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Professor or School Name?


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So I've been researching several professors publications and work over the last few months. I've narrowed it down to 2 professors that are working in the field I'm interested in (which is currently very small in the computer science world). I'd be absolutely ecstatic to work with either Professor, however, my long term interests are more aligned with one professor.

However, the preferred professor is at a school that is unranked for Computer Science PhD, while the other is at a school ranked in the top 10 schools. Both professors have been successful in getting a lot of funding, and are both directors of research facilities. I feel like my interests are almost perfectly aligned with the preferred professor, but I could see myself doing good work with the professor from the better school. Is it okay to follow the professor, and not care about the school ranking? What are the downsides to this?

Thanks for any helpful responses.

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I could write a long explanation here but I'm too lazy :) If you read the forum, general consensus seems to be that your work is most important. I suppose you are talking about PhD, so you will be mostly working with your advisor. So, professor is more important than rankings.

One caveat: if it doesn't work out for any reason, in a program, that is stronger overall, it might be easier to find another advisor.

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Do you say this by having read their webpage, or have you actually worked with that amazing professor?

If you don't, go to the better school. The name of the school does matter, especially if you go into academia.

Also, it's not only your advisor, but also what options you have if your advisor leaves/gets sick/etc.

And the quality of your peers - other grad students - who will make for a wonderful and inspiring, or mediocre atmosphere. Don't underestimate how important this is.

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I haven't worked with this professor, but I've spent the last month researching his work. I'm also positive that he's won several best paper awards in the top conference of his field. That's what I'm wondering whether or not it's a huge risk. If I can work with him, he's doing exactly what I'd like to do my thesis on. But if it gets messed up, I'm sh*t out of luck. Is it worth it?

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Hmm. It's hard to say. I would go to the top school. The professors there are probably good, too, and I'm guessing there is a much better atmosphere. I know that for me being surrounded by good students matters almost as much as a good advisor.

But then, in life you never know. Maybe it will work out great and having this profesor as a supervisor will be your chance.

If you have any time at all to decide, put it aside and let it sink for a while.

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