Jump to content

MS in ME: Fully Funded to Not Known Univ, OR Unfunded to High Reputation Univ?


Recommended Posts

I read a few threads about prestige and reputation versus cost, but it mainly pertained to art, humanities and social science field. I want to know how different this subject is in the engineering field. 


I got my my BS in Mechanical Engineering at UC Merced, and I applied for MS in Mechanical Engineering. I heard back from a few schools already and pretty much soon I have to make a decision. Here's the situation: I got into UC Merced and USC. Yes, I know UC Merced is not very well-known, really new school with not very much reputation, lowest of the UCs, etc. etc. etc.... and same with USC, high reputation, well known in the nation/world, top ranked, etc. 


But here's the deal... UC Merced is offering me a paid TA-ship and summer research position for the 2013-2014 school year. On top of that, tuition and fees are paid. If I keep my grades up, I can continue being funded as a Graduate Student Research or TA the following school year (which I think is very likely). Basically, I'm getting a full ride + a little more. The professor that I will be doing research with is someone I'm super interested in working with, and also his field of research is something I am really looking forward to get into as a career, too. 


And there's USC... I'm not getting anything. No TA-ship, research position, etc. They don't offer TA positions to MS students. I don't qualify for any of their scholarships/fellowships/grants. It's going to cost me 50-60k per year (housing and having a life included).


I'm going for my master's because I want to do something more practical in a career than academia. Plus, I don't think I can handle any more schooling than a master's, and there's family obligations/issues I have to address to. 


Any feedback? D;

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I understand how difficult it is to choose here.

In my opinion, if you are looking for engineering jobs (not research) your school will not matter much.

For research jobs and many high tech R&D jobs a school name may help, however, the research experience you gain at UC Merced will help you even more. Probably a PhD degree would help you the most in this area.

I think UC Merced would be a better choice. If money really doesn't matter than go with USC. I have known several people in similar situations who went to USC. None ever got funding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's true that prestige matters mostly for Arts and Humanities and for Post-PhD jobs in the academia - and again, for more in the Arts and Humanities than in any other field.


For Science and Technology candidates and especially those who want to go into a professional career after Master's it doesn't really matter so much.


So, if you are getting a funded offer, I'd take it if I were in your shoes, regardless of the prestige of the school. If you have more than one funded offer in a professional Master's, you can consider other criteria such as location, comfort-level of the vibes you get from the Department, cost of living etc.

Edited by Seeking
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.