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Transferring to UF or FSU (Florida) for undergrad. Which is better?

  1. Oct 6, 2013 #1
    I will be finishing up my AA in May 2014 and looking to transfer to either Florida State University or University of Florida. In the beginning of last year, I had heard that as far as a physics major, FSU was superior. They were not only the best for physics in Florida, but in the entire southeast region of the US. However, not too long ago, UF took on a new project called the "Quantum Theory Project," which upped their recognition and physics funding.

    So, FSU has had a much larger budget for their physics department for quite some time, but is a less recognized university overall. UF is a far more well recognized university overall, but has only recently stepped up their physics department. I'd like to think either one should be alright, but I was wondering if anyone else around here might know? From their websites and people I've talked to so far, both seem like they have good points and bad, but I can't figure out for sure which one is better?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2013 #2
    I have never been to either school, so take this with a grain of salt. What I do know is that UF has an REU program in physics, which I think is a very positive attribute. It doesn't relate a whole lot to you because you probably wouldn't be able to participate in it, but it does tell me a few things:

    -There is significant research happening in the department because they have many undergraduates involved at a time.
    -They care about undergraduates getting research experience, which is very important.
    -The program looks good because it has field trips and professional development activities. This means that some of the professors in the department really care about your future.

    This is just one thing to consider, but it would be enough to make me lean towards going there. FSU also has an REU program but it isn't exclusively with the physics department.

    I would probably just visit both schools and talk to current students there and base most of your decision off of that.
  4. Oct 8, 2013 #3
    Thanks for the information. Like I said, I see good and bad to both schools at this point, though mostly good for both.

    As far as talking to students at both, my issue is finding the time to get to both schools. One is about a 2.5hr drive from me, the other is about a 6.5hr drive. In addition, I don't know if the students would be my best frame of reference. Students at my current college seem to like the professors that are the easiest, not the ones who are the most comprehensive. Personally, I don't care about a class being easy or hard; what I care about most is learning as much as possible in it.

    I am interested in high-energy astrophysics currently. Since UF indicates a collaboration between high-energy and astrophysics and a sort of merging between the two, it would be right up my alley. FSU separates the two, but I can't even say for sure that would be a bad thing anyway.

    I have heard UF really stepped up their game with that new project they took on a couple years ago. However, FSU has had the funding for far longer, giving them more long-term experience with what is on their plate.

    I think a large part of what it will come down to is what kind of scholarships each would offer me as well as which ones have the greatest availability for research for undergrads to participate in. As far as the schools and visiting, I just don't know if a visit for a few hours would really tell me what I want to know.
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