Where to go for physics undergrad?

  • Schools
  • Thread starter Kalebh03
  • Start date
  • #1
Kalebh03
10
1
Before I get to the question, I'll introduce my current education. I am a senior in high school at Yadkin Early College. At this school, students are dual enrolled in high school and community college. We also go to school for an additional year (5 instead of 4) so we have finished our required high school courses (normally by Junior or beginning or Senior year) and received an Associate's in Arts, Science, or both.

I will be graduating in May of 2022 with my Associate's in Science and, most likely an Associate's in Arts. I think I want to major in physics, and I am planning to take the following college courses by then: Calculus 1, 2, and 3; Physics 1 & 2, and differential equations.

I do not know anything about what colleges I should apply to, but I know it most likely needs to be public because I will be applying as a TRANSFER student. I do not know my GPA, and I do not know if the college courses I have taken in the last four years count toward my High School GPA. I have a 29 on the ACT, but I plan to take it at least one more time before I apply to colleges. I live in North Carolina, and I was thinking Chapel Hill or NC State for in-state schools, but I do not know how good their physics programs are or how good the research opportunities are for undergraduates.

Are there any undergraduate schools that anyone would recommend in-state or out-of-state? Are there any that would be easier to merit-based scholarships?

Extra Personal Information:

I have been a part of my school's Robotics Team for 3 years. Because of COVID-19 we have not been able to meet this year, so I am not including this as my 4th year. We have made it to the state tournament once. I do not know anything about programming because I was a builder/designer, but I plan to start learning about Python (not for robotics, just because I want to) during Christmas break and over the summer.

I have participated in my schools Quiz Bowl team for the same amount of time.
Same with chess
I have been a part of my school's Math Team for the last two years (not including this year again).
I am a member of the National Honor Society.
I have over 40 volunteer hours...but I haven't gotten any signed off on since 9th grade because I always forgot to.

I am a member of Sigma Alpha Pi (National Society of Leadership and Success).
I might become a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
I have participated in school leadership opportunities, such as talking to Middle School students about the opportunities at my school and convincing them to apply.

I am currently learning to play the ukulele, guitar, and piano during my free time, and I used to be really good at playing trumpet, but I haven't played since middle school band.
I am receiving baking lessons as an "intern" at a bakery in my town.

Thank you
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,456
1,387
Why does being a transfer student mean you have to apply to public schools? Do you think the acceptance rate for transfer students is just too low at private schools, or is there something else preventing applying there?
 
  • #3
robphy
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
6,619
1,994
  • #4
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
1,131
820
Policies will vary depending on the state and the universities. In my state, credits earned at designated community colleges are automatically accepted by the state university. A number of students I know have told me it's cheaper to spend two years at a community college and transfer to the state university than to spend all four years at the state university. They still need to apply and be accepted by the state university. But if they are, they transfer in as a junior. With private universities, there will be an individual determination of credit for the courses taken at the community college.
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint
  • #5
Kalebh03
10
1
It's not clear why private schools might not be good for transfer students.
While private schools might have a high sticker price, it's possible that there is enough financial aid to offset a significant fraction of that.

It is to my understanding that private schools are less likely to accept transfer credits from a community college. I may be wrong about this, but I remember reading this policy while looking at transfer information at some private universities.
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint
  • #6
Dr. Courtney
Education Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,333
2,517
For an in-state student, UNC Chapel Hill and NC State would be my top recommendations for a physics major in NC. It provides a good undergrad physics education and your best opportunity to graduate debt free or with minimal debt. Other options that involve substantial debt are simply not worth the additional debt.

I've taught in the NC university system, and I'm also familiar with their early college high school programs. Some of my friends still teach there. For a physics major, there are some other choices, but none as good as Chapel Hill and NC State.
 
  • #7
jtbell
Mentor
15,961
4,699
It is to my understanding that private schools are less likely to accept transfer credits from a community college. I may be wrong about this, but I remember reading this policy while looking at transfer information at some private universities.
This depends very much on the school. I wouldn't be surprised if elite schools like Stanford and MIT don't accept such transfer credit, but there are plenty of "lesser" private colleges that do.

I taught at a small private college for many years. Our policy was for department chairs to review other schools' courses for transfer credit for incoming freshmen, transfer students, and our own students who wanted to take courses elsewhere during the summer. I had to do that a few times every year when I took my turn as chairman. Many of the courses that I accepted were at community colleges. This was on a course-by-course basis. A transfer student would be admitted at the level corresponding to the number of credit hours that were accepted for transfer.

If your CC has a transfer agreement with 4-year schools in the UNC system, such that an associates' degree gets you into the other school at the junior (3rd year) level or something similar, then the CC courses that are part of that agreement should be considered equivalent to the corresponding courses at UNC or NC State or wherever. They should be accepted (or not) by other schools on that basis.
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes symbolipoint and robphy

Suggested for: Where to go for physics undergrad?

Replies
17
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
23
Views
736
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
753
Replies
28
Views
764
Replies
2
Views
81
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
731
Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
8
Views
710
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
761
Top