Physics undergrad question


by Tesla42
Tags: physics, undergrad
Tesla42
Tesla42 is offline
#1
Feb13-13, 04:19 PM
P: 14
What do you think about attending physics undergrad program at a school that does not have a grad school program? I am considering a school like this and I see two main things that distinguish it from colleges with grad schools. I think it would be easier for me to get research because there would be no grad students to compete with me, but there would also be no chance for me to take graduate-level classes during my undergrad years. Do you think that this would adversely affect my grad school applications? Thanks in advance for any responses.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Cougars' diverse diet helped them survive the Pleistocene mass extinction
Cyber risks can cause disruption on scale of 2008 crisis, study says
Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes
ModusPwnd
ModusPwnd is online now
#2
Feb13-13, 04:32 PM
P: 858
Quote Quote by Tesla42 View Post
I think it would be easier for me to get research because there would be no grad students to compete with me,
My thought was almost the opposite. It may be hard for you to get meaningful research. Schools with no graduate students often have less active and less publishing researchers. They also have more faculty that are just teachers who dont even pretend to do research. The way most university research is done is with actively publishing professors and their team of grads and undergrads. There are probably exceptions, especially in theory and computation. Without active teams of grad students headed by a professor your research experience will not be as indicative of grad school as your peers/competitors.


Quote Quote by Tesla42 View Post
but there would also be no chance for me to take graduate-level classes during my undergrad years.
Big whoop. Sure, taking grad classes cant hurt and should often help. But classes are not what grad school is about, research is. I would suggest spending extra time on research rather than to spending extra time in classes. Presentations and publications are more important than classes.

edit - Im talking about physics PhD grad school of course
Tesla42
Tesla42 is offline
#3
Feb13-13, 05:00 PM
P: 14
So would you say that I should go to a school that has a graduate physics program so that the research is more meaningful?

ModusPwnd
ModusPwnd is online now
#4
Feb13-13, 05:21 PM
P: 858

Physics undergrad question


Quote Quote by Tesla42 View Post
So would you say that I should go to a school that has a graduate physics program so that the research is more meaningful?
Well, I would suggest checking out the research in either case. Look through the physics faculty on the web site at your prospective undergrad. If they are active researchers they should have a link to a site describing their research and recent publications. Do the same thing for a potential undergrad program that has grad students around. This might give you a better feel for what is going on in each department.
robphy
robphy is offline
#5
Feb14-13, 10:38 AM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
robphy's Avatar
P: 4,108
You might find these pages enlightening about the undergraduate origins of Physics PhDs.

http://www.thecollegesolution.com/th...t-their-start/
http://web.grinnell.edu/institutiona...hDProd_F06.pdf
Choppy
Choppy is offline
#6
Feb14-13, 01:50 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,565
Simply having or not having a graduate program is not likely to have much of an influence on the quality of your education. Some schools that don't have a graduate program will be excellent with great professors who challenge you, while others will be filled with faculty who don't really care about the students or whose teaching styles conflict with your personal learning style.

And just because a school has a graduate program doesn't necessarily imply that it's a better fit for you. The same positives and negatives apply.

If you're strongly considering a particular school visit the campus and see if you can talk to some current students. Find out what they like, don't like and what opportunites are available to them. Ask the physics department where their graduates end up.
Tesla42
Tesla42 is offline
#7
Feb14-13, 04:58 PM
P: 14
Thanks for the advice


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Question regarding physics vs engineering undergrad for an intended physics career? Academic Guidance 14
Physics Undergrad Question.. Academic Guidance 2
1st undergrad degree in arts, want to do 2nd undergrad in Physics Academic Guidance 15
UNDERgrad degree after my undergrad? A technical question Academic Guidance 21
Undergrad Physics and Mathematics (Pure) or Undergrad in ME Academic Guidance 7