Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What do you know about the Physics program at UC Boulder?

  1. Oct 12, 2010 #1
    My adviser was telling me that UC Boulder is a very good school and isn't as hard to get into as some other really good schools but that they're very tough on their graduate students there and make them work ridiculously hard. Does anybody know if this is true? Any UC Boulder grad students on here? It seems like it would be a cool place to go but I want to be able to have a social life and have at least a little bit of fun while I'm in grad school so if what he said is true I'm not sure I'd want to go there.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2010 #2
    I'll only comment on the area and the "fun" part. Colorado is an awesome state, in that you can vent when you have some free time. There's nothing like taking a Sunday morning and going on a couple hour hike to clear your mind. Anytime of the year you can find something outdoorsy to do, which is a nice break from school. Snowboarding, hiking, biking, sledding, camping, etc.

    I know the area shouldn't really dictate your decision but it's definitely a plus if they have academically what you want/need. Good luck.
  4. Oct 14, 2010 #3
    Anyone else? I feel like there must be someone on here that goes to or has gone to UC Boulder.
  5. Oct 14, 2010 #4
    I know some grad students in other departments there, but not physics...Having lived in Boulder for two summers I find it hard to believe you'd have no social life as a grad student there. Especially if you enjoy a good beer :)

    How does your advisor know what grad student life is like there? As an undergrad, I met a couple of the physics professors from CU Boulder and they seemed pretty laid back.
  6. Oct 14, 2010 #5
    As an undergrad, most of the grad students I've talked too have all seemed cool.

    You'll probably have to work hard in any graduate program; to me that really shouldn't be a deciding factor in where you go.

    Plus Boulder is a fun town.
  7. Oct 15, 2010 #6
    My advisor did his postdoc there. I think I've made up my mind that I'm at least going to apply there. It's a very good school and Boulder seems like it's a cool place to live. So if I get accepted I'll just go out there and see for myself what I think of it.
  8. Oct 15, 2010 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My student days are long ago and far away, but I live in Boulder and have known a few physics grad students. The students work very hard, but that's true in every decent physics program. If you don't want to slave, pick a different field. CU Boulder (only the Denver and Colorado Springs campuses are called "UC") physics is generally not in the top category with Berkeley, Princeton, Stanford, etc. but has a few outstanding sub-departments; the one I know about through the students is atomic and molecular optics, which is in the top in the country.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  9. Oct 16, 2010 #8
    via the grapevine at my school, ive heard the condensed matter/atomic-optical physics there is among the best (along with UCSB-[although i tihnk ucsb is more theory.anyone confirm?]).
    obviously, schools like stanford/mit, etc are great at everything, but in CM and what not, CU boulder/UCSB seem pretty high up there.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook