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DILLEMA SYRACUSE vs BROWN


Guest diy
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Hey guys,

Perhaps some of your opinion could help me. although the final decision is always mine i gues.

The situation is :

I got into Maxwell School Syracuse for the Social Science Phd. around 13K assistanship for 2 years. However im in Brown as well for Phd Sociology with a much bigger stipend (fellowship) and three more years of funding so 5 years total. However two issues are - syracuse seems to have a much more faculty diversity. Im afraid Brown might not be able to offer me as much interdiciplinarity? And also im closer to my boyfriend if I chose Syracuse. Brown has the name... and the faculty as well. Im just not sure how to weigh the cost and benefits...

anyway what du think?

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This is going to sound mean (and I have a sister that went to Brown but I'll say it anyways) but the name "Brown" has much less notoriety than any of the other Ivy League schools, particularly outside of the East Coast. Depending on what your professional interests are, going to Brown may not give you any boost over going to Syracuse.

I think having faculty whose work you find interesting and who want to work with you is the most important factor to consider. Guaranteed funding is also nice but consider that the Brown package is more mostly because it's more expensive to live there than to live in upstate NY.

A "Social Science" PhD might open up more doors for you because it shows your ability to work in different areas of the social sciences. Then again, it might be looked down on or seen as an indicator that you lack academic focus. I'd talk to people within the field of your professional interest and see how they'd value each degree.

I hope that helps!

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Guest daphna

I have heard that Brown doesn't have as good a name as the other Ivies (though I still think in some situation the name does carry a reputation, particularly outside the direct academic sphere). However, when it's within a specific academic field, the name of the school can be less important than the prestige of a department or even a field within the department.

In my specific field of History, for example, Brown is considered better than some other, more presitgious Ivies.

So it really depends on the specific field of interest and what you plan on doing. If you're thinking of an academic career it is also worth checking your intended department's placement record (they usually put it on the website). A school with a large success rate at placing people in good departments elsewhere is a major plus in my book.

I also agree with what brittdreams said about the Social science PhD. Off the bat and without knowing the program, it seems to me as though in your PhD you need to be pretty focused. Without knowing the program, when hearing the name "Social Science PhD" i tend to think of something pretty generic, and maybe less impressive than a PhD in a specific field. That being said, I could be completely wrong, and it could be that this is actually a well known and excellent interdisceplanary program or something of the sort. You should try to find out (if you haven't already) whether having a Social Science PhD would be an advantage or a disatvantage compared to a Sociology PhD.

good luck, one way or the other.

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