Jump to content

UMich vs. UW vs. Penn State (ECE, MS)

Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm an international student and will be paying full OOS tuition to the school I go to, none of them offer funding. My goal after grad school is to transition to industry in the US (possibly in an R&D, technician, or design position...not academia), in the field of MEMS/nanotechnology/photonics.

I'm leaning towards University of Michigan - Ann Arbor because it seems to have a good reputation in ECE, but at the end of the day, companies likely don't care too much on the school but rather the skills/knowledge you acquired. I'm not a fan of the location; I would likely look for a job on the (west) coast after graduation. The advisor for my program of interest seems to be well-known in the field for the past decade (I just looked at relevant citations on Google Scholar and compared to the other 2 schools/program advisors). 

University of Washington - Seattle is located in a relatively nice region; but I think UMich has a better reputation (once again, school reputation is not everything). Penn State is currently 3rd on my list; the program quality seems equal to UW, but the location is not ideal. (In hindsight, I should have applied to more schools in California, I only applied to USC and have not yet heard back.)

I would also like to do an internship or co-op work term if that is allowed for F-1 visa holders (advice on this would also be appreciated).

Which school would set me up on the path of highest probability to:

1st) Work in industry in the field of MEMS/nanotechnology/photonics.

2nd) Have the ability to relocate to either the west or east coast? 

3rd) Graduate. My undergraduate was in engineering physics and I am starting to feel anxiety in doing a Masters in ECE. I'll be trying to fill in knowledge-gaps (e.g. circuits) over the summer. Ideally, the school I go to has excellent academic support for its students, outside regular lectures.


I have not discussed my decisions with other people, as I currently work in a somewhat unrelated field. If anyone has experience or is familiar with these schools, any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would check out the websites of groups you're interested in and see where their alumni have ended up. Likely you will have similar opportunities.

I would also contact professors who may set up Skype calls during which you can determine if they're a good personal match. Also, I would try contacting current students and ALUMNI (who tend to give more honest answers since they're already graduated).

I visited UMich a month ago. Nice facilities (esp. cleanroom), but cold weather.. I can't stress enough how important your fit with the professor/group is. I met with two professors during my visit. I really clicked with one professor (and his students), but the other (and his students) not at all..

I feel that the brand name UMich is strong enough to give you good west/east coast opportunities (given that you work hard). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Warelin changed the title to UMich vs. UW vs. Penn State (ECE, MS)

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use