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Schools University & Physics

  1. Feb 8, 2005 #1
    Alright well I won't be applying for university till next year but I was wondering whats best to do... I was thinking to go McGill University (http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/ ) in Montreal as it is closed to me but is it better to like go in USA or in a foreign country to start off or I'm I better just staying local & then leave to sudy elsewhere...

    also... some poeple told me it's very important to find a good mentor... but how does it work... I'm kinda mixed up... if anyone can clear up how does university works it would be great...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2005 #2


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    Stay in Canada.

    If you want top notch go to the University of Waterloo or the University of Toronto.

    In the US, they rape you with tuition fees. If you aren't going to MIT, Princeton, Caltech, etc... you wasting your money in the US.

    You always have graduate school and you can go to the US for that, which I might do myself. Note: Canadian schools are cheap when paying graduate students.

    Note: Get a good mentor who cares about your success, and take his/her advice. Make sure this person has a Master's in Physics or higher, for your case, because they have true experience, which is better than some guy on PF.

    Note: It's easier the computer is messed up (highly doubt this) or this website is falling apart because it doesn't work half the time.
  4. Feb 9, 2005 #3
    am curious.. how would a mentor help? and does this mentor need to be someone teachin at a university,etc?
  5. Feb 9, 2005 #4


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    Someone that would give you direction.

    For example, if your goal was to learn General Relativity, the mentor would direct towards the needs of accomplishing that goal. It will take the school system 4-5 years to get there, but in reality you can shave off a year or two on that waitlist. The mentor can direct you to the right material and textbooks, but of course you do the work on your own with no credit.

    That's the way I look at it. Also, a mentor can help you through tough times when you think your not going to make it. A good mentor would either tell you straight up you can't do it (if that is the case) and give you alternatives, but if he/she believes that you can do it, the mentor will motivate you.

    I say that a mentor will tell you can't make it because that would be the wise thing to do if that truly is the case. A lot of students want to become certain things, but just can't do it. This is why you have alternatives, which a mentor would suggest. For example, if you are having a hard time achieving certain marks for the Physics degree for whatever reason, an alternative would be to take a smaller courseload and stretch program period to 4 to 5 years, which will give you more time to focus and work.

    Some profs would be happy to give direction and advice, so don't be afraid to ask.
  6. Feb 9, 2005 #5
    What ?

    Ok... thanks for the info but is Mcgill any good or any university in Quebec? or is Queens any good as I'm a sailor & it would be great to study & train in Kingston....

    Also I'm not too familiar with the english terms when you say graduate school thats after completing what we call "Bacalauréat' so like 3-4 years of university right ? so undergraduate, graduate , PhD ?

    Finally as your a fellow Canadian what are best resource for physics in canada... find out were the is conference & stuff.. & general resource for Canadian physisis?

    Thank you in advance
  7. Feb 10, 2005 #6


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    Forget about the note above.

    I believe Concordia has a good program, for mathematics anyways.

    McGill is a Business School and nothing else it seems.

    Note: Graduate School is after you get your Undergraduate Degree.
  8. Feb 10, 2005 #7
    My dad went to McGill for graduate school a few decades back (the very same institution as the place where the Rutherford gold foil experiment was conducted). He went there for physics but switched over to EE... he's told me often he quite enjoyed going there. Of course grad school isn't the same as undergrad but they must be pretty decent.
    Here's an idea if you want to get a guage on what type of school it is: contact the admissions department and ask them if you could get ahold of an undergraduate's email who is currently studying physics there (or check the physics department for the same). That undergrad will probably be able to tell you what it's really like to go to school there and how it compares to other universities. They can also tell you if the quality of living on the campus is good which is a VERY important factor in deciding where you go to college!
  9. Feb 10, 2005 #8
    humm ok I'l try that... so whats are the best university's for Physics in Canada.. Waterloo & Toronto ?
  10. Feb 10, 2005 #9


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    There is no such thing as "the best".

    You must figure that one out for yourself.

    Find a school that will do what you want them to do. If you want to start, quantum physics or abstract algebra early, find a school that will do that. If you want rigorous math or physics, find a school that will do that. If you want lots of free time, find a school that implements that.

    In the world of physics, it don't matter what school you go if you make sure you know what you are suppose know and more. You can go to McGill and come out better than an MIT student, and in my opinion, the world of physics or mathematics won't care. Sure the name on the paper is impressive, but you're published work is more important if you get any.

    Asking which is the best is like asking "who's the hottest girl in the world?"
  11. Feb 11, 2005 #10
    well then wich one is seen as the best in Canada...
    US = MIT
    CAN = ?

    I was wondering how hard it is to get into MIT ... If I got to mgill & get good grades can I get in MIT for graduate... how good do you have to be to get a scholarship to MIT? I don't know crap about university's & the guy that is suposed to help us doesn't know jack****... I wanna do whats best for me without ruining myself... I want to have the nice names on paper if it can help me get a better job or more interesting one...
  12. Feb 11, 2005 #11
    can someone tell me what is undergraduate & graduate & then whats next before PhD ? I live in Quebec & our system is different... not only because it's french bus also because after high school we got cegep before university...
    here you have :

    High School wich is grade 7 to 11
    Then CEGEP wich is grade 12 to 13
    Then you go to university to make a Bacalauréat wich is 2-4 years
    Then you have Maitrise wich is another 2-3 years
    Then Doctorat (wich is PhD)

    whats is what in conresponding english system.. I'm in grade 12 wich is CEGEP not yet University... I'm I undergraduate or like college ... I'm lost
  13. Feb 11, 2005 #12
    I believe undergradute means Bachelor's degree and graduate stands for Master's degree. Don't know for certain, since I'm not from USA either. In here between a master's and a doctorate there's licensiate (or some such).
  14. Feb 11, 2005 #13


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    Bacalauréat - Bachelors (Undergraduate)
    Maitrise - Master's (Graduate)
    After this it is your Ph.D, but you can skip your Master's straight to Ph. D.

    Yes, you can go to MIT for graduate school from McGill. You must earn your way into graduate school, just like everyone. Going to MIT for your Bachelors (Bacalauréat) will not get you in MIT for your Master's (Maitrise).

    Going to a particular school won't get you a Ph. D either. You have to write the papers. You have to do the research. You have to do the work. In the meantime, this is all done for your own sake. There is no due date and there is no particular topic. You must choose your own thesis and go from there.

    This isn't Business School where you can just get your degree and earn your way to the top. In the world of Science and Mathematics, you must work.
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