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BME PhD at MIT vs Cornell vs Toronto


bme17
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I'm looking for any advice/thoughts from students at any of these 3 schools or in general!

 

Visited all and have offers from:

Toronto (BME, stipend $15,000)

Cornell (BME, stipend $32,000)

MIT (Biological Eng., stipend $35,000)

 

I like Toronto's program and research a lot, but the low stipend is a big deterrent, as my parents don't think it is really enough to live on in Toronto. I would love to move to Canada for grad school though (I was born there, now a dual citizen in US and Canada, and I have a lot of family in the area).

 

Cornell has a lot of research I am interested in, and one prof in particular that I have talked to and am really excited about his group's work. They have a very nice choice of classes in the curriculum and I think I would love the immersion term there - it sounds so cool! My only hesitation is that I have been in a small college town for undergrad, and I'm not sure I am prepared to commit to another 5-6 years in a small town. 

 

MIT is obviously a great engineering school and would be pretty hard to turn down since it would set me up well for a career in industry or academia. My hesitation with MIT is that it is biological engineering, not biomedical, and hence a lot of the research and classes are very biology focused. I am interested in drug delivery, and there are a few professors whose work I am interested in, but I am worried about being able to get in one of those labs with the way MIT does "rotations" in the fall. On the visit weekend, current students said mostly everyone got the labs they wanted, but it seemed like a lot of the prospective students were interested in the same labs as me. I also think I would enjoy living in a big city during grad school.

 

Overall, the atmosphere at Cornell and MIT seemed pretty similar - everyone was really nice, lots of collaborations, close grad student classes. I think I would be happy at any of the schools, but it's such a big decision!

 

Any advice on choosing between these would be appreciated! More so Cornell vs. MIT - preferred program and research or better school?

 

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