MS Stanford versus PhD Columbia Environmental Engineering - Decisions, Decisions - The GradCafe Forums
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MS Stanford versus PhD Columbia Environmental Engineering


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Hi guys,


I figured I'd try asking here since I'm sure some of you are in a similar predicament. I was all set to attend Stanford when I received my offer letter last January but I just heard back from Columbia and they are offering me a spot in their doctoral for ENVE. There's no word yet on funding but I may be receiving external funding for my education, therefore this currently isn't high on my decisive factor. 


PhD is an end goal eventually, but truthfully I am not sure if it needs to be right now, hence Stanford would probably be the better pick as it's an MS. But on the flip side, the sort of research I could get into at Columbia on urban water resources (a particular interest) plus the entire package of being on a doctoral track are both really exciting reasons. Ranking-wise Stanford tops the list for ENVE at number 1 - I don't see Columbia in there - but Columbia is still an Ivy i.e. the reputation is also there and two, their Earth & Environmental Dept are particularly strong on urban waters and climate change with a Water Center established already. Water resources, as it may seem obvious by now, is the niche I hope to specialize in. 


Anyone has any thoughts on the environmental engineering program at Stanford versus Columbia you could kindly share, whether on the MS or PhD level? 

Thank you very much in advance, your responses are greatly appreciated!

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If you're going to do a PhD someday anyway, and the Columbia program is one of the top in the field you're interested in, why not just do that PhD now?  What are you going to gain by doing a Stanford MS and then a PhD somewhere else?

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