Maryland vs. CMU

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qubits
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Maryland vs. CMU

Postby qubits » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:09 am

I am an international and still haven't posted my profile. Waiting to hear from one last school so will be posting it soon.

I have received offers for Maryland and CMU. The stipends are around $24k and $27k respectively. I listed Quantum Information as my interest, which I like, but have almost no idea about (and not 100% sure if I will follow through with QI).

UMD having JQI is definitely stronger in terms of research. But I am seriously worried about whether the stipend will be good enough to live there. I have heard that the cost of living in College Park is high. Do I have reason for concern?

Thanks for your help everybody.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:13 am

qubits wrote:I am an international and still haven't posted my profile. Waiting to hear from one last school so will be posting it soon.

I have received offers for Maryland and CMU. The stipends are around $24k and $27k respectively. I listed Quantum Information as my interest, which I like, but have almost no idea about (and not 100% sure if I will follow through with QI).

UMD having JQI is definitely stronger in terms of research. But I am seriously worried about whether the stipend will be good enough to live there. I have heard that the cost of living in College Park is high. Do I have reason for concern?

Thanks for your help everybody.


Is it $24,000 for 9-months or the whole year?

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qubits
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby qubits » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:32 am

Tom Joad wrote:
qubits wrote:I am an international and still haven't posted my profile. Waiting to hear from one last school so will be posting it soon.

I have received offers for Maryland and CMU. The stipends are around $24k and $27k respectively. I listed Quantum Information as my interest, which I like, but have almost no idea about (and not 100% sure if I will follow through with QI).

UMD having JQI is definitely stronger in terms of research. But I am seriously worried about whether the stipend will be good enough to live there. I have heard that the cost of living in College Park is high. Do I have reason for concern?

Thanks for your help everybody.


Is it $24,000 for 9-months or the whole year?



The email said "The combined financial package totals $24k for the first year". So it included summer.

Thanks for replying Tom. I was starting to think nobody would get back to me on this.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:43 am

That does sound a little low for the whole year. If I were you, assuming you won't get a chance to visit as an international, I'd try to contact current graduate students by email and ask them about cost of living (for instance, these guys: http://jqi.umd.edu/people/grad-students). I'm sure if you emailed a few at random one of them would be willing to help you out.

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qubits
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby qubits » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:10 pm

Tom Joad wrote:That does sound a little low for the whole year. If I were you, assuming you won't get a chance to visit as an international, I'd try to contact current graduate students by email and ask them about cost of living (for instance, these guys: http://jqi.umd.edu/people/grad-students). I'm sure if you emailed a few at random one of them would be willing to help you out.


Yeah, I won't be getting a chance to visit any of the universities before enrolling. The graduate students should know how it would be. Thanks for the tip. Congratulations on all your acceptances. :)

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Tom Joad
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:48 pm

qubits wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:That does sound a little low for the whole year. If I were you, assuming you won't get a chance to visit as an international, I'd try to contact current graduate students by email and ask them about cost of living (for instance, these guys: http://jqi.umd.edu/people/grad-students). I'm sure if you emailed a few at random one of them would be willing to help you out.


Yeah, I won't be getting a chance to visit any of the universities before enrolling. The graduate students should know how it would be. Thanks for the tip. Congratulations on all your acceptances. :)


Thanks, and good luck with your inquiries!

twinb87
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby twinb87 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:59 pm

I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland. The cost of living in the DC metro is high but $24K is enough to live a comfortable lifestyle on. I managed just fine on that for a while and didn't really feel like it was a struggle. If you want more information on anything regarding Maryland just let me know.

Good luck and congratulations on your acceptances.

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Andromeda
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby Andromeda » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:41 am

CMU's stipend will go a lot further than just the $3k difference because cost of living in Pittsburgh is so much less than the Washington DC area. My sister was also a grad student at UMD (albeit in biology) and had issues living on the stipend because she ended up going on way too short notice to secure a roommate and had a car.

So when it comes to what you want in grad student life and define living comfortably- if it involves your own place for example, CMU would probably be a lot easier a place to do that.

Mind I grew up in Pittsburgh (dad taught in engineering at CMU) and spent a lot of time at UMD when my sister was there, and enjoy both. In Pittsburgh you're in the city smack in the middle of where the cultural institutions are located, at UMD you're a little further out but can hop on the metro to be in an incredible city.

Dreaded Anomaly
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby Dreaded Anomaly » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:09 pm

I'm a current UMD grad student, and I have had no problem living on the stipend. I have not noticed the cost of living being very high compared to other places I've lived in the US (New York, New England, Chicago).

Be proactive about finding housing: look at Craigslist, Hotpads, etc., and try out the UMD Roommate Finder. Also, one of our department secretaries will forward roommate openings from current grad students to the incoming first year class. Just avoid ending up in one of the apartment complexes, which are overpriced and usually mediocre in quality. There are plenty of houses to rent in the area around campus.

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qubits
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Re: Maryland vs. CMU

Postby qubits » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:43 am

For QI, seems UMD is the best choice. They have a lot of profs working in that field and with all the research going on, I am really leaning towards it.

I read somewhere that the stipend is one of the last things that should be used to decide between schools. I would've like to go to CMU had it had at least one or two more profs working there in QI. But with only one, I am not sure I would even get a chance for that.

Should decide soon and inform one about declining so that somebody else can get out of the waiting list. Thanks for all the help everybody.. :)




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