Hello all, I am preparing to transfer to a University of California campus as a junior from a community college. I am applying to several campuses next month and I'd like some guidance in choosing a school for when the time comes to select one. One of the major things I am thinking about is that I'd like to be in a school where I'd be able to succeed. Although I've done well in lower division courses and have a good work ethic, I'm not sure that I'll exactly be above average in classes where the others are on the same level as me. For instance, a recent Berkeley graduate was telling me how if the average on an exam was an 88, it was still curved so that an 88 is a C. It seems that doing good is not enough - one must truly be above average to succeed. So that has me wondering. I would like to attend Berkeley, but at the same time I would like to do well enough that schools will consider me for graduate school (For the sake of the argument, assume that I get into the schools that I apply). Are most physics programs this competitive? I really do enjoy the subject and I'm willing to put in the effort, but I'm not sure about going to a school where I'd merely be getting by. I understand that in order to get into graduate school, one must really be good at physics. I'm not looking for an easy way out, because I know physics should be the same regardless of what campus I go to. But is it really worth taking a beating at a prestigious school than to go to a less popular school? Any comments or experiences that you would like to share about upper division courses are appreciated.