Now, I'm trying to decide whether Oxford would be a good choice (both in terms of education and career) for graduate school in Physics or whether I should go with a top-10 US School. Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
- 3-4 yr max for Ph.D. so you get done faster and there is no chance of becoming an eternal grad-student slave to your advisor.
- Superb campus with lots of tradition and history behind it.
- In the UK (this is a pro for me at least).
- Very well-known, Oxford name has an "aura".
- UK system is very against the sort of "weeding-out" which takes place at some American schools. Most professors will bend over backwards before they let a student fail.
- 3-4 yr max for Ph.D. so less flexibility if problems arise
- No choice in project and little chance to change projects if you end up hating the one you've got
- Probably not as high-caliber as a place like MIT for grad school.
- Many are highly prestigious and their name alone can take you places.
- Most are usually very well funded compared with UK schools.
- Most are highly flexible on degree time.
- Flexible in choosing a project and lots of chances to work with different groups.
- Sometimes the programs try to weed out students through use of rigorous qualifiers.
- Variable degree time and readily available funding means that your advisor can keep you indefinitely at times.
- Many campuses are rather ugly (at least compared to Oxford)