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MS Computer Science - Stanford, Wisconsin, UIUC


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Hello all,


I am planning to begin graduate studies in CS in Fall 2013, focusing on information systems and analytics.  I was admitted to the following programs:


(1) Stanford MSCS - Unfunded

(2) Wisconsin - Funded (50% TA position)

(3) UIUC MCS (Online Program)


My questions are the following:


(1) How does Wisconsin's graduate CS reputation in information systems compare to Stanford?


(2) Do Stanford MSCS students ever receive TA/RA positions after their first quarter?  Additionally, do students ever enroll for one semester then get a job with a HCP-employer and convert to the distance-learning option?


(3) How highly regarded is the UIUC Online MCS Program?  Do employers generally consider this program equivalent to a MS CS degrees?


Any answers or general advice would be appreciated!!

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Note that I am probably biased, because Stanford was my first choice, but I would argue that the lifetime value of having a Stanford degree and network is worth more than the 50% tuition you save by going to Wisconsin. That is, if you don't get a PhD. I think NanoTech is right in that if you are planning to get a PhD it makes more sense to save money now.

(2) I am wondering about the same thing.

(3) I don't know, but I would be careful with any kind of online program, even Stanford's reputation for the distance-learning HCP program is rather bad and often labeled as a "cash cow".

Edited by pogopuschel
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I've heard it is possible at Stanford but it is very competitive to get RA/TA positions. On a pure numbers basis, there are 200 Master's students each year - so you'd be competing with a LOT of other students for a limited number of RA/TAships. They probably go to the most qualified student.


Wisconsin is very well regarded in academic CS circles, possibly as much as Stanford. People outside of academia are unlikely to give it so much weight though and will probably rate Stanford above it. It sounds as if you're not planning to do a PhD though - in which case Stanford may have more weight with employers.  


I wouldn't spend money on the online program. Not when you've got two other fantastic offers - the people you'll meet (both studying CS and in other subjects) are going to be worth it alone.


Have you tried contacting Stanford admissions? Perhaps don't ask them about the assistantship question but it's valid to ask if many students do move from the normal course to HCP.

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