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PhD at a Good School vs MS at a Great School (Funding @ both)

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As an undergrad in Math, I wanted to go to graduate school in Industrial Engineering. So, I opted to apply to MS programs in order to prepare for a PhD which is what I ultimately want. However, one of the school I applied for believe that I am more than qualify for their PhD program and accepted me into their PhD program. (I think because I've done research with a faculty at the school.) However, at the same time, I got into the MS program at my top-choice school.

Key Points:

- Funding: Both school offered full-funding and so money is not an issue.

- Research: Both school have people working in my research interest. My research background fits better with the PhD school but I really want to move to a different research area which the MS school is stronger at.

- Placement: The PhD school have good placement in industry but not to academia. The MS school have good placement into both industry and academia.

- Lifestyle: I grew up in the area of the PhD school and my family is there so I will be closer to home. However, I really like the area of the MS school more and would enjoy a different experience.

- Prestige: The PhD school has a top 15 program but its overall prestige is not that great. The MS school is a top 10 program but its prestige is very strong (think Duke/Berkeley/etc.)

- Time: If I opt for the MS school then reapply for a PhD later, I would probably waste about 1 year when compared to going straight to a PhD.

- Outreach: The PhD school say that I am their best applicant, going so far as to provide me my own individual office next to the professors. Two professors have personally reached out to me to collaborate with them in research. The MS school hasn't really reached out to me,

As you can see, I can't really decide! My professors are split evenly between the two schools. Some want me to go straight to the PhD while some say I should get the MS and then reapply to a top 5 PhD program. I was hoping you guys can give me further insight into this dilemma!

Edited by AwesomeAlgorithm
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