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Possible Transfer

  1. Oct 20, 2008 #1
    I'm a freshmen at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. It's a good liberal arts school with a decent reputation, but my problem is thus; right through the end of High School I was convinced I wanted to study Philosophy (and am still considering doubling phil-physics), which Whitman is great for, but the Physics department is comparatively weak. As senior year ended and summer passed however, I've grown much more fond of Physics and would like to major it it. The one thing this school has going for it physics-wise is an excellent astrophysics program. I want to know what wisdom there is in transferring or not. I have good grades and solid extra-circulars, but nor quite top-notch of either (Eagle Scout and debater with a 3.74 (perhaps higher now)), and have become aware that transfer admissions are more competitive than regular (eek). Long story short, reapplications would go to several top-notch universities, but I feel like I'd end up at Reed College.
    So my questions are:
    1) Would having an astrophysics major restrict my ability to apply for grad school in other fields (even if the astro classes are taken on top of a full standard physics cirriculum)?
    2) Is transferring from a mediocre (in physics) liberal-arts school to a slightly better one worth it?
    3) Is transferring to a more famous university worth it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2008 #2


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    Are you sure that the astrophysics major includes everything you'd take as a physics major? Because if what you said is true, then the physics dept wouldn't be considered weak. An astrophysics major will be less-desirable than a physics major when applying to grad programs, especially the ones that require a full graduate physics curriculum. And Reed is a very good school for physics, so I wouldn't call it 'slightly better'. I'd consider transferring.
  4. Oct 21, 2008 #3
    By full curriculum, I mean I could fit all of the classes required of a physics major (and more) alongside the astro courses required to make it an astro-physics major. I'm wondering if the name of the degree would handicap me even if it only evinces extra work. Also, thank you for the advice about Reed, every response like that makes me consider the transfer more strongly.
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