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Schools UCSB vs UCSD for physics and maybe applied math

  1. Apr 19, 2016 #1
    I've been admitted to UCSB and UCSD (and UCDavis but I think I've ruled it out). I plan on majoring in physics and maybe double majoring or at least minoring in applied math. I am interested in some kind of future environmental application of these and am also interested in climate science and marine science.

    I visited both schools and remain undecided. UCSD has better dorms and food and I like that it is more diverse and seems to have more international students. But I like UCSB's campus vibe a lot better - bike friendly and just feels more like a college (UCSD feels research park/commuter campus). I like to be outside and surf, hike, etc. Seems like they both have ample opportunities there. I am leaning toward UCSB because I just felt more excited to be there, but the party reputation worries me a little.

    Is there some compelling reason to pick one vs the other besides "I slightly like this one better"...? Strength of the programs, reputation, future opportunities...? They seem fairly equivalent to me in actual rankings and offerings. I guess I am looking for a gut check on this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2016 #2


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    Both programs are quite strong and I agree with you on UCSB having the better vibe. However, internships might be more plentiful at UCSD and I'm betting that they have more in the way of marine sciences for you to explore as an undergraduate.
  4. Apr 21, 2016 #3
    I'm currently attending UCSD as a double major in math and physics. I can't tell you which school as I'm obviously biased. However, I will say that UCSD has a great program in the Math dept for applied math, Computational Science and Math (CSME) at the Center for Computational Maths. The grad courses in this program cover a wide array of applied math (e.g. courses in geometrical physics, applied abstract algebra...) and the research in this dept is exciting. Feel free to ask me anything if you have any other questions about UCSD. For what it's worth, UCSB is ranked higher in physics (but that only means so much for undergrad)

    If you're looking into marine science, look up the Scripps Oceanography institute and see if anything there interests you.
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