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Columbia, Chicago, or Cornell for undergraduate physics or engineering?

  1. Mar 31, 2012 #1
    I am finishing my final year of high school and would like to obtain an undergraduate education in physics or engineering. I was just accepted into Columbia University, the University of Chicago (which does not offer engineering), and Cornell University and plan to attend one of them. If anyone has any information that would help me make my decision, that would be very helpful.

    I do not know exactly what job I want, but I would like to keep as many options open as possible. I may eventually work in industry, research, or some field not directly related to physics, such as finance. I plan to attend an excellent graduate school, perhaps for engineering (can this be done with a pure physics undergraduate degree?). So far, my greatest interests in science are astrophysics, thermodynamics, and aeronautical engineering (of course, I have very little experience). I also prefer an education that is broad, rigorous, creative, and interdisciplinary.

    Based on the information I have provided and your personal experience, do you have any advice about these three universities and the major I would choose at them?

    Thank you very much for your help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2012 #2
    All of those schools are great. You may want to also consider what type of city would you be most comfortable in. Do you prefer huge cities such as Chicago or NY or a smaller, college town such as Ithaca?
     
  4. Apr 1, 2012 #3
    Thank you for your reply. I was in New York recently and greatly enjoyed all of the urban opportunities, but I do think that I would eventually yearn for more natural surroundings. I will visit Ithaca soon, and I expect a similarly dichotomous perception. In the end, I think that each option has advantages and disadvantages that approximately cancel each other out.
     
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