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Old 07-02-2015, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Montreal
579 posts, read 470,241 times
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I will begin a PhD in physics at Minnesota in about a month or so. But I haven't ruled out returning home for work or a postdoc afterward due to visa status in the US. I know reputation isn't everything, even subfield-specific, but still...

Perhaps I have the wrong impression but I had the impression that Minnesota was better known and/or reputed in the Prairies than anywhere else in Canada (for something other than hockey or chemical engineering, maybe pure math). But how does Minnesota stack up against Canadian universities in physics (and more specifically particle cosmology)?

Does it really enjoy a regional reputation in Canda or does it somehow enjoy a coast-to-coast reputation?
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:17 PM
 
625 posts, read 1,189,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvanung View Post
I will begin a PhD in physics at Minnesota in about a month or so. But I haven't ruled out returning home for work or a postdoc afterward due to visa status in the US. I know reputation isn't everything, even subfield-specific, but still...

Perhaps I have the wrong impression but I had the impression that Minnesota was better known and/or reputed in the Prairies than anywhere else in Canada (for something other than hockey or chemical engineering, maybe pure math). But how does Minnesota stack up against Canadian universities in physics (and more specifically particle cosmology)?

Does it really enjoy a regional reputation in Canda or does it somehow enjoy a coast-to-coast reputation?
Hi there Yvanung - the chance of finding someone knowledgeable about the field of academic physics, and using this forum, is fairly low (apologies if we happen to be lucky and have a physicist online!)... so, you might want to check with Canadian doctoral students, professors, scientists, or employers (I'm not sure if this means government laboratories, private companies?), etc. Good luck - I have never been to Minneapolis but have heard good things. Also be aware that as a Canadian you will be eligible for a TN visa thru NAFTA, not just a post-grad visa - I'm not sure how NAFTA treats scientists in this respect. For academic jobs, my general impression is that universities in the US and Canada do recruit across the border, but I can't claim to know for sure ...
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Montreal
579 posts, read 470,241 times
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But there are US universities that, globally speaking, definitely enjoy regional reputations in Canada (Washington enjoys a much better reputation in BC than anywhere else in Canada) or are known coast-to-coast in just one field (e.g. Northwestern for journalism, UPenn for international commerce).

I am not sure whether Minnesota falls in either category, or it actually has a coast-to-coast reputation that isn't field-specific.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:43 AM
 
2,291 posts, read 3,943,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvanung View Post
But there are US universities that, globally speaking, definitely enjoy regional reputations in Canada (Washington enjoys a much better reputation in BC than anywhere else in Canada) or are known coast-to-coast in just one field (e.g. Northwestern for journalism, UPenn for international commerce).

I am not sure whether Minnesota falls in either category, or it actually has a coast-to-coast reputation that isn't field-specific.
I don't know about U of Minnesota's reputation in physics. (in the world of business schools, Minnesota is seen as a good, not elite, school -- clearly below the elite Chicago, Stanford, Wharton (Penn)... maybe at the level of UC-Irvine, Colorado, Penn State, Rice, etc.)

I am a bit puzzled by the concept of "coast-to-coast reputation" vs regional reputation, at the Ph.D. level at least. Other than a few Ivies or very elite schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), reputation is a very murky concept within the general population, very few people have a clue about university reputation and that's perfectly fine. But you're talking of a Ph.D. here -- 'regional reputation' isn't all that important in academia. Minnesota is known as a big US school; most people would have some clue of where it stands in their discipline, and if it's top 20 in that discipline they would surely know about it. Again I'm not in physics but since you brought up Washington -- it has a very good reputation in my field, I doubt it is more well-known at UBC or Simon Fraser than it is here in the East.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Montreal
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When I said "regional reputation" I really meant non-research, out-of-academia reputation. Because there are non-academic employers that take job applications from PhDs for jobs that don't specifically require it.

In my field, they often say that about 1/6 of all PhD holders in that field will actually end up teaching at the university level, so the other 5/6 will work outside of academia. Sure, some will work R&D in industry or in government labs, but others will work non-research jobs that nonetheless make use of the field's skills.

