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Thread: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

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    PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

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    Hello,

    I have 2 offers from University of Alberta and Texas A&M University and both universities are my top choices. However, in choosing one of these universities I have a couple of reservations in my mind and I will be very glad if you could provide some insights.

    1. Considering the Job Market after completing the PhD, does the ranking of the institution where you get your PhD from matters? If yes, in what degree?

    2. Again considering the Job Market, PhD in Canada vs. PhD in US? In other words, do the universities in the US have a tendency to hire applicants having PhD’s from American institutions?

    3. How do you consider Univ. of Alberta in terms of its prestige in the US vs. Texas A&M? Although it’s in top 5 universities in Canada, how it is known in the US?

    4. Am I even asking the right questions?

    I am aware of the fact that almost all will depend on how I will improve myself, what I will do in my PhD studies, dissertation, publications etc. rather than the “prestige” of the institution. However, assuming I will have a similar portfolio when I will complete my PhD, I am trying to understand the differences of these schools.

    Thank you!

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Definitely Texas A&M.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?


    1. Considering the Job Market after completing the PhD, does the ranking of the institution where you get your PhD from matters? If yes, in what degree?
    Yes, it matters. Your pub record is the most important thing but graduation from a high-ranking university can kind of make up for lack-luster CVs.

    2. Again considering the Job Market, PhD in Canada vs. PhD in US? In other words, do the universities in the US have a tendency to hire applicants having PhD’s from American institutions?
    Yes - US universities are much more likely to hire graduates from US programs (Unless we are talking someplace like INSEAD). I assume that Canadian universities will generally favor applicants from Canadian programs.

    3. How do you consider Univ. of Alberta in terms of its prestige in the US vs. Texas A&M? Although it’s in top 5 universities in Canada, how it is known in the US?

    I am not very familiar with University of Alberta. Texas A&M definitely has more recognition/status around here. I go to school in the South though.

    4. Am I even asking the right questions?
    I think you are on the right track. I would go with Texas A&M unless you are interested in getting a job in Canada. Your research interests also matter here though - Which school is going to allow for you to have the best CV in research you're interested in?

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Thank you for the valuable insights! I also feel myself closer to A&M but Alberta (5th best school in Canada) is also a great school and in most of the global rankings Alberta is one step ahead of A&M (except for usnews but I think that system tends to give more credit to US institutions).

    Academic & University News | Times Higher Education (THE): Alberta: #132, A&M: #171
    https://www.topuniversities.com : Alberta: #109, A&M: #203
    USNEWS : Alberta: #137, A&M: #125

    However, I have the sense that not everyone is aware of the rankings of Alberta and as far as I understand A&M has more and better recognition.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    What research track are you going for (e.g. strategy, finance, etc.)

    No love for Alberta in here I guess!

    Take a look here:
    List of Graduates | Alberta School of Business

    You should ask A&M if they can give you a list of placements for graduates from your track. A&M as a whole publishes really well but for whatever reason they seem to under place PhDs on average.

    Alberta does ok for where it is at -- I can think of very specific scenarios where Alberta would be a really good place to get training (for example if you are interested in OT/qualitative research, Alberta has several good scholars.

    One advantage of Canada is that you would likely be able to get permanent residence/citizenship during your PhD, which would help you on the (Canadian) job market.



    Quote Originally Posted by f2019 View Post
    Thank you for the valuable insights! I also feel myself closer to A&M but Alberta (5th best school in Canada) is also a great school and in most of the global rankings Alberta is one step ahead of A&M (except for usnews but I think that system tends to give more credit to US institutions).

    Academic & University News | Times Higher Education (THE): Alberta: #132, A&M: #171
    https://www.topuniversities.com : Alberta: #109, A&M: #203
    USNEWS : Alberta: #137, A&M: #125

    However, I have the sense that not everyone is aware of the rankings of Alberta and as far as I understand A&M has more and better recognition.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post
    One advantage of Canada is that you would likely be able to get permanent residence/citizenship during your PhD, which would help you on the (Canadian) job market.
    Can you summarize the PR process for intl students in Canada? I thought you needed a fulltime job to qualify for the PR process.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post

    You should ask A&M if they can give you a list of placements for graduates from your track. A&M as a whole publishes really well but for whatever reason they seem to under place PhDs on average.
    Totally agree with you on the placements of A&M but I also think in the same way for Alberta. When I check the graduates of Alberta, it looks like the target market for the business school is Europe&Canada rather than North America including US. And this gives me the clue that US universities do not favor PhD's from Canadian universities (except for Toronto, B.Columbia, McGill). Additionally, there are few universities in Canada and they do not need new faculty members every year vs. >4000 universities in the US.

    I am not sure if how I think is right but I think that a PhD from A&M will open more doors including from Canadian universities.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    There are several programs and even variations by province so I wouldn't be able to summarize it here, but it is (or at least, if it changed, until very recently), possible to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by saleem View Post
    Can you summarize the PR process for intl students in Canada? I thought you needed a fulltime job to qualify for the PR process.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Its hard to identify causality -- not everyone intends to go to the US, so a Canadian school placing to Europe/Canada might just reflect lifestyle preferences of the students rather than thinking that the US do not favor Canadian PhDs.

    And likely that A&M would open doors in the US -- but more than Alberta -- you will only know if you can see placements for your research track and where they ended up. For Canadian schools though, by law they have to give preference to Canadian PR/citizens. So if your goal is to go to Canada (but it sounds like that isn't the case), going to school in Texas wouldn't give you a competitive advantage

    Quote Originally Posted by f2019 View Post
    Totally agree with you on the placements of A&M but I also think in the same way for Alberta. When I check the graduates of Alberta, it looks like the target market for the business school is Europe&Canada rather than North America including US. And this gives me the clue that US universities do not favor PhD's from Canadian universities (except for Toronto, B.Columbia, McGill). Additionally, there are few universities in Canada and they do not need new faculty members every year vs. >4000 universities in the US.

    I am not sure if how I think is right but I think that a PhD from A&M will open more doors including from Canadian universities.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Two things.

    1. A&M is known for HR. They have good researchers there. You'll be fine there. Similar to many commenters on this thread I don't really know about Alberta which is a mildly negative sign.

    2. Weather, by god the weather. There's a reason that most of the population of Canada is on the coast or right along the southern border. Edmonton is neither. Do you really want to be cold for 5 years? College Station is personally far too warm for me, but I'd easily take it over Edmonton. You're talking an average 20-30 degree Fahrenheit difference. I'm not joking when I say that should be your #1 factor in deciding. While it isn't the most important per say, it is the factor with the largest difference.

    Edmonton - Wikipedia
    College Station, Texas - Wikipedia

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