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Duke vs UIUC for MS in Data Science

Aady16Aady16 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited April 9 in Graduate School
I have been admitted to UIUC - MS in Statistics-Analytics program, and Duke's MS in Interdisciplinary Data Science program. Though I like Duke's curriculum more than UIUC, as it offers more flexibility and variety of subjects, the following two points are my concern:
1. Duke's two year tuition fees is $94300, whereas UIUC is costing around $58000 for two years. Is it worth spending $35000 extra for Duke?
2. Duke's program will have it's inaugural class in Fall 2018, whereas UIUC has an established program.Is this more of an advantage to Duke students, as department will put their best efforts to turn this new initiative into a success, or it would be more of a disadvantage?

Replies to: Duke vs UIUC for MS in Data Science

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,061 Senior Member
    Illinois is a very well respected school & program. If you prefer Duke's program, then ask Duke if there is any chance for tuition remission, scholarships, financial aid or any other school related option to reduce overall cost.
  • Aady16Aady16 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I asked Duke admission office about partial/full tuition fee waiver and they said that some students have already received financial aid. If those students don't accept the offer of admission, only then I stand a chance of getting any financial aid. So most probably I won't receive.
  • Aady16Aady16 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    edited April 10
    Do you guys feel Duke's prestige, strong alumni network, and high selectivity in picking up the students gives it an edge over UIUC, and I should pay $35000 more and join Duke?

    (The class size at Duke will be 30-35 students, compared to 65-70 students at UIUC)

    Or you feel there is not much difference in brand value of both the schools, and I should join the so called "public Ivy" UIUC?
  • JenniferClintJenniferClint Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited April 10
    UIUC has a solid reputation in the quantitative sciences. How much of a burden will the extra $35000 be?

    If you want to remain in the United States, the Duke brand is pretty hard to beat.
  • Aady16Aady16 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    edited April 10
    @JenniferClint In either case, I will take an education loan. So in case of Duke, the loan amount would be $35000 more.

    Brand wise, Duke definitely wins. But do you think it is risky to be a part of inaugural class of a new course at Duke, and therefore UIUC's established program might be a better option?
  • 88jm1988jm19 Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    I don't know anything specific about the two programs. I also don't know anything about your future goals and personal preferences. However with those huge limitations, I would suggest you delve into student outcomes from UIUC's program. I'm not favoring it over Duke, but with it being the inaugural class it lacks placement stats.

    What are the UIUC students doing post graduation? Do you see your goals reflected in these outcomes? What companies hire there? Does there seem to be a pipeline to certain destinations? What are your expectations?

    $35k may or may not be a big deal to you, depending on your stage of life. Do some due diligence and then when you make your decision, don't look back. Stay focused on your goals wherever you go. Good luck!
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,414 Super Moderator
    $35K in loans is a big difference. That's the difference between a loan payment of around $660/month (still a whole lot, but probably doable on a data scientist's salary with some sacrifices) and $1,050/month.

    New programs are not bad, particularly if they are begun at universities that already have strengths in the area. Data science is basically an interdisciplinary degree in statistics and computer science. Duke already is strong in computer science and in math, and has a good program in statistics, so I'd imagine that their data science program will be pretty good. They also already have great resources for graduate students - including career services - and are close to a burgeoning tech corridor in Raleigh.

    That said, UIUC has strengths in these areas too and strong connections to tech companies across the country, plus the program is a lot less expensive. If I were you I would choose UIUC's program because of the difference in cost.
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