I am an graduate from Taiwan who got admitted in UCLA EE, UMD Physics for the PhD program. UCLA gave me fellowships for the first academic year of entry while UMD offered me TA or RA with Dean's fellowship through the end of second academic year. Both offers cover almost all of the tuition and give me stipend every month.
For the research part, for UCLA EE, my advisor is doing applied physics research, the research topics covers Graphene Photonics / nonlinear dynamics in semiconductor lasers, which I am interested in. As for the UMD physics, as you know, they got many different research areas, I am also very interested in topics such as quantum information / mesoscopic physics.
I know that LA has far nicer weather, although it is more expensive and traffic can be a pain. UCLA EE is more highly regarded in EE than UMD Physics is in Physics. In addition UCLA degrees have better brand value in general, EE degrees are normally more marketable than physics degrees, because they are more specialized.
As for UMD, UMD physics is very good at quantum information, they have the joint quantum institute in addition to lots of connections to the NSA, NIST, and military/defense funding. That's important for lots of quantum research. Also UMD I know produces at least some faculty.
My future goal is to become professor in physics/applied physics, but I also heard that it is possible to teach physics with EE PHD degrees, besides, I know it is not easy at all to find jobs in academia, I do not exclude the chances to work in some companies.
I am not really sure which would be a good fit. I am very hesitate between choosing these two universities. Could you guys tell me about the factors which I should take into account for a great graduate life
Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.