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Marius

Rutgers or Drexel for neuroscience?

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Which has the stronger neuroscience program? It seems like Rutgers is ranked higher, and the program has more breadth than Drexel. My PI and some of my other professors have recommended Rutgers based on reputation, funding, and the size of the program.

Right now its basically between choosing a school with the stronger reputation, or the school who's faculty seems to be more interested in me as an applicant. I've received a couple of very nice emails for faculty at Drexel discussing possible research. I want to choose the more reputable school, but at the same time I feel bad turning down faculty who have expressed more interest in me.

Thoughts?

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You know, my child is in the same boat as you with a different PhD area (Math). During a visit to Drexel, the faculty chair and several of the students really rolled out the red carpet and made it clear (by telling him) that he was wanted in the department. Iowa has accepted him (comparable financials) and offered a weekend trip to visit. He told us he felt so comfortable at Drexel, though. Something to be said about being made to feel welcome.

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Im in a similar situation, deciding between drexel for pharmacology & physiology, or Maryland for molecular medicine. Maryland is the higher ranking school and has way more options for research and electives. However Drexel really had a small school, personal touch to it that I liked. All the professors really seemed interested in me, and talked about potential projects for me. I also had a very lengthy phone conversation with one of the professors there after my interview. I had emailed her asking if she could talk about her experience working in industry, and rather than just send me a quick blurb in an email, she suggest we talk about it over the phone, and talked to me for about an hour. They all seem very dedicated to their students at Drexel. So it really is a matter of big reputation vs high priority on you as a student

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Ultimately I went with Rutgers. The program was better overall and closer to my own research interests. I think I would have been happy at Drexel, but the faculty at Rutgers was just as friendly and ultimately it was a better fit given my interests. I would have had to compromise a little with Drexel on that point. I think I could have lived with it but, given the choice, why compromise right? I emailed everyone back at Drexel saying I really enjoyed getting to talk with them and will be on the lookout for any work they publish in the future since it all seemed very interesting.

Edited by Marius

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