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College List Would Like Advice

  1. Jun 20, 2009 #1
    I live in North Carolina and am going into senior year of high school and am looking to major in Physics for college with the end goal of either doing something in Cosmology or Astrophysics and am open to Condensed Matter physics. I have a list of schools that I have narrowed it down to. If anyone knows something interesting(good or bad) about any of these schools it would be much appreciated. since i want to be a physics major I am looking for information about Physics and Math departments as well as how strong they are on astronomy.

    Johns Hopkins - my top choice

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - I think it is my second choice. people say the town and social life is bad but I really don't care, because I have heard the academics are great and the campus has good IT.

    Wake Forest University - private North Carolina school that seems to have a good physics program, with individualized attention

    New Mexico Tech - their physics program seems strong in the Astronomy and Astrophysics areas. they also have a great student - professor ratio.

    NC State University - They are a top engineering school in country and because of this they have pretty good physics.

    Ithaca - I know someone who was a physics major there and though they had a good program but I don't know too much about it myself.

    University of North Carolina - very good state school in humanities and law, but I do not think of them as a great Science school and I have heard their Math Department is not very good. Although other people insist that the school is also good at science

    Rochester Institute of Technology - don't know too much about this school other than statistics and what their web site says, any information would be nice.

    I have done a lot of my own research about the schools but would like whatever information that anyone might have.
    next week I am driving up to NY to visit RPI, Ithaca, and RIT
    I have been to WFU, NCSU, and UNC
    I have been to Johns Hopkins and it is my top choice but it is also the hardest to get into.
    my friend has been to NMT and said good things
    Thank you for your help
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2009 #2


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  4. Jun 22, 2009 #3


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    Have you considered UNC Chapel Hill, GA Tech, and Clemson? All schools in your area with great physics depts and astronomy professors. You may also want to consider a few more private schools - they often have more opportunities for undergrads to get involved with research, especially if they don't have their own grad students. College of Charleston has a large physics dept for a liberal arts college. I don't think I've recommend Ithaca for physics - in years of attending conferences, I've never met anyone from there in physics or astronomy.
  5. Jun 22, 2009 #4
    When I applied, I thought two other schools in your general area--Furman and UVA--looked good, although very different choices.
  6. Jun 22, 2009 #5
    UIUC is definitely worth considering.
  7. Jun 22, 2009 #6
    The UNC on my list is UNC Chapel Hill
    do you know the state of their physics and math department? I have gotten conflicting messages.

    thanks for help everyone
  8. Jun 24, 2009 #7
    I have eliminated Ithaca because I visited and was very unimpressed

    I also visited RIT and while it is statistically not as prestigious as the others I am very impressed by it as a whole and I would not mind going there.

    tomorrow I am visiting RPI if anyone knows anything specifically about their physics dept. I would be great to know.
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