The Illinois Institute of Technology
The Illinois Institute of Technology - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||18|
|Avg years at University||2.3|
|Research Quality||C- (4.2)|
|Research Availability||C- (3.5)|
|Research Funding||D (2.5)|
|Graduate Politics||C (4.4)|
|Not Errand Runners||C (4.9)|
|Degree Completion||C- (4.0)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||D (2.6)|
|Sufficient Pay||D (2.3)|
|Education Quality||C (4.7)|
|Faculty Accessibility||C (4.5)|
|Useful Research||C (4.3)|
|"Individual" treatment||C- (3.9)|
|Campus Beauty||C (4.5)|
|Campus Maintenance||C (4.6)|
|University Spending||C- (3.5)|
|Scholastic Success||C+ (5.5)|
|Surrounding City||B- (6.1)|
|Social Life/ Environment||C (4.8)|
Faculty are amazing especially with respect to Biological and chemical science department. They are always friendly and approachable.
As an international student, I came here to grow my career. First, No opportunity to join research work under faculties, there is absolutely no funding and I had to look for external opportunities to do my thesis work.
Second, TA/GAs are absolutely non-existent. None of my classmates received any form of tuition/research assistance that I know of.
Third, IIT career service is completely hopeless. They have no idea about any biotech company. Probably, if you are joining Information Technology/ Computer science, you may be better off. Unfortunately, I have never seen a single biology based company in any of the career fairs in my two years at IIT. Career advisers are friendly but they do not care about your career at all. Once they edit your resume, they do not help you with actually finding a job after graduation. I had to hunt for a job opportunity all by myself and it was a pretty difficult path. I completely regret for thinking I will find good contacts and will find opportunities to enhance my career at IIT. Career Management Center at IIT is a complete waste of time, all they do is sign some paper works. They should stop calling themselves career service.
Fourth, this school is highly expensive for what it offers. They have additional cost for every single thing. God knows why. They make all payments mandatory even if you are not using them. This is one of the very greedy school I have come across.
I request the management to read the horrible reviews they have been getting and take some measures to improve their standard.
The Mechanical Engineering Department is understaffed and the faculty that are present have very little to no funding. Except for a couple of labs there are no research opportunities available.
During my TAship, I supervised the senior year mechanical lab and even that was underfunded, crowded with students and poorly organized. Haven't seen the professor actually in the lab the whole semester, he just taught the theory behind it and that's it.
Some of the faculty are very nice and helpful but without funding opportunities there is not much that they can do for you. A lot of young professors stay around for 2-3 years then leave for better schools leaving some Ph.D. students behind and suddenly unfunded.
When I went to our dean for help with my funding situation, he just said "look for an internship". Well, I came to IIT with 5 years work experience, I did not come here to work, I came here to do research. If I could have found employment for myself, I wouldn't have been in IIT.Overall, terrible experience. If you are looking for a place to do your Ph.D., this is not it.
What I did after wasting 6 month there was visit other real universities and transfer there. Of course I learned something there, because some teachers were "good" but inexperienced. However, others were pretty bad and you could see it if you knew a little about they were talking.
My subjective opinion is noone should go to IIT. But I will try to show some objective reasons:
- No locals: it can mean that locals avoid this
- No american teachers: this can mean that they can only hire foreigners, the ones that desesperately needs some help with their visas or the ones who can't go better universities.
- No locals + No american teacher + many people from your country = getthos: This means that if you are a foreigner your level of english would not increase as much as you expected. I ended up talking more in my native languague than in english.
- Ugly and old campus: again is subjective, but after beeing in UC campus and IIT campus and in UC campus there were better ambience for studying and partying. Even the gym sucks (little and old)The best for a prospective student would be to spend one week in Chicago and try to go some classes (they are so crowded that they won't notice that you are there). So if you don't have any other university, try harder, but if I were you, I would avoid this.
1) It is written that international students can waive the expensive iit health care plan if they have other coverage. Not true. I had to badger the Dean's office repeatedly for weeks after I arrived to get the charges removed from my account. When I was finally successful, I was told that if I told anyone else and they wanted to opt out too, I'd be forced to pay! (I guess they didn't want to lose an easy money source.)
2) I was placed in a ph.d. course during the first month of my masters and told it was a master's course. When I wanted out and this conflicted with my visa the advisor who had placed me there wrote a nasty comment on the bottom of the sheet (whose box stated that I was reqesting a lower course minimum for my visa because of improper placement) which said that it was an appropriate course, it was just me who believed otherwise, for my own reasons.
3) Expensive, no available TA/RAship for me. No lab/thesis for me.
After meeting with the chair and announcing intentions of leaving I was told the chair would try and get me some lab work in the summer. (No details provided.)
4) Badly run. No pre-planning more than a month in advance for courses, books, teachers. The core masters courses are all in semester one, so a student has to be there over the two years to cover all of them.
Poor course instruction. A mumbling old prof. ran through his equations, making mistakes and erasing over the 3 boards thereafter. The homework had numerous corrections which were made by the prof. the week-end before hand-in on Monday. Nice. And the integral which I had asked him about (unable to find in the tables) 1 week earlier which he said to do was later emailed as unsolvable by hand calculation.
5) The book store! I was sold a course book with missing pages for which the campus book store refused to provide an undamaged copy without surrendering my old one with all my scribble notes for the first 3 chapters. I had to call the distributor and then the out-of-state Barnes and Noble parent store before I could solve the problem myself.
6) You'll pay $92 for a bus pass that you don't want or need.
7) The Dean is a smooth-talker who'll turn your complaints around and psychoanalyse you uncomplimentarily and to his advantage.8) Their professional guest speakers are all inhouse or locals and whose expertise quotes things such as "that is what I was told in high school"! I couldn't make this up. It's too sad.
The CS department here is pretty good. Majority of the research is going on in Information Retrieval, Distributed systems and Peer to peer. The faculty are pretty good, pretty well-informed and friendly. The course structure is good and you can balance your courses well through your semesters.
Funding-wise and wrt availability of on-campus jobs, TA and RA positions, the situation is pathetic.
IIT itself overall has poor funding and job scenario. The campus is pretty decent, not too much to talk about. The administrative staff are not very friendly and supportive. They can get hard on students in certain situations, more than necessary.
Also, the facilities are not that great and not too great a planning goes into maintaining the university and improving it. For example, new students have to literally do a Sherlock Holmes to find the restrooms in the campus center. The tennis courts were all bumpy, rough and uneven and the management let the students play on such courts through the summer and has taken up its renovation now at the end of summer, when that should have been done much earlier.
Nevertheless, the campus does have good points to it. The local train line passes right through campus and that makes downtown very easily accessible. Also, there is a 7 eleven store in campus, which is quite helpful (though it is a bit on the costlier side).
Coming to safety, the location of the campus makes it quite an unsafe place in the night. Though the public safety here is making efforts in keeping it safe, they are somehow coming up short.
Finally, if you are looking to stay on-campus, firstly getting an on-campus apartment is pretty difficult. The only advantage of on-campus apartments here is the obvious one of being close to everythin in campus. But, the apartments themselves are not that great and can do with some significant improvement.
All in all, IIT is not really a great university to come to. It has the obvious advantage of being in Chicago, which is an awesome and beautiful city.Hence, please make a thorough check of other universities and come to IIT only if you believe that it is truly better.
Nevertheless, the campus is located close to a slightly insecure area. The funding scenario and assistantship opportunity is very poor. It also is difficult to get an on-campus job, without which one cannot get an SSN.Overall, IIT is a good place to study in. One has to be clear about one's intentions and requirements.
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