As much as I would love to say that, within academia, or even R&D, publications and in-field prestige are key items, much more so than university-wide reputation, I wouldn't rule out getting out of R&D (academic or not) after graduation at this point, no more than I have ruled out coming back to Canada for work.

I acknowledge that it's perhaps a by-product of my field providing skills that can carry over to several fields outside my own that I came to be neurotic about the university I will attend soon. I don't doubt I will receive a solid education, just that I am not going to attend Minnesota while being oblivious to what happens at the exit (unlike too many students who are more or less oblivious).
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:42 PM
 
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You're being smart about it, no question. Without knowing the field I would then guess that U of Minnesota doesn't have much of a reputation at all in Canada, except perhaps in Winnipeg.

However, given how important the fit with your research advisor is at the Ph.D. level, I don't think it should be more than a minor consideration.
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,699 posts, read 6,553,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
You're being smart about it, no question. Without knowing the field I would then guess that U of Minnesota doesn't have much of a reputation at all in Canada, except perhaps in Winnipeg.

However, given how important the fit with your research advisor is at the Ph.D. level, I don't think it should be more than a minor consideration.
No, I don't think people think about it even in Winnipeg.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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Tuition rates at American universities are inhumanely expensive, i highly doubt it would cross the mind of a Canadian young adult looking to get a higher education to look at a school south of the border.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Montreal
579 posts, read 470,241 times
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
No, I don't think people think about it even in Winnipeg.
Maybe not in the Winnipeg area, but do students in rural areas really apply wider to university than those living in urban areas?

Or is Minnesota really known just for hockey as far as Canada (or the Prairies even) is concerned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Tuition rates at American universities are inhumanely expensive, i highly doubt it would cross the mind of a Canadian young adult looking to get a higher education to look at a school south of the border.
Only if they think they can "purchase" grades, and if they knew in advance what these "purchased" grades would be used for. Or is a recruited athlete.

Yet Minnesota claimed that the only way they would ever have any kind of recruiting success whatsoever in Canada would be at the PhD level. PhDs are different beasts compared to all other programs, especially if they are funded; the conventional wisdom is that one shouldn't accept an unfunded PhD offer. Funded offers come with tuition remission.

That claim would be true of just about any major US research university; change Minnesota for Northwestern, WUSTL, Texas-Austin or Washington, even Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, and you'd probably hear the same claims. Yet US universities at these levels are those most likely to absorb the surplus of Canadian graduate students if Harper is reelected and science funding cuts continue. That is, those who are currently questionable as far as attending these over Canadian universities at the PhD level is concerned, those that you can't recommend one way or another without knowing the specialization, or topic even.

Last edited by Yvanung; 07-14-2015 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,699 posts, read 6,553,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvanung View Post
Maybe not in the Winnipeg area, but do students in rural areas really apply wider to university than those living in urban areas?

Or is Minnesota really known just for hockey as far as Canada (or the Prairies even) is concerned?



Only if they think they can "purchase" grades, and if they knew in advance what these "purchased" grades would be used for. Or is a recruited athlete.

Yet Minnesota claimed that the only way they would ever have any kind of recruiting success whatsoever in Canada would be at the PhD level. PhDs are different beasts compared to all other programs, especially if they are funded; the conventional wisdom is that one shouldn't accept an unfunded PhD offer. Funded offers come with tuition remission.

That claim would be true of just about any major US research university; change Minnesota for Northwestern, WUSTL, Texas-Austin or Washington, even Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, and you'd probably hear the same claims. Yet US universities at these levels are those most likely to absorb the surplus of Canadian graduate students if Harper is reelected and science funding cuts continue. That is, those who are currently questionable as far as attending these over Canadian universities at the PhD level is concerned, those that you can't recommend one way or another without knowing the specialization, or topic even.
I don't think that Canadians think much of Minnesota at all, unless it is for short holidays to Minneapolis. I don't know anyone who has gone to the U of Minnesota. My husband got his PhD in Germany, and others where I know specifically, got degrees from Yale and Harvard, which would be names familiar to Canadians. I'm not saying that no Canadians have ever attended the U of Minnesota, but I don't think it would be high on the list.
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