Question: If you had the choice and could only go to one.

<p>Would you Pick Harvard Undergraduate Degree or Harvard Graduate Degree (MS, PhD, MBA, JD, MD, MPH, DMD, etc.) and why</p>

<p>Uh...Harvard MBA. In a heartbeat.</p>

<p>A Harvard graduate degree. One's quality of education and associations with institutional prestige beyond the undergraduate level is much more influential to future employers.</p>

<p>I was accepted to Harvard this year, and I chose not to go there for this exact reason. I want to do pre-med, and do not want to spend 8 years in Boston, plus I hear that often colleges won't look as kindly on their own undergrads for grad school admissions. I know its a long shot for Harvard med school, but I figured, if I could do it once that I could do it again. I ended up choosing Princeton.</p>

<p>i'm going to go against the curve here... i'd rather go for undergrad (which is what i'll be doing this fall yay! haha) because you get to experience alllll the different subjects and classes at harvard rather than focusing in just your one area. there are so many strong programs there and i can't wait to explore them all and get a well-rounded education with everything harvard has to offer. and cambridge/boston are perfect for undergrads! plus, you can always go to another ivy for grad school :)</p>

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plus, you can always go to another ivy for grad school

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<p>Well, this is dependent on whether or not you receive admission to an Ivy League graduate school, which is never a certain thing.</p>

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i'd rather go for undergrad

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<p>Really? Although I will admit that being with a large group of vibrant peers is attractive, I don't see why one would prefer Harvard over another school of similar caliber unless Harvard was particularly strong in that field.</p>

<p>To answer the OP:</p>

<p>I would go for a Harvard graduate degree. In the last few weeks, I have had an increasing suspicion that despite Harvard's claims to the contrary, it really does not lavish as much attention on its undergraduates as other institutions do - that alone would make me wary of going there. Furthermore, as it has already been mentioned, most students are not recruited for jobs in say, law, right out of the gate from undergrad. It's more important to have a prestigious degree for one's professional studies than for undergraduate studies, which in the long run generally do not determine the trajectory of one's career anyway.</p>

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That is really unfortunate, as Boston is a wonderful city, and I have many classmates who are looking forward to staying here an additional 4+ years to pursue their graduate degrees. I jumped at the chance to experience life in Boston as an undergrad, and I think you passed up a fun opportunity, especially since, as you said, there's no guarantee you'll be "invited" back (the acceptance rate for the HMS Class of 2014 was smaller than 3%). Unless, I suppose, you also put Tufts or BU Medical School in your sights...</p>

<p>I think your decision would be more understandable if you had chosen to attend school in some other vibrant college town, but my first-hand impression is that Princeton, NJ, equates to Nowheresville. :P</p>

<p>@ksarmand, i feel like the surrounding area is actually a more important part of your undergrad career than grad career, and for me personally i'll end up spending more time in undergrad than grad school. boston has so many internship/volunteer/other opportunities that i don't believe many schools of similar caliber offer. plus the fin aid is incredible... i'm paying so little for undergrad there that basically all the money i have saved for undergrad will go straight to paying for grad school... so really i'm pretty biased based on my personal situation haha. but what i meant by being able to attend another ivy for grad school was that if you go to harvard for undergrad, you'll have a pretty good shot at getting into an ivy league grad school in general, even if it isnt harvard's specifically</p>

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i feel like the surrounding area is actually a more important part of your undergrad career than grad career

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<p>So do I. That's why I ultimately did not choose Princeton.</p>

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plus the fin aid is incredible... i'm paying so little for undergrad there that basically all the money i have saved for undergrad will go straight to paying for grad school

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<p>Well, I will have to agree with the amazing financial aid - I didn't expect an offer as generous as the one I got. Since I had no money saved for school, which is quite a sad state of affairs, then all the loans I'll be taking will be saved up for graduate school.</p>

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if you go to harvard for undergrad, you'll have a pretty good shot at getting into an ivy league grad school in general, even if it isnt harvard's specifically

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<p>Well, sure. My only point is that you'd have a pretty good shot coming from other top tier schools as well, and that going to Harvard isn't the key to getting into a top grad school.</p>

<p>that's absolutely true :) i'd say you can't go wrong with harvard for undergrad OR grad school though haha!</p>

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I have had an increasing suspicion that despite Harvard's claims to the contrary, it really does not lavish as much attention on its undergraduates as other institutions do

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<p>What makes you say this?</p>

<p>My experiences while speaking to students, making observations while on several campuses, and doing some research into Harvard's undergraduate-oriented programs have led me to believe that Harvard does not have a strong undergraduate focus. For instance, Harvard has no equivalent to Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School, though some will make the ultimately insoluble argument that the IOP is the same. Like I said, the surrounding area makes the difference.</p>

<p>Harvard undergrad! Yale Law!
That's my goal.
I'll be a freshman at Harvard this fall and at this time will strive to be a worthy admit to Yale Law.</p>

<p>^Same here! :)</p>

<p>But I think I'd like to do graduate work in public (health?) policy first.</p>

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Well, the funny thing about Princeton is that, with such a large per-student endowment, it can afford to focus on all its students equally, undergrad and grad alike. This -- relative to Harvard, where per-student endowment is lower and grads outnumber undergrads more than 2:1 -- causes Princeton to appear undergrad-focused, when it's really just (all students)-focused.</p>

<p>^Regardless of what it appears to be, it does have a greater relative focus, which was my point. </p>

<p>And I'm not sure why you quoted that particular portion - does Harvard have a true equivalent to Woody Woo?</p>

<p>I quoted that section because it's the only part of your post relating to Princeton... I have no comment specific to "Woody Woo."</p>

<p>PhD! Which is why I'm basically in the same position as iplayhsn =) Princeton undergrad, then (ideally - I know there are no guarantees!) Harvard or MIT grad school (but preferably Harvard since I kind of fell in love with the place at prefrosh). I think the quieter, more focused atmosphere of Princeton is a better place for me to develop skills since I am not as aggressive (in a positive way) as much of the Harvard student body, and would be likely to get lost or distracted in the crowd. Also, I feel the richness of resources in the Boston area is more beneficial to graduate students. But then again, in choosing between Harvard and Princeton I was not choosing between an environment I like and an environment that I don't like. I love Princeton too, and have for a long time, so I couldn't bear to give it up, since I know I would rather not go there for graduate school.</p>

<p>I'd much rather go to Harvard for graduate school. I was accepted to Harvard undergrad in April, but after visiting on Pre-Frosh weekend though, I left pretty unimpressed with the undergrad vibe. I could definitely see myself there for graduate school though, after I have my undergraduate "experience" elsewhere.</p>

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I left pretty unimpressed with the undergrad vibe

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<p>Could you be more specific?</p>