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UC Davis vs CU Boulder (Computer Science)


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Cross posting it from the Computer Science thread:

I've got admits from University of Colorado, Boulder and University of California, Davis, both for MS CS programs. I'm interested in machine learning (and NLP, recently) and I'll probably not be pursuing a PhD after MS. From what I've found, UCD is somewhat cheaper overall and has marginally better ranking in ML but is pretty poor NLP wise whereas CU Boulder is great in NLP. Research interests line up in both schools. No funding in either, and as far as I'm aware, job opportunities are somewhat better in California than Colorado because of the tech scene.

My main issue is whether a degree from UC Davis is perceived as being of "lesser" value because it has a reputation for being rather laidback? And does the UC tag by itself hold any value over CU Boulder?  

Do you guys have any suggestions or any other information that could help?

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I can't speak for CS programs since I will start Communication PhD at UC Davis this Fall, but I can tell you my opinion about the university. I was admitted to both Purdue and UC Davis and had the same doubts as you, although Davis was my dream school from the very beginning. Purdue was a "better" school but I really liked the location of Davis and my potential advisor, so I decided to visit both schools. As soon as my bus arrived to West Lafayette IN, I knew that I won't be going there. Thankfully, I didn't like the faculty either, so I was 99% percent sure I will accept the offer from UC Davis. Two weeks after that I visited Davis as well and was blown away by beauty of the campus, professors and overall atmosphere. I can't wait to move there! As for my concerns, it turned out Davis is ranked higher than Purdue as in institution, it's just that I couldn't find my program at any ranking lists due to the fact it's very young and the last ranking for Coummunication grad schools was done 6-7 years ago.  

My advice is - visit both schools if you haven't.

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