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Need help on choosing school for science career

  1. Oct 5, 2008 #1
    hey guys, I am new to this website and this is my first post, and I had some questions regarding physics. These will all come in due time, but I have one currently floating around in my head.

    I am in high school, a junior, and I want to major in physics, particularly in particle physics. What is a good university to go after this endeavor? I currently want to attend Caltech. Is this a good school? Will this university help me better understand and go after particle physics? If not what other universities are out there to making sure I will get the best possible education I can get?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2008 #2
    1) For undergraduate studies, it doesn't matter much what university you get into. Of course, something like MIT or Caltech (two of the best schools for physics) are better than Podunk University, but don't think that you have to get into a top tier school at this point.

    2) While studying undergraduate physics, you simply learn "physics", and not a specific branch. I'm a senior majoring in physics and the first class about particles for me is this spring, which I probably won't even take. Don't worry about it. It's much more important that you learn all the fundamental physics that's out there, such as electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, etc. The reason being that particle physics builds heavily on the concepts you learn in these classes. You can't do particle physics without a good understanding of EM and QM, for example.

    It's only in graduate school that you get to decide "okay, I will study particle physics now".
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