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Science Colleges

  1. Apr 14, 2004 #1
    Long time reader here! Im really interested in Physics and plan to study and major in it in some sort in college. I wanted to ask if anyone has any suggestions for medium to large sized colleges that have good professors or studies in the field of physics or the sciences. Im not looking for an overachieving sort of school, just any college you have heard good things about or you have been to personally.

    Any insight or opinions really help!

    Lost Junior in Highschool
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2004 #2
    Pardner, I'm a bit shocked...asking such a thing, you, a fellow Texan...right here in Texas you have your choice of the finest mediocre schools in the entire Universe...

    Kidding aside, realize that your undergrad choice will probably not be your graduate choice. That's usually frowned upon.

    Where do you want to go to college as an undergrad? Are you short on cash? Able to get aid? That's important, too.

    Consider Rice. Big name, sets you up for grad school beautifully. But you'd need nerves of steel.

    Don't sneer at Texas Tech. You wouldn't believe the work going on there. Of course, UT, snotty, but most question whether it's really all that good. I feel they are not good to their undergrads.

    A&M, people laugh, but they are ignorant. You can get an excellent education at A&M. A few nice private Christian schools around, including one especially for engineering/science, but don't know if you walk that way.

    Affordable and capable of giving you the best education in the world, if you fight for it (because you'd be a Fightin' Tiger), but capable of distracting you mightily, is LSU. My alma mater, B.S. Chemistry. Many, many Texans going there. Any of the LSU system schools are a good bet.

    On the other side, NMSU is making mighty strides. Physics department trying to build itself up...lots of opportunity...not a giant school; that can be important. UNM also a possibility, I'd say NMSU would actually set you up a bit better.

    Go over another state, you have U of Arizona. Go Wildcats. One of my ex's got his PhD in physics there. Most excellent school, stay away from the thin films guys, though, real morons, trash their grad students. Be aware that the Optical Sciences guys are despised by the Physics guys. But, the place is pretty good.

    Go over some more, and up a bit, consider any of the Oregon state schools. Have lots of flexibility if you wish to transfer from one to another, that can be helpful. One of my ex's was a math prof at Salem.

    The state universities in the Dakotas are good, too, know a prof at USD, speaks highly of how they treat the students.

    In fact, you can get a good start (and finish) just about at any school. You probably want to get away from home a bit, so think about NM and Louisiana. Do you have a plan for the future? Not that plans get executed, of course, but it's nice to feel you have a life-map, so God can have a good laugh now and then...let me just give you some advice to be practical-minded, to understand that no one is carrying YOUR map, that you don't need to show your map to anyone, that you trust your own judgement about what you want, and that you never, ever end up putting YOUR map aside and helping someone else carry THEIR map, unless you are absolutely sure you have been called upon to do such a thing.

    I know you're really young, but you are already going to meet people who don't understand they have THEIR life and that you are busy trying to live YOURS. Kid, don't let them get ahold of yours...GOOD LUCK.

    Hopefully someone else will answer you, too.
  4. Apr 15, 2004 #3
    woot thanks

    Wow, thanks Holly
  5. Apr 16, 2004 #4
    Well, upon reflection, I think I ought to take LSU-BR off the list of good places to go, unless you have a really, really high tolerance for unfairness at a university. There's so much hysterical emphasis on being Confederates, on Greeks, on the football team, and there's racism on campus really bad. USL over in Lafayette is more moderate in stance, probably because it's smaller.

    You might want to PM someone like cookiemonster and see what he thinks about good science universities. He's either in high school or at ASU in Arizona...he may have heard some things about various places and could give some advice.
  6. Apr 16, 2004 #5
    ASU hands out B.S.'s in Self-intoxication Sciences with B.A.'s in Foam Party Mismanagement.

    Actually, if you're a serious student, it's a fair school, but nothing special. UofA really is superior, but you'd have to live in Tucson (which is kind of like living in Phoenix, i.e. crappy).

    ASU is better for business and training teachers, whereas UofA is better for the maths and sciences. The exception being material sciences (do you like shooting alpha particles at little wafers of random materials?) and astronomy (do you like staring at little specks of light?).

    Honestly, I really don't think I'd go to ASU.

    And whatever you do, don't go to NAU unless you plan on being a skiing instructor.

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