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How big of a difference does it make having a Masters from a world renown institution, as opposed to a school that is well known nationally, with a good reputation, but is not globally known?

 

I ask this because I was accepted to Oxford this morning for an MSc in Comparative Social Policy. Leaving aside the higher cost of going to Oxford for a year versus staying in Canada, how much of a difference would an Oxford degree make, compared to a similar degree from Simon Fraser or UBC? Would there be additional doors opened for me, and would I have an easier time getting into a top doctoral program with an Oxford degree? Would it be advantageous if applying for work or a PhD in Europe or the UK to have a degree from a European school?

 

So, thoughts on how big a deal going to a top ranked school is?

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I'm coming from a STEM program, so this advice may be different than what you need. However, I think another aspect you should consider is which place you will be able to do the best work/research at. Is there a particular professor at either school that would make a perfect contact as you enter your field? Is there more accessible equipment or resources at one school vs the other? It is certainly important to go somewhere that you will feel proud of, but I believe that it is just as important that you go to a place where you create work you can be proud of, too. 

 

At the very large schools, you can occasionally get lost in the masses of talented people - or, you may have a great advisor that gives you a lot of personal attention. Do a little snooping and figure out which place puts you in the best situation possible for your future - in terms of contacts, opportunities, and happiness. 

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