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Funded master's program?


latte11
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I posted this in a different forum but this seems to be a better place. 

 

I'm looking into master's program in math or stats with a decent shot of funding (international student, completed undergrad in the US). If you have been accepted into one with funding or know of one, please share. Thank you!

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Canadian universities have funded masters and are generally great stepping stones for further graduate work (and don't require the math GRE subject test).  I applied to PhDs two years ago plus a Canadian masters (in pure math), and ended up choosing to go to the Canadian MSc because I wasn't happy with my PhD options.  Just applied to PhD programs in Stats and OR this year and have significantly better options for PhDs this time around.  I was on an 'upward trend' during my undergrad, and so my GPA really improved with my last year's grades (which weren't available when applying in 2013, but are now).  I had also submitted an article for publication, but it wasn't accepted until after I applied in 2013.  These, plus success in a reputable masters program, definitely contributed to a stronger application.

 

The only problem is you'll usually spend 2 years in the masters, but take at most 1 year less during the PhD.  i.e. canadian masters for 2 years, but then math phd for 5 years instead of usual 6.  Definitely worth it if you're debating if you want to do a full on PhD.  You also have to pay ~$3000-4000 tuition (but get ~$20-22,000 in funding).

 

The best programs are McGill, Toronto, UBC, and Waterloo.  Toronto's is only 1 year long though, I think, and not sure about Waterloo.  McGill and UBC are 2 years.

Edited by frsp
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This is not math/stats but biostats: I got accepted into Vanderbilt Biostats master. They only accept 4 masters/year but all with 80% tuition waiver.

Edited by lisa8191
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I looked for masters programs that didn't have a PhD program at their school thinking that I would have a better shot at funding for a Masters there since there wouldn't be PhD students TA-ing the lower level stats classes. Three that I know for sure offer funding are:

-South Dakota State

-University of Idaho

-Northern Illinois University

(South Dakota automatically offered funding but the last two had a separate application for assistantship).

I've also heard that some of the really big schools sometimes fund masters students because they don't have enough PhD students to TA all the lower level classes offered (I believe someone mentioned this with regard to Michigan recently).

Edited by Stats2015
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  • 3 weeks later...

I was in the same boat a few months back when searching for funded masters programs in Applied Math, Comp. Bio, and just general MS/MA in mathematics. Here are some programs that I know offer funding (both full w/ GTA and partial w/o GTA)

 

Univ. of Minnesota, Deluth

Wake Forest University

University of Vermont

Colorado State University

 

While the latter two programs also award PhD's, the first two do not. It seems to me that it is much more likely to get master's funding from an institution that awards an MS/MA as their highest degree.

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Canadian universities have funded masters and are generally great stepping stones for further graduate work (and don't require the math GRE subject test).  I applied to PhDs two years ago plus a Canadian masters (in pure math), and ended up choosing to go to the Canadian MSc because I wasn't happy with my PhD options.  Just applied to PhD programs in Stats and OR this year and have significantly better options for PhDs this time around.  I was on an 'upward trend' during my undergrad, and so my GPA really improved with my last year's grades (which weren't available when applying in 2013, but are now).  I had also submitted an article for publication, but it wasn't accepted until after I applied in 2013.  These, plus success in a reputable masters program, definitely contributed to a stronger application.

 

The only problem is you'll usually spend 2 years in the masters, but take at most 1 year less during the PhD.  i.e. canadian masters for 2 years, but then math phd for 5 years instead of usual 6.  Definitely worth it if you're debating if you want to do a full on PhD.  You also have to pay ~$3000-4000 tuition (but get ~$20-22,000 in funding).

 

The best programs are McGill, Toronto, UBC, and Waterloo.  Toronto's is only 1 year long though, I think, and not sure about Waterloo.  McGill and UBC are 2 years.

