I am helping my son (who is a junior) begin researching colleges. He has always planned to go into engineering, but is now leaning toward majoring in physics. He knows he will need to get a masters degree, and probably a Phd at some point if he stays in physics. When he was looking at engineering programs, he looked primarily at Liberal Arts Colleges with an engineering program (Bucknell, Lehigh, Swarthmore, Dartmouth) or smaller Research Universities (Carnegie Mellon) because he wanted to be at a college that was 7,000 or less. He has a 33 ACT overall score with a 36 ACT science score, so I think he's in pretty good shape in terms of admission. So.... our question is..... since most colleges have a Physics department (undergrad) what should he look for to determine if it's a strong department? Again, he doesn't want to be at a huge research university. He'd prefer a private college or small research u where he will have easy access to professors and be part of a smaller community. Are there colleges with a reputation as having a strong physics department? Do we read through the curriculums and compare? Look for research opportunities? Thanks for your suggestions and advice!