I just thought Id post some of my thoughts on what I feel is needed for undergrad physics majors who are interested in the more practical side of what we are learning in our highly idealized and theoretical coursework. I also would like to point out what tools I think are necessary for people who like to do research on their own, because they either want to, or cant find any professor who can or has the desire to facilitate their research. I personally feel that many undergraduate physics departments, unlike engineering departments do very little to actually teach practical skills to their students. I think that it is imperative for anyone interested in experimental physics to have a good understanding of practical electronics and instrumentation, and how using machine tools to build experimental devices. my university surprisingly does fairly well at preparing us for such - we have two electronics courses we can take from our physics department - both of them have 6 hours of lab included. and for some reason, we are fortunate enough to have a machine shop. anyone who completes the 2 unit intro to machine shop course gets to use the shop anytime they want as long as one of the machinists is present. Currently, i am interested in high voltage electronics for pulsed power applications. If anyone would like some information on building some regulated or unregulated high voltage power supplies, let me know.