Waterloo is also 1 year, at least in pure math. Their funding is also generally the best of those 4 (but the department is the least prestigious). UBC and Toronto don't offer much funding considering the cost of living in Toronto or Vancouver, but it is a livable. Places like Waterloo or Western Ontario are a bit more generous. UAlberta also has a minimum funding guarantee, but I think it's only $15,000 or something. Still, I think the landscape in Canada is much better for funded Masters programs, in that almost everyone admitted to a research-based program (which should include all or almost all math and stats programs) will get funding, with enough to live on after tuition, if a waiver is not included. Funding is generally a bit worse for international students, because some places don't increase the funding package, but your tuition will be a few thousand more. I know Waterloo does offer more funding for international students to offset this, but I believe UBC does not. Toronto waives tuition so it doesn't matter.

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Hi, I am also an international student in US, and I applied for both PhD programs in US plus UBC stat master. I received offers from several programs in US but honestly I am not very satisfied with the result. So I will attend UBC this fall and apply again later like what fsp did. I think one of the most important advantage of a 2-year master program is that you can have more time to be better prepared for PhD program. A 1-year master program means you need to start looking for school now, and will not even finish the first semester in your master program when you submit your application.

 

I think UBC is quite generous. I received a package of about 21000 CAD, and 3200 of them must be used to pay my tuition. I applied for on-campus housing, and the monthly payment is about 850. That means I probably need to ask my parents to pay for the remaining about 4000 CAD tuition (which is really not a big deal compared with the tuition of private colleges in US LOL), and I can live upon my assistantship. Given that Vancouver is a large city, and the living environment is awesome, I think it totally worth it. 

 

Hope this would help.

Edited by unclecat
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Waterloo is also 1 year, at least in pure math. Their funding is also generally the best of those 4 (but the department is the least prestigious). UBC and Toronto don't offer much funding considering the cost of living in Toronto or Vancouver, but it is a livable. Places like Waterloo or Western Ontario are a bit more generous. UAlberta also has a minimum funding guarantee, but I think it's only $15,000 or something. Still, I think the landscape in Canada is much better for funded Masters programs, in that almost everyone admitted to a research-based program (which should include all or almost all math and stats programs) will get funding, with enough to live on after tuition, if a waiver is not included. Funding is generally a bit worse for international students, because some places don't increase the funding package, but your tuition will be a few thousand more. I know Waterloo does offer more funding for international students to offset this, but I believe UBC does not. Toronto waives tuition so it doesn't matter.

 Yes UBC does, and actually part of the scholarship must be used to pay for the tuition gap between domestic students and international student. 

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 Yes UBC does, and actually part of the scholarship must be used to pay for the tuition gap between domestic students and international student. 

The funding you listed above is similar to what I was offered, but tuition for a Canadian citizen is $4,500 total.

 

It's not a lot to live on in Vancouver (I spoke with students living in on campus housing, btw, and most are very cramped, e.g. sharing a 1 bedroom with 2-3 people total - and apparently the rent is going up a lot next year? I don't really know), but it is livable, and definitely better than an unfunded US offer.

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I am just finishing at UBC.  It's definitely a tight budget as an international student if you are expecting to pay your tuition out of your TA salary, but I'd still say it's possible.  Paychecks are about $2000 a month during the school year and $1500 a month during the summer, and there are 3 tuition payments per year of approximately $1800 each (after the standard UBC International Partial Tuition Scholarship, which reduces the amount that non-Canadian students pay to that of Canadian students).  You can find housing for about $650-750 a month if you live with roommates and commute ~40 minutes to campus.  It's even cheaper if you are living with a partner / decide to live further away, but possibly more if you want to live closer and/or by yourself.  (I pay $530 a month in rent with a partner.)  I would not suggest living in campus housing, or nearby campus, unless you really value a short commute, as UBC is pretty far from most fun things that happen in Vancouver.   But yes, overall UBC is a very good deal considering the alternatives in the US.  Plus, health insurance is *very* cheap in BC compared to the USA - it's only $68 a month. 

 

If you have further questions you can message me.

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