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Grad School ....decisions, decisions, decisions...


rmo_3000

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Greetings All,
 
I am attending Graduate School for a Masters Degree in Biology or Biotech this Fall (depending on which program accepts me and I, in turn, accept). So far, I've been accepted to NYU, Queens College, and LIU Post (MS in Biomedical Science). The areas of Biology that most interest me are Molecular Bio, Stem/Developmental Bio, Immunology , and Epigenetics. I am planning to get a job after the completion of the Masters Degree (knock on wood!). I am hoping for any advise regarding the following questions (or any portion thereof):
 
1) My first question relates to the reputation of the school. How much does 'name' matter? Would it make a significant difference to an employer to hire a graduate of a recognized school like NYU versus a lesser known school like Queens College, assuming GPA's are equivalent? More specifically, since NYU is almost 5x's as expensive to attend than Queens College, does the former (potentially) offer better enough employment prospects to justify the added financial investment? 
 
2) Alternatively, for employment purposes, would it be wiser to enroll in the third program I was accepted to, LIU Post, which is an MS in Biomedical Sciences rather than an MS in Biology? (After all, Biology is more of a 'basic science' whereas Biomedical Science is more applied science)
 
3) Regarding 'focus areas' or specialties, I've heard it said that a focus area (genetics, immunology, neurobiology, etc.) is not as important for a Masters student who's planning to continue to a doctorate program; however, for a masters student planning to go to work in research (biotech, biopharma, etc.) I would assume it is important to have a focus area??? If so, could anyone suggest the most viable area among Molecular Bio, Genetics, Immunology, or Developmental? 
 
4) Regardless of a focus area, any there any particular coursework or lab exposure I should get in order to make me a more viable candidate for employment. 
 
5) Lastly, since I haven't yet heard from SUNY Stonybrook or Rutgers Biomedical Sciences, I have to pose this question: 
If you were hiring, which of the following Masters degrees would you most likely hire from, or, at least, think is most attractive on a CV?
- NYU Biology (Applied Recombinant DNA Technology)
- SUNY Stonybrook (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)
- Rutgers University (Biomedical Sciences -- focus Neuroscience
 
My apologies for the long message and the deluge of questions! 
 
Any help would be IMMENSELY appreciated.
 
Thanks,
R. Owens 
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I'll add my opinion, but it's nothing more than an opinion from some guy on the internet.

1) Name can help, but isn't everything. I highly doubt that training and prestige from NYU is worth 5 times that of Queen's College. If they can provide you assistance of some kind that'll change things, but I wouldn't personally go with them

2) In my experience employers don't care about the exact program you're in. If your program has a concentration or focus it's also completely legitimate to list that on your resume.

3) I do not know which of these is the most viable option. I think some of it has to do with what skills you learn and how you can spin them during an interview.

4) If you get the chance to learn anything about regulatory affairs do it. It is a constant concern in industry and my impression is that it is something students rarely learn in academia.

5) This depends on if I want a geneticist, a biochemist, or a neuroscientist and on how strictly I want somebody to do that role. It also depends on the rest of the job application submitted. All of those universities have good reputations.

Edited by Vene
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