Hi, this fall I'll be a senior in high school and with the Common Application nearly out, I need to finish my final college list. The reason I'm posting on this forum is because my goal is to ultimately attend grad school for a PhD in physics. This is my current list that I've come up with after doing a good amount of searching: Strong interest -Rice -Harvey Mudd -Reed -Carleton Decent interest -Cornell -Williams -UT - Austin My 2 backups are cheap state schools. When I was looking through schools, I mainly looked at the physics faculty, courses offered, and PhD production rates. This turned up a lot of LACs like Williams, Carleton, Reed, HMC. However I have heard that LACs tend to not offer some higher-level classes (and even some important ones like Thermo) some years due to lack of student interest/lack of faculty. Would this be a problem at the LACs on my list? Everything else about them seems so great, though: smaller class sizes, great faculty, no grad students taking up research opportunities. How are these schools looked upon by grad schools in comparison to larger research universities like UT - Austin and Cornell? Also, is it worth it to apply to Caltech/MIT for undergrad physics and would they suit me better than the schools on my list? My transcript is decent (35 ACT 36 Math, 800 SAT Math 2 + Chemistry, 3.8 UW GPA) so feel free to suggest other schools.