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McGill vs Harvard


Sumit7054
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McGill is called the harvard of Canada. I strongly feel, it being a public institution, it is as well regarded as Harvard and is almost equal to harvard. What do you say? It is as good as  Harvard in reputation? I feel it is as well regarded as Harvard in reputation in academics as well as in Research.

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McGill is a great school but, let's be honest, only Harvard is Harvard. Does anywhere else have a $36 billion endowment? And when the Simpsons makes fun of your slogan, maybe it needs some re-thinking...

 

All that said, there may be specific fields where some McGill program is better than some Harvard program. So the question would be-- better at researching what?

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McGill is called the harvard of Canada. I strongly feel, it being a public institution, it is as well regarded as Harvard and is almost equal to harvard. What do you say? It is as good as  Harvard in reputation? I feel it is as well regarded as Harvard in reputation in academics as well as in Research.

 

No. McGill is more like the Ohio State of Canada. It isn't even the best school in Canada, UBC and UToronto are both better...

 

McGill might have a program or two that is really great, but the university as a whole isn't even a top 30 school.

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No. McGill is more like the Ohio State of Canada. It isn't even the best school in Canada, UBC and UToronto are both better...

 

McGill might have a program or two that is really great, but the university as a whole isn't even a top 30 school.

 

UBC is not a better school than McGill. McGill and U of T are the defacto 1/2 of the country.

Edited by victorydance
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UBC is not a better school than McGill. McGill and U of T are the defacto 1/2 of the country.

 

UToronto is listed at #24 in the world #1 in Canada.

UBC is listed at #37 in the world #2 in Canada.

McGill is listed at #67 in the world #3 in Canada.

 

http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/McGill-University.html

 

Another resource gives the universities slightly different world positions, but keeps the 1, 2, 3 order the same.

 

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2014-15/world-ranking

 

What resources are you using to show McGill as the stronger university?

Edited by twentysix
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UToronto is listed at #24 in the world #1 in Canada.

UBC is listed at #37 in the world #2 in Canada.

McGill is listed at #67 in the world #3 in Canada.

 

http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/McGill-University.html

 

Another resource gives the universities slightly different world positions, but keeps the 1, 2, 3 order the same.

 

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2014-15/world-ranking

 

What resources are you using to show McGill as the stronger university?

 

QS has ranked McGill and U of T as the top 2 for a number of years, I don't think UBC has ever cracked 40, while McGill and U of T firmly sit in the top 25 every year.

 

Macleans has ranked McGill the best university that offers doctorates in Canada for 10 years in a row. 

 

The two things McGill has going for it over UBC is prestige and it's "big three" schools that could very well be the best in the country. McGill's law school, medical school, and its business school may be arguably the three best in the country. UBC's aren't of the same caliber.

 

Secondly, it's prestige, mainly because of its age and prominence in higher education in Canada, push it into the top 2 in Canada. Employers love McGill, arguably more so than any other university in Canada. It's prestige is also associated with having 21 nobel laureates.

 

University of Toronto and McGill have widely been considered the two best universities in Canada for decades. That doesn't mean UBC isn't a great school but it just doesn't compare to the former two in a number of categories. 

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I'm graduating from McGill and going to Harvard for grad school, so maybe my perspective can be helpful. I don't think the two schools are even remotely comparable, and neither does anybody else who goes here. People only say "The Harvard of Canada" to make fun of ourselves, I've never met anybody who believes it. I wouldn't say we're the Ohio State of Canada either, but maybe the Michigan of Canada. McGill is a perfectly strong public research university, but it doesn't have anything approaching the resources, selectivity, or status of a school like Harvard.

 

It's a good place to go if you want access to high-quality research and don't mind a large and relatively impersonal undergraduate experience. I've enjoyed my time here and I would make the same choice again given the chance, but let's accept the school for what it is: a great deal for a strong education and an important public resource. Rankings seem to place McGill anywhere from 20-70 in the world, but these tend to favour large, research-intensive schools anyway. QS puts McGill at 21 and Brown at 52. Would I advise people to choose McGill over Brown? Not in any circumstances I can think of.

 

UofT and UBC are both better than McGill at certain things and worse at others. The 1/2/3 ranking will depend on your priorities, but in terms of research I think UofT is probably stronger in the most areas. They're all relatively similar schools in terms of quality and environment.

