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Grumpymeow

Accept the offer or not accept the offer?

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I think what I meant by "deserve" is that the experience that I have had and all the effort that I have put into these four years should get me into a better school and I don't know if I should just settle down when I could've gone to a better program with more opportunities for jobs and research.

You come across as entitled and very full of yourself.

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Yeah, it is.

There's a difference between confidence and entitlement.

FWIW the line for this appears extremely blurred in academia

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I got accepted into my safe school, which is ranked lower than any other schools that I applied. I was planning on going straight to PhD from undergrad and I felt like I deserved better schools than just my safe school. Although I don't feel like going to my safe school, I am an international student and the only option left for me is to work for two years max in the US before I reapply. Right now I am still waiting to hear back from schools and it would probably be a little too late to apply for jobs in mid April. I don't know what the situation would be two years later and so I debating whether I should accept the offer and settle down or take a year off to improve my resume. 

 

As an international student, I hope that you knew going in that getting into a good program and getting funded is rough, especially given that NIH funding has contracted even more recently. That being said, it seems that the top international candidates are still getting into good programs. I understand the frustration with the process, but I think that it is in your best interest to get constructive feedback from all the programs that denied you and reapply if you really can't see yourself being happy at this "lower-ranked" program.

Edited by blinchik

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Two things--

1) Why is it so bad to take two years off between undergrad and grad school? It not only strengthens your application, but you might actually realize in a year from now that you weren't really ready to go straight into a PhD program. I sometimes think that taking two years off to tech in a lab should be required for PhD programs. 

2) If you think that a job in academia in the US is something you'd want to do after grad school, then doing your PhD at a reputable institution is very important. Even if you want an industry or consulting job, it will be much harder to get if the place you've gotten your degree from doesn't have solid name recognition. People may not like the school ranking system, but don't ever underestimate the importance of being in a highly ranked school. Sorry, but that's the truth. Rankings and name brand institutions do matter, even in science. So I don't blame you for wanting to try for a better position if it makes sense for your long term career goals. But getting to those places requires a solid background in research, and undergrad experience often doesn't count for much because it was part time. You need two solid years of tech work.

Edited by WhitH

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