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To transfer or not to transfer?

  1. Aug 17, 2009 #1
    I'm attending a rather small university this fall (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) to study physics and mathematics. This university does not have a distinguished physics program at all, it's very well known for it's business school however. I have intentions of going to grad school after getting my bachelor's degree(s), and so my question is as follows. Will it help my chances of getting into a grad school with an accomplished physics department if I transfer to a more well known school for my undergrad studies? Or if I get the same GPA and GRE scores no matter which university I got my degree from, would being at the more well known unIversity help my odds? Lastly, should I save the money and stay at the smaller school? Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2009 #2
    There might be more opportunities at a larger school for research but it would seem like the main goal is to distinguish ones self from the other applicants, not the prestige of the school which was attended.

    I know of one person in particular who went to a very small school that wasn't exactly well known but he was studious graduated with a 4.0 and two published papers in chemistry while doing research who is just starting grad school at MIT so I mean it's what you make of the situation.
  4. Aug 17, 2009 #3
    In my opinion (not that it is worth much :tongue: ) it would be only be worth it if a) your school doesn't have much research opportunities or b) if your school doesn't have any content on the subfield(s) you are interested in (ex. astrophysics).

    What year are you? most colleges have a certain credit hour limit you must complete at their university. Also you can probably expect that some (or most!) of your credits will not transfer. When I was looking at transfering from one large state research university to another, only a handfull of classes would transfer.

    If you definately want to transfer, I would pick a few schools out a fill out an app for admissions and scholarships. Depending on how well you are doing now, you could get some decent funding.
  5. Aug 17, 2009 #4
    I'll just be a little freshman :( haha but I have looked at a couple
    schools (Madison, Boston University) which will both have much greater research opportunities as compared to my school. I never though about some credits not transferring, would this mean most likely another semester or two at the school I transferred into?

    As for Feldoh's comment, that's awesome. Either way I'll be as studious as I can be, but getting into such a distinguished school is great coming out of a small school. Where did they do their undergrad studies?
  6. Aug 17, 2009 #5
    The UW school system *may* accept credits from each of thier branches (meaning that all credits would transfer). It may depend on that school system, but it works that way where I go.

    I would take this year to get a feel for the classes and opportunities at UW-Whitewater. It could be that even though the physics department is smaller, you have a better chance at a research spot because there is less demand.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  7. Aug 17, 2009 #6
    I checked into that also, but didn't recieve a clear cut answer. Also, I know that i need at least two semesters of a foreign language to transfer to Madison, and I will most likely not have this requirement filled in the two years that I am at Whitewater. I do think I'll get good opportunities at Whitewater, especially since i've already had one-on-one interaction with a couple of the professors and i'm one of one fifty (yes, 50) physics majors at any level that the university.
  8. Aug 19, 2009 #7
    I can tell you from first-hand experience that you run the risk of your credits not transferring. The way it worked at my school was the Office of Admissions first evaluates the classes you've taken based on the course descriptions, syllabus, etc. If they think it's transferrable, they will give you credit for that equivalent course at your new school. Otherwise, at my school, the credit for that course turns up "undistributed", which means that you have credit, but it's not being applied to any class. Then, it is the student's responsibility to go to the respective departments, bring them your course materials from your old school and petition for it to be counted at your new school. In my case, pretty much all the credits I needed to be transferred did, but it was really a hit or miss. You can decide based on how far along in your studies.
  9. Aug 19, 2009 #8
    I transferred from a UW system school to UW-Madison. All of my credits 'transferred'.

    My math/science classes transferred fine but be careful about general education classes. I've got the credits but many of them don't actually satisfy anything in the College of Engineering.

    There is a website from the UW that will tell you if a class will transfer from one UW school to another. But I wouldn't waste my time using it because it's out of date.
  10. Aug 20, 2009 #9
    Is a transfer from a greek to a us university possible?
  11. Aug 20, 2009 #10
    roeb, did you have any foreign language credits when you transferred? and after how many years did you transfer?

    Dodos, i'd assume so, i don't see why they wouldn't let you transfer. The issue you might have would probably be the same but a little more intensified since you started school out of the country, and that issue is once again credits transferring. Look into it though!
  12. Aug 20, 2009 #11
    I did not have any university foreign language credits.

    I did have 3 years of spanish in high school but I don't think they care about that for transfer students.

    I transferred after 1.5 years - 3 semesters.
  13. Aug 20, 2009 #12
    Okay thank you, someone told me that you had to have at least 2 semesters of foreign language under your belt to transfer into Madison.
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