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Thread: Advice Needed! (Choosing Master's Program)

  1. #1
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    Advice Needed! (Choosing Master's Program)

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    Hello all, I'm a long time lurker and a first time poster!

    I am looking to elicit first-hand advice on choosing a Canadian master's program. Currently I have been accepted to Queen's, Western, and Toronto (I don't like BC so I didn't apply to UBC). I have also been admitted to some pretty good european programs (UCL, BGSE, waiting on LSE), though I am not sure if I can justify the insane tuition costs of these school. I have always wanted to be a Professor my entire life; hence, I am using this as a stepping stone to a PHD, and all have allowed me to take PhD courses should I wish. I have yet to distil my interests in the applied micro or econometrics areas, though I do know I am not a macroeconomist. I have to choose between the three by the end of this weekend, and am beginning to go mad! Here are my thoughts and apprehensions on each:

    Toronto: Funding = $23000. Toronto offers the largest selection of class choice taught by some very great profs. Easier transition to staying at Toronto to do a PhD which has placed very well in recent years. Very strong workplace placement should I decide a PhD isn't for me–this may just be a function of geography though. I have heard nightmares of intense competition and profs not giving a shite about the MA students. Huge cohort.

    Western: Funding = $25000 (additional 5k bonus if I stay for phd). I love the 12-20 student cohort size and office space. Western has the most rigorous covering of theory, econometrics, and a course for topology and analysis. It allows no choice to explore interests. I just have no idea how the program has placed students at US PhD programs in recent years. Also might limit my job prospects should I decide to enter the workforce without a PhD. High access to profs. Seem to be working very hard to put the grad program back on the map again.

    Queen's: Funding = $19000. Reasonable cohort size, office space, profs from good US programs (though many are quite old). They say they placed students well into workplace and PhDs, but minimal information online. Have had multiple phone conversations with senior prof, and the department seems to care deeply about their students.

    I need some advice on choosing between the three! Also how pissed would they be if I accepted all three and reneged two haha?

    Cheers
    Last edited by yow; 03-14-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice Needed! (Choosing Master's Program)

    Seems more like a personal choice to me. However, I have been told by some profs that their colleges who went on and did PhDs at U of T felt like just a number (too many students at U of T). I would recommended to not renege on these offers if you will apply as a PhD student to them in the future, don't burn any bridges. Ask for a deadline extension instead.

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    Re: Advice Needed! (Choosing Master's Program)

    Quote Originally Posted by yow View Post
    Hello all, I'm a long time lurker and a first time poster!

    I am looking to elicit first-hand advice on choosing a Canadian master's program. Currently I have been accepted to Queen's, Western, and Toronto (I don't like BC so I didn't apply to UBC). I have also been admitted to some pretty good european programs (UCL, BGSE, waiting on LSE), though I am not sure if I can justify the insane tuition costs of these school. I have always wanted to be a Professor my entire life; hence, I am using this as a stepping stone to a PHD, and all have allowed me to take PhD courses should I wish. I have yet to distil my interests in the applied micro or econometrics areas, though I do know I am not a macroeconomist. I have to choose between the three by the end of this weekend, and am beginning to go mad! Here are my thoughts and apprehensions on each:

    Toronto: Funding = $23000. Toronto offers the largest selection of class choice taught by some very great profs. Easier transition to staying at Toronto to do a PhD which has placed very well in recent years. Very strong workplace placement should I decide a PhD isn't for me–this may just be a function of geography though. I have heard nightmares of intense competition and profs not giving a shite about the MA students. Huge cohort.

    Western: Funding = $25000 (additional 5k bonus if I stay for phd). I love the 12-20 student cohort size and office space. Western has the most rigorous covering of theory, econometrics, and a course for topology and analysis. It allows no choice to explore interests. I just have no idea how the program has placed students at US PhD programs in recent years. Also might limit my job prospects should I decide to enter the workforce without a PhD. High access to profs. Seem to be working very hard to put the grad program back on the map again.

    Queen's: Funding = $19000. Surprised that this was the lowest funding package, but they essentially told me to come back with what I think is a fair counter offer. Reasonable cohort size, office space, profs from good US programs (though many are quite old). They say they place students well into workplace and PhDs, but no printed information online. Have had multiple phone conversations with senior prof, and the department seems to care deeply about their students. 12 months rather than 8 so I have to stretch funding an extra 4 months and forego summer work.

    I need some advice on choosing between the three! Also how pissed would they be if I accepted all three and reneged two haha?

    Cheers
    Students in recent past have gone on to UPenn and Yale if memory serves me right after taking the first year at uwo. If you're strong in the courses you have a good shot at going elsewhere for a PhD if that's what you want. Very good program overall if you decide to stay. Especially in labor, applied econ and money/macro is getting very strong again.

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