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Thread: Ph.D. at MIT or Princeton ?

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Ph.D. at MIT or Princeton ?

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    Dear all,

    I am a French student with a nuclear engineering background. I am currently finishing a double master degree at Tsinghua University, Beijing.

    I have applied to both MIT and Princeton for Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and have been admitted to both with complete financial aid for next 2014 fall. Actually, the field I aim to study is rather particular. It is nuclear security, arms control, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear terrorism. As you might guess, this realm is not only a matter of engineering but also involves international relations and policy analysis.
    While I have planned to do 5 years more in engineering (the Ph.D.), I am passionate about international relations. In the future, I don't see myself as an engineer, a scientist nor a professor. I would like to work for the French government as an expert on questions of international security which involves both technical and policy problems and on China.

    Here is how I see the bright-sides and seamy-sides of both universities for my carrier :



    + Excellent International Relations School (Woodrow Wilson School)
    + Location
    + The lab in which I would work is very friendly and I already know a French guy here

    - Less famous than MIT (at least in Asia and France)


    + Strong engineering reputation and environment

    - I have less contact with the lab for the moment

    ? Not sure about if I could be in close contact with international relations and policy analysis students, scholars etc.


    I know I am very lucky to have to choose between MIT and Princeton. But I still would like to hear about your opinions, taking into account my ambitions.

    Thank you in advance.


  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud joannestudy's Avatar
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    Re: Ph.D. at MIT or Princeton ?

    If you want to get more involved in politics and international relationship, go with Princeton. If you want to focus on engineering, MIT is the obvious choice.

    Having said that, check and see if there's any joint program by MIT and Harvard. If there's something at Harvard that a MIT student can attend, then you might be able to get the best of both worlds. Harvard also has excellent political science / international relationship and general social science department.

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    Re: Ph.D. at MIT or Princeton ?

    I guess you answered your question!
    So for sure, if you want to be involved to politic problems and you want to study it more, choose Princeton.

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