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Is anyone else considering the University of Texas at Austin? If so, have any of your visited the department in person? While I have yet to formally decide, I'm 90% sure I will accept their offer (over Harvard, UPenn, Washington, and Boulder) thanks to a fellowship that waives out-of-state tuition.


I would be attending the Master's program in Educational Psychology, specializing in Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi themissingsock!


This will sound rather non-specific, but, what was your overall impression of the faculty and department? Did you get to talk to current students, and if so, what struck you from their experiences?

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So, the visit day was for the entire College of Education. We got to meet faculty and accepted students from all departments, and it felt largely like a recruiting event. Basically, the message was "please come to UT, we're highly ranked and awesome." Having said that, my overall impression was that the faculty and departments were really eager to have new students come in and to attend UT. I talked to a few current students, mainly doctoral because I am coming in as a doctoral student, and they all seemed pretty happy living in Austin and attending UT. The only negative thing I got was that funding could scare sometimes, and this is highly dependent on your advisor. There was a graduate panel consisting of mainly master's students, and they answered questions about life in Austin and what it was like to attend UT. Overall, they all seemed like they were pretty happy to be there, and the classes felt important and useful to them. A lot of students were coming in at different parts of their lives, from recent undergraduates to coming back in after teaching or working for a few years.


I hope this answers your question! Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. 

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Thanks for the insight!


That's great to hear. I'm definitely looking for that holistic positive experience rather than just a name, so hearing that the students seem genuinely happy is great. I'm going to accept.


What do you mean that "funding could scare"? Is this in the context of covering tuition or getting funding for research?


Also, did they speak about finding housing at all?

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Getting funding for research assistantships. Doctoral students typically want RAs in order to cover their living stipend instead of teaching assistantships, so that they could spend more time focusing on research instead. 


Definitely look up an apartment locator. They're free to use, and they can help you sign a lease from a distance, and they would be more than happy to take you on a tour of available apartments. I've found a place north of campus in the Hyde Park area. I like it a lot. Most of the graduate students recommended North Campus/Hyde Park as it's close to campus but still quiet. They didn't recommend West Campus as it's full of parties, greek houses, and undergraduates. You can also live further out in Austin, but remember that car traffic is terrible. 


Congrats on accepting the offer!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello to you both,

I will be joining you at UT as a PhD candidate in the fall.  I believe I attended the same event as Themissingsock and had a very similar impression.  When I started finding schools to apply to, I excluded none and went for the places that I truly believe to be the best in the country for the literacy studies I want to pursue.  UT has always been the top pick.  They have had the highest research expenditures in Education for 6+ years, and the PhD is a research degree.  It is hard to argue with that.  The school has a great reputation and every single person I met during my visit was outstanding.  They seemed like people committed to growth- people unafraid to admit what they don't know and dedicated to seeking answers.  They also seem committed to preparing new teachers and providing excellent coursework and experiences to students at all levels.  


My husband and I are taking a trip next week to try to find a place to live.  My general impression as an outsider is that the north suburbs/ Round Rock area is mostly McMansionish subdivisions, south Austin is the part they like to "keep weird" and the east side has traditionally been a lower-income area, but is developing quickly. We spoke with a realtor who said 140 people PER DAY move to Austin, and it is a competitive sellers/landlord's market to live in.  Be prepared to put money down immediately if you find a place you like.   


*I just wanted to add that I also heard Hyde Park was a big area for grad students to live.  When my husband and I looked at the area, we found it really over priced and only suitable for us to rent in.  The price per square foot was double in some areas than it was in south and east Austin where we are looking.  I know everyone's situation is different, but we are finding that it is actually cheaper overall to buy a home a little further out than to try to rent close to campus. We're old farts who don't mind being in a less hip area to save a few bucks.  


Best wishes for the big move!

Edited by Dingas
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