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Best locations for Grad school and Climbing
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By Michael Holland
From Teton Village, WY
Dec 16, 2012
I'm contemplating grad school and must find a decent program that's close to great climbing. Obviously boulder colorado is on the list, but I'm curious if there are some other good universities with similar climbing mecca prowess?

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By steitz
From midcoast, maine
Dec 16, 2012
What are you going to grad school for?

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By mozeman
Dec 16, 2012
Some that many may overlook due to their easterly location


Tennesse (t-wall, obed, clear creek, LRC, weekend trips to RRG)
Appalachian state (boone has some great bouldering surrounded by many other areas)
West Virginia (coopers, seneca and the new all day trips away)

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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Dec 16, 2012
Imaginate
I had the same criteria for grad school a couple years ago. CU boulder is great for climbing, Colorado School of Mines in Golden is a top notch technical school and the climbing from there can't be beat. I visited University of Utah in Salt Lake and it seemed like a good school and pretty good climbing option.

I tried looking around the PNW and Canada too, but didn't exactly figure out what area was ideal for climbing. I've heard Boise is a pretty cool town close to some mountains so there may be ok climbing at Boise State too.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 16, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Michael Holland wrote:
I'm contemplating grad school and must find a decent program that's close to great climbing. Obviously boulder colorado is on the list, but I'm curious if there are some other good universities with similar climbing mecca prowess?


If your only criteria is "decent program," and "close to climbing," you may as well just enroll in some online University of Phoenix program and live in Bishop. Otherwise, be more specific about your goals.


In my opinion, choose the university that has the best program, unless it is located in an undeniable climbers' hell like Miami or New Orleans. Most major US cities have good gyms, and are within easy weekend distance to some sort of rock, which will be enough to keep you sane through grad school. Save enough cash from your fellowship or student loans, and you can probably take a couple vacations a year to world-class destinations, too. I went to grad school in Dallas, TX, which is not a great place to be a climber, but even there I was able to make a couple trips a month to local areas, as well as yearly trips to Hueco, Potrero, and places out West. I'm done now, but am living in Ohio, where my spouse is finishing grad school. Again, it's not a great place to be a climber, but it's close enough to great areas to be passable. While living in both TX and OH, I have climbed a minimum of twice a month year round outside, and gotten consistently better.

That said, if there is a great program in SLC or Boulder, just go there. But don't go to a shitty grad school just because it is near great climbing. You want to be able to afford to climb as much as possible for the next 30-40 years, not just the next 2-5.

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By Blake Cash
Dec 16, 2012
...you said "great climbing", that immediately rules out Boulder, CO.

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By DrunkenHaymitch
From Madison, WI
Dec 16, 2012
Univ of Wisconsin - Madison - Devil's Lake is 30-45 minutes north depending on where you live in Madison

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 16, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Blake Cash wrote:
...you said "great climbing", that immediately rules out Boulder, CO.


What are you talking about, Blake? Boulder is awesome; way better than those dripping roadcuts in Chatt.

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By Scott O
From California
Dec 16, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
It depends on what program you're going into. Grad school isn't like undergrad - there are only a handful of places that are "good" across the board. Even very good universities are good at some grad programs, but bad at others.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 16, 2012
At the BRC
Blake Cash wrote:
...you said "great climbing", that immediately rules out Boulder, CO.


You've obviously never been to North Table Mountain!

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Dec 16, 2012
tanuki
I started to answer this with an in-depth response, but then decided that this has got to be troll. If you are serious, then you really need to reconsider going to grad school in the first place.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 16, 2012
El Chorro
NC Rock Climber wrote:
I started to answer this with an in-depth response, but then decided that this has got to be troll. If you are serious, then you really need to reconsider going to grad school in the first place.


Troll or not, this is what many MANY young and educated people are opting for in the face of a pretty crappy job market. There is this feeling of safety you get when you are a student. You always have this idea that you're doing this for your future, and at the same time you have an excuse to live like a bum so you don't need much money. You have a lot of free time to party and climb or whatever it is you like to do.

