What school should I apply to?


by AJY1992
Tags: apply, school
AJY1992
AJY1992 is offline
#1
Sep10-09, 03:05 PM
P: 3
I am going into my senior year in high school and I have had an unwavering interest in majoring in physics for several years. I have looked at a good number of schools, but I have a feeling that I should be looking at a few more of them and my order of preference is not fully set.

The schools I have looked at so far are Yale, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Williams, and Swarthmore, all of which are reputed to have relatively strong undergraduate programs. Of these, I am most interested in Williams and Yale. I know Caltech and Harvey Mudd are high-ranking schools in terms of Ph.D. production, but they are several thousand miles away from my home and the air is unbreathable. Stanford is a beautiful school with very happy students, but it's gotten rather oppressive and political with its distribution requirements, and I feel I might get lost behind their graduate school. Princeton and Cornell are both beautiful schools, yet relatively large, but I still want to apply. Swarthmore seems like a very nice, small school, but I just don't know if I would like it there; it seemed like the people there were a little weird. MIT I have dropped from my list completely because of its massive size, though it will definitely be on my list of grad schools.

I have yet to see Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth, and I cannot find out from any online source whether Brown and Dartmouth have strong curriculums. I have heard tremendously good things about both, and the open curriculum at Brown sounds fantastic. I just have to figure out if those schools are any good.

Besides those, where else should I look? When I went to my summer physics course at Yale, my professor told me it would be the same no matter where I went and I have read elsewhere that physics is effectively standardized in the United States.

Thanks for your time, your help with this process is greatly appreciated.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Simplicity is key to co-operative robots
Chemical vapor deposition used to grow atomic layer materials on top of each other
Earliest ancestor of land herbivores discovered
colonelcrayon
colonelcrayon is offline
#2
Sep10-09, 03:51 PM
P: 90
> MIT I have dropped from my list completely because of its massive size

You do realize that Yale is bigger (in both undergrad and grad) than MIT, right?

It may not have the same name recognition as Yale or Dartmouth, but the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology might be worth a look. They are very small and the physics program is truly outstanding. Since there are no PhD students, undergrads have all kinds of research opportunities. They have the control center for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array on campus. This may not be your first choice, but I would check it out, especially if astrophysics is your area of interest.

You need to do more research. Look at the College Navigator. It is produced by the US Department of Education and has no advertisements.
IITian
IITian is offline
#3
Sep10-09, 03:52 PM
P: 28
I would say Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Berkeley, Cornell, Columbia, Chicago, Santa Barbara, USC, Northwestern, Dartmouth, St Louis, Brown, Wisconsin in US are all good. If you want to come to Europe then- Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, Durham are all good for Physics.

Redbelly98
Redbelly98 is offline
#4
Sep11-09, 07:29 AM
Mentor
Redbelly98's Avatar
P: 11,984

What school should I apply to?


Quote Quote by AJY1992 View Post
The schools I have looked at so far are Yale, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Williams, and Swarthmore, all of which are reputed to have relatively strong undergraduate programs.
These are all very competitive schools, for getting accepted. You don't mention what kind of grades or SAT scores you have, but you may want to consider one or two moderately-ranked schools as a back-up.
AJY1992
AJY1992 is offline
#5
Sep11-09, 01:46 PM
P: 3
For back-up schools, I have Villanova and Connecticut College, although I may need more. As for grades, I am first in my class in high school (about 230 kids, private school). I have taken 4 APs (US History, English, Chemistry, World History) so far and am doing another 4 this year, including AP Physics B (I want to see if I can take the C exam though, since I did electromagnetism at Yale), AP Biology, and AP Calculus (BC).

For standardized tests, I have:
ACT: 32
English-35
Math-35
Reading-30
Science-29

SAT:2220
Critical Reading: 680
Math: 740
Writing: 800

SAT II:
Math II-800
US History-800
Chemistry-770

I also pulled As through four math and science courses at Yale Summer Session, including two introductory physics courses. My extracurriculars are also very strong (Math Team, NHS Vice President, Student Council Treasurer), so I'm hoping that will give me a strong chance at most of these schools.

Thanks for everything, guys!


Register to reply

Related Discussions
middle school and high school math texts Science & Math Textbook Listings 15
Should i apply to Grad School Academic Guidance 3
Graduate School Advice Needed: Where to Apply with my stats & "backup" schools Academic Guidance 0
is a maths/science secondary school school/ college teacher a good career? Career Guidance 5
Should I apply for grad school Academic Guidance 9