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WashU vs. Wisconsin vs. UCLA vs. Duke


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Here are the pros and cons for each school in order of their current preference.

I want to focus on Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials research but am flexible at this point. (most schools require lab rotations anyways) 

I graduated last spring from UCSD and will be attending graduate school late summer or fall of this year. 


1. Washington University in St. Louis (Program: Biomedical Engineering, PhD)


-fully funded, 28K/year, liked the campus, found a professor that fits my interest, great med school, low cost of living


-BME not as highly ranked, location, weather (too hot?), academic rigor, might get boring? 


2. University of Wisconsin, Madison (Program: Biomedical Engineering, PhD)


-fully funded, 21K/year, lot of professors that fit my research interests. 


-location, weather (too cold?), was unable to visit the campus due to scheduling conflicts. 


3. University of California, Los Angeles (Program: ACCESS Biomedical Science, PhD)


-fully funded, 30K/year, location, weather, close to home (Norcal)


-Rather be in engineering, professors don't seem as caring, rigid job outlook, high cost of living 


4. Duke University (Program: Biomedical Engineering, MS)


-High prestige and ranking, fits my research interests, close to girlfriend (East Coast)


-High cost (>40,000 year), I visited and each professor told me to go somewhere else that is funded 


5. Case Western Reserve University (Program: Biomedical Engineering, PhD)

-Not actually accepted, just got an email from a professor regarding an open position in his lab, don't know what to think at this point... 

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Sounds to me like WashU is your best bet, Battleidiot-


$28k will go a lot further than Madison's $21k, and I'll speak from personal anecdote that St. Louis' summers are hot, but nowhere close to unbearable. I'm from Texas, but have half of my family in St. Louis, so I've spent 15+ 4th of July's there, as well as 15+ Christmases.


I, too, am considering WashU, but for the Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering PhD program. I love the campus and the area, and I've never been bored in St. Louis. There are breweries everywhere, sports games, Forest Park is a fantastic park right next to campus with an amazing and free zoo, art museum, history museum, etc.


My research interests seem to be more of a match at my other prospect, UC Riverside, but WashU has a lot to offer and has definitely complicated my decision.

I'd say stick with engineering, (cut UCLA), don't give Duke a second thought, and weigh out the prospect of having multiple PIs you're interested in with the Madison cold vs only one PI and St. Louis' better financial situation.


Let us know either way!

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  • Warelin changed the title to WashU vs. Wisconsin vs. UCLA vs. Duke

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