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Best Graduate schools for Physics

  1. Jun 5, 2004 #1
    I am soon begining my search for graduate schools, and I was wondering which schools offer the best research/reputation for my Physics major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2004 #2

    Dr Transport

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    What do you want to do???? Different departments have different strengths.
  4. Jun 6, 2004 #3
    It all depends

    What exactly do you want to get out of graduate school?

    What do you want to study?

    What do you want to do after you finish up?
  5. Jun 6, 2004 #4
    I'm a big fan of Theoretical Physics, Astrophysics, partical physics, and any field that is really pushing the limits.
  6. Jun 6, 2004 #5


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    As far as reputation goes, I would say the 2 most notable graduate schools would be at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology. You could probably even throw in Carnegie Mellon University as well as Stanford.

    But remember, all those I named are the most "known" schools. They may be the best or may not be depending on what exactly you're looking to study.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2004
  7. Jun 6, 2004 #6


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    i just read where you mentioned Astrophyics as a possible field of study for your graduate degree. And thought you might find this useful.I found this over at NASA's website.

    The question was: "I am planning on majoring in Astronomy/Astrophysics. Do you have any information on which institutions are offering the best programs in this field?"

    Here was the engineers' answer: Your question is a good one, but it would be easier to answer it if you told us what your long term goals are. This is because, if you are interested in a career in astronomy, you will probably want to attend graduate school after college and get a Ph.D. If so, then the choice of graduate school is more important to your future career than is the choice of college. In fact, many students in graduate schools in astronomy have undergraduate degrees in fields other than astronomy, such as physics or mathematics. My list of the top graduate schools in astronomy includes: Princeton, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and University of Chicago as the top few.

    For undergraduate astronomy, I think you can get a good education at many colleges or universities. As with many things, what you put into your education can determine what you get out of it. I think that you would find that if you polled the students entering the top graduate schools that they come from a wide range of college backgrounds, including both public and private institutions, liberal arts colleges and large universities.
  8. Jun 7, 2004 #7
    I would think the University of Arizona would rank very highly in astronomy.

    But it also depends on the advisor. You can find top-notch researchers at many mid-level colleges.

    By the way, all fields push the limits.

    One more thing: Don't forget the $$$$$ Money makes the world go around. Never forget that.
  9. Jun 7, 2004 #8


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    I'm sorry, but I hate that statement: "Money makes the world go round". No it doesn't. Look at how the Indians survived or even our fore fathers. This world had very little to do with money until the recent years. The only people that think "money makes the world go round" are those that strive for being rich, not happy. Granted, there are always some exceptions, but most of the time they are just greedy (like 90% of the people in this world).

    Sorry to go off topic...I just had to point that out.
  10. Jun 7, 2004 #9
    RE: "Look at how the Indians survived."

    Our forefathers tended to be rather rich. In fact, their wealth is what allowed them to achieve the prominence that led to their involvement in the Revolution.

    The Indians were almost systematically wiped out by a class of people who had more resources. And Indians were some of the biggest horse-traders in the New World. Check out their involvement in the fur trade.

    The original poster can take whomever's advice he or she wishes. But my point is clear: Money may not seem to be everything today, but when that time comes when you need to do something really important, it comes in handy.

    And the last people on Earth who can object to my statement are physicists. If you don't agree, kindly tell me why we don't have a Superconducting Supercollider today. (Something about money.)
  11. Jun 7, 2004 #10
    Thanks for your replies. Money does not make the world go round, however, "currency" runs our society.
  12. Jun 7, 2004 #11
    The following readily come to mind

    Cal Tech

  13. Jun 7, 2004 #12


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    Arizona (for Astrophysics)
    Santa Cruz (for Astrophysics)?

    I just found a site which tries to rank graduate programs according to your preferences.
    http://www.phds.org/rankings/getWeights.php?d=25 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Aug 17, 2011 #13
    To the "money makes the world go 'round folks..."

    Obviously it's conservation of angular momentum...
  15. Aug 17, 2011 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    This thread is seven years old.
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