little more on the stipend at around $22,000 compared to UCR $17,000. Both of these stipends are excluding tuition waivers and health insurance. Which schools should I go for now? Please help April 15th is coming soon.

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I would call the departments at each school and talk to the Graduate Advisor and see if you can get in touch with current students in your department or lab. Doing that has helped me make a decision more than anything else. Ultimately I think you have to be happy with the work you can do at the school and who you'll be working with.

I just graduated with my undergrad degree at UCR in psychology. I had a great time there and met a lot of amazing, intelligent people. I don't know anything about the other sciences but I'll tell you a little of my experience:

UCR is the fourth most culturally diverse campus in the country.

It's not a big university but it's part of the UC system so as a student you have access to what the California system has to offer.

Because it's not big, you can get personal attention. The staff and faculty care about the students.

The campus is fine. There's a decent gym and I think they're upgrading it. They've done a lot of work to improve the look and feel. It's really nice to be on campus. BTW - I haven't seen it but they filmed an Undercover Boss there. You might want to watch that.

The professors in psychology are doing amazing work. Some are really important figures in the field.

The undergrad and grad students are friendly and people are generally nice.

Riverside is a pit BUT there are nice places to live and it's cheap! Some of my professors live in town so there are some good areas to live. The campus is safe. I was there for two years and often walked to my car or home by myself at night.

It is also a bit of a commuter school so many students live off campus. Just make sure you're not in a high traffic area if you decide to live in another town.

Hopefully that helps

Edited by Soon to be grad
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Sorry, I just noticed that you already talked to some profs at UCR - see if they can put you in touch with some students in the lab.

And one more thing - find out what people are doing after they graduate.

Edited by Soon to be grad
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Thanks @Soon to be grad,

Your description of UCR has convinced me more to attend UCR. Why is the city of Riverside a "Pit". Is UCR considered a college town from your perspective there? Are the students super nice and friendly? How can I get the video of "UnderCover Boss"? I know the chancellor of UCR is undercover in that episode.

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Riverside has a high crime rate and there's not that much to do in town. Downtown is nice and there is some nightlife but it's not a college town like Pullman. There are some bad neighborhoods but also some really nice ones too. The pollution is high - visible in the summer. I kept cleaning my glasses until I realized it was the air that was dirty. Hot, Hot, Hot (over 100 degrees) in the summer but I think Pullman is the same. Be ready to pay high electric bills when it's hot. Students were always friendly to me. I made a lot of friends there. I'm sure in a graduate setting it might be different but everyone is pretty close in the psych department. I'd try getting the Undercover Boss episode from Hulu. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Oh no, so the city of Riverside is not safe. It cannot be worse than Oakland, CA because I grew up in Oakland, CA. Does it has more crimes compare to Oakland, CA? It cannot be that bad, right? I bet it is safe near campus anyway, right?

Do you know of any UCR students I can contact to talk about UCR and living in Riverside as a whole? At least, it does not snow heavily in Riverside so I do not have to buy a 4 wheel drive. If I attend WSU, I may need to change car because of the extreme weather in the winter. Does UCR have a shuttle system for students to get around? Can we also bike to class?

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I have review the two graduate programs ( UCR and WSU) stipend and assistantship, and I must say that there are not much different between the two. Although WSU give about $2000 more in funding.

UCR assistantship: $22,000 for the academic year and summer support

WSU assistantship: $24,058 for the academic year and summer support

So as you can see, there is not much difference in funding between the two programs. Pullman may be cheaper than Riverside a little bit. If I attend UC Riverside, I will have to move only about 7 hours drive away and my moving expense will be less.

If I attend WSU, I will have to move 14 hours away and my moving expense will increase dramatically. Plus the fact that I have to spend more money to fly out to Bay Area every holidays. With Riverside, I can just drive.

I have lots of stuffs to move too so I do not want to move that far away. So giving the situation, does it makes perfect sense to choose UCR over WSU?

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It's safe around compus. The high crime is concentrated in certain areas but you still need to keep alert at night when you're around town. If you live in Oakland you'll be fine in R'side. I've often walked around campus at night by myself and felt totally safe. There's a fantastic free shuttle service that will take you to places to live around campus too and the buses are free to students as well. There is no snow in the winter. You should see if the people in your prospective lab will talk to you. They'll give you the best feel for the department and their experience in the area. Good luck!!

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I have review the two graduate programs ( UCR and WSU) stipend and assistantship, and I must say that there are not much different between the two. Although WSU give about $2000 more in funding.

UCR assistantship: $22,000 for the academic year and summer support

WSU assistantship: $24,058 for the academic year and summer support

So as you can see, there is not much difference in funding between the two programs. Pullman may be cheaper than Riverside a little bit. If I attend UC Riverside, I will have to move only about 7 hours drive away and my moving expense will be less.

If I attend WSU, I will have to move 14 hours away and my moving expense will increase dramatically. Plus the fact that I have to spend more money to fly out to Bay Area every holidays. With Riverside, I can just drive.

I have lots of stuffs to move too so I do not want to move that far away. So giving the situation, does it makes perfect sense to choose UCR over WSU?

That money will go farther in Pullman, Washington than in California. You mention that the school itself is a better fit for you as far as research opportunities but keep coming back to personal issues with moving. If you really want to go to WSU and think you will be happier you should go for it. All the personal factors like your relationship and seeing your family will fall into place. Plus, if you move away you will find out who actually cares. However, the weather does kind of suck in Pullman being real hot in summer and real cold in the winter.

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