Grad School Reccomendations

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Hi all, I am in my third year in mech engineering and was wondering if any of you had a reccomendation for grad school. Ideally, I'd like to work for the government and emphasize in the aeronautical aspects of my field. If any of you have had good expierences, i would gladly welcome any input.
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
  3. Lotring macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2004
    I know georgia tech is nasty for aeronautical engineering.
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Carnegie Mellon?

    I didn't like it, but mostly because I didn't want to be an engineer.
  5. Blind Buzzard macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2005
    I went to an information session last night for a local college's MBA program. I was going to post this question today.

    Do you feel that the opportunities that will be afforded to you from a prospective MBA are co-dependant upon the MBA Program/school of choice?
  6. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    100% ... you get what you pay for with an MBA for the most part ... and I don't mean the quality of the education I mean the quality of the connections contacts and prestige
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    It will benefit more later than sooner (YMMV). Since this is an engineering, all the engineers that I know that have MBA didn't really get hired on their MBA, but got promoted to management faster. However, a Master in Engineering Mgt. and some ISO and project mgt cert will probably do that same thing. That is just for engineering, i don't much about other fields.
  8. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    "generic" state college master's:

    good enough for us government and some private companies for promotion
    usually cheaper tuition and govt. salary will be enough to pay off any outstanding loans
    you will be more educated than having just a bachelor's degree

    "elite" private college master's, or a top notch public ivy like uva and cal:

    overqualified for most govt. jobs and you will get tempted to higher paying private industry
    govt. salary will make it harder to pay off due to more expensive tuition
    you will be more educated among educated people and have better alumni connections whole life


    if education in and of itself means a lot to you, that is more than just a job tool, then take the high road and shoot for an ivy or top school and try and worry about paying off the massive student loan may have 200 to 300k in loans/real debt or more, which can include undergraduate school and graduate school tuition and fees, and all the food, gas, rent, books, computers, and other hidden expenses along the way in six or even seven years of education and loss of wages from not working full time all those years

    one can regret not taking the higher road much later in life when you get strapped with kids, spouse, alimony and child support, mortgages, etc and other things that can come along the way in one's 30s and 40s

    i have a friend who got top scores on his gmat, and while he was a poor college graduate in his 20s working as an engineer, he went for a non ranked california state college campus and easily paid off his loans in two years and was debt free 100% by his late 20s...of course, he was also accepted into usc's top notch mba program and he declined because he didn't want to pay the then 20k+ per year tuition for two in his late 40s/early 50s, not a day goes by that he tells me that he regrets not having gone to such a great school

    when you are young and you don't have 10s or 100s of thousands in cash in the bank, the cheaper state college seems to be a no-brainer...but your education is for a lifetime and if it means a lot to you, more than it would to most who have bachelor's and master's degrees, then work you tail off to get the best grad school entrance scores and apply to every top school you can think of in your specialty and swallow all those admission fees and go for it...if your graduating gpa is above 3.0 in the last 60 semester units and you get a to 25th percentile gmat/gre/grad school entrance score, then applying to all top schools should give you a hit

    also remember if you can't get into one of the top ten schools for grad school in your major in the usa, it's still ok and a good move to get into a top 25 school and pay the likely high tuition that institution will stick to you

    so think long term for an elite graduate school and i think you will do fine
  9. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Thanks all for the advice. Stanford and Georgia Tech have always been of interest to me and both are well recognized in M.E. I will let you guys know how it goes.
  10. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    My suggestion - Have an idea what prof you want to or are going to work for when you apply. Even great schools have a few profs who are extreamly difficult to work with. That can make grad school several years of hell.
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    in my experience, i have found that the typical setup of graduate school is meant to be difficult

    first of all, there are three grades - A, B, "take the class over at great expense" and there is usually grade deflation, as opposed to inflation, in grad school so a 90 does not automatically mean an A in the class

