<p>hey everybody..iv got accepted for an MS program in material science in NU, uPenn and CMU..and am throughly confused as to which one to accept!!
NU seems to be ranked pretty high for materials
uPenn is close to NYC where i have family..plus the overall ranking for uPenn is really high!
CMU im lil less convinced about..
wud be grateful for any ANY advice..tanks a ton :)</p>

<p>You basically just summed up everything I'm going through right now... I'm also going into materials science for a PhD and those are the three schools i'm still considering. I agree that carnegie-mellon is on the lower end of my list and probably wont go there... it's a nice school though. NU is ranked higher but Penn was ranked 11 by the National Research Council so it's still a great school... The department at NU is about twice as big.... I personally didnt love Evanston it's kinda boring and by train is still about 45 minutes to an hour to get into Chicago so you aren't really living in the city if that matters to you. Penn is most definately an Urban Campus... Also, Penn is building a new material science building but if you're a masters student it probably wont be done till the year after you leave... as of right now i'm leaning more towards Penn much of it having to do with the location being actually in the city as well as having just as strong as a reputation as NU</p>

<p>^ Actually, the new building will be devoted specifically to nanotechnology:</p>

<p>PennConnects</a> : <em>—</em>Singh Nanotechnology Center Overview</p>

<p>But as you're both probably aware, Penn already has a general materials-science building:</p>

<p>The</a> Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) | MRSEC at PENN</p>

<p>tanks mechematsci! funnily enough..my bachelors degree is in mechanical engineerin :)..i wud definitely prefer livin in a city..so philly over evanston..by the sound of it (i am an international student)..and have been to the US only on a summer break..and have never been to philly or evanston!
the only reason im givin this so much thought is cuz NU is ranked 2nd for materials this year..tanks for the input!</p>

<p>yea, its the new nano building but almost anything involving materials science now involves some sort of nanocharacterization... and it's going to be like 5 feet away from the main materials science building</p>

<p>^ Have you checked out all the architectural renderings?</p>

<p>PennConnects</a> : <em>—</em>Singh Nanotechnology Center Images</p>

<p>It's gonna be sweet!</p>

<p>And the image on the far right of that page is an aerial photo of the site, showing the parking lot where the Nanotechnology Center will be built, with the Laboratory for the Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) immediately to the left.</p>

<p>yea, it looks really great they showed me the plans when i went on my visit day... do you go to school at Penn?</p>


<p>It doesn't take 45-min to an hour to get to Chicago from Evanston. Evanston borders Chicago!!!</p>

<p>You were thinking of the touristy Downtown, which is 12 miles away from Evanston. Many locals don't really care about going there except maybe for some shows/museum exhibits. Most of the nice neigbhorhoods are north of downtown and that's where the locals like hanging out; it only took me half-hour to bike to some of them from Evanston. </p>

<p>Evanston has 80 restaurants in the downtown area right next to the campus; you may think it's boring but to many, it's pretty urban.</p>



<p>I did--many years ago. :) But I visit quite a bit.</p>

<p>I also don't agree that Penn's MSE is "having just as strong as a reputation as NU". According to USN, one is 2nd in the country and the birthplace of the first mat sci department in the entire world; the other is ranked 13th. The ranking is based on peer assessment (i.e. reputation).</p>

<p>Evanston is a suburban campus... not urban... after talking to the grad students and riding on the transit myself evanston is not that fun and to get anywhere that's any fun is at least a 1/2 hour to say Northwestern is in Chicago is not true... but this is not to say that evanston is not pretty but if one is looking for an urban campus NU is not the right choice.</p>

<p>also the NRC which is often regarded as the best rankings system ranked penn 10 and NU i believe 3... albeit these rankings are from 1995... but i strongly believe that after the new nano building is constructed that Penn will cement at least a number 10 ranking and the difference of 7 or 8 ranking spaces shouldn't be a big consideration when choosing a school...</p>

<p>Penn also has very strong business ties, not to say NU doesnt but Penn has the entire east coast whereas NU basically has Chicago and other midwest cities</p>

<p>also, even though NU is the first MatSci program... Penns was founded pretty soon after in the 1960's</p>

<p>furthermore, one should go to a school where he/she feels comfortable</p>

<p>mechematsci..wat triggered the change of heart :)?</p>

<p>These three schools (uPenn/CMU/NU) have similar academic prestige and reputation.
I think CMU engineering is better than Penn engineering.</p>

<p>^ troll, and a very stupid one might I add</p>

<p>This is a few months late, but if you are doing research I think the <em>obvious</em> choice is Northwestern. I've been heavily involved in materials research for 3 years now, and the prestige and caliber of research at Northwestern is just at a whole different level from UPenn. It's not just me talking - take a look at the publications and the science news, check to see the output of Northwestern's output vs. UPenns. </p>

<p>I noticed a lot of discussion here about buildings - this is fallacious - it is not the <em>building</em> that makes the department, but rather the <em>people</em>. Norhwestern's MSE department has a dense concentration of the highest caliber MSE professors in the world, contributing the paradigm-setting research that other schools follow after. Do you want to go to a school that publishes the Nature paper, or do you want to be somewhere citing these papers?</p>

<p>Also, some have said that Northwestern is 2nd, and Upenn is 8th. I've found that the caliber of the research declines at a rate of 1/ranking - 7 to 8th is not a big difference, but there is a large difference between 1st and 2nd, and also between 2nd and 3rd. </p>

<p>Now, if you're pursuing a coursework masters, well, then maybe NU's not the best choice. Honestly, I don't even know of that many non-BS/MS master students in MSE. But then I'm not so sure. Professors here, as teachers, can be kind of a crapshoot.</p>


<p>Interesting remark about the difference between a ranking of 1 and 2 and that between 7 and 8. I expect that you were just talking about material science but the issue is in general
quite interesting. </p>

<p>In some fields the decline from 1 to 5 is quite fast but in other fields such as mathematics the decline is in fact quite small.</p>