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Best path for studying physics and computer science

  1. Nov 11, 2014 #1
    I am a senior right now in high school and am pretty much deciding the beginning of the rest of my career right now. Ultimately, I would love to study both physics and computer science with either a double major or with computational physics. I love learning about mathematics, physics, computer architecture/electrical engineering and computer programming. I most certainly want to obtain my PhD as I know I'll love the learning and it seems areas like physics tend to require doctoral degrees.

    I live near Cincinnati, Ohio and I'd previously thought that I might shoot for attending Ohio State University or Miami Oxford University. OSU is pretty much the best college in Ohio for both physics and computer science but both colleges are pretty good anyway. Their total costs are about $23,000 and $29,500 respectively. My plan was to attend one of these in-state colleges for at least my first two years if not my entire undergrad so as to save more money in the long run. I would then continue on to a more prestigious, albeit costly, university for my graduate.

    I also thought about attending better schools like University of California at Berkley and Carnegie Mellon (more towards the computer science side of things) but I heard that attending a college as an undergraduate will likely decrease your chances of getting accepted there as a graduate.

    Anyway, today I learned that I got a 34 on the ACT which came as a complete surprise as I've never taken the test before. After considering this bit of news, I've begun to reconsider my previous plans. Should I continue on with my current plan and go the cheaper, in-state route or should I shoot for the stars early on. With this revelation, I realize that there is a small chance for me to get into those highly selective schools like Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Stanford and Princeton. I also realize, well my counselor tells me, that I will be able to get much more money with that score than I could have without it. What's your advice? Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2014 #2
    Just about any major state university will do well by you for an undergraduate education.

    You say that you are "deciding the beginning of the rest of your career right now." That seems rather premature, to me. By all means, make some plans, but expect them to change as you mature. You don't really know, at this point, how you stack up against the competition. First year of college is quite an awakening for most folks.
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