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The economy definitely has something to do with it. This year employers all over are starting to have tunnel vision, unless if you're a "local" candidate-- meaning physically living in that city that very moment (even if that somewhere else is your permanent address and you've lived there your entire life except for being away for the college school semesters) they throw your application straight to the garbage can. Last year I hear people had more success-- I knew people who got job offers in NYC, Seattle, Denver, and Phoenix. But this year USC might as well rename themselves "Downtown LA Community College," because that's basically what they've turned into. Or was it University of South Central... or University of Spoiled Children... or something like that.
And of course, this is a free country. You can choose where you want to live, where you want to go. That's precisely what I'm doing. I don't want to live in LA-- I'm choosing to move back home to Denver right after I graduate. Then I'll be able to apply to jobs in Denver as a local candidate. I might even see if I can get a job in Albuquerque, I think it would be cool to live there. Only thing is it's going to be no help from USC, it's all on my own now. I'm just hoping that when potential employers see the name "USC" that means something... and more than just football. Only time will tell.
To the OP, ludocrous, my #1 advice to you is go to school in the city that you think you will be most happy living in after you graduate. If that's LA, then go to USC. If that's NYC, then go to NYU. Or to put it another way... which city would you mind the least getting stuck in if you had to be stuck somewhere for the next 10 years? Of course life takes its twists and turns, but it's best to at least do some planning ahead of time so you don't end up being a miserable, complaining curmudgeon. I'm taking matters into my own hands and living where I want to live so I don't end up becoming that. But if you go to school in the right location to begin with, potentially you won't even have to make that difficult decision.
Did I miss it or have you made a decision on where you are going to work? I know you were looking at Albuquerque..
NYU is a better university than USC. NYU = UCLA in national rankings for most programs (law, business, international relations, medical, etc.). However, most people in California don't know NYU too well, but people in NYC do know USC. However, most people on the east coast think USC is a mediocre school. Basically, if west coast, USC, if everywhere else, NYU.
That said, they are both really good schools and you won't go wrong with either, but this is a geographical situation. In many ways, USC is the NYU of the west coast, and vice versa.
Location: Los Angeles......So. Calif. an Island on the Land
736 posts, read 1,034,470 times
Originally Posted by drshang
NYU is a better university than USC. NYU = UCLA in national rankings for most programs (law, business, international relations, medical, etc.).
That said, they are both really good schools and you won't go wrong with either
UCLA beats NYU in most national rankings (for whatever they are worth). Other than its law school, UCLA beats NYU.
That said, BOTH NYU and USC have IMPROVED their academic stature greatly over the past 15 years. There is an east coast bias against west coast schools (and midwest schools for that matter). That might be unfair, but it is a reality.
When you look at the overall rankings from US News & World Report for 2009, they actually ranked USC (27) ABOVE NYU (33). Granted, these rankings are subjective and there are also other groups that do rankings which might have different results.
I tried getting recruited by firms in Denver and Phoenix and had no success. USC is no good even if you want to work in San Diego-- I don't know one single person who has been recuited by a firm in SD this year. I'm not saying USC is not a good school-- it is-- but it is definitely not a national school like they claim. It's influence is pretty much confined to greater LA.
It is great that you are sharing your experience with us, but its usefulness is limited without information on how comparable programs are doing with their placements. It could just be the crappy economy as others have suggested, and the economy might be affecting schools of USC's stature equally. That being said, I have noticed a tendency among posters here to sing the praises of USC and even compare it favorably to Stanford. USC is a good school, but it is not on the same level as the truly nationally elite schools like UCLA or Stanford, which are great across the board. I personally would not send my kids to USC for undergrad unless they got free rides or want to become engineers, because from my experience as a teaching assistant in a social science department, undergraduate instruction is quite often sub-par.
I don't have firsthand experience of NYU, but I get the sense that they are comparable to USC but benefit from the perceived glamor of being in Manhattan. Both have humongous enrollments, especially by private school standards, but not very high endowments. Both were once second-best commuter schools which have greatly upgraded their academic reputation. Quality of education-wise, for undergrad, I would speculate that it is a wash.
Last edited by trojerine; 04-14-2009 at 11:35 PM..
NYU, much like Duke, vaulted its way to the top by "buying" faculty from other, more prestigious universities. I don't know if USC did the same thing but I would assume it's probably the case. Neither NYU or Duke were really top schools 40 years ago, and both of them have some of the best faculties compared to any university. A private school has a big advantage in this area over schools like UCLA or Berkeley or U of Michigan. West coast schools do have a disadvantage in that they are simply "younger" than their east coast counterparts.
Perhaps rating NYU = UCLA is a bit of a stretch, but NYU ranks pretty significantly higher in pretty much every graduate ranking I could find compared to USC for all the major disciplines - graduate rankings tend to be how a university's ranking is judged by (the overall school rankings are kind of useless IMO). Now, that could be east coast bias in the media, I have no idea, but I'm sure the level of education is very strong in both schools.
Generally speaking, if you have the means to pay full price, it's not all that difficult to get into NYU. I don't know about USC but I presume it's similar. I know several people who went to undergrad at NYU and found it to be a strong educational experience, however, they noted this about the "if you have the means to pay full price, get your kids into a good SAT prep program, you can get in pretty easily" aspect of the school.
NYU also benefits because of the NYC/Wall St. aspect of it which brings in a ton of alumni money from graduates and obviously helps on the networking end. There is no money making machine quite like Wall St., although I think USC does fine in the money department too.
NYU, much like Duke, vaulted its way to the top by "buying" faculty from other, more prestigious universities. I don't know if USC did the same thing but I would assume it's probably the case.
Yes, they did.
As for the OP's original question, I don't know which university has the better political science department but I would advise the OP to go with the department with the better PhD program. Now research prowess may or may not translate to a superior undergraduate experience, but I am guessing that better-known profs have better connections. And a bachelor's in poli sci will probably entail graduate work if you want to go far, so you might as well go to the program with the best academic reputation.
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