Hey guys! I’m a Chinese student seeking to pursue a master in HCI in the United States. Currently I am admitted to CMU’s MHCI program (with zero financial aid, needless to say) and U Michigan’s MSI program specializing in HCI, with a merit scholarship covering full tuition ($80k). This is a hard choice for me so I need your advice.
I know they both are strong programs in this field, but I think among HCI applicants in mainland China CMU has a higher reputation. I just wonder if the higher reputation of CMU can justify the extra amount of money to spend on the program. From a long-term career perspective, is it worth it to give up the $80k for CMU?
Also I would like to know if CMU’s master is a little bit overrated, compared to U Michigan. MHCI is a dream program for applicants in China. I think this might be because it admit fewer people each year, making the competition seem fierce. Also the high reputation of CMU HCII in HCI research does not necessarily have anything to do with the professional master program. Would employers in US value an HCI master degree from CMU much more than one from U Michigan?
There are plenty of other reasons to choose U Michigan besides the money: longer duration (meaning lesser stress and possibly a summer internship), a wider range of electives (from business, economics or humanities etc.), and a larger number of alumni (more career opportunities).
So what do you guys think? Thanks a lot!