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Making the final decision: Bucknell v. F & M v. Rutgers v. Grinnell

  1. Apr 8, 2009 #1
    If anyone has advice as to which of these institutions I should enroll at please inform me!

    Some things to consider:

    I got into a Mathematical Scholars Program at Bucknell (note: I plan on majoring in both Physics and Mathematics. sidenote: A professor at Rutgers told me not to do this. Does anyone have an opinion on this topic?)

    I received approximately half tuition in the form of scholarships and financial aid to ALL of these four schools. (Obviously, that still makes some options more financially favorable over others. In this instance, Rutgers is the most affordable.)

    Exception to the above: I received a very generous offer from Grinnell. With their offer, it would only cost approximately $5,000 more per year than Rutgers.

    I only make such a big deal about the cost because I plan on going to graduate school and it seems to make more sense to spend more then. (I want to be a college professor/ researcher :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #2
    I don't think double majoring in math and physics is a very big issue for most serious physics students. If you plan to pursue a PhD down the road you'll probably end up taking calc/linear algebra/ode/complex analysis/modern algebra and maybe pde as an undergrad. Unless you have a school where some of those courses can't count towards a math major because they're used under the physics major you should almost naturally be a double major or earn a minor. In any event, as long as you have a strong preparation in maths a double major really won't be a decisive factor (except maybe if you decide to look for a job).

    With respect to the cost of graduate school, if you plan on pursuing a PhD in Physics (or Maths or Astronomy) then you'll most likely be looking at admission to programs which cover your tuition+benefits+a living stipend that usually is part of a teaching or research assistant position. Despite the griping, PhD students in Physics generally get a nice deal in that sense.

    I don't know much about the physics departments at some of the schools you mentioned but Rutgers has a fairly strong department (something like a top 30 dept. according to many rankings).
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