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Good (not elite) School in Boston

  1. Nov 27, 2013 #1
    I have someone who has a decent chance at gettign into MIT/Harvard that I want to be close (same city preferably) to.I am most interested in experimental condensed matter, AMO, and applied physics. Could anyone give me an idea of the best schools for these in the area that are not MIT or Harvard (which I am not competitive for).

    I am aware of Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, etc. I am not sure of what I want to do in physics though, so am wary of small places that may not have a broad range of research possibilities.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2013 #2
    Have you tried using google to see what Universities are in Boston and then go to their websites? Seems like that would be the best place to start.
  4. Nov 27, 2013 #3
    Actually I've got access to the department profiles of all the schools with physics PhD programs, curtesy of gradschoolshopper.com, but I was trying to get a feel for what people thought. My impression is that the other schools are smaller than I would like (~ 20 faculty in physics). I wanted to make sure I was not missing something.
  5. Nov 28, 2013 #4
    I dont understand what you are looking for?

    BU and Northeastern are the second biggest programs in the area outside MIT and Harvard.

    There is not a secret stash of physics professors.

    If you extend the distance than Brown might be in range.
  6. Nov 28, 2013 #5
    Oops. I did not realize the size of BU. Thank you.
  7. Nov 28, 2013 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you looking to apply for undergraduate or graduate studies?

    For undergraduate studies, a school's capabilities in specific fields are not crucial (as compared to graduate studies), because undergraduate physics degrees in the US generally are not specialized.

    If a smaller school has significant experimental research, it's most likely to be in condensed matter or AMO, anyway.
  8. Nov 28, 2013 #7
    Apologies, I am looking for graduate schools.
  9. Nov 28, 2013 #8
    Boston College specializes in condensed matter, and most of the physics faculty do work in that field.
  10. Nov 28, 2013 #9
    Your expectations are out of alignment. No department is going to be as big as Harvard's or MIT's in the area. Harvard and MITs departments are among the biggest in the country. The other big schools in the area are BU/BC/NEU like you discerned and those departments are big relative to other schools. Point being if you are looking to match MIT and Harvard in terms of size you arent going to in the area.
  11. Nov 28, 2013 #10


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    BC, BU, and NU are NOT "small" unknown schools. These are prestigious universities! Where do you think Sheldon Glashow go after he left Harvard, for example?

  12. Nov 28, 2013 #11
    I know that those two are disproportionately large. I was trying to know what the best was after those two for someone with my research interests.

    ZapperZ: Thanks, I just saw his name on the list of people at BU. I think BU is where I will apply (based on a number of factors).
  13. Nov 29, 2013 #12
    Barabasi who is big in complex networks is at NEU and graduated from BU.
  14. Nov 29, 2013 #13

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't understand why you only want to apply to one school. Also, this is essentially saying that you aren't interested in Brandeis or Tufts, the only two schools not on your list. If you got into Brandeis and not the other schools would you want to go to Brandeis? If so, you should apply.
  15. Nov 29, 2013 #14
    Thanks. I am still considering other schools, but I am getting stretched pretty thin in terms of money and time for more applications. I am looking at programs essentially across the US (some to follow said person). I know that applying to one school in a given area is pretty bad odds for being there, but we will see.
  16. Nov 29, 2013 #15
    The odds of you being able to follow a person is near zero if you are going to apply to only one school in an area.

    Also is this (person) you are following aware of your intention to follow them?

    If this person is that important is aware why arent they trying to limit the schools they apply to make it easier to apply to a list of schools to follow.
  17. Nov 30, 2013 #16
    I know the odds are bad. We are applying to some schools together, and schools in the same cities. There are reasons for the spread in locations, partly personal, partly due to bad timing.
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