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MS vs PhD - thought it would be obvious but it's not

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So I applied to several PhD program in biomedical sciences/public health and have been offered acceptance into three. One of the programs I did not like at all once I visited and the other I was impressed with (let's call it School A). However, my number one school (School B ), which is literally #1 in the country for what I want to do, rejected me for their PhD program, but accepted me into their masters.


How crazy would it be to decline a PhD at an okay/"good enough" school for a masters at the #1 school in the country? I would potentially go directly into their PhD program from the masters. I would have so many more opportunities at school B to work with world-famous professors, learn new techniques, have access to equipment, etc. etc.


Other factors:

While my PhD would be fully funded and I would have to pay for the masters, I am lucky enough that I'm in a position where money is not that big of a deciding factor (maybe item 4 or 5 down on the list of factors). I am younger (straight out of undergrad), so the extra time for a masters is not a huge deal, either. Location of School A is really terrible, while School B is ideal for various reasons.


I just can't get over the idea of turning down a fully funded PhD program, I guess. It feels like taking a step back in order to get ahead later, assuming I would/could go from the masters' program directly into their PhD.


Has anyone else been in a similar position? Anyone have any advice?

Edited by emily3333000
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Sounds like you really want School B. You say you can't get over turning down a fully funded program, but you also say funding is not a main concern.


Have you asked if any MS students (especially in their 2nd year) are funded? If you really are a viable PhD prospect you may be able to get some funding from them in year 2.

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