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UT Austin or WashU Anthro


RSgirl
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Dear all,

 

I, International student, got accepted to two programs: one at the University of Texas at Austin and the other at Washington University in St. Louis. WashU offered me 50% more funding per year, and has guaranteed funding for 6 years, while UTA offers me 4. at UTA I have to teach all years, at WashU I don't have to teach in my first and last year. However, I am currently already doing fieldwork for the professor I would work with at UTA and it is the best thing I have done in my life. I am happier here than I have ever been at any other field site and see very good prospects for further research here. I think I have pretty much found my own little niche as a researchers here. 

 

So, my question to you all is: what things are most important to take in mind before making a decision. Do you think a trong funding package is more important, or doing the research you truly love?

 

Thanks!!

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I am in literally the same position (but my UT and WashU are UC Davis and UChicago). I think I'm going to pick Davis because grad school is about your long term research potential rather then your short-term excitement of a new place with better money. If you think you will be most productive at UT and you love it, I think you have your answer.  As long as you have enough funding to do what you need to, the research matters more. None of us are choosing to go to grad school for how lucrative it is :)

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50% more funding is a lot but giving up what you know you love for an unknown is not quantifiable in monetary terms.  However, do you love what you are currently doing cause of the particularities of the fieldsite and UTA or because your doing anthropology? For what its worth I'm attending WashU's Anthro program next year so feel free to PM me if you think I can help resolve this conundrum. 

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Wow.  Hard decision.  I have been told to stay where you LOVE it, because you will need that fire to keep you going through the difficult phases of your grad work.  However, SMG brings up a good point about why you love it so much at UTA.  Could you pick up something like that at WashU?  You may still be able to collaborate with the professor at UTA if you attend WashU (I have friends who have done this EXACT thing with professors outside of their school at sites they love). 

50% more funding is no joke, especially since I think the cost of living in St. Louis is significantly lower.  Six years vs. four years might be an issue if you don't finish in four.  How does funding work at UTA for those students that go longer?  Are there funding options for them (RA or TA)?  The difference in the teaching requirement is a big deal too.  

There are a lot of things to consider besides funding.  If the funding at UTA is sufficient to complete the research you want, then perhaps you should look at other factors to help you decide.  What is each city like?  How well does each program support you in publication or presentation opportunities?  Does one program place considerably more graduates in the kind of job you want?

 

It's a hard decision, no doubt.  No matter which you choose, once you are there, don't second guess yourself.  You'll go crazy if you start to consider all the "what ifs?"   Congratulations too!  It's a wonderful problem to have!

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