    secondly, if you are graduate school bound, you have probably taken classes where you were used to being the top student in a class...with graduate school, you will find yourself with mostly honors level (3.5 gpa and above) students and there are always some ivy league types there who raise the bar of the whole class

    next, you will most likely be in smaller classes than you had in undergrad, so you will be required to pull more weight in a class and participate not only with questions and answers, but lengty presentations

    most graduate schools require a thesis of original work and even though most schools consider that a 3 to 6 unit committment, it requires far more effort and time

    the attrition rate in graduate school, outside of costs being too high, is very low so the difficulty is not in graduating, but in keeping up with ones peers and staying relevant through the classes and not look like an arse...everything you say and write will require sources and if need be, on the spot arguments/speeches/presentations to defend your work

    when one goes from grade school to junior high, there is a slight jump in level and the same goes for going from junior high to high school and high school to undergraduate school

    but going from undergraduate school to graduate school, whether it be law, medicine, business, engineering, liberal arts, or anything else, will be a quantum leap and many a mediocre college student has found this to actually be a good thing and discovered the true joy of learning and contributing to human knowledge on the collegiate and even professional level
  12. adroit macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC
    Are you looking for a course base or thesis based master degree? Because they are very different.

    I know nothing about the grad schools in the US but my bf is finishing up his Master of Mech Engineering here in Canada and his research topic is developing a cryogenic actuators which adjust the shape of the mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope (a new hubble). He got a grant from National Research Council Canada which pay for all of his education and living expense during his master degree. I am sure that there will be some program like that in the US as well and you might even be able to get your foot into NASA's door.

    I also agree about the person who say that you should pick the prof over the college. A respectable prof with lots of good published papers could get you a much better job in the industry than a fancy college name (assuming you're moving into the research field). Plus, if you're actually doing research you'll be spending a lot of time in the lab and not much time making connection anyway :eek:.

    I am also in 3rd year engineering (but electrical :D) and after I've seen other people going through their master degrees I am starting to steer away from it. Coperate world sounds much nicer to me.

    Good Luck.
  13. kyeblue macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Long Island, New York
    I went to University of Michigan. it has great program in both ME and aerospace engineering. Ann Arbor, beautiful city to live. you should check it out.
  14. Studawg7 macrumors regular

    May 15, 2004
    Cville, VA
    im in grad school right now at UVA in mechanical and aerospace engineering. for specific questions or suggestions shoot me a PM.

    If you are torn between a MS/PHD and an MBA you need to really think about what you really want to do in your life. If you love math and science go the MS/PHD route. If you have any desire to be in the business side of things an MBA is best. Granted an MS can get you there too but you'll find in grad school you will be geared to working alone and not in groups and have only science and high level math related course work. Those aspects wont help you too much in the business world. Pretty much any grad mech class is dominated by extremely upper level math so you better love math and be very good at it.

    I suggest, if you havent already, to do an REU (research experience for undergraduates) put on by the NSF. They will give you some idea of what grad school research is all about. also, people have mentioned the cost of grad school. The best thing about going into science and engineering is that you will usually be given a stipend that covers cost of tuition, apt, food etc. its not much but its enough to live on. Usually, they give RA or TA stipends to those thinking about pursuing a PHD or on the PHD track. MS students rarely get money.

    I could go on and on about grad school so i ll stop it here. Shoot me a pm and we can talk more if you like. I am wrapping up my MS degree this month so I have a lot of experience I can send your way.
  15. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    2 years later and i have decided not to pursue grad school this upcoming academic year

    alot of it is just being tired of school and being well stressed financially. i would like to go maybe in a couple years. save up for it and then go to school sounds nice to me

    sometimes i think going full out in undergrad burns you out for even more schooling. Currently I have a 3.96 gpa and frankly if i could redo it i would love to have had a 3.2ish and more fun, more trips, more concerts, more nothing. let that be advice to all you current and will be university students. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN SCHOOL. I have just realized that this year and it is awesome. Just my thoughts at 5am so take it as you will lol

    owell such is life and thanks for the input!

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