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CU Boulder vs CU denver.

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1
    I am currently attending the University of Colorado at Denver pursuing a second undergraduate degree in physics. My original plan was to take the basic classes at CU Denver and then transfer up to Boulder for the remainder of the degree. (I live in Denver, and Boulder is a 45 minute commute). However, now that I am finishing up the first semester of my sophmore year, I am really enjoying CU Denver. I have gotten to know the professors really well, and I cant say enough about how much they have helped me learn the material. It is a small department, and the classes are tiny (six students in my math methods class). This is good because you dont get lost in the shuffle, but I worry that I'll lose out on research opportunities, or perhaps I will have a more difficult time finding a job with the less pretigous school on the resume.

    I may continue to get a masters, but ideally I'd like to be working asap. I do plan on working in the private sector, so I am not overly concened with getting my name on papers and all that jazz.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2006 #2
    As a graduate of CU-Boulder's physics department, I feel obligated to respond.
    What really matters is your understanding of physics. If you feel comfortable with smaller classes, then I would cruise on over to the CU-Boulder physics course website and see if the curriculum is all that different. Check out the level of the homework assignments, if any are posted. If you could handle them, then I'd stick where you are.
    That being said, I got along pretty well with the faculty at CU-Boulder, and I found the larger class size to be an advantage, because I could different study groups (read: cliques) had different approaches to problems, and I could get a better perspective on things.
    Also, you may miss out on a long-term research project. You could apply for summer REU positions at a number of universities, but those are short-term. CU-Boulder has a pretty massive physics/astronomy department. There are lots of opportunities.
    Talk to your professors at CU-Denver, and be sure your decision is an informed one!

  4. Nov 2, 2006 #3
    I'm in the process of applying to graduate schools and was looking at CU-Boulder. Anyone know how good their Mechanical Engineering program is? Is it a good school to go to?
  5. Nov 3, 2006 #4
    Well I am an Aero engineering grad (B.S./M.S.) from CU-Boulder and the Mech and Aero departments share a lot of early classes (and even some of the more advanced ones) and profs and the Aero department as a whole is rated pretty high for public universities (in the top 15 I think?) so I would think the Mech department is up there as well. Of course to me ratings, like an exam, are a sort of snapshot measure, more important is the specifics of what you are looking for and what the program offers you in return. The engineering department in general is very good, the building is one of the largest on campus and it’s more than just store rooms, they have added some innovative labs (ITLL, DLC) and working environments to stay modern and provide students with more state of the art facilities. They have a lot of research opportunities and collaborative efforts with industry and government so you can get some good hands on experience. Take all of that with a grain of salt of course as I am fairly biased :wink: but the school in general is a good one. Have you taken any of the free tours and/or visited in person?
  6. Nov 3, 2006 #5
    Also, what are peoples' opinion of Wyoming's physics department? I currently live in Colorado but also qualify for in-state tuition at Wyoming so am considering applying to their undergraduate program as compared to CU-Boulder, basically because of price. Will I be hurting myself if I do so, esepecially when I apply to graduate school?
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