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Admitted: Now must decide where to go!

  1. Mar 25, 2008 #1
    So I have been admitted as a transfer to both UCSD and UCSB in physics.
    I'm having a great difficulty deciding between these two schools, so perhaps you guys can help.

    Here are the things that I have in mind for consideration:

    Strength of the relative physics programs (in particular in condensed/ solid state physics, or materials physics). This is not just ranking... I know SB ranks slightly higher... I mean research opportunities and the quality of teaching.

    Friendliness, helpfulness towards transfer students. Will they give me a good chance to get used to their classes and provide me with the resources I will need to be successful at their school?

    Finally: Any other factors that I have not took into consideration that may be important.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2008 #2
    Both schools have large populations of transfer students, and make resources available to aid them. That's not to say that the transition won't have some bumps, but they're both pretty good in this respect. It may be easier to get acclimated socially at UCSB, due to the more centralized student residences and smaller campus. On the other hand, in my opinion, San Diego is more generally a much cooler place to live than Santa Barbara.

    As far as the general rankings go, I don't think the differences are significant enough to be worth caring about. In my experience, UCSD is more highly thought of, rankings or no. People generally group Berkeley, UCLA and UCSD together as the "big 3" UC schools, and then look down on the remaining ones. But it really comes down to whether one school has strengths and opportunities in particular areas you're interested in, which I, unfortunately, can't shed much light on, other than to note that both schools seem to be very reputable in those areas. Are you an undergrad? If so, the differences may not matter much; the quality of undergrad teaching should be pretty much the same, likewise the opportunities to do undergrad research (which are extensive).
  4. Mar 26, 2008 #3
    Which department would you say has a stronger material physics?
  5. Mar 26, 2008 #4
    If this is for Undergrad, it won't matter.
  6. Mar 26, 2008 #5
    Hi all. Maybe digress a little bit.
    How're UCSD and UCSB's reputation around the US?
    I mean, would you say these schools are first class schools or what?
    I am not living in the US so I have little idea about this.
  7. Mar 26, 2008 #6
    ucsb's physics department is top notch, just ook at how many members of their faculty have recieved nobel's in the past 10 years.
  8. Mar 26, 2008 #7
    Yes, they're both first-class schools. Their names are not as widely known as some other schools to the general public, as neither has a noteworthy football team, but amongst people that actually know these things (i.e., admissions boards, recruiters, etc.), both are highly thought of.
  9. Mar 26, 2008 #8
    How come? Are you saying this because they are both just as good and one can attain the same level of education and future opportunities from either school? For one thing, I'm sure that these two schools do not have the exact same research opportunities in materials/ condensed matter physics, in fact I am inquiring which one has more - please elaborate.
  10. Mar 27, 2008 #9
    Graduate school is what seems to matter.
  11. Mar 27, 2008 #10
    The physics ranking that u.s news puts out is for grad program only. So as far as who's undergrad ranking is higher? No one can answer you that.

    I was in similar situation as you before. I ended up choosing UCSD over all other UC's just because I liked the area. Now I'm about to start grad school and I can tell you that for undergrad physics programs (among UC's especially) school's name doesn't really matter. What matters is how well you do in the program. And how well you can do in the program is a function of how much you like people, area, environment, and all. School's reputation comes at the least. At least, that's what I learned.
  12. May 29, 2009 #11
    (sorry this is so late) Just an FYI....
    I went to UCSB and graduated with a BS in Physics. It is an amazing school and I would highly recommend the program, but, if you want to go to grad school for physics save UCSB for that time period. UCSB generally recommends that you do your undergraduate studies and graduate studies at DIFFERENT schools, so if you do undergrad at UCSB you will be less likely to get into their graduate school just based on the fact that you already completed their undergrad program. Obviously, its not impossible to do both there - this is just information I have picked up along the way. Good luck!
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