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Do I need to be in a top college to be a physicist?

  1. Jul 29, 2013 #1
    I know that, theoretically, I can be a physicist no matter where I go to college (normal state colleges being the lower limit) as long as I get a physics degree. But from what I have read and heard, obtaining a physics degree from a top college is crucial if I wanted to be a good physicist. The idea was that I could definitely not enter a good graduate program if I went to a regular state college. Only the best are considered. I think that I am a good student who has a chance of going in to a good college but the chance that I will not get in a good college is still considerable.

    My question is: Should I abandon my attempt of getting a physics degree if I do not enter a good college? What about a math degree?

    My prediction is that the answer is no.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2013 #2
    As long as the school you are going to isn't atrocious, you have a chance at good graduate programs. You need to take the opportunities you have for research. Also, do keep in mind that many state colleges are highly respected for their curriculum and research. There are just too many to list here.
  4. Jul 30, 2013 #3
    What degree are you talking about? Undergraduate? either way no, you shouldn't abandon your dream. As it has been discussed in other threads, there are many benefits to going to a top notch school but their are ALSO many benefits that come from going to a big state school and not a top notch school. If you work hard and do well, you shouldn't be that limited in terms of where you end up going. I think that depends much more on your performance.
  5. Jul 30, 2013 #4
    It's more about your GPA, research experience, letters of recommendation, and if your interests fit the school than about whether you went to Pompous U or not.
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