College selection

1. Aug 3, 2005

PRodQuanta

Well, it's that time for me. I'm starting to apply to colleges and I've made a few campus visits.

Assuming I get accepted to all the colleges I'm applying to (which is a pretty rough assumption), I was wondering what type of university would be best for physics.

A) A small college (~1300 students) that is purely undergrad and has 1) a great physics program 2)well funded undergrad research opprotunities 3)great first/second choice graduate school acceptance rate.

or

B) A larger/well known university (lets say MIT) where you are surrounded by the cream of the crop. However, I'm guessing you wouldn't find to many undergrad research opprotunities and you have to worry about getting taught by T.A.'s?

Hopefully some of you out there can understand what I'm talking about and can give some helpful incite. Thanks.

Paden Roder

2. Aug 3, 2005

gravenewworld

Honestly, after 4 years and over $50,0000 in debt, I have to tell you that cost is a very important factor to consider. While an undergraduate degree from places like harvard, mit, etc. does look nice on your wall, in the real world (I'm talking about industry), the undergraduate school you went to for a bachelor's isn't really that important compared to work experience etc. The thing that matters most is where you go to graduate school. Most often,undergraduate programs do not differ by tremendous leaps and bounds like graduate programs. Go to the best school for the best deal (unless you want to pay off a ton of loans with interest forever like my stupid a$\$).

3. Aug 3, 2005

Brad Barker

agreed, although i wish i were in a different environment quite a bit.

well, at least the phys dept. at UF is very tight-knit, which makes up for this.

4. Aug 3, 2005

MalleusScientiarum

I went in-state to Georgia Tech, because I had free tuition. I've had a great research experience (I'd say the department size is middle level) and because the curriculum has so many free electives I've basically completed my first year of grad school as an undergrad.

Always think in terms of what are important: do you want to be close to home or far away? cheap or pricy, does it matter? do you want a free curriculum to explore a bit or do you want something tight?

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