I was told that universities in USA are generally better that the ones in Italy. I will take the undergraduate degree this July, and I need to decide whether to continue my studies in Italy or to move to the USA.

This site reports the world ranking for computer science & information systems, and Politecnico di Milano is ranked 48th.

I'll not be able to afford an university with high tuitions like MIT (let's say 15,000 $ per year maximum), also since I may have not the prerequisites to join high selective universities, if I move to the USA I'd choose a university that is ranked below or almost as Politecnico di Milano. So the indecision: it is still worth to move to the USA? Do you think that the rankings are reliable?

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    I wouldn't overemphasize such rankings. Commented May 1, 2014 at 18:06
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    What kind of degree are you seeking? A PhD is almost always fully funded so the tuition is meaningless. On the other hand, I think it's unlikely you'll find a program with tuition under $15000. About the only option would be a public university with in-state tuition, but international students are usually not eligible. Commented May 1, 2014 at 18:08
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    48th is not bad.
    – Cape Code
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 22:39
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    Assuming you're interested in a PhD, your target department's reputation in your subfield is at least as important as its overall reputation. Fortunately, the only reliable way to judge the reputation of various departments in specific subfields is to ask someone who works in that subfield.
    – JeffE
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 11:09
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    @NateEldredge German/French/Austrian/Dutch universities (and probably other EU universities) have usually very low tuition. Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 2:17

3 Answers 3


I was told that universities in USA are generally better that the ones in Italy.

This statement, in its given generality, is false. The US, like most places, has very good schools, ok schools, and a reasonable number of pretty bad schools. If you explicitly are looking for very cheap schools, I would not assume that the remaining selection is necessarily any good, just because it is a "school in the states".

POLIMI is a pretty good school in CS. To be honest, if I had the choice of going either to POLIMI or to a low-ranked US school, I would almost certainly choose POLIMI.

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    Choosing a school doesn't only depend solely on the ranking. Socio-economic realities are also taken into account. For example, students will generally choose a moderate ranking university in USA rather than a top ranking university in China.
    – user4271
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 3:00

The linked QS world university rankings are a well respected international ranking. That said, using a university's rank is a really terrible way to chose a grad school. Some of the factors which drive the rankings are important for choosing a grad school, but don't just rely on the rankings.


If you are planning to pursue PhD studies in computer science, you should in general not have to pay tuition yourself—this is covered by either your advisor or the department as a whole (e.g., if you're a teaching assistant).

So, basically, it comes down to a question of whether or not you're able to gain admission to a school that you think is better than the one you are attending in Italy. Equally importantly, if you're looking to start this fall (2014), you will almost certainly not be able to do it in the United States, as the admissions "window" for fall of 2014 has already closed.


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