To the OP - I completely agree with camhead and NC Rock Climber. If your serious about your education and you have a passion for whatever it is that you are doing, then choose the best program that you can get into and afford. Even if you are going for a Doctorate, it's only a few years. You'll benefit a lot more from a good school with a good professional network. If you take it seriously, you'll probably end up with a lot more choices of where to live than most of us have.

If you're NOT passionate or serious, then just sell all your belongings and live in your car at an awesome climbing area. I spent a lot of time sleeping in my truck around the US and there were so many times when I was just offered jobs because I was there. Not great jobs, but enough money to get a cheap apartment and still climb 2-4 days a week. If you're just going to school because you don't know what else to do, you'll probably learn a lot more by living in your car than you would in class.

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By Tyler W
From Utah
Dec 16, 2012
Scooby Snacks
I think it really depends what you're going to school for. Considering that in a lot of professions where you go to school is where you will work and live for the majority of your life, picking a place where you can pursue your passion of climbing is a great idea.

I'm in law school in Utah (for skiing, climbing, and a pretty good job market), and I think lifestyle is a very important factor when it comes to choosing a school. Not to mention the fact that there are great programs near great climbing all over the country.

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By mozeman
Dec 16, 2012
LOL....Eldo sucks......

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By JonnyGreenlee
From Evergreen, CO
Dec 16, 2012
Delicate Arch, Sturdy Arch.
I'm in law school in Boulder, and I know/live with a bunch of grad students in a wide variety of programs. As far as I have seen, grad students love it here, climber or not. Whatever people say about loving or hating Boulder rock, when you're on a tight schedule the combination of accessibility and variety is going to be hard to beat.
What program are you thinking about? For the amount of time and money that goes into grad school, that should be your first concern.

Michael Holland wrote:
I'm contemplating grad school and must find a decent program that's close to great climbing. Obviously boulder colorado is on the list, but I'm curious if there are some other good universities with similar climbing mecca prowess?

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By david doucette
Dec 16, 2012
Top of Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree NP.
one of my old climbing partners lived in pasadena and went to cal tech for his doctoral and we climbed a lot in jtree, only two hours east of pasadena. we made many day trips on the weekends back in the day. i think he was a rocket scientist, literally. cal tech has a great program for the sciences.

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By TWK
Dec 16, 2012
Ryan Williams wrote:
If your serious about your education . . .

then you'll learn the difference between a contraction and the possessive form of a pronoun.

But, seriously, University of California at Davis. Great university across a broad range of disciplines. Not go-out-in-the-afternoon-after-work/class type of close, but close enough to a lot of great rock for day and weekend trips. Acceptable gym in town.

Davis, in the Central Valley, is located in a vast decaying cesspool on the surface of the planet at this time of year, but most of the time the weather is great and it's close to everything. Including traffic, once you leave town, unless you head north.

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By Kenan
Dec 16, 2012
Shelf Rd
CSU in Fort Collins is a great school too, with Horsetooth, the Poudre, Big Thompson, and RMNP all within striking distance...

As others have said, it depends on what type of degree you're pursuing.

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By Paul Trendler
From Bend, Oregon
Dec 17, 2012
 VOTCD. Photo  by tylerroemer.com
then you'll learn the difference between a contraction and the possessive form of a pronoun.

This stuff cracks me up! Must be the English teacher in me.

My two cents regarding grad school:

It costs a lot, so i would reccomend looking into which specific school will offer the best program once you've chosen a degree to pursue.

I just went for the graduate program that was in the town I was (am) already living in. Great rock climbing, but I think there are programs that could certainly compete across the nation.

My brother on the otherhand, applied and visited seven different campuses before settling into the school psychology program in Austin.

There is also something to be said about getting your graduate degree in the city/region that you are hoping to be employed in.

Good luck!

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Dec 17, 2012
camhead wrote:
University of Phoenix program and live in Bishop.

