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CS MS Program Potentials


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Hi all,


  I'm a Computer Science student looking to pursue my Masters degree, and looking for programs that offer a lot in the way of Applied Machine Learning. The intent is to graduate with my MS and then proceed to industry for a few years, though I have not dismissed the idea of a PhD in the future. The universities I'm currently considering are Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, and Vanderbilt. 


Michigan State University:


      - RA position offered for the first year

      - Some excellent faculty doing really cool research in biometrics and other applied machine learning areas. 

      - They seem to do a lot to ensure their graduate students succeed in all things



      - I really disliked the town its in

      - Being from Texas, I would not be used to the harsh winters


North Carolina State University:


      - Of the three choices, consistently ranked higher than the other two programs for CS - though the rank difference could be negligible... I don't know

      - In Raleigh, which is a great city as it's both a lot of fun and also has an emerging Tech Valley of sorts, which presents a lot of employment opportunities that I wouldn't find as readily in the area as MSU or Vanderbilt. 

      - Great with Data Science, which is the program I was accepted to. 


      - Steep tuition costs for out of state 

      - Not as well recognized an institution potentially? I've honestly never heard too much about NCSU where I'm from - and as a result I might be undervaluing the university.




      - Excellent reputation, best of the three

      - Nashville is a nice city, wouldn't mind living there for a few years

      - The network I could build up while there I feel would be much more substantial. Given that it's a prestigious private university, the community is more tight-knit and I feel that as an alumni I would have access to a life long network of driven individuals from there. As a result, I feel the long-term impact of attending this school is quite high. 

      - Though the faculty for CS is smaller than the other two programs, there is a lot of focus in applied machine learning. 


      - Steep tuition costs, but similar in cost to the other two programs

      - Relevant employment in Nashville won't be easy, not exactly a tech hotspot like Raleigh/Durham. I'd have to perform very well in my studies to hopefully receive some kind of TA or RA position, or seek an internship over the summer. 

      - CS Program ranked the lowest of the three from several sources (by little). Though, I'm not sure how these sites rank the universities, and I'm not sure if the rank differences are negligible in the long run.



Really I just want to set myself up to be in the best position long-term. The short term benefit of having a fun city to live in really comes secondary to my future success. I'm in a conundrum. I've spoken with several of my recommenders and other faculty and they've all given me differing opinions on the matter. I would like to know other peoples opinions, maybe help sway me one way or another.  

Edited by Aaron18
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