I'm a sophomore in college studying physics and computer science, and I'm in the process of considering a transfer. I have offers to Brown and Northwestern, and I'd like to get some more opinions on the quality of each school for these fields. I currently attend Vanderbilt. In physics, beyond the freshman mechanics and E/M, I also have taken a Quantum "survey" course and Advanced E/M (Griffiths). In CS I have taken an Intro to Programing and a Data Structures class. For math I have taken Multivariable Calc/ Linear Algebra/ Ordinary DiffEq, and self studied Discrete Math. I have started a bit in research. In addition to some computational geophysics, I'm starting to prepare for a summer in Condensed Matter research, but I'm not strongly opinionated about what subfield I prefer yet. However, I think I would prefer theory or computation over experiment. For future goals, I'd like to see how where I can get in physics by the time I'm a senior in college. I'm a "late-bloomer" in terms of academics as I did very little in high school, and feel like I have been playing catch up in college. Seems like some people got up into the stratosphere while I idled away in high school. I've enjoyed physics the most so far, and if I feel like I'm a competent problem solver by the time I'm a senior, then yeah, I think I'd like to try physics grad school. I really don't know what my capabilities are (and I'd consider myself nothing special currently), I'm just trying to do well in courses while spending extra time outside of classes improving problem solving skills through MIT OpenCourseWare or other math books. If I don't feel like I'd make for strong potential physicist, I guess I'd go a more standard route of a programmer/ software engineer. (Part of the reason for taking on the second major is to appease my parents by having a financial security net, but I do enjoy the subject. ) I'm considering transferring from Vanderbilt because I don't feel that there's much interest among my fellow students in extracurricular problem solving, and in physics. My handful of experiences of tackling random math competition problems with friends have been some of my favorite moments of college so far, but they are limited in that I can't find a lot of people interested in that, only some friends who are in different majors. Ideally I'd be at a place where there's a lot of passion for physics/math among undergraduates and spend most of my time outside of class doing research or finding new problems to solve with friends. I think courses at Vanderbilt have been a little too easy as well. I somehow have a 4.0 gpa, which I mostly attribute to the courses feeling a little watered down. I have visited both potential schools, talked to a few students, sat in on a few classes at Northwestern, but I don't know that any particular experience as a visitor is enough to give an indication of what I would get day-to-day at these schools. I got some indication from various students that Northwestern's physics department is nice, CS is just ok. Brown I've heard positive things about both departments. I'd like to get more opinions- anything would be welcome.