Edited by Marrow
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I'm graduating from McGill and going to Harvard for grad school, so maybe my perspective can be helpful. I don't think the two schools are even remotely comparable, and neither does anybody else who goes here. People only say "The Harvard of Canada" to make fun of ourselves, I've never met anybody who believes it. I wouldn't say we're the Ohio State of Canada either, but maybe the Michigan of Canada. McGill is a perfectly strong public research university, but it doesn't have anything approaching the resources, selectivity, or status of a school like Harvard.

 

It's a good place to go if you want access to high-quality research and don't mind a large and relatively impersonal undergraduate experience. I've enjoyed my time here and I would make the same choice again given the chance, but let's accept the school for what it is: a great deal for a strong education and an important public resource. Rankings seem to place McGill anywhere from 20-70 in the world, but these tend to favour large, research-intensive schools anyway. QS puts McGill at 21 and Brown at 52. Would I advise people to choose McGill over Brown? Not in any circumstances I can think of.

 

UofT and UBC are both better than McGill at certain things and worse at others. The 1/2/3 ranking will depend on your priorities, but in terms of research I think UofT is probably stronger in the most areas. They're all relatively similar schools in terms of quality and environment.

 

Everything you have said that is bolded could have been said about Ohio State. I used it as an example because McGill and Ohio State are ranked very close to each other, with Ohio State as the slightly better school.

 

#64 tOSU: http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/The-Ohio-State-University---Columbus.html Ohio State's research budget was $815 million last year.

 

#67 McGill: http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/McGill-University.html I don't know McGill's university wide research budget, that could be an area where they kill Ohio State as a university.

 

Personally, I like ARWU's methodology http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU-Methodology-2014.html but it isn't functional on a department by department level, only when comparing whole universities.

 

Also, congrats on Harvard!

Edited by twentysix
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the REAL question is though... how come, in Canada, we only get to have 3 prestigious institutions?

 

IS EVERYTHING ELSE CHOPPED LIVER?!!??!?!?

 

iRo8zCq.jpg

Edited by spunky
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the REAL question is though... how come, in Canada, we only get to have 3 prestigious institutions?

 

IS EVERYTHING ELSE CHOPPED LIVER?!!??!?!?

 

 

Hahaha, there are other prestigious programs. Waterloo has top social and clinical programs, and Western's social program is traditionally great (though they've struggled a bit lately). York has a great quant program. There's a lot of great forensic psychology work at Simon Fraser and UVic.  They're prestigious among people who know, but less likely to impress your dad's friends or whatever.

Edited by lewin
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Everything you have said that is bolded could have been said about Ohio State. I used it as an example because McGill and Ohio State are ranked very close to each other, with Ohio State as the slightly better school.

 

#64 tOSU: http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/The-Ohio-State-University---Columbus.html Ohio State's research budget was $815 million last year.

 

#67 McGill: http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/McGill-University.html I don't know McGill's university wide research budget, that could be an area where they kill Ohio State as a university.

 

Personally, I like ARWU's methodology http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU-Methodology-2014.html but it isn't functional on a department by department level, only when comparing whole universities.

 

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400005

 

US schools only, unfortunately.

Edited by telkanuru
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Serious question: who cares?!?! McGill has departments that are better than Harvard, Harvard has some departments that are better than McGill. Even departments that are "better" at one school might not be a good fit for someone. We're no longer undergrads, overall rankings really don't mean much, past some arbitrary threshold of being "top tier".

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Serious question: who cares?!?! McGill has departments that are better than Harvard, Harvard has some departments that are better than McGill. Even departments that are "better" at one school might not be a good fit for someone. We're no longer undergrads, overall rankings really don't mean much, past some arbitrary threshold of being "top tier".

 

Hiring committees probably care, especially the members of those committees that are outside of your sub-field.

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the REAL question is though... how come, in Canada, we only get to have 3 prestigious institutions?

 

IS EVERYTHING ELSE CHOPPED LIVER?!!??!?!?

 

Agree with lewin's response. In the STEM fields, Waterloo is a top engineering program. In physics, the Guelph/Waterloo Quantum computing institute is really good. York has a great space science program. Alberta has a really good earth science program (the Canadian north is a great place to collect meteorites and a lot of them go to U Alberta).

