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Thread: U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Finance PhD...Any Thoughts?

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    U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Finance PhD...Any Thoughts?

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    Just received a late offer from UIUC....Any insight about the PhD in Finance program? I am aware that it is a very good program however I am concerned about the volatility in the placement record...

    Thanxxxxxx!

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    A volatile placement record makes sense given that it's got good people but much lower standards than you might expect from such good people.

    I think this is one of those cases where you aren't going to get a big boost from going there, but it won't kill you either. You basically land in the 'meritocracy' zone, where in you will have to earn your way up, but you will also have to earn your way down.

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    Thank you rsaylors. This is what I am concerned about

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    If there's one thing I've come to realize about placements, it's that volatility tends to be the rule rather than the exception. Given such a low n in any given year, and the incredible amount of heterogeneity in graduates in terms of factors that go into placements (e.g., research interests, motivation, personal considerations (like family limitations or geographic preferences), and ability -- not only the ability to research, but also the ability to present well, to handle difficult questions, to network, etc.), it's not surprising that placements are so volatile.

    Now, if a program consistently places very well or consistently places very poorly, or if the distribution of placements is odd somehow (e.g., it's all over the map, with the average student placing at the average school and the top/bottom 5% placing at the top/bottom 5% of schools; or if it has weird/multiple peaks or something, with students placing either in the top 20 or in the bottom 20), that would be something I'd look into a bit more carefully.

    As long as a school's average placement isn't too far below what I would consider an alright placement, and the variance isn't TOO high, I'd be satisfied. Of course, all else equal, you'd clearly prefer the school with an awesome average placement and very little variance; but like I said, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule, even in "top" programs.

    Once you start your program, you'll start seeing how many different factors and individual differences go into placements.


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    Can anybody compare UIUC with USC Finance and Business Economics?
    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

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    Only you can assess your own fit relative to two programs.

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    while your concern is justified, of course, your placement is invariably related, and perhaps even more so to how YOU do in your program... how your research goes, et cetera. in other words, you make your own placement. being at a school with a good placement record may make you feel like your placement is guaranteed, but there are so many factors involved, and what applied to the people who graduated before may not apply to you, so beware... nothing is guaranteed. if you are not an american citizen, a sudden limit on visas will also cramp your placement, as what happened to my advisor when he finished his phd in the middle of the gulf war. as possible_phd said, volatility is the norm... let's look at the publicly available placement record of schools that are closely ranked to uiuc in the asu ranking, and see how that volatility thing goes:

    • 17 uiuc - 1997/2010 - depaul, webster, iscte, lbs, hkust, gwu, korea u, michigan, kdisppm, cuhk, georgia tech, seton hall, chung ang, northwestern, 2 case western reserve, bradley, ut arlington, asu, suny binghamton, curtin, college of insurance ny, illinois chicago, murdoch, florida (PhD Finance)
    • 20 berkeley - 2002/2010 - copenhagen, melbourne, mcgill, georgia, vanderbilt, washington, nus, iese, miami, 2 hkust, cal poly, cmu, lbs, houston, nanyang tech, cornell, indiana, san fran state, chicago, santa clara, upf (Dissertations & Placements - Finance, PhD Program - Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley)
    • 18 boston college - unknown date range - baruch, william and mary, depaul, fordham, gwu, indiana, michigan state, alberta, arizona, minnesota, virginia (Careers - Boston College)
    • 21 maryland - 2002/2010 - sabanci, illinois chicago, usc, tsinghua, uc riverside, hawaii, virginia tech, ucla, minnesota, georgetown, florida state, bentley, vcu, gwu, indiana, ubc, penn state (Finance)
    • 22 asu - 1999/2010 - quinnipiac, viterbo, suny binghamton, ut tyler, kentucky, tulane, uni san diego, colorado state, 2 texas tech, chinese uni of hk, dayton, south florida, minnesota, washington state, montana state, portland, baruch, idaho state, purdue, 2 georgia state, smu, cornell, rochester, clarement (Placement Data - Finance- W. P. Carey School of Business)
    • 9 columbia - 2001/2007 (OLD DATA) - lbs, uconn, albany, fordham, 2 washington, notre dame, norwegian som, unc chapel hill, univ astral, drexel, pace, rice, oregon, ubc, cornell, brandeis (Finance and Economics Division : PhD)
    • 8 ohio state - 1995/2009 - boston college, uconn, rutgers, byu, singapore mgmt, iowa, santa clara, 2 rutgers, nanyang tech, 2 george mason, american, northeastern, ut sa, depaul, korea u, 2 gwu, toronto, syracuse, minho, uw-milwaukee, york, 2 georgetown, wake forest, asu, ut arlington, capital, georgia, pittsburgh, smu, west indies, cal poly (OSU Finance PhD Program - Track Record)
    • 28 ubc -1996/2010 - utah, asu, 2 toronto, 2 nanyang tech, concordia, unsw, oregon, 2 cmu, ucla, 3 ut austin, exeter, beijing, laval, calgary, 2 simon fraser, hec montreal, manitoba, berkeley, colorado, wilfrid laurier (Sauder School of Business - Ph.D. Job Market Candidates)
    • 29 washington - 2005/2010 - shanghai jt, tsinghua, georgia, auckland, byu, delaware, washington state, seattle (Recent Placement and Dissertations)


    hope that illustrates how volatility is the norm... while we are talking about downwards volatility, volatility can be upwards too. for example, uw-madison has a harvard placement...

    do you have other offers or options that lead you towards the possibility of not going to uiuc? or do you have alternative plans in mind, such as reapplying next year?

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    Wisconsin placed a stat/finance student to the stat deparment of harvard. still impressive. but not that relevant.

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    admittedly my error, but i still think it illustrates how the candidate specifics make a big difference...

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