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Hi...I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight. I am currently trying to decide between 2 schools and I'm having such a hard time. One is a MA in sociology, the other is a MA/PhD program in soc. the MA program is higher ranked, but I wouldn't get any teaching experience. The MA/PhD program I would get teaching experience starting my 2nd year. Neither is offering $ the first year, so that's not really an issue. I don't really have focused research interests, so I'm looking for a place that I can explore. Both offer this, but I feel the MA/PhD program would have a more broad, cutting-edge approach and the MA program is more conservative. Should I go to the MA program though since the school is higher ranked and I have better chances at better PhD programs in the future? Or should I just go to the PhD program since I'm already in?

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What are the 2 schools? What are your future plans?

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Guest Squirrely

Where are these two school geographically located? How far apart are they prestige-wise? You mentioned that one is considered a better program than the other, but how much better is it? Are there opporunities for you to develop research in an area that interests you at both programs? Do you click with one or more of the faculty at either program? Which one is cheaper? And at which place is the standard of living more doable? Would you be working with big names inthe field at either place?

Another thought: you can't always bank on a masters making you look better. Yes, it will show that you are capable of graduate work and dedicated to doing research, but often the credits don't transfer, so you'd have to make up a lot of ground. Would you be willing to continue on in the PhD program at the school that accepted you for the MA?

These are just some random questions that popped into my head while reading your post. Feel free to answer them for our perusal. =)

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Guest Guest

The schools are within 5 miles of eachother. The MA program is ranked I think around 35th, the PhD program isn't ranked (or at least not top 60). However, both are held in high regard in this area (Northeast) and ultimately, I would like to stay in this area. I would love to do my PhD at the MA school and I felt more comfortable with the faculty there, but the courses at the PhD program are more interesting to me. The acceptance rate at he MA school to the PhD program is about 40%. Both are fairly similar in price, so it really comes down to education and like you said, where I see myself in the future (this is why I think the MA program is better - I think if I go through their PhD program granted I'm accepted - I will end up with a better job), but again, the courses and research are more interesting to me at the PhD program.

Ugh...I know its my decision in the end ... but I really appreciate any advice:)

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Guest Ms. Geology

I think you already know what your decision will be. However, I will give you this bit of advice that I kept in mind through the entire application and subsequent decision process. Do you like the professor you will be working with? They can make or break you. Do the two of you get along personality wise? The professor can make or break you. Is the professor writing grants and bringing in funding, are they motivated or are they sitting pretty and not having to worry too much about students? Your professor can make or break you. As I said, I think you have already made your decision, just verbalize it.

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