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Old Dominion or University of South Florida?

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I am utterly torn between these two PhD programs for Rhet/Comp. Clearly. I haven't yet made a decision.


I have declined funded offers from GSU and NDSU, if that matters.


I would attend Old Dominion via their distance option while living in Boulder, CO as my partner earns his PhD. Otherwise, he'll wait until I am done at USF, or work to get into a program in FL, if we go to USF.


Any insight?

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USF is funded. Old Dominion is not. It is online program. They admit half their cohort as distance learners; I am not so much concerned about the cost, however, because my partner's fellowship is excellent in Boulder and tuition is effectively "instate". I have no debt load from my BA or MA. I suppose I am most curious about the two programs' reputations. If one is even marginally better than the other, that simply tips the scales.


My unfortunate predicament is that I found out about this field last Fall, after having been out of school for two years, and the only people I know who know anything about rhet/comp are the adcoms at the various schools I applied to...and gradcafe.


Thanks for the insight.

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Given what you described here, I would suggest University of South Florida. You asked about prestige, and in reality, funded and face-to-face PhD programs in general have a better reputation than unfunded and online PhD programs. Also, the lack of funding signals a potential lack of resources: does Old Dominion have the money to send you to conferences, archives, or job interviews? And in terms of distance learning, will you be close enough to campus to obtain teaching experience? You'll need to present, teach, and research to be a qualified applicant in the job search in five or six years, so choose the school that will put you in the best position to get a job after you graduate. 

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Thank you both. I think we have decided. My partner will hedge his bets in FL.


While Old Dominion does have funded position for their in-state cohort, and travel awards available to me, I think I need the place based option right now. I am stuck teaching intro courses at a community college, and I'd be able to teach a variety of upper division courses at USF.


In all things. This has been a hard decision, but I feel like it will ultimately be the best for both of us, professionally.


Thanks again!

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