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PhD Economics, the dilemma: SFU vs Calgary


oa69
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Hi everyone. I am having a sort of dilemma for the choice of PhD in Economics at  SFU (Simon Fraser), and at U of Calgary. The main dilemma comes from the fact that I do not know exactly what is the difference in prestige of Economics at SFU and at Calgary. I just guess SFU is slightly better in the view of academia. 

 

Basically, the credit (and thus the job chance) that PhD graduates from each of these programs will get at the end of the day is my number one priority. In my understanding, both schools are close in terms of ranking, but SFU is slightly higher regards ideas ranking in Economics. Vancouver is clearly a better city to live, but Calgary has its own strengths such as hosting a lot of companies and industries in there, despite of its very cold winters as I heard. I did not find a clear edge for one over the another in terms of the phd placement for the recent years that are mentioned in their websites.

 

 

Regards SFU: I give credit for living in Vancouver and for the prestige of SFU, also graduating in Vancouver would address me chances to find job afterwards, but I don't have clear information about it. funding would be around 15K after tuition, but they told me there is a chance to increase it up to like 19K per year in future days.

 

Regards Calgary: The fact that some recent graduates of of program are hired by local companies and industries would show a plus for me. I do not know about the school prestige in Economics (although Calgary is one of bests in Engineering). funding would be around 19K, there are also other university based scholarship application that I applied and their result would released in May-June, which may increase the funding even more. 

 

I am an international student, getting my MSc in Canada right now. Another thing that is good to know for me is the chance of getting Permanent residence like by province programs in Alberta or Vancouver, which makes finding local job chances important for me. I dont know about the comparison of these two provinces.

 

Sorry for the long topic and Thanks for your time reading it, and your help will be really appreciated.

I have to make a decision soon this week.

Edited by oa69
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An additional thing to consider, the University of Calgary is generally associated with generally conservative ideas, whereas SFU is usually regarded as one of the more progressive schools in Canada. I'm not sure how much this would impact your studies, or how pervasive particular ideologies are within the economics departments at the two schools, but it is something to consider.

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An additional thing to consider, the University of Calgary is generally associated with generally conservative ideas, whereas SFU is usually regarded as one of the more progressive schools in Canada. I'm not sure how much this would impact your studies, or how pervasive particular ideologies are within the economics departments at the two schools, but it is something to consider.

Thanks for your comment. I am not sure what your meaning is about being conservative or progressive and in what qualities.   I see you also applied to some high prestige schools like UBC , Oxford and LSE as well, if it is in Economics, does it mean that you give a high prestige for SFU?

Edited by oa69
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I'm actually in poli sci, so I can speak more to that element, but U of Calgary is rather notorious for being the home of the Calgary School (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_School), which has produced many people, mostly out of the history, political science and economics departments, who have played important roles in various right of centre parties in Canada. Most notable is Tom Flanagan, former federal Conservative Party adviser, who has done things like call for the assassination of Julian Assange, and who is currently on leave from the school after publicly commenting that viewing child pornography is harmless. That's not to say that everyone at UofC is like that, but the popular conception of the school is that it is one of the most right wing in Canada.

 

SFU and the University of Victoria tend to be fighting it out for #1 and #2 on the Macleans rankings for "comprehensive schools" the past few years (schools with extensive undergraduate and graduate programs, but no medical school). SFU is one of many large number of Canadian universities founded in the postwar era, which are notable for their brutalist architecture and a history of radical politics. Though SFU is not as left wing as it once was, it still has a notable left of centre element, including a number of people associated with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left wing thinktank. Its campus culture is certainly much more liberal than UBCs, which is a shockingly conservative school, compared to most other Canadian schools I have seen.

 

Personally, I would rank SFU ahead of Calgary, though I am influenced by an admiration for some of their faculty, who are, within public policy, some of the more notable in the country. Or at the very least the people who wrote several of the textbooks I used in my undergrad. Though overall I think SFU is generally regarded as a better school than Calgary, and it is in a much nicer city. The campus is rather ugly, but the views are spectacular, and Vancouver is where people in the rest of Canada want to live. If you do pick SFU, try to find a place around Commercial and Broadway, which is cheap (by Vancouver standards), and has lots of students, relatively cheap eateries, and is a pretty easy commute to get to campus. Calgary winters can be cold, so if you aren't prepared for them, and have never been through a properly cold winter it can be a bit of a shock. Though a decent coat, hat, gloves and scarf solves that problem quite nicely.

 

Permanent residency in Canada is typically done through the federal government, not the provincial government. A job offer makes obtaining a work visa or permanent residency a lot easier, so check out placement and employment stats from the two departments, if they are available. Also look at who would be supervising your research. Well regarded supervisor at a smaller school trumps lesser known supervisor at a bigger school.

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I'm actually in poli sci, so I can speak more to that element, but U of Calgary is rather notorious for being the home of the Calgary School (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_School), which has produced many people, mostly out of the history, political science and economics departments, who have played ....

Thanks a lot for your helpful information. 

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  • 3 years later...
On 3/18/2014 at 2:37 AM, oa69 said:

Hi everyone. I am having a sort of dilemma for the choice of PhD in Economics at  SFU (Simon Fraser), and at U of Calgary. The main dilemma comes from the fact that I do not know exactly what is the difference in prestige of Economics at SFU and at Calgary. I just guess SFU is slightly better in the view of academia. 

 

Basically, the credit (and thus the job chance) that PhD graduates from each of these programs will get at the end of the day is my number one priority. In my understanding, both schools are close in terms of ranking, but SFU is slightly higher regards ideas ranking in Economics. Vancouver is clearly a better city to live, but Calgary has its own strengths such as hosting a lot of companies and industries in there, despite of its very cold winters as I heard. I did not find a clear edge for one over the another in terms of the phd placement for the recent years that are mentioned in their websites.

 

 

Regards SFU: I give credit for living in Vancouver and for the prestige of SFU, also graduating in Vancouver would address me chances to find job afterwards, but I don't have clear information about it. funding would be around 15K after tuition, but they told me there is a chance to increase it up to like 19K per year in future days.

 

Regards Calgary: The fact that some recent graduates of of program are hired by local companies and industries would show a plus for me. I do not know about the school prestige in Economics (although Calgary is one of bests in Engineering). funding would be around 19K, there are also other university based scholarship application that I applied and their result would released in May-June, which may increase the funding even more. 

 

I am an international student, getting my MSc in Canada right now. Another thing that is good to know for me is the chance of getting Permanent residence like by province programs in Alberta or Vancouver, which makes finding local job chances important for me. I dont know about the comparison of these two provinces.

 

Sorry for the long topic and Thanks for your time reading it, and your help will be really appreciated.

I have to make a decision soon this week.

This may be a bit late-but what did you decide at the end?

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