How to compare graduate schools (only academically)

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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hormander
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:01 pm

How to compare graduate schools (only academically)

Post by hormander » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:49 pm

Hi, I wonder what you think on comparing and choosing a graduate program. Currently I have no better source than usnews ranking. However, I don't know how reliable the ranking is and I don't want to judge a program by purely the ranking. I wonder what are some criterion to use: eg. faculty size, publication quantity, student placement, etc.

In particular, I see that Notre Dame is ranking in the 40s. Considering the overall reputation of Notre Dame, I doubt if the math department at Notre Dame is such mediocre?

Thank you.

blue_math
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:28 am

Re: How to compare graduate schools (only academically)

Post by blue_math » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:22 am

hormander wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:49 pm
Hi, I wonder what you think on comparing and choosing a graduate program. Currently I have no better source than usnews ranking. However, I don't know how reliable the ranking is and I don't want to judge a program by purely the ranking. I wonder what are some criterion to use: eg. faculty size, publication quantity, student placement, etc.

In particular, I see that Notre Dame is ranking in the 40s. Considering the overall reputation of Notre Dame, I doubt if the math department at Notre Dame is such mediocre?

Thank you.
If you have an advisor/someone in your math department whose field you are interested in, they could give you a good intuition/reasons as to why one school is better for you than the other. You could also reach out to current graduate students, as they'd be able to give you a great idea for how the person you'd like to work with interacts with the graduate students.

Choosing a graduate program relies on quite a few factors, namely:
- Do you see 1+ possible advisors there for you? If one possible advisor leaves, do you have a viable option for another one?
- Do they have a lot of faculty in your desired field of interest? For example, some schools are very well ranked overall, but don't have a strong collection of Logic faculty, for example.
- How well funded is the department? I.e., are their teas (a small but important thing) funded by the department? Are there funding opportunities for graduate students to start programs (like a DRP program)? Is there a big difference between stipends you are offered?
- What is the atmosphere between the undergraduates and the graduate students?
- Do people go to tea? Do they have a tea?

*Everyone else, please feel free to add to this list :) *



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