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Transfer school recommendations

  1. Sep 22, 2012 #1
    I am applying, for Fall 2013, to transfer to University from a California Community College. I've been spending a lot of time over the last few months researching schools that I would like to attend. However, there are just SO many schools that I cannot possibly look into all of them. I would just like some suggestions into schools I may not have thought of...

    A little about me: 4.0 GPA, member of an honors society, decent EC's (chess club, full time athlete...), nontraditional student (24 years old), married, math major (pure), have very good letters of recommendation, have not taken SAT/ACT.

    Math classes I'll have taken before transferring:
    College Alg.
    Intro Stats
    Calc 1
    Honors Calc 2 (at my CC, so not as rigorous... some proofs)
    Honors Linear Algebra (from cross enrollment at a University- proof based)
    Honors Multivariable Calc (from cross enrollment at a University- proof based)
    Honors Vector Calc (from cross enrollment at a University- proof based)
    Honors Diff Eq (also at my CC)
    Discrete Math

    I've already found some schools that I'm very interested in, namely:
    UC Berkeley
    UCLA (though I don't really want to live in LA)
    U Texas: Austin
    UM: Ann Arbor
    FAU Wilkes (honors) College

    Some other schools that I also like:
    UC Davis
    U Washington
    UW: Madison
    U Georgia

    Some of the things that were important factors in my decision were honors upper division courses, honors programs, ability to take grad classes as undergrad, support for summer research, support of independent study/self-directed study, and college/class sizes. I prefer small towns/schools/classes (I know my choices don't always reflect this, but it's not easy to find all of the small town Universities!). Financial aid is also very important for me. I would just like some suggestions of lesser known schools which I should consider which may be a better fit than what I have found so far.

    Thank you for any advice/suggestions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2012 #2
    Not lesser known but if I were you I would consider Cal Tech. I go to a california CC and my professor told us that 1 or 2 students transferred there, although you have to take an entrance exam which includes physics i believe. Seeing as your record is impeccable, maybe you can give that a shot.
  4. Sep 23, 2012 #3
    Are you mobile? Is your wife willing to go anywhere in the country to follow you for your studies?
  5. Sep 23, 2012 #4


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    If you're a California resident and money is tight, then I doubt you're going to have much luck finding any school that's not a UC, is as good as a UC, and is any cheaper for you than a UC. Some UC's are smaller than others, e.g., Merced, but they aren't the flagships of the system. You might want to apply to at least one Cal State as a backup; some Cal States are in small towns such as Sonoma, Humboldt, and Monterey.

    You haven't told us what your goals in life are. If you want to be a professional mathematician, then it is very, very important to go to the best *grad* school you can possibly go to, even if it's in a big city. Where you do your undergrad is far less important, provided that you pin the meter there.
  6. Sep 23, 2012 #5
    @ Zarem: Actually I plan on taking the Caltech exam and applying (it is my "dream" school).... but I'm not putting to much stock into being accepted. I haven't taken any formal physics, so I do not expect to "pass" that portion of the exam. I am just as happy to go to less prestigious schools so long as they have what I am looking for.

    @ Woopydalan: Yes, we are mobile. I was actually originally planning on staying in San Diego and going to UCSD, but we are kind of looking at this as an opportunity to go somewhere new (we want a change of location).
  7. Sep 23, 2012 #6
    Thank you for the insight bcrowell! The primary importance, financially, is that I don't have to pay much, if any, of my tuition out of pocket. We live very minimally so we are used to sacrifices in this regard.

    I was actually thinking of applying to Cal Poly SLO... I used to live in SLO and liked it very much (my wife is a CP-SLO grad) and would not mind being there again. I know that I can go to most of the UC's without having to pay tuition (for instance UCSD has a fee waiver for low income families) and I will have guaranteed entrance due TAG (which I'll be using for UCSD).

    My goal, as of right now, is to go on to graduate school and pursue a professional career, as you mentioned. I cannot say for sure that that is what I will continue to want (since I have just begun my mathematical pursuits) but I very much love the academic environment, working hard, and I greatly enjoy the formal mathematics I have been exposed to. That being said, I'm willing to live in any city in the world to accomplish my goals, but if I could do that in a smaller city or town... that would be all the better. That is one reason I am looking at a variety of undergraduate programs since, as you said, it is not as important which program I go to. My goal at this point is to work as hard as I can to get into the best grad program that I can. Honestly, if that meant going to LA or NYC as an undergrad, I would do it. If that meant going to a school with massive classes and little individual attention, I would do it without question (I am an independent learner, but it is always nice to have resources).
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