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Wisconsin or Washington?


siruso
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Hi all,

 

I've been perusing the forums (I'm very new, as I'm sure you can tell) as I try to decide which PhD program to attend.  I've been accepted to both the University of Washington (UW) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison).  

 

I visited Madison for a few days and chatted with the grad students and faculty, and I actually attended UW for a year as a post-bac.  The faculty are both, in my opinion, very strong with Stephen Hinds and Ruby Blondell at UW and JC Mckeown and Brockliss (he's new, but a good Homerist) at Madison.  Both cities are great, although Madison is probably a better 'college town'.

 

I've been accepted to both with generous funding (nearly equal).  I'm looking for advice as to what to choose.  Any pros/cons for either program that can break the tie?

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I don't know anything about either program, but this is basically the short version of how I narrowed down my options, so maybe it'll help you, too.  I hope I don't come off as smug or condescending; I'm not sure how much you want decision process thoughts versus reputation of program thoughts, so I figured I'd give you what I have and you can chuck it in the bin if you want.

 

Funding: Don't forget to factor in how much and what kind of teaching you'll have to do (and when).  Would you be able to teach your own class?  If you're a Hellenist, be sure to ask what the opportunities to teach Greek are like.  Also, find out what kind of funding is available for travel, conferences, or summers (even if you have guaranteed summer funding).

 

Resources: Also, depending on what you want to do (my own specialty is collections-driven), it may be worth considering what each university's specific resources are like.  It does make a substantial difference to have on-campus access to manuscripts, papyri, or squeezes if you're into that.

 

Faculty: To respond to your comment about the faculty being equally strong: yes, but consider where their strengths lie.  What kind of scholar would they make you?  What methodologies do they favor?  Also, be sure to discreetly ask their more advanced students what they are like as advisors.  Do they offer constructive criticism on written work?  Do they advocate for their students?

 

Placement: To add to Hanbran's comment, be sure to find out what the placement record for your prospective advisor(s) is.

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