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Does the school you attend really matter? (Undergrad)

  1. Nov 23, 2016 #1
    Hello, I don't mean that question to sound rude or judging, but financially I can't really leave my state (Oregon) until graduate school. I was always told that in science where you go matters, but no one in my family except my uncle have gone to college. Thanks in advance for the advise.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2016 #2


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    That does not sound rude or judging. It just describes your situation.
    Good that you intend on going to college. I found three public research universities in Oregon: Oregon State, Portland State and the University of Oregon. My first impression (as a European, from a small country where the level of the undergraduate programs in mathematics, engineering and the sciences is more or less equal among its (almost exclusively public) universities) is that all of these should offer good undergraduate programs. However, this is just a first impression. It could perhaps serve as a starting point for you to look into this further and discuss this with fellow Americans.

    Amusingly, I just found of that Linus Pauling did his undergraduate studies in Oregon State. (Of course that was a while ago, but still...)

    P.S. I think that, specially in undergraduate studies, perhaps as important as the academic record of a certain university is the university's student facilities, housing and education facilities. When you enter university, a number of aspects of your life will inevitably change. It is important that you feel safe, at ease and motivated in your new environment.
  4. Nov 24, 2016 #3


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    I think the answer is "it depends". There are some undergraduate universities that are probably not worth the tuition you'll pay for them. However, Oregon State or Oregon University are both reputable universities that probably offer quality course work. I don't think anyone is going to see your application and say "Oh these schools are garbage let's skip them!" So it comes down to mostly what you do while you are at university.

    You'll find that your education is what you make of it. You can skate by and take courses that are required and hope it is enough. Or you can get involved in research, problem solving, or campus leadership. Like life, your education is what you make of it. Plus there's a myriad of other factors that should be considered when deciding which universities to attend. To give you an example from my life, I attended a top 10 university after high school and I also was kicked out of that same 10 university with an impressive 1.2 GPA. At 18, I was not self-disciplined enough to do well far away from home and it showed. 10 years later I went back to school and graduated with a 4.0 from a local school near my hometown and went off to a pretty decent graduate program.
  5. Dec 6, 2016 #4
    The Oregon schools mentioned along with Reed which is private are good universities that will provide good research opportunities. Although there may are equal and higher regarded programs nationwide, I agree with the other posters that you will not be limiting your future prospects in staying in-state.
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