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Schools Boston University vs UC Davis

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Hi everyone!
I'm an international student who just got accepted to those two great Unis!
I'm really happy, however, I really don't know where to go. I plan to major in Physics, and to continue my grad school in physics too, especially, theoretical physics.

Could someone give me an objective point of view? Which one is better? Leave you comments only about:

1. Accademic Reputation / Prestige
2. Physics programs
3. Research opportunities

Thanks so much!
 

phyzguy

Science Advisor
4,287
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Interesting. According to the US News College Ranking, these two schools are ranked equally, tied for #41 in the ranking of National Universities. Both are quite good schools, and I'm sure you can get a good education at either place. They are polar opposites in terms of weather and setting - Boston is a large Eastern city and Davis is a smaller town in California's Central Valley, surrounded by farms and orchards. Can you afford to visit both and see which environment you prefer?
 
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Thanks!
Yes, i can afford both, but however i don't have the opportunity to visit.
It's a really tough decision, in every ranking I go, they are always very close.
BU US News Global School --> 32
Davis US News Globa School --> 39
BU US news Physics --> 39
Davis US news Physics --> 29
 

jtbell

Mentor
15,369
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Don't stress out over rankings or "prestige factor." At the undergraduate level they don't mean much, especially when they're that close. It's not like they were #5 and #250. Even at #250... I did my undergrad at a small college in Ohio which probably doesn't even figure into the national rankings, only regional; but I ended up at U of Michigan for grad school, which is usually considered in the top 20 in the US.
 
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Thabk you so much!
I know that they don't mean so much.. But after all, is the only source I can check at the moment ☹
Do you have any personal experience about the two? If You were me, and both school were exactly the same for campus and weather, what would you choose?

Thanka again!
 

phyzguy

Science Advisor
4,287
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I'd say they are basically equal academically, so you should make your decision on other factors. They are very much not the same for campus and weather.
 

berkeman

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I got my BSEE at UC Davis, and enjoyed both the EE and Physics programs there. The campus has grown quite a bit since I went there, but it still has a fairly small-town feel to it. It sounds like there is no big difference academically between the two, so I'd say you should base your decision on the campus features and the weather, etc. instead.

What is the weather like where you live now? Will you stay at school during the summers too, or go back home for the summers. The summers at Davis get pretty hot (but dry).

I'd think you should be able to take "virtual tours" of the two campuses -- have you looked on their websites for such tours?

One other point -- UC Davis has a large medical school and veterinary school, and a larger proportion of the undergraduate students are "pre-med" compared to many other schools. This means that you will get pretty stiff competition in the large introductory classes that you take (like chemistry), because of the large number of very motivated pre-med students. It's not a big deal, as long as you are willing to study pretty hard to keep up. :smile:
 
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berkeman

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BTW, I've gone back to Davis for the annual open house day many times -- it's called "Picnic Day", and is coming up in a few weeks on April 18th:

https://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/schedule-of-events-2015/ [Broken]

It's a great way to see the campus and have some fun at the same time. It's best if you can bring or rent a bike -- the campus and town of Davis run pretty much on bicycles and not cars. :smile:
 
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berkeman

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I'd think you should be able to take "virtual tours" of the two campuses -- have you looked on their websites for such tours?
Well that was easy to find... I did a Google search for UC Davis Virtual Tour, and got lots of hits:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=uc davis virtual tour

Then again for Boston University:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=boston+university+virtual+tour

:smile:
 
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Thank you so much!!
I'm starting leading towards davis especially for the Campus and the weather, i'm not sure how I'd like a city campus...
Also, since you went to Davis, what do you think is the education there? I'm really looking for a Uni that can challenge me and prepare me for Graduate School.
I also check on Davis websited and I saw they have the Honors Program for Physics. It looks really good!
How easy/hard is to get into research in Physics there?

Thank you! :)
 

berkeman

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How easy/hard is to get into research in Physics there?
I'm not sure how it is now, but if you made the trip for Picnic Day, there are lots of folks you can ask questions of... :smile:
 

Student100

Education Advisor
Gold Member
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416
UCD will prepare you well for graduate school, I'm sure Boston would as well. California will probably be more expensive, but if you can afford either it's probably no big deal to you.

There are plenty of opportunities for research in the UC system. I went to UCSD, and it was relatively easy to find work. My gut tells me Davis will be the same, but I don't have any first hand experience there.
 
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Thank you all guys! I just wanted to let you know that I finally made a decision, and I'm choosing UC Davis!
 
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I got my BSEE at UC Davis, and enjoyed both the EE and Physics programs there. The campus has grown quite a bit since I went there, but it still has a fairly small-town feel to it. It sounds like there is no big difference academically between the two, so I'd say you should base your decision on the campus features and the weather, etc. instead.

What is the weather like where you live now? Will you stay at school during the summers too, or go back home for the summers. The summers at Davis get pretty hot (but dry).

I'd think you should be able to take "virtual tours" of the two campuses -- have you looked on their websites for such tours?

One other point -- UC Davis has a large medical school and veterinary school, and a larger proportion of the undergraduate students are "pre-med" compared to many other schools. This means that you will get pretty stiff competition in the large introductory classes that you take (like chemistry), because of the large number of very motivated pre-med students. It's not a big deal, as long as you are willing to study pretty hard to keep up. :smile:
Does that hold true when comparing UC Davis to BU on that aspect?
 

phyzguy

Science Advisor
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Thank you all guys! I just wanted to let you know that I finally made a decision, and I'm choosing UC Davis!
Congratulations! Don't forget your bicycle.
 
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@phyzguy oh yeah! I'll get a classic, dutch, city bike. Love that style
 

berkeman

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Does that hold true when comparing UC Davis to BU on that aspect?
I don't know. Does BU have a top-flight Med School and topper-flight Vet School? If so, then that aspect would be similar... :smile:
 
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I knew BU had a med school and a dental school, hence my confusion about asking how common are premeds at UC Davis vs. BU...
 
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I have never been to Davis. I spent a couple of weeks at BU, one summer. It seems at BU you do not need a car. I heard most places in California requires a car. The public transportation system in Boston is old but it is good. Prepare yourself to be packed into the busses like cattle, though. Oops, I think I stayed at Boston College (in chestnut hill?) rather than BU.
 

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