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Electrical Engineering UWisconsin vs UMinnesota. Please Help :)


UWisc (PhD) Vs UMinn (MS)  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Uwisc (PhD) Vs Uminn (MS)

    • University of Wisconsin - PhD
    • University of Minnesota - MS

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Hey all,


I am still trying to figure out which one I should go with. I eliminated University of Michigan because it is just too expensive for a masters degree, and they offer no financial support to MS students. My other two options are University of Wisconsin - Madison (PhD) and University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (MS). I want a PhD, but my problem with UWisc is that most of the professors I have emailed do not have money to take on new PhD students...and some of them just did not respond at all. I've talked this over with family, undergrad professors, and in my head multiple times.


My family says that I should go somewhere that I will enjoy more in my free time since I will be taking loans out either way. My professors think I should go somewhere the research interests me more. And in my head I keep switching my mind.


On the one side, I can't help but think that I will eventually get funded at UWisc, if not the first semester possibly after once I get there and forum a better relationship with the professors. UWisc also is a PhD acceptance so that is a big plus. It is also much higher ranked than UMinn The downside if I do not get funded in the first 2 years (or MS equivalent) I will have to defer my degree to a MS and I heard that is not a good thing to do.


On the other side, since I will be paying potentially an entire MS degree why not go somewhere that interests me more. Minnesota has more activities that interests me more. They also have the potential to continue to the PhD program if you pass the qualifying exam and get a professors to sponsor.


What does everyone think? Any input is helpful at this time...I keep switching my mind on which one will be better for me.

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I'm from nothern California, about an hour south of lake Tahoe and did 3.5 years of my undergraduate in Flagstaff, AZ. Spent a good deal of my free time rock climbing (indoor gyms mostly), road bicycling, and hiking (mnts upwards of 7k ft). Got a good amount of snow at my undergrad for 4-5 months of the year. I know I won't find any mountains out that way, but any information you could provide about the cities, campuses, or general atmosphere would be awesome :-). Oh and I'm 23 and not a crazy wild party type if that helps. Oh and Ideally I wanted to move towards Seattle, but that didn't work out for me :/

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I see that you decided to attend UW-Madison. I cannot stress enough how awesome Madison is. It's surrounded by lakes, there's all kinds of bike trails, and there are great state parks to hike at.  You'll probably have to drive a bit to get to any really good backpacking, but the Porcupine mountains in Michigan are fantastic. Madison probably doesn't have the music scene/extremely broad nightlife that Minneapolis has, but there is still a pretty good scene for graduate students. Thanks to the capitol, there are a lot of young professionals in the downtown area, which keeps it from being totally overrun by undergrads (if that's not your thing).  I did my undergrad in Madison, and I'm actually going to be attending Seattle, and I felt like the atmosphere in both places was very similar. The student body is generally a pretty active and involved group.  Good luck! 

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Thank you @DorisDad for the information and everyone else that voted. After much consideration I decided I am going to go to UW - Madison! The more I research the university and Madison, the more and more excited I get about moving there! Congratz to everyone on their accomplishments, I'm pretty sure I would have gone crazy if I didn't have thegradforum to talk all of this out. :-)

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Congrats justinmcummings :) maybe living in Wisconsin will turn you into a Packers fan! :P


Haha I don't know about that, but I'll have to start watching more college sports. My undergrad wasn't big on sports, but it looks like that's about to change with my new grad school :-)

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