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Schools Can I still be successful in Physics going to CC?

  1. May 18, 2016 #1
    I am currently about to graduate high school. I recently have found a new fascination, Physics. I'm a little upset with myself that it took me this long to realize this fascination, but I will have to move on from here on out. I did decent in high school, decent in math, and decent in my science classes. I took a few AP classes my senior year (AP Euro History, AP Micro/Macro Economics) which I did fairly well in. My point is I should have done better in high school because I am actually quite intelligent (not trying to sound boastful or trying to brag), I guess I let my laziness consume me. I did apply and get accepted to a few schools (nothing special, Rowan University, Rider University, etc...). I figured to myself that if I go to community college and do very well that I will be able to get into better universities while saving a decent amount of money. My concern is this; going to a community college will obviously cause for a tougher path, but is it still possible that I will achieve success in the field of Physics? My most specific dream is to be able to go into Astrophysics, but that's way down the line. Also, I'm a little rusty on my math so I plan on self studying certain maths over the summer with the help of my brother. So in general what I need help with is what classes should I take in Community College, and assuming I do well, where should I transfer? Your help is very appreciative and I will be grateful for any response.
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  3. May 18, 2016 #2
    Why would going to a CC stop you from being a successful physicist in the future? The only thing you may have against you is that your time at a university will be shorter, so you will have less of an opportunity to fill it with research. However, if there is a university near your CC you can see if you can do research there. Also, some places have physics internships for community college students (Fermilab's CCI program comes to mind).
  4. May 18, 2016 #3


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    The first thing I think you should do is to figure out what university you want to end up going to. Once you figure that out, you can check with them to see if they have any agreements with their local community colleges. For example, the University of Arizona here in Tucson has an agreement with Pima Community College. As I understand it, PCC offers a specific certificate that transfers to the UofA saying that you've completed all your general education courses so that you don't have to take them again. I believe this gets around the problem of only being able to transfer a certain number of credits to the UofA without having an associate degree to transfer. So you can get this certificate and transfer to the university without having to worry about whether or not all your classes will transfer.

    The university you want to go to may have similar agreements with its local community colleges that you should look into. At the very least this will give you options, even if you don't end up using them. In order for us to help you, we'll probably need more information. What do you want to end up pursuing? Astrophysics? Where are you located now and how far away would you be willing to relocate to?

    I myself can help you very little in choosing a specific university, but hopefully others here will be able to do so.
  5. May 19, 2016 #4


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    You can transfer anywhere, assuming your community college courses will be accepted by the school you're planning on going to. I went to a CCC before going to UCSD for physics. Make sure the CC is accredited.

    You should have target transfer schools in mind, and then look for community colleges near them that have articulation agreements. That's generally the easiest path to transfer.

    As far as what courses you should take, most community colleges have assessment exams that will help place you; alternatively, if you've taken the act or sat to apply to those other universities you've been accepted to, they can use those scores to help place you.

    Ideally, if you have the time you should start in the mathematics course one step below were you place, that will give you a great foundation upon which to build. It will cause cause you to be in CC longer though, so you have to weigh your options.

    Have you ever taken a physics course? Or are you basing the new found interest on pop science books? Have you tried going through any textbooks?
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