Jump to content

How to pick which program to attend?!?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I have been accepted to four programs thus far, and am having a difficult time trying to narrow my choices down. One program I have already declined, but the other three are still up in the air. And, I applied to MSU's comm Ph.D., but I called today, and they still have not released any decisions.


I am wondering if the weight/ranking of the school should trump other factors, such as the fit of faculty. For instance, I focus on the intersection of interpersonal and computer-mediated communication. I have been accepted to Arizona State, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I applied to ASU because of their interpersonal program, but they don't really offer CMC, and they also seem to be majority qualitative (I do quant). The University of Kentucky has a few interpersonal people, but they are mainly known as a health program, so I am worried that having a Ph.D. from there will not mean as much since I am not a health comm scholar. UWM actually seems to be a really great fit; they have some exciting new interpersonal scholars who also focus on CMC. However, I am worried that a Ph.D. from a lesser known university will substantialy affect my chances of getting a job in academia upon graduation.


Does anyone have advice on what's more important? The type of possible work you could do, or the name/reputation of the school? Granted, I could work with people at any of these universities, but I think UWM seems to offer more of what I am interested in, and has more people to work with. Again, I guess part of my ego and fear is shying me away from a lesser known school.


Thanks for any insight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations on everyone for their acceptances! @chrissyj007 I think you have subconsciously chose UWM already. It seems like a great fit for you. I think you should try to visualize how you want to spend 3-4 years of your life in that institution. I think it is not good enough reason to attend an institution just because it has a good reputation, unless it's an ivy league school. You might get more close support and opportunities in a lesser known institution, which can craft you into a standout scholar. Is your goal to become a professor? I also suggest you to e-mall professors you like or students who are already attending that institution. I have been doing that for one school, and it really gave me new insights to that school that I like!


In the end, don't we all have that "gut" feeling on where we are likely to go?


Good luck!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Chrissy!


I completed my undergrad at the University of Kentucky, and have looked into the grad program as well. I decided not to apply, but hopefully I can help you out a little.


First of all, you are correct. UK does put primary focus on health communications, as the school is very much known for its other health related programs and research. If you feel health comm could be for you, you're putting yourself in a great place. UK has national ranking (I've heard 3rd in the nation for health comm?), and there appears to be a LOT of money circulating because of the work done there. I spoke to a guy about the program, and he said they stress publishing and conferences over teaching and creative works, so if you're not looking to stay solely in academia, perhaps this could be the route for you. 


Obviously, it is important to find a school of best fit, but it seems like applying your focus to this field could be a good decision in terms of future job potential.


Maybe let us know what particular angle you're interested in researching with interpersonal communication and CMC and we could help you out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband's mentor movd to UWM about 10 years ago and is really good.  Because of that I seriously considered applying to the program myself, but I focus on disaster communication and OU is a better fit for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.