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Can Imperial College graduates go to US Grad schools?

  1. Apr 8, 2015 #1
    Hi. I am a Korean student who is currently living in San Francisco Bay Area. I will get a green card in about a year later.

    I was accepted to several colleges, and narrowed my choices to three: they are Imperial College London, UC San Diego, and Reed College.

    My current goal is going to Stanford or Berkeley as they are close to where my family lives. Of course they have amazing Physics graduate programs too! My next choices would be schools in Southern California like Caltech, UCLA, UC San Diego, etc. Other top physics schools would also be great but they are just too far

    First I was fascinated of being accepted to Reed because it is one of the best colleges that sends a great number of its students to the best graduate schools in the US. I also liked a concept of the liberal arts education. But Reed does not seem to provide me with any financial aid, so I nearly gave up to go to Reed.

    Fortunately I have two decent choices left. I am leaned to Imperial College because it seems to have better environment to study physics, and can graduate in three years. I also have few friends who will go to London, so I am not too worried of my social life in there.

    My biggest concern is this: would I be able to go to the US graduate schools after getting BSci Physics in Imperial? I heard that lots of physics graduates continue their study, but most of them ended in Oxbridge or Imperial. If I have very little chance to be accepted in the US graduate schools, I would have to seriously reconsider my decision.

    My other choice is UC San Diego. I think it would be a good choice too, but I heard that the quality of education in UC's undergraduate was not the best. But I think it would still be a great choice if many UCSD's graduates actually succeeds in being accepted to top graduate schools. I am also eligible for California residence for tuition purpose, so the cost will be significantly lower than Imperial.

    I really cannot choose between two! Any advices or information will be very appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2015 #2
    Fellow Imperial offer holder here (physics with theoretical physics).
    I would definitely pick Imperial over UCSD and Reed, they are great schools but are not comparable to ICL in STEM fields.
    However with that said, South Kensington is one of the most expensive places on earth to live.
    Regarding grad admissions, I don't think top tier US schools would look disfavorably upon graduates from ICL. If you look at world university rankings on American sites, ICL is highly ranked. (US news world ranking puts it one rank above Princeton)
  4. Apr 9, 2015 #3
    Thank you for the reply.

    I agree that Imperial is a great school, but undergraduate experience it provides will be very different from the US colleges. While I read that it is not very common to participate in undergraduate research in the UK schools, most of graduate schools in the US highly value applicant's undergraduate research experience.
  5. Apr 10, 2015 #4


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    You might want to look at a doing an undergrad masters at Imperial. That way, you will have a 4 year degree when applying to US grad schools, and you will likely find the courses you're required to take in grad school much easier (since you will have done them in your fourth year while at Imperial).

    One thing to think about - I don't know what your immigration status is, so this might be irrelevant, but if you have a green card application pending, is it wise to leave the country?
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