JHU MSE vs. UT Austin PhD

<p>I need suggestions again from you. I started MSE in BME at JHU this fall. Unexpectedly, I have got PhD offer in BME at UT Austin starting from next Spring. My ultimate goal is to pursue PhD anyway. But, I am worried how much wise it will be to leave JHU at this stage. Research areas are similar at both schools. Austin's funding is higher than that of JHU.
I truly appreciate your advice. Thank you very much.</p>

<p>It’s my understanding that JHU is the top-ranked biomedical engineering program in the country (or certainly at least top 5). UT-Austin’s is also very good, at top 15.</p>

<p>To me, this would depend on a lot of factors. You said that UT’s funding was more than JHU’s. How much more? Are you currently paying for the MSE at JHU; are we talking about $15,000 vs. $30,000, or are we talking about $25,000 vs. $27,000? Small amounts don’t matter. Bigger amounts do, but must be taken into context. It might be worth it to leave an unfunded master’s program for a funded top 15 PhD program.</p>

<p>The other factors are your own personal “list” and your likelihood of achieving that. Was UT-Austin a place that you originally really wanted to go to? Where does it rank on YOUR personal list? Was it like your #2 or #5 choice? Where does JHU rank? For an example, I turned down a master’s with a half-tuition scholarship at Emory (my personal first choice) for a funded doctoral program at Columbia (my second choice) because while the master’s would’ve likely led to a doctoral program at Emory, the Columbia program was actually slightly higher-ranked, would get me to similar places career-wise, and had great people doing great research. It would also save me about $80,000 over the course of two years.</p>

<p>Do you want to do a PhD at JHU, and if so, how much more do you want to do a PhD there than at UT-Austin? Is it enough to turn down a sure thing and the prospect of saving thousands of dollars? Are there other PhD programs in between JHU and Austin that you really want to see if you can gain admission into?</p>

<p>I think that your real question is - will it harm your career prospects significantly to go to the #14 program instead of the #1? In that case - it really depends on your field. Johns Hopkins is also the #1 program in my field; our UT-equivalent is Yale or Tulane or George Washington. In my field, a PhD from Hopkins and a PhD from Tulane or Yale or GWU could likely successfully compete for positions in the same places, both inside and outside of academia (definitely outside) - especially with publications or postdocs equalizing the field. I honestly imagine that’s probably the same case in BME, although the only way to know would be to be inside your field - so your professors (maybe not the ones at JHU, but undergrad professors) may be the best ones to ask.</p>