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Which School to choose for undergrad?

  1. Feb 12, 2013 #1
    hello all, so i made a similar post like this about 5 months ago. At the time i thought i had it figured out, but now as i am getting closer towards choosing a university i have to take more into consideration. so am just wondering what you guys think about the courses offered at these two schools and maybe i can get some help deciding.


    http://www.physics.sfu.ca/teaching/ugrad/courses/stdann [Broken]

    I am leaning more towards SFU because
    1) it is 10 minutes away from my house whereas ubc over 1.5hrs
    2)first year research oppurtunities("adopt a physicist")
    3) This is the biggest reason, comparing the courses i see that SFU offers a lot more quantum mechanics courses whereas ubc only offers...1 or 2? SFU also offers advanced undergraduate level quantum mechanics courses as well as other courses that ubc does not offer.

    i know ubc is very prestigiou and would like to go to ubc just for the name lol but what do you guys think is a better choice? in my opinion i think quantum mechanics is important courses no?
    (also, ubc has a very strong mechanical engineering department which is my second choice
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2013 #2
    From what I'm looking at, UBC offers four quantum while SFU offers two. They both offer all the standard and important undergrad courses but it seems that UBC offers slightly more courses.

    I would suggest that you don't let distance restrict your decision. I think that staying in residence or living on campus is a great experience if you're in your first year. I would have missed out on a lot if I decided to stay home in my first year. Of course, money may be an issue but I would highly recommend it.

    Also, I see that UBC offers a co-op program. I have no idea how good it is or how it works but I'm in a physics co-op program in Ontario and it's one of the reasons why I love it here. I make enough to pay my tuition, rent, etc. without the help of loans, I get to work at some exciting places and get some good experience which I think would help a lot whether you decide to go to grad school or not.

    Actually, I see that SFU also has a co-op program for physics. Again, I don't know anything about it specifically but it may be something you'd like to research or consider if this sort of thing sounds interesting to you.

    I found that undergrad research opportunities are easy as long as you take the initiative to talk to profs, get to know their research and market yourself well. You can always do research at other universities so I don't think you should base your decision on your second point unless the "adopt a physicist" program offers you something else that's interesting. Volunteering allowed me to work with profs whose research I found very interesting and co-op allowed me to work with profs and companies/labs that paid me, not that their research was any less interesting so I wouldn't worry about undergrad research opportunities.
  4. Feb 12, 2013 #3
    Hello! Thank you for the reply! you brought up some really helpful points. but about the courses, UBC says it has 4 quantum mechanics courses but only 2 of which are actually offered (introduction to quantum mechanics, and applied quantum mechanics)

    SFU has special relativity and quantum mechanics, quantum mechanics I, quantum mechanics II.

    I want to go to UBC more because they have top notch facilities, its right beside triumf, and they have a lot more researchers and professors.

    I have compared the textbooks used from UBC and SFU too. It turns out SFU's physics department uses textbooks most which are recommended a lot more here on PF.
    classical mechanics - taylor (sfu)
    physics - halliday,resnick, KRANE instead of WALKER

    I don't know if these are things i should be worrying about? i tend to over analyze and over think things quite a bit.

    more posts and advice are welcome!
  5. Feb 12, 2013 #4
    I have actually come to peace with this lol about 5 months ago i did NOT want to go to UBC because of the distance but i really don't think i would mind as much anymore. I may just be worrying about things i shouldn't be worrying about, or getting excited for university lol..
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