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Does it really matter where you get your B.Sc?

  1. Sep 19, 2012 #1
    my major will be Physics and im planning to do it all the way to Ph.D.. but does it really matter where you get your B.Sc degree? for instance, im getting my Bachelor's from the university of New Hampshire, would it be better if i did it in say, the University of Arizona (which is ranked higher in physics)?

    im really having a hard time choosing a school, im afraid my choice would ultimately affect my career, can anyone who's experienced guide me, please?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2012 #2
    I graduated with someone from Ball State University this past spring who majored in physics and got accepted into Cambridge University. So, no I don't think it matters where you graduate from. It's all about how hard you push yourself, not the name of the school you go to. Well, at least to some extent...
  4. Sep 20, 2012 #3
    If you live in the US, look for ABET certified schools. It seems that everyone wants someone else to certify that they know what they're doing. I have doubts about the efficacy of this approach, but there is no use fighting that line of thinking because it is too prevalent.
  5. Sep 20, 2012 #4
    ABET certifies engineering programs, ACS certifies chemistry programs, but I don't think there's an equivalent certification body for physics programs. Schools just teach the "standard classes" that other schools teach.
  6. Sep 20, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor


    If the school as a whole is accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies, each department is examined by an external review team of faculty from other schools as part of re-accreditation of the entire school every ten years. If they notice something they consider substandard, they report it and the school has to address it somehow. If it's serious enough, it might affect their accreditation. But this process still leaves a lot of leeway for variations between schools that serve different kinds of students and have different missions.
  7. Sep 20, 2012 #6
    I'm in a pretty good program for engineering, and I didn't even go to a top 100 school as an undergrad. There are others in the program from no name universities too. Basically just do research and get good grades. That's all you can really do. Graduate undergrad with as little debt as possible and do well. You'll get into somewhere decent if you're motivated enough. Motivated individuals succeed no matter what situation they're placed in.
  8. Sep 21, 2012 #7
    In the long run, no, what you do is much more important than where you go to school.

    In the short run... well, I had a physics professor who got his Ph.D. from Stanford. He claimed he was the only person in his cohort who got his bachelor's from a public university.
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