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UNC vs NC State


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Hi Guys, another School A or School B question here. This time it's UNC and NC State for a phd in statistics, perhaps the most diametrically opposed (in terms of theory vs applied) of the departments I applied to. As for me, my interests are not very set in stone. I enjoy machine learning and spatial stats, but I'm fairly open to most subjects in stats/probability. And my mind is not made up on industry vs academia, so I would prefer the school that keeps either option open. I would highly appreciate any input on my dilemma. Particularly on the question of which department is considered "more prestigious" as I keep getting ambiguous responses to this question (US news world vs other rankings, statistics vs probability professors, etc)

(A&M is also an option, but I would need some major convincing to live in college station)

Edited by Kepa
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I'm assuming that you mean UNC for stats not biostat, may help to clarify that for folks that want to weigh in on UNC, especially since their biostat is a bit more prestigious.  I can only comment on NCSU...

NCSU:  I visited here and found that their placements were heavily geared toward industry.  Some of the students (~15 of 130) are even funded by graduate internship training (GIT) programs while they're studying, mostly by triangle area companies.  NCSU would not provide me with a complete placement list, just said what companies they had placed people into.  This is a bad sign, when schools are proud of their placements they post this info publicly, refusing to provide a list to admitted students is a red flag for me.  Further the NRC data (2006) is missing, but it indicates that 60%+ are going into industry.

Their industry placements are very good, especially strong with the research triangle companies, but I think it's fair to say that they're not placing as many folks into academia.  I'm a student so my opinion on prestige is worthless, but I think their proximity in the USNWR rankings tells you that they're too close to matter.  It will come down to your adviser, work, etc.

Edited by Innominate
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