What is with you and UOPX? Did you have a bad experience there or something?

camhead wrote:
You want to be able to afford to climb as much as possible for the next 30-40 years, not just the next 2-5.

If only it actually worked that way. Sometimes it does, but often it does not, especially nowadays. There are guys with master degrees selling pizza right now. Also, fancy MIT grad school degrees can set you up for finical success, but it comes with a price. I dont know many people who make a solid living who do not work 60+ hours a week; or rather, I dont know many who are within the first 15 years of their career that dont work a lot. In the end, money is only half the story. Time is more important than money when it comes to climbing. You can find a way to climb if you dont have a lot of money, but if you dont have any time, climbing is impossible, regardless of how much money you have. Really, if the a climber wants to make climbing his or her main objective, he or she should choose a career that offers him or or her the most time off. RN, teacher, seasonal work, contract work, that type of stuff.

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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Dec 17, 2012
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow
Mike,
I agree with camhead and Ryan on this, but let me add just a bit more. I'm a professor at Ohio State, so I think I have some different experiences on the grad school route: it really, really depends on your field and your goals. But in general, where you go to grad school matters much, much more than where you go to undergrad. When I advise my students about grad school, the first piece of advice is go to the best school you can get in to. The only reason to deviate from that strategy might be to go to the best grad school that offers you an assistantship. For clarification, I have a PhD in Economics and teach in the Ag Econ department, so most of my students are thinking of grad degrees in Econ, Ag Econ, or similar fields.

As noted above, there are some fields in which proximity matters more. If you are considering law school, well, first check out what the job market for JDs looks like right now. If you are still interested, then choosing a location and then the school makes more sense, as the state-level knowledge and networks in law are very important.

Finally, if you are thinking about grad school to avoid reality for a bit longer, I think that Ryan's advice is excellent. Just live rent-free for a year and read a lot, and learn about what's out there. Then make a conscious choice to attend grad school.

HTH,
matt.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 17, 2012
El Chorro
TWK wrote:
then you'll learn the difference between a contraction and the possessive form of a pronoun.


Touche.

Mike,
I agree with camhead and Ryan on this, but let me add just a bit more. I'm a professor at Ohio State, so I think I have some different experiences on the grad school route: it really, really depends on your field and your goals. But in general, where you go to grad school matters much, much more than where you go to undergrad. When I advise my students about grad school, the first piece of advice is go to the best school you can get in to. The only reason to deviate from that strategy might be to go to the best grad school that offers you an assistantship. For clarification, I have a PhD in Economics and teach in the Ag Econ department, so most of my students are thinking of grad degrees in Econ, Ag Econ, or similar fields.

As noted above, there are some fields in which proximity matters more. If you are considering law school, well, first check out what the job market for JDs looks like right now. If you are still interested, then choosing a location and then the school makes more sense, as the state-level knowledge and networks in law are very important.

Finally, if you are thinking about grad school to avoid reality for a bit longer, I think that Ryan's advice is excellent. Just live rent-free for a year and read a lot, and learn about what's out there. Then make a conscious choice to attend grad school.

HTH,
matt.



Who ever would have thought that the best two answers to any thread would come from guys living in Columbus! ;-)

Sorry - I grew up watching my coastline be developed so that rich people from Ohio could have vacation homes. I'm sort of required to joke you guys whenever I can! :)

