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Aug5-08, 09:51 PM
P: 24

I'm going into my sophomore year at Duquesne University, majoring in physics and math. I am thinking of transferring to another university, however.

The reason is that I really want to be able to get into a top grad school to earn my PhD, because I want to go into research. Duquesne's physics program just isn't that big, nor does it have many resources for research, at all. I think there are 2 credits for research in the senior year, but that's about it.

I really think I can do better, but I'm not sure where to start. I would like to choose about 5 universities, try to apply to them, and see how I do. I'd like to choose universities from various rankings, from those that it is not likely I'd be accepted, to those that I think I could definitely get into.

Here are some of my stats:
  • I have a 4.0 GPA so far in college.
  • I got a 1970 on the new SAT's, and 1290 on the old. This includes 640 in reading, 650 in math, and 680 in writing. I kind of blame the math score on some technical difficulties with the braille copy of the SAT's in the math section, but I don't know.
  • I graduated with a little over a 3.7 in high school. This is the one point I'm not very happy about, which is why I've tried to work so hard in college.

Here are some of the important things to me about the university:
  • Research: It should have sufficient research opportunities, hopefully enough to leave an impression for grad school
  • Cost: I'm currently paying between $35,000-40,000 per year. This is pushing it, though I could probably make it up to $45,000-50,000 or so. Obviously, the more financial aid, the higher the cost could be.
  • Accessibility: It should have plenty of resources for those with disabilities (I'm totally blind).
  • Greek life (optional): I'm in Delta Chi, and it'd be so great if I could find a chapter at the university I transfer to.

Besides that, obviously it should have a good physics program. I'm really interested in quantum physics, so it'd be great if they had some courses on that.

So, yeah, I didn't do the best in high school, but I've been working really hard to turn that around in college. I'm trying to get into a good university, so it can be a sort of stepping stone to an even better graduate school. Location is no matter for me, but unfortunately cost is.

So, any suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm looking at Carnegie Mellon right now, because it isn't too much more expensive, and is just right down the road from Duquesne.

Also, Purdue. A friend goes there and says it is pretty good.

Besides that, I don't know. I have a few that I dream of but doubt I'd have much of a chance (e.g., Cornell, Stanford, etc).
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