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Are these good starting points for Physics Major

  1. Nov 29, 2015 #1
    I am planning on transferring to a 4 year university to major in physics. I am currently overseas and must take classes online. After an almost endless grueling search I was able to find a school that offered an associates program online that I feel is in the right direction for what I intend to do.
    Here are links to the graduation requirements for these programs.
    A.S. Mathematics -- http://www.frontrange.edu/graduation-and-beyond/transfer-out/transfer-degrees/as-degree-in-math

    A.S. Physics -- http://www.frontrange.edu/graduation-and-beyond/transfer-out/transfer-degrees/as-degree-in-physics

    Any thoughts on which program I should take, whether they are good starting points for a transfer degree to a 4 year on campus degree, or any other information would be much appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2015 #2

    Student100

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    Are you planning on transferring to a university in the Colorado system? Have you checked the accreditation for the university if this isn't the case?

    How long are you overseas for? Have you done the SAT or ACT to send to the school for placement? Generally you must take an exam at the college to be placed, if you haven't. If you're overseas for a short period of time it might be advisable, instead of trying to get an associates, to take general education classes online and then do the physics and mathematical courses in physical classes. This way you don't miss out on the physics labs sections.

    Are these programs even all online? I don't see any indication that's the case.
     
  4. Nov 29, 2015 #3

    Student100

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    Found the online page: http://www.frontrange.edu/programs-and-courses/academic-programs/physics

    Do you plan on transferring to one of these universities?
     
  5. Nov 29, 2015 #4
    Not sure where I plan to transfer to
    Haven't taken ACT or SAT
    school is regionally accredited
    Also I have to have a degree plan in order to us tuition assistance in Air Force
     
  6. Nov 29, 2015 #5
    And I found these programs under the link degrees offered online
     
  7. Nov 29, 2015 #6
  8. Nov 29, 2015 #7

    Student100

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    Military offers ACT and SAT during certain times, I think UoM comes out and does them. You should check out the Joint service transcript website, I think they have the dates for certain regions. (Should the Air force participate in this, I don't know.) If you're stationed in Japan, on the naval base in Yokosuka, there is joint college service center that would have the dates. Not sure about Korea, or Europe.

    Alternatively, you'll need to talk to the school and see if they can place you without taking the placement exam, or having the SAT/ACT done. Should they require placement like most CC do.

    If you're not sure where you want to transfer, I would tread carefully, there's no guarantee that other universities would articulate the classes you took there, so that's always a worry.
     
  9. Nov 29, 2015 #8

    Student100

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  10. Nov 29, 2015 #9

    Maybe this should be in another thread but is it a big deal to not get a undergraduate degree from a prestigious school? I'm from Kansas so KU is kind of my default plan to attend for my bachelors. Although I'm not sure if I would be at a severe disadvantage compared to those Ivy League schools.
     
  11. Nov 29, 2015 #10
    Thank you for all the information student100
     
  12. Nov 29, 2015 #11

    Student100

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    Does it help to get your undergraduate degree from an Ivy League? Sure, you make connections, have university name recognition, and often opportunities to network with some of the best researchers in the field, and even work with them doing undergraduate research.

    Is it whats most important in graduate school admissions? (If you're majoring in Physics, you should already be planning on going to graduate school after your undergrad) I don't work for an admission committee and am just a student myself, but obviously not. The most important things are:

    1. Do well in your studies, get good grades, and have a good grasp of the material.
    2. Get good letters of recommendation.
    3. Do undergraduate research.

    KU appears to be a large public university, there will probably be opportunities to do all three of these there. What you want to avoid are small liberal arts colleges without a real opportunity, or severely handicapped ability, to do number 3.

    Back to your original post, I think it looks fine for what you want to do since the TA requires a degree plan. Again, you run the risk of the classes not being accepted by KU, but you can also reach out to KU and see if a transfer adviser could verify if the courses would be accepted. This could probably be done by a simple email to the admissions department with links to program.

    I would also independently continue to study more advanced physics/math topics, while waiting to transfer after you've completed the degree. This can be accomplished by reading honors intro undergraduate texts after your initial courses. This should put you on much more sturdy ground for upper division physics/math.
     
  13. Nov 29, 2015 #12

    Student100

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    Again, you still need to work this out: http://www.frontrange.edu/getting-in/assessment-testing

    So it appears you need to work on doing either the SAT or ACT, or emailing the school and seeing if there are any other ways to accommodate you.
     
  14. Nov 29, 2015 #13

    jtbell

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    On paper, the physics program looks like a reasonable start towards a four-year physics major: three semesters of calculus-based intro physics including modern physics; calculus I-III, differential equations and some programming; and some chemistry.

    I would e-mail them and ask how the labs are going to handled. They probably use lab kits that you may have to pay a separate fee for.

    It's accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which apparently accredits many colleges in the midwest and plains states. My own undergraduate alma mater, a small liberal-arts college in Ohio, is accredited by them. The courses look to be pretty standard on paper at least, so it should be possible to transfer credit for them most anywhere. If you're interested in specific 4-year schools (e.g. Kansas), it might be a good idea to contact their physics department and make sure.

    The trick of course is to get in. :oldwink: I have no idea how many students those schools admit as transfers from community colleges (if any!), but they're extremely competitive in general.

    I beg to disagree with any such blanket assessment of those schools. Faculty at many of those colleges (probably most of them, nowadays) do research. They don't have the wide range of research topics that a big school has, but the main thing is that the student gets some research experience and that the faculty can evaluate his suitability for research in general. The actual area of research isn't that important; it's not expected that you'll continue doing the same thing in graduate school.

    As I noted above, I went to one of those small schools myself, and not a particularly big-name one. I did well there, was accepted at all the grad schools that I applied to (Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Case Western Reserve, and Carnegie Mellon) and ended up with a Ph.D. from Michigan.
     
  15. Nov 30, 2015 #14

    Student100

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    Thanks for the counter example jtbell, I have no first hand experience with the smaller schools and was just parroting what I've heard throughout the years. :)
     
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