How well known is UPMC?

  • #1
Hi,
I'm going to do my undergraduate degree in physics this year, and I'm considering two main choices: Université Pierre et Marie Curie and UCSB (L&S physics, but I'm awaiting my decision regarding CCS). I'm definitely doing my phd in US, though.

I have a few questions about UPMC, however:

  • If I get a degree from there, can I jump straight to phd in the US, or will I have to do a Masters first? The degree there is only 3 years long. Also, does anyone know how a degree from there compares with a degree from a US institution? I mean, in terms of difficulty and depth. I know that US institutions offer pretty high level courses to undergrads, and I'm wondering if the rigor and depth of courses at UPMC matches the US or not.

  • How well-known is the university in the US? I'm aiming for top schools for grad, and while the university is pretty well-known in Europe, the abysmal amount of information online has left me in doubt regarding it's reputation with the US. I would like to know where it would stand in the eyes of those responsible for graduate admissions in the US. I'm also worried about complications due to language. I'm bilingual, with a heavy bias towards English, but if my degree is in French, could this pose a problem for US admissions? Would they doubt that I know my physics in English?

  • Does anyone know of any exchange programs with the US?
Thank you for any answers.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
2,220
596
The time delay since you posted this question is just about an answer in itself. I can add that I have never heard of UPMC.
 
  • #3
Sure looks like it. Guess US it is then. Thanks for answering.
 
  • #4
2,220
596
Just for curiosity, what do the initials CCS stand for?
 
  • #5
UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) is a very good school, especially for physics. It has an excellent reputation in the US and I highly doubt that any graduate admissions committee wouldn't recognize it. I suppose you won't get as much information about UPMC because most of the people here don't know as much about international schools. Regardless of UPMC's reputation, I would seriously consider going to UCSB if you can afford it.

As for being bilingual, you have to submit a personal statement and go to interviews anyway. If you're fluent then I don't see how this could be an issue.
 
  • #6
Just for curiosity, what do the initials CCS stand for?
Oh sorry, I've been in this college selection for so long, the terms have stuck like glue. CCS is a college of UCalifornia, Santa Barbara: College of Creative Studies. Both its L&S (College of Letters and Science) and its CCS offer physics as a major, and the CCS one tends to be more accelerated.

UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) is a very good school, especially for physics. It has an excellent reputation in the US and I highly doubt that any graduate admissions committee wouldn't recognize it. I suppose you won't get as much information about UPMC because most of the people here don't know as much about international schools. Regardless of UPMC's reputation, I would seriously consider going to UCSB if you can afford it.

As for being bilingual, you have to submit a personal statement and go to interviews anyway. If you're fluent then I don't see how this could be an issue.
Thanks for answering. It looks like I'll be going to UCSB anyway.

Oh ok, that's good. For undergrad there were a lot of procedures regarding language because I'm an international student. English is my native language, but I'm from a country where English is not the national language, so there were a lot of waivers and emails flying around. Didn't want something like that to happen with me degree. But it looks like it won't.
 
  • #7
StatGuy2000
Education Advisor
1,801
906
To the OP:

UPMC is part of the Sorbonne (University of Paris), and the Sorbonne is an internationally recognized university with respect to science.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_and_Marie_Curie_University

I should also add that I have known a number of graduates from French universities who have gone to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the US, so I don't see this as a problem from your front. It is indeed true that UPMC (in common with most universities in Europe, including the UK) are 3 years long, but at the same time, the instruction do tend to be highly advanced 3 years. I know many graduates from European universities complete an extra year or 2 of Masters level study before pursuing their PhD studies (whether in Europe or in the US), so that's something you can consider.

The thing you may want to take into account is that if you attend a French-language university, you will need to demonstrate English fluency when applying to graduate schools in the US or English-speaking universities in Canada. Typically this is done with the TOEFL test. However, you did state that you are bilingual, and English is a native language for you, so perhaps you may be able to get a waiver for this, but that's something you need to investigate when that time comes.
 
  • #8
Scrumhalf
Gold Member
98
61
He probably needs to take the TOEFL anyway to attend UCSB since he is from Mauritius, so I would suspect that wouldn't be an additional barrier if he chose to attend UPMC.
 
  • #9
StatGuy2000
Education Advisor
1,801
906
He probably needs to take the TOEFL anyway to attend UCSB since he is from Mauritius, so I would suspect that wouldn't be an additional barrier if he chose to attend UPMC.
Yes, I just noticed the OP's profile that he is from Mauritius. In actual fact, English is the official language of Mauritius, but most local inhabitants speak Mauritian Creole (a French Creole language with similarities with various French-based Creole languages in the Caribbean), and standard Metropolitan French is widely spoken and understood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius#Languages

So I'm not certain if a Mauritian citizen will be required to take TOEFL (even if he were required to do so, he shouldn't have any problems).
 
  • Like
Likes Scrumhalf
  • #10
Scrumhalf
Gold Member
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61
If you are not from UK/canada/Aus/NZ, you will almost surely be required to take the TOEFL. Indians have to (at least we had to when I graduated in the mid 80s), and most Indians here have excellent English.
 
  • #11
To the OP:

UPMC is part of the Sorbonne (University of Paris), and the Sorbonne is an internationally recognized university with respect to science.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_and_Marie_Curie_University

I should also add that I have known a number of graduates from French universities who have gone to pursue graduate studies in Canada and the US, so I don't see this as a problem from your front. It is indeed true that UPMC (in common with most universities in Europe, including the UK) are 3 years long, but at the same time, the instruction do tend to be highly advanced 3 years. I know many graduates from European universities complete an extra year or 2 of Masters level study before pursuing their PhD studies (whether in Europe or in the US), so that's something you can consider.

The thing you may want to take into account is that if you attend a French-language university, you will need to demonstrate English fluency when applying to graduate schools in the US or English-speaking universities in Canada. Typically this is done with the TOEFL test. However, you did state that you are bilingual, and English is a native language for you, so perhaps you may be able to get a waiver for this, but that's something you need to investigate when that time comes.

Thanks for answering. Ultimately I decided to choose the US. I preferred the program there.

He probably needs to take the TOEFL anyway to attend UCSB since he is from Mauritius, so I would suspect that wouldn't be an additional barrier if he chose to attend UPMC.
Yes, I just noticed the OP's profile that he is from Mauritius. In actual fact, English is the official language of Mauritius, but most local inhabitants speak Mauritian Creole (a French Creole language with similarities with various French-based Creole languages in the Caribbean), and standard Metropolitan French is widely spoken and understood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius#Languages

So I'm not certain if a Mauritian citizen will be required to take TOEFL (even if he were required to do so, he shouldn't have any problems).
If you are not from UK/canada/Aus/NZ, you will almost surely be required to take the TOEFL. Indians have to (at least we had to when I graduated in the mid 80s), and most Indians here have excellent English.
We (Mauritians) do in fact, have to take the TOEFL in general. However, most of the universities I applied to gave a waiver based on standardised test scores, the fact that English is my native language, the fact that I did all my schooling in English, and/or my final exam results (UCSB would fall here), so I did not need to take the TOEFL.

On the other hand, and quite ironically, I had to take a French proficiency exam to apply to France. Everyone does, unless he/she comes from a region in a country where French is the main language (so someone from Zurich would have to take the exams, but not someone from Geneva).
 

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