Grad schools in california for physics?

In summary: I don't plan on having a car during grad school, and if I do I don't plan on driving it that much. I plan on riding a bike. :tongue:
  • #1
1,318
19
I have been in Michigan my entire life and I am sick of this state. I want to go to grad school to study physics (I am interested in photonics and solid state device physics) somewhere in California...somewhere in one of the nicer areas of Cali (So Cal?)

My stats are a 3.5 GPA, double major in EE and physics, and I will have 2 semesters of REU experience at Wayne State U's smart sensors and integrated microsystems lab by the time I apply (I probably won't end up publishing anything). I also had one semester of industry internship experience at an automotive safety engineering firm. I'm not sure what my GRE scores will be.

Can someone point me to some good universities in Cali in one of the nicer areas that would be in my league? I am doing my ugrad at a smaller university and I went to a very very small HS, and I'd like to go to a larger graduate school just to get the experience.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
UCSC looks appealing and it seems like I have a reasonable shot at getting in. Berkeley is nice, but I doubt I'd be admitted.
 
  • #3
Yeah, probably any UC
 
  • #4
When you apply to UC grad schools can you opt to apply to all of the UCs with a single application? I heard this was possible for ugrad, but I am not sure about grad school.
 
  • #5
What about UC Santa Barbara (http://www.physics.ucsb.edu)? Santa Barbara flies a bit under the radar in the UC system, but the physics faculty includes 3 Nobel laureates, 2 of whom specialize in solid-state (Walter Kohn, 1998 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for density functional theory; and Alan Heeger, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for discovery and development of conductive polymers). The electrical and computer engineering faculty includes a Nobel Laureate in Physics, Herbert Kroemer, who received the prize for developing semiconductor heterostructures for high-speed- and opto-electronics.
 
  • #6
las3rjock said:
What about UC Santa Barbara (http://www.physics.ucsb.edu)? Santa Barbara flies a bit under the radar in the UC system, but the physics faculty includes 3 Nobel laureates, 2 of whom specialize in solid-state (Walter Kohn, 1998 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for density functional theory; and Alan Heeger, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for discovery and development of conductive polymers). The electrical and computer engineering faculty includes a Nobel Laureate in Physics, Herbert Kroemer, who received the prize for developing semiconductor heterostructures for high-speed- and opto-electronics.

hmmm...I will look into santa barbara.

Also important is the surrounding city. I want to be in a nice clean city with lots of stuff to do. How is the city of Santa Barbara?
 
  • #7
leright said:
UCSC looks appealing and it seems like I have a reasonable shot at getting in. Berkeley is nice, but I doubt I'd be admitted.

are you referring to santa cruz or did you add an extra C to USC

pretty much any UC will get you a good education. I'd say berkeley or maybe Irvine, but you're probably looking for that prestige factor you get from saying 'i went to berkeley'
 
  • #8
Ki Man said:
are you referring to santa cruz or did you add an extra C to USC

pretty much any UC will get you a good education. I'd say berkeley or maybe Irvine, but you're probably looking for that prestige factor you get from saying 'i went to berkeley'

I was actually referring to Santa Cruz.
 
  • #9
Ki Man said:
are you referring to santa cruz or did you add an extra C to USC

pretty much any UC will get you a good education. I'd say berkeley or maybe Irvine, but you're probably looking for that prestige factor you get from saying 'i went to berkeley'

I'm really not that concerned with overall prestige, as long as the school has prestige in the specific area I will be working in. I want to go to a school that will provide a good foundation for a successful career in physics and a school that will give me a good education. Overall prestige takes a back seat to this requirement.
 
  • #10
leright said:
I was actually referring to Santa Cruz.

sorry. it just seems to me like some people believe USC is part of the UC system when its actually not.

either way, california is a great place. hope you don't mind high gas prices though
 
  • #11
Ki Man said:
sorry. it just seems to me like some people believe USC is part of the UC system when its actually not.

either way, california is a great place. hope you don't mind high gas prices though

ha, I don't plan on having a car during grad school, and if I do I don't plan on driving it that much. I plan on riding a bike. :tongue: My vehicle is a lease right now that will expire when I start grad school, and I figure I don't need to get a new car since a bike will suffice, and I will get exercise.
 
Last edited:
  • #12
Since it was brought up :) I'll plug to look into the real USC (not in santa cruz) since the EE dept has a lot of people in photonics and solid state, etc - plenty of experience and a few new hotshots too. The physics dept here has some people too, but mainly EE for that here. Not to mention that funding in EE could possibly be a lot easier, and it doesn't matter so much dept. because you'll be working in the same field anyways.
 
  • #13
UC Santa Barbara is a great school for physics. If you go by rankings, it is right up near the top if I remember correctly, right below Berkeley at around #8. As far as the city of Santa Barbara, you would be hard pressed to find a prettier place to live, and it is very nice and clean. Scenic ocean drives are right off campus and it is all green cliffs by the ocean. It is a wealthy area, so I am sure the cost of living is rather high.

Also, Los Angeles is very close by, so if you are into nightlife and such you will have plenty to do at night about an hour or less away.
 
  • #14
I'm at UCSC as a 3rd year undergrad in Math/Physics. As far as cities go, I think Santa Cruz is wonderful. The campus is absolutely gorgeous, and the physics department is darn good too. Just got the number 1 national ranking I believe in Impact of Research Publications per Research Faculty.
While the prestige of the faculty and the reputation of UC-Berkeley or UC-Santa Barbara is still tremendous, I would highly suggest a visit to UC-Santa Cruz. Especially being a safe-school, you can't go wrong.

Cheers.
 

1. What are the top universities in California for physics graduate programs?

Some of the top universities in California for physics graduate programs include Caltech, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of California, Santa Barbara.

2. What are the admission requirements for physics graduate programs in California?

Admission requirements vary by university, but generally include a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field, strong letters of recommendation, competitive GRE scores, and a statement of purpose outlining research interests and goals.

3. Are there any specialized areas of study within physics graduate programs in California?

Yes, many universities in California offer specialized areas of study within their physics graduate programs, such as condensed matter physics, quantum information science, astrophysics, and biophysics.

4. What are the career prospects for graduates of physics graduate programs in California?

Graduates of physics graduate programs in California have a variety of career options, including research positions in academia, industry, and government labs, as well as opportunities in data science, finance, and engineering.

5. Can international students apply to physics graduate programs in California?

Yes, many universities in California welcome international students to apply to their physics graduate programs. However, international students may have additional application requirements, such as demonstrating English language proficiency and obtaining a student visa.

Suggested for: Grad schools in california for physics?

Replies
3
Views
671
Replies
3
Views
682
Replies
7
Views
502
Replies
24
Views
2K
Replies
28
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
1K
Replies
17
Views
3K
Back
Top