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Transferring out of a community college to pursue a Physics Degree

  1. Jan 12, 2012 #1
    Hey guys!

    Basically I'm at the stage where I'm looking for a four year institution to transfer to. I currently attend a community college named Northern Virginia Community College and so far I have applied to an in state university - the University of Virginia.

    As some background information, I originally started as an Engineering major and decided that I was more interested in the Physics so I'm planning to transfer as a Physics major. My grades aren't too hot. I pretty much screwed up my first two semesters here but I made it up with getting straight A's the next three semesters with the exception of one B.

    My question is, can you guys help me recommend me some other good colleges to try applying to? I only know of institutions such as MIT, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, etc. and those colleges seem out of reach due to my earlier performance in school. I have no internship experience and just tried to make my mistakes up with good grades.

    Also, I have an interest in Nanotechnology but I am unsure whether I want to commit myself to that field. I don't know if that will affect anything for picking undergraduate institutions to transfer to, but I thought that I would just put it out there.

    Much thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2012 #2
    virginia tech is a good college in your state
  4. Jan 13, 2012 #3
    Thanks, but I heard that Virginia Tech did not have a very good physics program...but I will probably still apply there as an engineer
  5. Jan 13, 2012 #4


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    UVA has a great physics program, and you'd do fine at Virginia Tech as well.
  6. Jan 14, 2012 #5


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You can get a fine physics education at many schools. Wash U. in St. Louis puts a particular focus on undergrad education, Emory, Duke and Rice also come to mind. There are dozens of other good options, too. I would definitely visit your school's guidance counselor, since placement is what they're all about. If you are close to either UVA or VT, you could set up appointments with their counseling staffs, too. They can advise you on their programs, and perhaps help you find a good fit elsewhere as well.

    Finding a school with a strong nanotechnology program that also fits your needs is fine, but I wouldn't let that be the prime factor in choosing. I'd think of it more as a tiebreaker.

    You can get some more school ideas by looking at middle-tier schools in grad school physics department rankings

    Good luck!
  7. Jan 14, 2012 #6


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    If you want someplace fairly close to home, but not necessarily in-state, U of Maryland (College Park) has a good physics program, from what I hear. (All I know personally is that I went to an American Physical Society conference there many years ago.)
  8. Jan 14, 2012 #7
    Appreciate all of your responses!

    By researching a bit using Marcusl's link and using jtbell's advice, I think College Park is a solid addition to my list of colleges to apply to.

    Thanks again!
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