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Thread: UBC vs UC3M for a masters

  1. #1
    Peddling prosperity
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    My Two Cents UBC vs UC3M for a masters

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    Points on UBC and its strengths have already been discussed in my other thread here:
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...e-masters.html
    I'm grateful for those helpful comments, but noting that they need not be made again here, as this is a different sort of question - the importance of faculty research strengths vs funding when considering masters offers.

    My dilemma is between a funded offer at a good program which poorly matches my interests (UC3M) vs an unfunded offer at a good program which almost perfectly matches my interests (UBC).

    My research interests (in no particular order):
    • international trade
    • international finance/macro
    • macro
    • China/Asia (for empirical work)


    My goals in pursuing the masters (in no particular order):
    • confirm my level of interest in making another stab at PhD admissions, with some recent/rigorous coursework as a taste-test;
    • improve my profile with some MA/PhD coursework;
    • kind of a nerd and look forward to the academic rigor of coursework/masters thesis on a topic of interest
    • career related - glass ceiling would be hit this or next year without the masters


    UBC
    • + Top 20/30 department, good reputation (?) in North America and Asia (preference to working in China/Asia if I go private sector after)
    • + Strong in international economics fields
    • + Vancouver
    • + Would be a good department for my PhD studies, based on research interests
    • - Expensive relative to UC3M (but not terrible by MA/MSc standards)
    • +/- 1 year program - I figure this is a plus if I decide not to pursue the PhD, as it means I'm back on the market, developing my career sooner. Minus if I decide I really am in it for the PhD, as I'll just have 1 year to demonstrate competence and get LORs
    • +/- MA level coursework, not PhD - same reasons as above, except concerning stress level and relevance of studies to ultimate career choice


    UC3M
    • + Top 50 department, apparently a really strong reputation in Spain and maybe Europe (my Spanish friends couldn't stop saying good things about its reputation in Spain)
    • + Very strong in econometrics
    • + Madrid
    • + Tuition waiver and living stipend guaranteed as long as I maintain good standing
    • + Supposedly good placements of PhD students
    • - Would not be a good department to continue my PhD studies at, based on research interests
    • - MEA program is relatively new, limited information on placement of students into other PhD programs
    • - Attrition rate is 50%
    • +/- 2 year program - see UBC for opposite reasons
    • +/- PhD level coursework, not MA - ditto


    To be clear, since this weighs into my decision process also, I have been working for several years so funding is not my top concern, although I obviously don't want to spend my savings unnecessarily.

    Currently I'm leaning towards UBC, despite the costs, because their faculty research strengths are so closely in line with mine. My concern is that if I'm after a MA that includes coursework in several fields as opposed to the dissertation of a PhD does it make sense to place such a strong preference on faculty research strengths over financial considerations?

    FWIW, UBC is possibly making a second round of TA offers in the next week or so. In the event I get one my decision would be made.

    I appreciate anyone's
    "An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living."
    - Nicholas Chamfort

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Personally, I think that if you want to use those two masters as a stepping stone for the US ph.d, then you would be better to go for UC3M as it offers you a scholarship. I do no think that the marginal benefit of attending UBC master is worth more than a 2-year-long fund. (However, if UBC offers you a TA, then it is a way to clear choice.)
    If you think to work in Asia, specially in HK, the brand of UBC could add you some advantages to get a better job.

  3. #3
    Peddling prosperity
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    No other thoughts?
    "An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living."
    - Nicholas Chamfort

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