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How important is the College?

  1. May 12, 2014 #1
    Hello all,

    I am currently a tenth grader. I want to know how important the college you go to is. Is it true that to excel in physics you have to go to the top ten? Or is it what you do at college that is important?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2014 #2
    Going to a good college will give you prestige, and might help you find employment, but it's certainly not 'top-10 or nothing'. If you do well in whatever college you go to, you'll probably be (relatively) fine.
  4. May 12, 2014 #3


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    The way too short answer is that the only college that matters is the one at which you get your terminal degree. To actually be a physicist you'll need a Ph.D. so where you go to undergrad doesn't matter much.

    The reality is that there are many bumps on the road, and there's no telling where you'll end up. So it's best to try to have the most interesting and rewarding journey regardless of your destination. Famously, every freshman at Caltech wanted to be a physicist. One out of three wouldn't graduate, and many others would not still want to be physicists after a couple of years of study. Some would end up with a B.S. in English. So much for plans.
  5. May 12, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    You should go to the college where you will learn the most. In that sense, it's very important. The brand name is a) less important and b) not necessarily what you expect. There are many non-Ivies that have programs at least as strong as the Ivies.
  6. May 12, 2014 #5
    It is not true that to excel in physics you have to go to a Top 10 university. Going to one of those may be good because you may be suited to the environment there, the academic rigour may be right for you etc.

    As IGU said, I also think that it matters more where you received your PhD from to potential employers.
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