Reputation of the university for graduate admission?

In summary, the speaker is an undergraduate physics student in Turin, Italy who is currently in their first year of their bachelor's degree. They initially considered studying abroad but decided to stay in Turin for personal reasons. They are interested in getting into prestigious universities for a master's degree, but are concerned about being rejected due to the reputation of their current university. They receive advice to focus on getting a good education at their current university and then consider moving abroad. They also learn that admissions for MSc programs are less competitive than for undergraduate programs, and that there are other factors that are considered in the application process. The conversation also touches on the issue of tuition fees and the recognition of degrees by the Italian government.
  • #1
crick
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Hi, I'm an undergraduate physics student in Turin (Northern Italy), currently in the first year of my bachelor degree. Before enrolling here in Turin, I thought a lot about going to sudy abroad because I would like to get a job somewhere in Europe or even outside it. But then, for several personal reasons, I decided to do my undergraduate studies here, since it is possible to change university (inside EU) for my master's studies.

I would really like to get into prestigious universities, such as ETH or Imperial College London, for a MSc degree and I would like to know if it is possible (or even common) to be rejected by those universities just because of the "reputation" of the university of origin (I imply the highest GPA possible). I mean the University of Turin is not at the top of the rankings but it is not the worst either (actually, for what it's worth, it is ranked 100-150) so I wonder if a bachelor degree with the highest mark is enough to get into one of these universites.

Thanks a lot
 
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  • #2
crick said:
Hi, I'm an undergraduate physics student in Turin (Northern Italy), currently in the first year of my bachelor degree. Before enrolling here in Turin, I thought a lot about going to sudy abroad because I would like to get a job somewhere in Europe or even outside it. But then, for several personal reasons, I decided to do my undergraduate studies here, since it is possible to change university (inside EU) for my master's studies.

I would really like to get into prestigious universities, such as ETH or Imperial College London, for a MSc degree and I would like to know if it is possible (or even common) to be rejected by those universities just because of the "reputation" of the university of origin (I imply the highest GPA possible). I mean the University of Turin is not at the top of the rankings but it is not the worst either (actually, for what it's worth, it is ranked 100-150) so I wonder if a bachelor degree with the highest mark is enough to get into one of these universites.

Thanks a lot

I tried to write the comment in Italian yesterday night but the mods deleted it, hence I'm rewriting it in English today:
So, I decided to enroll to Sapienza University directly because I wanted to avoid exactly this problem, and I must be honest, after checking other universities and foreign colleges' courses and tuition fees I think I avoided it completely. I've been thinking of completing the studies directly here in Rome, instead of moving abroad and risk to get in some enormous debt.
My tip would be to get a good education here and then move abroad, instead of getting an education abroad. There's even the risk that if you find a good work here at home you couldn't get it because the MIUR doesn't recognize that particular degree as the L-30 BSc or the LM-17 MSc.
About the University, are you in the Politecnico doing Physics Engineering or you're doing classical Physics in the Università di Torino?
 
  • #3
In general, no. Certainly going to a "brand name" university will simplify things, but even if not, that won't be a reason they reject you. They will probably more carefully scrutinize your application e.g. what courses you took and your grades in individual courses to ensure you have the necessary background prep for their programmes.

Also it's worth noting that grad admissions at the top tier unis for MSc courses tends to be a lot less competitive than undergrad (and to a degree doctoral) courses. Since they aren't generally funded by the university or government, fewer people have the necessary funds to apply in the first place, and people who did poorly in undergrad are also usually less likely to apply for "more of the same". As such the applicant pool is somewhat self selecting.

A specific example, the MSc Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces at Imperial College London has something like a 70% admissions rate I think? Whereas the undergrad physics programme is probably less than 10%. The QFFF is also a pretty highly regarded course generally. There may be one or two exceptions (Part III Maths at Cambridge comes to mind), but in general provided you got good (e.g. 2:1 overall and 1st class marks in relevant courses) you will probably have a good chance at getting in. I mean a friend of mine who got a high 2:2 at an upper mid tier uni here in the UK was offered a place on the MSc Civil Engineering at UCL (he declined to stay and do a PhD here anyways though :x ).

TL;DR there are many more factors they'll consider more important such as references, grades, any academic research work done etc, etc, compared to the "prestige" of your school.
 
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  • #4
Thanks a lot for the answers!

Brahmajala said:
I tried to write the comment in Italian yesterday night but the mods deleted it, hence I'm rewriting it in English today:
So, I decided to enroll to Sapienza University directly because I wanted to avoid exactly this problem, and I must be honest, after checking other universities and foreign colleges' courses and tuition fees I think I avoided it completely. I've been thinking of completing the studies directly here in Rome, instead of moving abroad and risk to get in some enormous debt.
My tip would be to get a good education here and then move abroad, instead of getting an education abroad. There's even the risk that if you find a good work here at home you couldn't get it because the MIUR doesn't recognize that particular degree as the L-30 BSc or the LM-17 MSc.
About the University, are you in the Politecnico doing Physics Engineering or you're doing classical Physics in the Università di Torino?

