There's a lot of background information that I'll spare you guys, but I'm currently on leave from Brown and am considering going to UC Boulder instead and am just curious how the programs might compare, what my graduate prospects will be, and so forth. Actually, some background: I transferred into Brown as a sophomore from Reed College, and ended up on a bit of an unusual track for the physics major, as students at Reed do not do multivariable calculus until their second year (as it's a year-long, proof-heavy intense course and they believe you need a year of proof-based mathematics in preparation). So I was the one physics major that did not take electromag sophomore year as I didn't have the necessary vector calculus. Anyway, I only did a semester at Brown before going on leave. I now have the vector calculus and can complete the course, but I'm currently in a position of playing "catch-up" and will have to continue to do so throughout my remaining 5 semesters there (I'm out of "sync" with the physics program in that I'm lagging in a semester, so courses are offered at inopportune times, etc). It basically boils down to me doing an extremely heavy course-load every semester. As a partial remedy to this, and thoughts that I might want to go to medical school, I decided that if I were to go back to Brown I could do their chemical physics major. It basically gives you a lot more freedom as it allows you to pick and choose between chemistry and physics(so, if I had a particularly heavy semester coming up I could take quantum chemistry instead of the physics department's quantum offering, which is much more difficult and intensive). But it seems like that's just too much breadth and I'll be missing out on courses fundamental to physics and fundamental to chemistry. I'd still be playing catch-up (especially since I've taken no chemistry, and I'd be in my 4th semester) and have very high course loads. Alternatively, I could go to the University of Colorado at Boulder. This is the only alternative, I'm unwilling to apply to any other schools. There, I would have more time to complete the major (a combination of the school being cheaper and the fact that they don't enforce an 8 semester limit like Brown does), and I think I'd choose to do physics and minor in chemistry (simply out of interest for the subject and to keep the medical school option open). I hate myself a little for this, and I hate that in my mind rankings are worth a damn, but somehow there's something unsavory about going from an oh-so-glamorous-and-prestigious Ivy League to a state school. Even if that state school arguably has the better physics department, etc. And I'm also worried about it in terms of medical school admissions, if I do decide to go that route. It seems to me that my quality of life would be better in Boulder. My schedule would be more relaxed, I'd have more freedom to take courses that I'm interested in, and I'd probably do better academically. But at the same time, Brown has its advantages--I'd graduate early, I'd have Brown on my transcript, and so forth. I'm just unsure what to do. And I guess to top it all off, I'm unsure if I'm going to be successful in physics. Thus far, I have been doing well. But I don't feel like I understand anything--I can do the problems asked of me, but if I sit down and think to myself how a swing works, or just about some simple principle, I don't find that I really understand it in any capacity. I'm basically booksmart when it comes to physics, but don't have a true, legitimate understanding. I'm not sure if this is common throughout undergrads and it gets better, or if I should consider something else (when I took AP Chemistry, and yes--I know--just AP Chemistry, I felt like I really had a *proper* understanding of it. It made clear, lucid sense to me. Should I consider going the chemistry route? The thing that bothers me here is that math is deemphasized in chemistry, and it almost seems as if you're being "cheated" out of the insights that math offers). Sorry for the ramble. I just have no idea what the hell I'm doing.