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UW-Madison, Yale and UC Davis


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Thanks for reading.


I have admitted into the MS/PhD program with MS track in UW-Madison(1st year fellowship and additional 3 years TA funding), Yale and UC Davis PhD program(both 5 years funding).


My research interest lies in software engineering and programming languages. For me, these three school all have match professors. But SE and PL in all these schools seem to be not very strong... 


The other option for me is to finish a MS in UW-Madison, and then apply for top 10 PhD program, is that possible?


Since UW-Madison MS has no difference with PhD in first two years. I can involve into prof's research projects, if I actively search research opportunity.


But Yale is ivy and UC Davis is so near to Silicon Valley. 


Really confused, and thanks for your suggestion in advance.


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If your end goal is Phd program, go with the program that has advisors doing interesting work in your area of interest. The namebrand of the school matters to a certain extent. But if there is not a professor in your target school that have interesting work to you/not funding for new students, then you would be better off going to schools where there are more options. Advisors matter more than the brand name in my opinion.


As for MS applying for Phd, you shouldn't expect professors to treat you the same as Phd if you are leaving in two years. Professors' priority is for their Phd students. Any additional time they would used to advised to MS students/students who are leaving soon means that they won't spend the same quality time with their Phd students. I know a few people applying for Phd after MS and they ended up getting good offers (but not too often since school will expect more out of you than fresh undergrad graduates). You could do that, but it means you only have 1 years (assuming you are going for Phd immediately after MS) to get involved with research and possibly have a good publication.


Wisconsin has a pretty solid MS/Phd program. Although the overall ranking is not very high, the CS department is well-respected both in the industry and academia

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Something to consider about Yale:




I would go with Wisconsin.

Along those lines, Yale just announced they're increasing the size of the department: http://seas.yale.edu/news-events/news/yale-launches-expansion-department-computer-science

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