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I'm trying to decide between 2 schools for a MSc thesis based program. One is larger, in a much more scenic location, more institutional funding, and has a better global reputation. The other is much smaller. I am doing my masters because I enjoy the topic I'm studying, hoping a masters will help with my application and at the same time, give me training needed to prepare for an alternative career. Everyone is telling me to go to the one with a better reputation because they think better reputation = better faculty = more diverse class = better educational training = better job prospects in case med doesn't work out and the location will make my experience more pleasant. Even I agree with these points. Despite everything though, I am STILL leaning towards the smaller school because I think it'll mean a more close-knit and supportive community. More faculty attention means possibly more support to publish (isn't research productivity the main benefits of a masters?), and securing stronger reference letters in the end. If my end goal is medicine, what ultimately matters when choosing a grad program? How likely you will publish, and the fit (regardless of reputation)?