Hey, you guys! Please give me some suggestions about which one I should attend.
Basically, I've got the three. Master programs: One is from UPenn AMCS (Applied math and computational science) master without any financial aid and the other is from UIUC also unfunded. The doctoral one is from UIowa AMCS (the same), with 100% tuition covered and a TA with at least stipends $19,000 excluding summer vacation (I may get more stipends and I can expect my summer support also).
I don't know which one I should go to. Basically, I want to pursue a Ph.D. degree program and I've heard it's possible to switch to a Ph.D. degree program at UPenn AMCS (seems quite impossible for UIUC). That said, I've got the reply from the graduate chair at UPenn. He told me it's ''unusual" and the decision is never made before the middle of the 2nd year of a master. Also, some current students enrolled in UPenn AMCS program said many advisors lacks enough funding to give a switched student. I might apply again to a doctoral program if I go to UPenn. Is there anyone from UPenn AMCS could tell me the chance to switch to Ph.D.?
For UIowa AMCS program, the director is very kind and he himself is a quite famous in the research field of numerical analysis. That said, I'm a little bit concerned about the reputation of UIowa AMCS program. It ranks 18~23 giving by the National Research Council. Is it a wise choice if I first attend a master program then apply again for a better-ranked doctoral program (on the same level with UPenn AMCS, maybe applied math Ph.D. at UMich, UW?)
UIUC applied math is also a good one. But I don't have much investigation into it. It's a coursework-oriented one with an optional thesis.
Anyone is welcome! Please give me some advice or more info about these programs. Thanks a lot!