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Schools Reputation of the Northwestern University physics department

  1. May 7, 2007 #1
    Hey, sorry to start another thread on undergrad schools, but I was wondering if someone could give me a general idea on the reputation of the Northwestern University physics department. The school as a whole is generally well thought of as far as I can tell, but I don't ever hear much about their physics department. I've gone to their site and it looks like a pretty good program, but I'm no expert. So just a general statement or two from someone with a little more knowledge than myself would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2007 #2
    Really? Nobody? I guess I should take that as a bad sign lol.
  4. May 9, 2007 #3
    I don't know about their physics department, but I'm willing to bet it's good. The school itself is amazing, so...
  5. May 9, 2007 #4
    Thanks for the reply.

    That's what I tend to think, but I'm kind of unsure. The program seems to be on the smaller side, and like I said I don't hear a lot about it...but its Northwestern for God's sake! It must be pretty darn good! Right?

    My dillimma is that I was admitted off of their waiting list, and have until saturday to respond. I am otherwise set up to go to Kansas State University. I imagine the NU program to be way better that KSU, but NU is gonna cost big in comparison. So I want to be sure its worth it.
  6. May 9, 2007 #5
    I am in high school and not even close to an expert. However, I have been under the impression that a school with a good student to teacher ratio is important for a major like physics. I would look into the number of students in that major to the number of teachers. A small program might have BIG benefits. Just an opinion.
    Good luck in your decision. I am looking into the same thing for Auburn, Texas Austin, Texas A and M, Florida, and Mississippi State. I like the climate;)
  7. May 12, 2007 #6
    Too bad if this is too late.
    I would recommend Northwestern over KSU. You are right that the department is rather small, but the size of physics major is very small, too. Virtually everyone who wants to do research can do research. If you are a major in physics and talk to any prof, they will basically ask you if you are working for someone, and if not, try to hook you up. Instruction is pretty good overall. Of about 20 graduating class this year (they usually graduate even less than this, I think), I know at least 4 that are going to like top 3 physics or astronomy graduate schools (I won't name specific schools). So people do go to places after they graduate, too.
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  8. May 12, 2007 #7
    Thanks! I did decide to go with Northwestern; good to hear it was a good choice.
  9. May 15, 2007 #8
    Hey, I asked a friend that was an undergrad in physics there and here was his candid response.

    yeah I did physics for a little while. You get access to
    some cool experiments there, I suppose - like doing sh*t work at
    fermi and stuff - but otherwise I would go elsewhere, they're
    pretty shabby.
  10. May 15, 2007 #9


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    Northwestern is a terrific school! You cannot go wrong if you do your undergraduate degree in physics there. It is FAR, very far, from shabby.

  11. May 16, 2007 #10
    Oh, good to hear! I got worried there for a second.
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