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 17, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Ryan Williams wrote:
Touche. Mike, I agree with camhead and Ryan on this, but let me add just a bit more. I'm a professor at Ohio State, so I think I have some different experiences on the grad school route: it really, really depends on your field and your goals. But in general, where you go to grad school matters much, much more than where you go to undergrad. When I advise my students about grad school, the first piece of advice is go to the best school you can get in to. The only reason to deviate from that strategy might be to go to the best grad school that offers you an assistantship. For clarification, I have a PhD in Economics and teach in the Ag Econ department, so most of my students are thinking of grad degrees in Econ, Ag Econ, or similar fields. As noted above, there are some fields in which proximity matters more. If you are considering law school, well, first check out what the job market for JDs looks like right now. If you are still interested, then choosing a location and then the school makes more sense, as the state-level knowledge and networks in law are very important. Finally, if you are thinking about grad school to avoid reality for a bit longer, I think that Ryan's advice is excellent. Just live rent-free for a year and read a lot, and learn about what's out there. Then make a conscious choice to attend grad school. HTH, matt. Who ever would have thought that the best two answers to any thread would come from guys living in Columbus! ;-) Sorry - I grew up watching my coastline be developed so that rich people from Ohio could have vacation homes. I'm sort of required to joke you guys whenever I can! :)


Yeah, Ohioans out here are like Coloradans at the Creek. We're an infesting scourge.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 17, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
20 kN wrote:
What is with you and UOPX? Did you have a bad experience there or something?




This is the first time that I've made fun of University of Phoenix on this site. However, I believe that there have been other threads in which I made fun of you, and other people made fun of UoPX, so I can see how you may have lumped us all together and gotten confused.

Read this for more information, and click all of the links. Seriously.

cracked.com/article_18660_why-...

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By Travis Haussener
Dec 17, 2012
First off let me say I'm a 4th year graduate student in Organic Chemistry at The University of Utah in SLC, traditionally our program is ranked in the top 20 to 30 for Chemistry Graduate Programs and we publish and produce on par with other top tier schools.

Professor Roberts makes a great point and I do agree with him on most accounts but I will say this. As a graduate student my work schedule consists of 7:50 to about 6:30 Monday through Friday and I try to come in around 6 a.m. on Saturday and work to 11 or noon. That goes without saying that the chemistry program particularly organic, requires a very rigorous work load and is very time consuming (sure there are times where I just have to be here and read mtn project because I'm checking up on experiments).

My point is with that high of a work load and stress, and it is stressful (publishing, getting data, and graduate school assignments orals, etc) you need an outlet. I've found the Wasatch mtns are great for that. I've seen too many graduate students take up drinking, get divorced, or just become fat and unhappy because they have no outlet (even here!!). So yes pick something that allows you to climb, ski, and run but will also benefit your professional career a "little more" than the University of Phoenix.

Graduate school is a very difficult and fun time of your life and you should pick a school both based on academic accounts and how it fits your lifestyle but don't favor one over the other. Ohio State in particular would be a horrible place to go to school...haha sorry Matt I did my undergrad at Penn State.

Just my 2cents
Travis

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Dec 17, 2012
The biggest issue with this thread thus far is the lack of specificity. The OP has not stated what field or what level of degree he seeks, and thus the advice is hopelessly general. He really needs to provide a bit more information about his goals/plans. One big distinction is whether you are going to school for some sort of professional degree (engineering, law, various types of medical field, architecture, nursing, etc..) or for full-bore academia (PhD, research, and eventually a professorship).

The advice from the Ohioans, while excellent, is specific to the latter track (PhD, academia). Being academics themselves, they are probably guilty of having a somewhat narrow view of what graduate education and the workforce entails. In this case, you are trying to break in to one of the toughest job markets in the country, and you really do need every advantage you can get. The aspiring academic does need to go to the best research university possible. Academic fields and job markets tend to operate at the national (or international) level, so in order to compete for positions (and grants), you need a degree of national repute.

Things are a lot different if you are on the Masters/Professional track. Lets say that you are getting an engineering Masters, and then will be looking for a job in industry. These job markets are more local/regional in nature, and it is much easier to get a job in the area around where you did your degree, due to the local reputation and local connections associated with your school. In this case, you should absolutely go to a school that is in a region that you would like to continue to live in, since you will probaby end up staying there after graduation. If you go to grad school in Texas, most of your network connections will be in Texas (as will your friends, your girlfirend, etc), and you will likely continue to live in Texas...bummer. Much better to get that Masters in Colorado, so that it is easy to stay there long term.

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