1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

UF students/faculty please advise (transfer question)

  1. May 20, 2012 #1
    I'm currently a third year physics major attending the University of Central Florida. I received an Associates Degree from a small College, completing all of my general requirements and foreign languages and all that jazz. Furthermore, I have completed the undergrad calculus sequence, differential equations, and lower div. linear algebra, along with Physics I/II, General Chem II and some other misc courses (non-calc stats and such). So realistically, I have finished the first half of a typical 4.5 year degree as well as all the general requirements and crap so my remaining time will be basically math/physics nonstop.

    I don't have to pay tuition for any school that I attend, and I make about $1500/mo provided I am in school full time. My GPA is a 4.0 at both schools that I have attended.

    I have been thinking about transferring to UF, because they have a better ranked undergraduate physics program and I am generally unsatisfied with the courses at my current university. I have went out of my way on several occasions to learn parts of courses that should be included in said course(s).

    Anyway, my questions is this:

    Should I continue at UCF or transfer to UF? The only real incentive to stay at UCF is that I have a rather convenient living situation which costs me next to nothing. I cycle to the campus when possible, and would really like the same sort of situation, with obviously higher living cost.

    I always hear that, basically the undergraduate degree really doesn't matter, but if it really wouldn't cost you much more, would you make the transfer? I am "betting the farm" on getting into a graduate school, so I am really only concerned with the completeness/depth of the courses, ease of the commute (and campus in general). I would live off campus naturally, but somewhere close by (haven't looked into anything at all).

    Any information that anyone could provide would be great. I'm probably going to head up there next weekend and have a look around.

    Thanks!
    -QC
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2012 #2

    chiro

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey QuarkCharmer.

    Aside from personal decisions like wanting a change and exposure to different classes, teachers, students and the general environment, the thing that I would be wondering about (with regards to advantages for changing universities), is who teaches there, what their reputations are like as well as their research and how their recommendations would be if they were to give you one.

    If you find out that the curriculum is more or less the same and that you feel confident in keeping high marks, going well on the Physics GRE if you have to do it, then I think the rest of the decision will rely on these other sorts of things which won't completely relate to getting into graduate school per se.

    There are lots of posts here on PF about getting into physics PhD programs and I'm sure those threads will give you answers as well as more questions to ask yourself.

    Aside from this, it wouldn't hurt to get an idea of the kinds of programs you'd like to apply for and see what the requirements are for not getting your application chucked out immediately as well as who is involved people-wise on the research that you think you will apply for.

    If you can go to UF and get a strong recommendation from someone that has a better reputation than the uni you are currently at, then for graduate school this might be a good incentive to transfer for this particular goal.

    Again though I'd recommend you plough through some of the grad school threads here on the academic (and maybe career) advice forums to get some idea of the specific things that will help you out.
     
  4. May 20, 2012 #3
    I have read all of the "how to", "so you want to be..", and other such threads relating to graduate schools. While I agree, it's a great idea to learn who works where and with what field, it's really difficult for me, considering I don't know enough about any one field, or of the existence of many of the sub-fields to decide what I would really want to be doing. Tentatively I have decided on photonics, but that's really just a thought in the wind at this point.

    But, if I wanted to transfer, now is the time to do it. I would still meet the residency of whatever school I wanted to attend and so on, and I am at a good milestone where transferring to another program wouldn't really do any damage.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook