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Universities in Canada, I can't decide

  1. May 21, 2015 #1
    I have been trying to decide between these two universities for the longest time, and I have to make a decision quick. I know I like physics and I love learning about it, it's just something I've always wanted to do. But after talking to many people, everyone is telling me to give engineering a try because they are more employable. I am deciding between McGill physics, which I heard has a great program, and it allows you to double major in a lot of different subjects, you can even minor in EE if I decide that's something I like. The other university I am considering is McMaster. I don't know how their physics program is, but I would do first year engineering at Mac to try it out, and then switch to second year physics, since science and engineering both have general first years. Anyways , i am really stuck with this and I keep going back and forth. Also McGill is giving me 8000$$ but should I take that over figuring myself out at mac( because I would be taking a mix of eng/physics) also mac has coop, is that even important for physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2015 #2


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    Well, I know for a fact that McMaster has two programs: a regular physics program, and an engineering physics program, so in that respect, if you are clueless about choosing between engineering and physics, there is a hybrid program available for you.

    At any rate, ultimately you have to decide which school best suits you. If I were you, I would choose the $8000 that McGill is offering, as any form of scholarship that can help in offsetting tuition is a very important fact to consider. From what I know of McGill from friends who attended there, there is considerable flexibility in students choosing their own programs, so I would lean more towards McGill. Not to mention that Montreal is a very fun city to live in, more so than the city of Hamilton, where McMaster is located (although Hamilton is only about 1 hour drive or GO bus ride to downtown Toronto).
  4. May 21, 2015 #3


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    You're in the fortunate position of choosing between two good options. Both schools have excellent physics programs.

    With respect to the scholarship, $8k won't give you a free ride, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. Most students would count themselves lucky to save that up working over a summer. But on top of that, these things can snowball. When you apply for other awards, often the evaluation assigns points for previous awards. So there's a chance that it could lead to more money down the road.

    With respect to coop there are advantages and disadvanatges depending on how the program is set up. At some schools they have a set placements that students return to year after year. At others, you basically have to go out and find something for yourself. Getting a little bit of work experience along the way can really help later on if/when you leave academia. But it also costs you time. I had some friends who did coop through the undergraduate medical physics program at Mac (back when it was under the umbrella of the physics department) and it seemed like they had very positive experiences. A couple of them worked at the Pickering nuclear station, probably doing health physics work.
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