I’m at the University, not at the Politecnico, since I didn’t like the Engeneering Physics program. I don’t understand what do you mean by “problem”, is it the reputation of the university or the tuition fees abroad?
I know about the difficulty of getting the degree recognized in Italy, in fact I’m also looking for 120 ECTS programs which may be compared to a Laurea Magistrale.

artfullounger said:
Also it's worth noting that grad admissions at the top tier unis for MSc courses tends to be a lot less competitive than undergrad (and to a degree doctoral) courses. Since they aren't generally funded by the university or government, fewer people have the necessary funds to apply in the first place, and people who did poorly in undergrad are also usually less likely to apply for "more of the same". As such the applicant pool is somewhat self selecting.

Thank you, I did not think about this. I read somewhere that in UK it is not common for BSc/MSci students to apply for a MSc, since it is possible to work or go straight into a Phd with the first degree, in fact many UK universities don’t even offer a MSc program in physics. Is that true?

artfullounger said:
TL;DR there are many more factors they'll consider more important such as references, grades, any academic research work done etc, etc, compared to the "prestige" of your school.

Unfortunately here in Italy the research work as an undergraduate is quite uncommon, but you still write a bachelor thesis (which involves a research project usually), so I’m considering to attend some summer schools. Do you think that summer schools can be helpful as much as research experiences in the curriculum as a factor for the admission?
 
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  • #5
As for problem I mean the extremely high yearly tuition fees and getting your degree recognized here in Italy.
I also thought of doing my undergrad and grad abroad, but it is really expensive, and there is a clear risk that if I want to get back to Italy in order to study I would end up with one or more exams which probably will not be recognized.
I mean, after checking here and there I decided to stay here and do everything here, and only then move abroad if necessary, and we have really good physics departments here in Italy, with some getting on the first 25 in the world for the QS ranking by field, and on the first 20 for others. That's really not bad for a public institution here imho
 
  • #6
It is true that after doing a 4 year combined masters (MSci/MPhys) for their undergraduate you can go directly into a PhD. However most top tier (top 5-10) universities usually won't accept just the BSc except from internal applicants, they usually prefer the prospective PhDs have a Masters to go along with their Bachelors. Elsewhere it varies.

There are a moderate number of MSc Physics courses; I believe the main "top tier" ones all have one in one form or another (Cambridge has the Part III Maths/Physics/Astrophysics courses available, Oxford has some new course I think, Imperial has QFFF and a bunch of more standard physics masters, plus some specialized ones, UCL has masters in both Physics and Astrophysics which share courses with the other University of London consortium colleges and universities). Generally speaking however the other universities tend to not have them as often. For example Exeter and I think Nottingham don't I believe, although I think Edinburgh and Sheffield do?
 
  • #7
artfullounger said:
It is true that after doing a 4 year combined masters (MSci/MPhys) for their undergraduate you can go directly into a PhD. However most top tier (top 5-10) universities usually won't accept just the BSc except from internal applicants, they usually prefer the prospective PhDs have a Masters to go along with their Bachelors. Elsewhere it varies.

There are a moderate number of MSc Physics courses; I believe the main "top tier" ones all have one in one form or another (Cambridge has the Part III Maths/Physics/Astrophysics courses available, Oxford has some new course I think, Imperial has QFFF and a bunch of more standard physics masters, plus some specialized ones, UCL has masters in both Physics and Astrophysics which share courses with the other University of London consortium colleges and universities). Generally speaking however the other universities tend to not have them as often. For example Exeter and I think Nottingham don't I believe, although I think Edinburgh and Sheffield do?
I checked up Nottingham recently for physics, it has really specific courses since the BSc.
Specializing directly from the Bachelor might be counterproductive
 

Related to Reputation of the university for graduate admission?

1. What factors contribute to a university's reputation for graduate admission?

The reputation of a university for graduate admission is determined by a variety of factors, including the quality of its academic programs, the research opportunities available, the success of its alumni, and the overall prestige and ranking of the university.

2. How can I find out about a university's reputation for graduate admission?

You can research a university's reputation for graduate admission by looking at its ranking in national and international rankings, reading reviews and testimonials from current and former students, and talking to admissions counselors or professors at the university.

3. Does a university's reputation for graduate admission affect my chances of being admitted?

While a university's reputation can certainly play a role in the admissions process, it is not the only factor considered. Admissions decisions also take into account your academic achievements, test scores, letters of recommendation, and other personal qualities.

4. Can a university's reputation for graduate admission change over time?

Yes, a university's reputation for graduate admission can change over time. Factors such as changes in leadership, new academic programs, and shifts in research focus can all impact a university's reputation. It is important to regularly research and stay updated on a university's current reputation.

5. How important is a university's reputation for graduate admission in my career prospects?

A university's reputation for graduate admission can certainly play a role in your career prospects, as it may affect how potential employers view your education and qualifications. However, it is not the only determining factor in your career success. Your skills, experience, and personal qualities are also important factors in your career prospects.

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