In a few months I should be graduating from the University of Toronto, having specialized in physics. Academically I have done well - my graduating GPA looks like it will be around 3.96 out of 4.00 (everything above 85%, except 84% in Linear Algebra II and 78% in Modern Optics). I have done particularly well in the three QM courses I've taken, with 90%'s in all three I've completed thus far. This makes sense, seeing as QM is the subject I've dearly loved from the very beginning. I've involved myself in research at the undergrad level, concerned mainly with optics (femtosecond optics in third year, and now I'm working on a small single-photon quantum optics experiment). I hope to stay in academia. A decent professorship is my aim, but I'm not deluded into thinking this will be at Stanford or Berkeley - I'd be happy enough just having a job where I can do what I love. I don't totally rule out the prospect of working at a national lab or in the private sector, though I don't want to end up in finance or designing weapons. Money is not a major aim, I just want enough to raise a family and be comfortable. Given this background, I am seeking advice from folks with experience. I'm also going to talk to faculty at my university, but I'd like to see what others have to say. 1. How important is it to study at different universities for undergrad and PhD, in order to get a professorship down the road? I have heard this repeatedly, but not from reliable sources. I have applied only to U. Toronto for grad school for a couple of reasons: it is the pretty much the best university in Canada for research in physics; studying at the M.Sc. level in Europe would be too expensive; I did not have time to write the GREs last term, so I couldn't apply to schools in the USA. However, I still could bolt after a Master's and go to Europe or the USA. My question is, if I do stay at my undergrad institution for the full PhD program, how much does this really damage my prospects? 2. My girlfriend of several years also studies physics, and shall likely be starting a Master's soon. We intend on getting married. If she continues through into academia, how much of a problem will it be getting appointments in the same city? I have heard universities find positions for spouses who are also researchers when they hire someone- how true is this? 3. Perhaps the most important: should I do go into theory or experiment? This has been bothering me for a while, and it's becoming a pressing question now. Every time I think about it, I can come up with hosts of pros and cons for each. Deep down, I think I most want to go into theory. However, two things hold me back: 1. It's hard enough for me to sit down for a few hours to do a problem set - it's hard to imagine spending the rest of my life at a desk, where there is never any practical stuff I can do with my hands to kill time. 2. I am simply not sure that I am good enough to make a serious contribution in theory. My field would likely be quantum optics - perhaps quantum information, perhaps light-matter interaction leaning toward theoretical condensed matter, maybe QFT. The problem is, I'm not sure I'm mathematically prepared. I have taken the full complement of required math courses, plus a couple for extra interest, and have always done well, all A, or A+ except for one A-). The problem is, I got all my math done in the first two years, and haven't taken a math course since, so I'm rusty. Also, I haven't taken the advanced courses intended for math specialists - I've stuck to those intended for the physical sciences. For example, I've done multivariable calculus, but not analysis. The PDEs course I did was very applied. I have never taken courses in probability or statistics. Is it wise to embark on a career in theoretical quantum physics in this situation? Sorry for the length post. I really appreciate any advice.