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U of Minnesota vs Work


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I graduated from the master's program at the CS department at UCLA. Now I feel I am ready and motivated for a PhD. My research are is programming languages.

My wife might be getting a medical residency position in Minnesota. If that happens, I am forced to move there and stay there for at least 3 years.

Question 1

What are your opinions on

1) going ahead and do a PhD at U of Minnesota, when I know I might have a shot at top universities

2) going into the industry, wait for my wife to finish residency, THEN apply to top universities

I haven't decided if I want to start-up, do research, or go to academia afterwards, but my research advisor said that if I graduate from a highly respected university, my chances for a tenure-track at a good university would increase.

Question 2

It's also possible that I will get rejected by all the top universities, but I think I have a good chance going back to UCLA. Between graduating from UCLA and U of Minnesota, do you think it's a big difference? US News ranks UCLA (13) higher than U of Minnesota (31).

I appreciate any comments.

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  • 1 month later...

The U of M is a highly ranked public research university; when Yudolf became president, it was ranked 7th, and Yudolf's plan was to make it a top 3 school by a certain date. Not sure where it is now, but it's a good research school.

I think those are undergrad stats . . . The U of M is usually ranked right around position 30 on PhD program lists. However, the U of M considers themselves a top ten when admitting -- their admittance rate across the board for PhD programs is 5% (close to or higher than many "top 20" schools). I'm not sure if this is because the U of M is the only legit PhD-granting school in Minnesota (for miles and miles and miles) or in reaction to the graduate school doing everything in its power to become a top 20 school. Either way, getting in a the U of M is no small task and should be seriously considered for most grad programs. gazelle is correct--they place research very high on their list of priorities (sometimes even to the detriment of their students).

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