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Is this an OK school?

  1. Oct 14, 2007 #1
    I have neither the grades nor money to get into an Ivy League or other great school. So, I'm planning on attending Western Washington University next fall and enrolling in their Physics/Astronomy program.This is obviously not some "amazing" university but what I'm really wondering is: is that a problem? What I mean is, won't I get a similiar education here as I would at a more renowned university? Also If I do well here will it still be difficult for me to go to graduate school? Thanks a lot for any help.

    Also I've provided links to anyone who can help:
    Department Link: http://www.wwu.edu/depts/physics/ [Broken]
    Course Sequence: http://www.wwu.edu/depts/physics/courses_sequence_current.pdf [Broken]

    Thanks again. :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2
    WWU's fine. I think UW is one of the more renowned schools in Washington?
  4. Oct 15, 2007 #3
    It is but it is surprisingly difficult to get into, I'm not the type of person who trys very hard in useless classes so my HS (there are a lot of required terrible classes) GPA is only about 3.2.

    Also just wondering you said it's fine, but does that mean I can get into a good graduate school with a degree from Western?
  5. Oct 15, 2007 #4
    Where you go for undergrad is probably one of the *least* important factors for getting into a grad school. However, it can have an indirect impact on things like your GRE scores (due to a less rigorous program) or involvement in undergraduate research. These can have a very significant impact on your application.

    UW's in the "Public Ivy" category, so I'd hope it is a little tricky to get into. But I don't think your GPA should keep you out. The "personal statement" essay should be a significantly more important factor. These are provided as a way for you to communicate with admissions, and if you have a strong interest in physics...well, I've been to freshmen orientations a few times, and you get most of the students standing up when they call for Undecided and Business majors. Campus visits can't hurt either, although I don't know if that has anything to do with the admissions process at all...however, being able to talk about it in your admissions essay could. (Same argument applies almost verbatim for any school you're looking to get into, including WWU.)

    You won't be shooting yourself in the foot or anything by going to WWU, but if you're interested in UW you should definitely apply. Worst that can happen is you get turned down, and that doesn't go on your transcripts. They have two satellite campuses are also easier to get into, or you can keep an eye on transferring at some point if you get initially rejected and decide WWU isn't pushing you enough.
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