 

However, I still think there are 3 schools (Toronto, McGill, UBC) that stand out from the rest in their overall programs and are well known nationwide. But when you get down to specific subjects, there are other strong schools, and in fact, some of the "top 3" aren't the "top 3" in some fields. For example, I do not think McGill has a very strong astronomy program at all (when I applied years ago, they had very few professors working on this) but I know they are hiring more.

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Hahaha, there are other prestigious programs. Waterloo has top social and clinical programs, and Western's social program is traditionally great (though they've struggled a bit lately). York has a great quant program. There's a lot of great forensic psychology work at Simon Fraser and UVic.  They're prestigious among people who know, but less likely to impress your dad's friends or whatever.

 

Exactly!  Waterloo is also extremely well known for its engineering and computer science programs.  Guelph is internationally known for its food science, nutrition, veterinary medicine, and agriculture departments.  York has one of the leading researchers when it comes to the Social Determinants of Health.  Alberta has a top nanomaterials department.  Ottawa has one of the top Heart institutes in the world.  I could go on for almost any university in Canada.  They may not be prestigious across the board, but most have at least one or two departments that are well respected internationally.

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Exactly!  Waterloo is also extremely well known for its engineering and computer science programs.  Guelph is internationally known for its food science, nutrition, veterinary medicine, and agriculture departments.  York has one of the leading researchers when it comes to the Social Determinants of Health.  Alberta has a top nanomaterials department.  Ottawa has one of the top Heart institutes in the world.  I could go on for almost any university in Canada.  They may not be prestigious across the board, but most have at least one or two departments that are well respected internationally.

 

The beauty of so few universities. They are all good at something. This is completely untrue of the 4,500 universities and colleges in the United States.

Edited by twentysix
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Hahaha, there are other prestigious programs. Waterloo has top social and clinical programs, and Western's social program is traditionally great (though they've struggled a bit lately). York has a great quant program. There's a lot of great forensic psychology work at Simon Fraser and UVic.  They're prestigious among people who know, but less likely to impress your dad's friends or whatever.

 

 

but if my "dad's friends" (or insert some sort of equivalent here) are the ones doing the hiring for non-academic jobs? :/

 

as ugly as it sounds, i know from firsthand experience that Simon Fraser University (SFU) has the reputation of being the place you apply for if you don't get into UBC (i was in a SFU program and transferred).

 

i do agree with you, they're at the forefront of a lot of research (in my area, for example, they are one of the few universities that actually offers an Actuarial Sciences program). but whenever i've dealt with private industry, corporate type jobs there's this conception of UBC > SFU. 

 

balancing non-academic VS academic job expectations can be hard... :(

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but if my "dad's friends" (or insert some sort of equivalent here) are the ones doing the hiring for non-academic jobs? :/

 

I completely agree there -- overall institutional prestige probably matters quite a bit for non-academic jobs. I had meant my response in the context of academia, which is the only thing that matters, right? ;)

Edited by lewin
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I completely agree there -- overall institutional prestige probably matters quite a bit for non-academic jobs. I had meant my response in the context of academia, which is the only thing that matters, right? ;)

 

 

GIVE ME ACADEMIA OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!!!

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I think it's also important to point out that UBC and SFU are generally regarded as two different types of Universities. For example, Maclean's classifies UBC as "medical/doctoral" (i.e. what Americans might call "R1" research institutions) while SFU is a "comprehensive" school (what Americans might call "R2", but it's a category for schools that do have graduate programs but perhaps not in every field and they may not prioritize research as highly as teaching). In Astronomy, SFU does not really have a big graduate research program and many SFU astronomy undergraduates do their honours theses with UBC faculty. 

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I completely agree there -- overall institutional prestige probably matters quite a bit for non-academic jobs. I had meant my response in the context of academia, which is the only thing that matters, right? ;)

 

The study I linked above shows that overall institutional prestige matters an absurd amount to academia, FYI. 

 

To quote:

 

"These results demonstrate the enormous role of institutional prestige in shaping faculty hiring across academe, both for institutions and for individuals seeking faculty positions. Prestige hierarchies are also likely to influence outcomes in other scholarly activities, including research priorities, resource allocation, and educational outcomes, either directly through prestige-sensitive decision making or indirectly through faculty placement. Despite the confounded nature of merit and social status within measurable prestige, the observed hierarchies are sufficiently steep that attributing their structure to differences in merit alone seems implausible."

Edited by telkanuru
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