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the importance of prestigiousness


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So the boss of my top choice program has basically told me I have >90% chance to be admitted. I only ever wanted to go this particular program, the other four schools I chose were all safety options. This program ticks all the boxes, except one: brand/prestigiousness. The teachers are intelligent and kind-hearted, the classes are small and personal (max 15 people), the curriculum addresses both content and research, and I've just fallen in love with the program overall. Funding is not a criterium because the programs all cost the same. But I've read a lot of threads on this forum talk of the prestigiousness of a university. The safety schools I chose all have the 'prestigiousness'-box checked.

The idea crossed my mind to drop the rest of my applications and focus all my attention on my top choice so that I can make it perfect. It would save me a lot of time, stress and money. But there is this tiny nagging thought in the back of my head: what if I have got my priorities wrong and I am severely underestimating the importance of prestigiousness? Am I going to miss out? Will employers choose students from the other schools over me, simply because my school is not well-known enough?

  • I am now applying to 5 schools: should I drop the 4 others and focus all my attention on my top choice? Or maybe drop a few and focus on 2-3? What would be the sensible thing to do?
  • Can someone give some nuance to how important prestigiousness really is in the end?


Edited by reddog
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The importance of prestige will vary largely by your program field and your own short-and-long-term career objectives.

But personally, I would not put all my eggs into one basket with graduate school and career pathways, even if you've received some reassurance from someone within the program. You should certainly focus on enhancing your applications materials for the top program, but I think submitting the other applications as well is a safer bet.

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Hey, thanks for your answer. I decided to limit my applications this year to the 2-year programs (incl. top choice), and if I don't get in I will include the 1-year programs as well. That puts a lot of the pressure off, especially with working full-time and trying to publish ^_^

As for prestigiousness, I am still trying to work out my personal outlook on that :)



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