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Schools Is New College of Florida good for physics?

  1. Nov 6, 2017 #1
    I'm wanted to go into theoretical astrophysics/cosmology in grad school, and I'm look for schools that will look very good to graduate admissions, and that will give me a great preparation. New College seems to have exceptional results in sending students to top grad schools according to their website, which says they're tied with Reed in 3rd place for feeder schools. Can anybody confirm this, or has an outlook on their physics department specifically? How do they compare to other physics feeder schools?
    Also, I'm considering a post-bac job or research before grad school. How does the college do with placement in that arena?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2017 #2
    It's hard to look under the hood and get the kind of reliable information you desire.

    Lots of liberal arts schools have impressive lists of where their graduates have attended, but that information can be outdated or represent the rare graduate rather than the typical graduate. Here are the questions I try and get answers to before recommending a school for an undergrad in physics or astro:

    1. What percentage of your department's majors take the PGRE, and what is the distribution of scores?
    2. What percentage of your department's majors publish original research before graduation?
    3. Of your graduates heading to grad school, what is the breakdown of attending top 10, top 50, top 100, and other grad schools?
    4. What GPA does a graduate likely need from your school to likely be admitted to their desired tier of graduate school?
    5. What percentage of your department's majors have research opportunities as freshmen? sophs? juniors? seniors?

    Many physics departments market based on the best outcomes their students have experienced. The student making decisions on where to attend needs to understand more the typical outcomes and/or the percentage breakdowns of outcomes. Most departments are pretty successful keeping that information from being available via even advanced internet search techniques. Students usually need to find a reliable contact in the department and ask. Beware the sales pitch.

    Did they really give you the information you asked for, or were they trying to maintain a positive vibe with different information, thus avoiding the question?
  4. Nov 7, 2017 #3


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  5. Nov 7, 2017 #4


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    6. What percentage of your department's majors aspire to go to your desired tier of graduate school?

    (Not all physics majors aspire to get into MIT, Caltech, etc.)
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