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Umich or Columbia University in Mechanical Engingeering?


tlandvic
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I have been admitted in the master degree of Umich in ME and master leading Phd degree of Columbia University. I think Umich is stronger in ME than Columbia Univ is in ME and its tuition is much cheaper, but the location of Columbia University is very attractive. NY seems to have a lot of chance and job oppotunity to me. Besides, I also want to study some business thing. So I am confused. If you have any suggetion or idea, I will appreciate it. And I also want to know if there were any chance I can get a fiancial assistance a year after my enrollment. Thank you~.

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My vote is go to UMich. In general, Umich has a stronger ME program (from the research I've done). But, you should be looking at the labs/research to see if it meshes with your interests. That should be the deciding factor. In regards to the business classes, UMich's MBA program is also very highly ranked. Both programs are great if you want to dabble in some business classes.

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Did you get funding at either school? Or at least the chance of funding down the line? I would never recommend a PhD program unless you had a reasonable expectation that you would be funded over the majority of it.

Do you want the PhD? You mentioned doing business as well, and if you make that switch down the road the PhD is not really much help.

If you (a) want the PhD and (B) think an RA/TA slot will pop up in next year, go for Columbia. If you just want the masters, UMich is a stronger program, and if you are going to be unfunded it is better to get a quick but high-quality masters and reapply for PhD's in a couple of years.

This is all assuming that you really have no preference in the strength of the advisors and the areas of research at the two schools, since that should always be the dominant factor.

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Umich may not be that cheap, its tuition is paid by semester while columbia is paid by credit. So if you take 4 courses, that is 12 credits, a semester, the tuition for each credit is actually higher in Umich than in Columbia. However, it's no doubt that the living expense in Umich is much lower.

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