How important the reputation of university is

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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:51 pm

How important the reputation of university is

Postby ejm » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:04 pm

I am applying masters degree in a small country, I have a great school option which is literally unknown, but I will be the only student and two great and highly reputed professors will teach me major subjects individually.

I am excited about this fact but when I think about future PhD opportunities, reputation of the university scares me a bit.

My question is that, can strong recommendations and good academic performance compensate disadvantage of the university when it comes to PhD program, or it leaves me out of chance?

Thank you in advance

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Re: How important the reputation of university is

Postby Nishikata » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:08 pm

While it is in the realm of possibility, i would suggest that you choose where you go for your masters having considered that the school might be your PhD option too.

For me, the places i apply for masters should be good enough for:

    being a stepping stone for my dream PhD school
    being the next best place for my PhD in case my dream schools reject me anyway

Applying for standalone PhD (3years) in a new place, without first taking their master courses is expected to be damn hard. The new PI will have high expectations right after you start, while you might need to synchronize (usually happen during the 2-year master period).
So we still have to choose wisely.

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Re: How important the reputation of university is

Postby Cosmicomic » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:57 am

Good people are good wherever they go. They lift reputations up. School reputation means little to the best folk, other than having a higher chance of being surrounded by others of their caliber. The impact of their name is greater than or equal to that of their institution.

Average people are dependent upon where they go. They are less likely to be able to succeed without having higher caliber folks lift them up. Reputation means more to these people, and they will swoon like a school girl over names like Harvard or MIT. Their own name is less impactful than their institution's name.

Also, the competition in physics has been increasing and the skill gap between universities narrowing. The caliber of researchers overall is rising. MIT vs. Small State U today means considerably less than it did even 30 years ago.

Do your best to figure out how the really good people became, well, really good, and you have a decent shot of being one of them too.

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