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University of Houston or Chicago or Wichita?


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Can anyone share anything about these colleges please?  What should a new student to the state/area know about them that isn’t in a brochure?  My dd19 is looking at going to graduate school at one of them next spring and has asked me to please mine the hive for any tips she can get about them. 
 

 

Edited by Murphy101
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  • Murphy101 changed the title to University of Houston or Chicago or Wichita?

I went to grad school at the U of Chicago. It was intense, to say the least, but definitely helped open doors for me in my career. It is a very academically-focused place with not much emphasis on sports or other extracurriculars. I personally felt that most people there didn't have a balanced life and after completing my master's there, I would never go there for my Ph.D. Not to say it's a bad place - it's certainly very prestigious, and I have friends who have done very well for themselves after getting master's and doctoral degrees. It just wasn't the place for me, long-term. 

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U of H is a big campus in a big city. The campus itself is self contained and set off from neighboring areas by a highway on one side and wide streets on the others. A lot of the students are commuters with families in Houston. Its sports teams, especially basketball, are very competitive and there is a sports vibe. At the same time, they are serious about improving their academic reputation and have made strides to achieving this. You'll have to check their reputation in the area your dd will study because they have strengths and weaknesses.

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She should visit all the schools and cities before deciding. Talk to students in the department about how happy they are with the program and the faculty. Of the three places, I've only lived for a time in Houston. It has a vibrant arts community. But I agree with above: the city is sprawl sprawl sprawl and summers are hot.

 

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@Murphy101  Your DD is very young to be going into Grad school.  In the title, I was surprised to see Chicago included with Houston and Wichita State. Like comparing Apples to Oranges.     IMO Chicago is intense for undergraduate students and as posters above have mentioned, Grad school there would be more intense. I suggest looking at (visiting in person with your DD) Houston and Wichita State and talking with people there and exploring the neighborhoods where your DD would be. 

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I know she is young but she’s just about finished her bachelors and both she and her profs think the next step should be grad school.  She is where she is developmentally and academically, age not really making much difference at this point.  We know these schools are very different from each other and we do plan to visit them in person.  Bc the schools are also selling us something, we think it is also helpful to ask others what their opinions of the school and area around it is like.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, bibiche said:

I can’t easily find the info for Houston, but UChicago only admits for the fall and it looks as if Wichita does the same. Maybe that eliminates them if she is intent on a spring admit?

No that wouldn’t eliminate them. She could just take the spring off to earn some extra money for the move. 

Edited by Murphy101
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I know a lot less about the grad programs, but I agree with Lanny that this is apples to oranges. It's like you've said compare a random, lesser known state university to Harvard. Plus, even great schools aren't the best in every field. I'm also curious why these schools? 

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One big thing to look at for grad school is funding. My background is music, not art, but I think it's pretty typical. When you graduate with a graduate degree in music, you're going to either end up teaching or, if you're really lucky, performing. Both take a bit of luck, because even in areas where teachers are in demand, music teachers often aren't (I have certifications in math and elementary/ECED for that reason-being qualified to teach other areas has gotten my foot in the door many times), and the university/college market is saturated as well. 

 

For funding in performing arts, you NEED a BIG school, and usually a state U. And that's because you need a school that needs grad students to teach endless sessions of music appreciation or art appreciation or other low level, non-majors courses to meet a general ed requirement. Because research, even for those in PhD, research type fields, typically ends up being self-funded except that you get time to do it. So, while a grad student can, and will, be involved in research if you go into a research field, you won't have a grant to fall under. Teaching is the ONLY way you'll get funded. In studio art, you'll also likely be self-funding materials and expenses for your projects and shows. 

 

I don't know U Chicago for grad school at all well, but I can tell you that usually, private schools that are in that tuition band will use few or no grad students as TAs. And for arts, that usually means few or no grad student funding opportunities. And unless you have a money tree in the backyard, self-funding grad school would be painful. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

One big thing to look at for grad school is funding. My background is music, not art, but I think it's pretty typical. When you graduate with a graduate degree in music, you're going to either end up teaching or, if you're really lucky, performing. Both take a bit of luck, because even in areas where teachers are in demand, music teachers often aren't (I have certifications in math and elementary/ECED for that reason-being qualified to teach other areas has gotten my foot in the door many times), and the university/college market is saturated as well. 

 

For funding in performing arts, you NEED a BIG school, and usually a state U. And that's because you need a school that needs grad students to teach endless sessions of music appreciation or art appreciation or other low level, non-majors courses to meet a general ed requirement. Because research, even for those in PhD, research type fields, typically ends up being self-funded except that you get time to do it. So, while a grad student can, and will, be involved in research if you go into a research field, you won't have a grant to fall under. Teaching is the ONLY way you'll get funded. In studio art, you'll also likely be self-funding materials and expenses for your projects and shows. 

 

I don't know U Chicago for grad school at all well, but I can tell you that usually, private schools that are in that tuition band will use few or no grad students as TAs. And for arts, that usually means few or no grad student funding opportunities. And unless you have a money tree in the backyard, self-funding grad school would be painful. 

 

 

Chicago actually looks pretty good from a funding standpoint: it is half-tuition for the first year and no tuition for the second, plus TA positions are available. That works out to less money than the state schools, I think, because they have longer programs. However, Chicago is highly selective, admitting only 8 students per year. 
https://dova.uchicago.edu/graduate/funding

 

 

Edited by bibiche
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The U of Houston might be a good choice for studio art judging by the local art scene. It has a new museum. I've only been once but it has a constant stream of temporary exhibitions. There is a vibrant art community in Houston because rents are cheap for a big city. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston just built a new expansion too and the Menil Collection reopened after being refurbished.

I've been to many theater performances at U of H. They have several theaters and a big performing arts program that feeds into the local theater and music performance groups. I haven't had as much exposure to their studio arts program.

The most important thing though is the faculty in your dd's medium. 

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9 hours ago, City Mouse said:

As a U of H grad I would pick U of H over the other two just because I would not like the cold weather. 

LOL I’ve told all my kids that move above the Kansas/Oklahoma border that I love them and I’ll see them in the summer. I hate cold weather. 

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On 6/28/2021 at 3:57 PM, Lanny said:

@Murphy101  Your DD is very young to be going into Grad school.  In the title, I was surprised to see Chicago included with Houston and Wichita State. Like comparing Apples to Oranges.     IMO Chicago is intense for undergraduate students and as posters above have mentioned, Grad school there would be more intense. I suggest looking at (visiting in person with your DD) Houston and Wichita State and talking with people there and exploring the neighborhoods where your DD would be. 

Agreed. UChicago is an outlier to the other options. DS has a friend who was rejected from UChicago but accepted to Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, amongst others in that tier. It’s become that selective, especially for his major. 

From a job perspective, idk anything about performing arts but I would think UChicago would be the best option for brand recognition. In my area, anyway, that means a LOT. Idk if it’s worth the tuition for her field, though. I’d be looking at post graduate salary projections vs how much she'll owe and which school has the best reputation for her major. 

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

Agreed. UChicago is an outlier to the other options. DS has a friend who was rejected from UChicago but accepted to Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, amongst others in that tier. It’s become that selective, especially for his major. 

From a job perspective, idk anything about performing arts but I would think UChicago would be the best option for brand recognition. In my area, anyway, that means a LOT. Idk if it’s worth the tuition for her field, though. I’d be looking at post graduate salary projections vs how much she'll owe and which school has the best reputation for her major. 

She is not going for performing arts. 
 

She is a studio/fine arts major. 

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