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Programs Applied physics at Rutgers-Newark

  1. Mar 4, 2017 #1
    Hey. So I have a dilemma. I applied to the Applied Physics program at Rutgers-Newark. I got accepted, but one of my teachers told me that I applied to the wrong campus. He said they have a terrible program and shouldn't even give them the light of day. I felt so terrible. Then he continued to say that I shouldn't feel bad because New Brunswick would have been hard to get in anyway (I think he was trying to make me feel better by saying I wouldn't have gotten into the "right" campus anyway, but I could be overthinking it). So what do you guys think. I know they partner with NJIT, but he thinks they don't have adequate research and resources, too.

    Ultimately, I want to do optics. The only other PhD programs that accepted me were Notre Dame and Howard Univ., but I wouldn't get a great "optics experience", especially at Notre Dame. They are best to go to for nuclear physics. Someone told me I should go somewhere, then transfer to a better program.

    I'm not trying to make a sob story, but I've been completely stressed and drained from life since this summer. I've had so much going on, and when I got accepted into Rutgers-Newark, I felt so relieved. I was thinking "finally, something good". But now, I'm stressed out again. Is this something I shouldn't worry about. I know I should be grateful I even got into a school. Sorry if this post was too much.

    What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2017 #2


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    I can't offer any insight into that specific program, but you might want to consider a couple things.

    First, what is this professor/teacher's assessment of this program based on? Does he actively do research in the same area and know the group there? Is it hearsay from other students? How old is his information? (Programs do change with time.)

    Did he give you any specifics that were different from your own impressions of the program? I would presume that you're a grown-up and put a lot of thought into the decision to apply to this program and were happy that you got in.

    Sometimes it's best to focus on the practical reality before you. You got into three programs. Based on your own assessment, Rutgers-Newark is the best of the three. Worrying about some other school is a moot point now.

    Many opportunities in life are the result of what you make them. Focus on making this experience the best it can be. In a worst-case scenario you can try to transfer out, but why focus on that now? Instead, put your energy into picking a great project and supervisor. Put your energy into your initial PhD coursework and your comprehensive exam, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  4. Mar 5, 2017 #3
    Are there faculty at Rutgers who've sent their students to good jobs in academia or industry?


    Work for them!


    Look at the optics faculty at Howard/Notre Dame, pose the same question. Don't waste your time with the rankings.

    Next, ask yourself if there are other fields of physics you're interested in. Also look at engineering departments since they sometimes have good optics.

    If there's nobody you want to work for who's good at any of those programs, well, figure something else out.
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