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Good colleges for Physics

SachinBatraSachinBatra 0 replies2 threads New Member
I am planning to take up Physics for my undergrad. which are the colleges I should be considering. So far I have picked up UC's
6 replies
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Replies to: Good colleges for Physics

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 29810 replies317 threads Forum Champion
    What are your stats? College budget? Post Undergrad plans? Any geographical location preferences?
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  • merc81merc81 11247 replies186 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    If you're beginning your search with California colleges, note that graduates of Pomona and UCD were the Apker recipients this year. For other West Coast ideas, look into Harvey Mudd and Reed.

    https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201808/apker.cfm
    edited August 2019
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    As you might suspect, UC-Berkeley is one of the top 5 schools for Physics in the world.

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/university-subject-rankings/top-universities-physics-2019
    edited August 2019
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3561 replies176 threads Senior Member
    You can click on the right side panel to see the list of past Apker Prize winners (there are usually awarded in twos, one for graduates of PhD awarding institutions and another for graduates of non-PhD institutions):
    https://www.aps.org/programs/honors/prizes/apker.cfm
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  • jllmtwjllmtw 76 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Try and do some undergraduate research, it could help allot when trying to get into grad school, if that is the path you want to go.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7470 replies76 threads Senior Member
    All great suggestions above.

    For all but the super-serious physics student (ie, those who have been targeting physics for a while, have taken advanced math & physics courses, have identified the area of physics that they love, etc), physics is a relatively flat major: the core physics major at pretty much any accredited college will prepare you adequately for applying to grad school. Differences will be in the details: how big is the physics 101 cohort? beyond the core requirements, are there options in the area(s) of physics that you are interested in? does the college have research opportunities for undergrads? Is the institution one where *you* will shine? It's great to have Apker grads- but I would argue that while it is the shiniest, it is not the best measure of a good undergrad program. How do the rest of the students do?

    For example, UCB gets all the attention for physics- and it is a great program. But for most undergrads, UCI can be just as good- and for many undergrads, it can be better: at least in the recent past, resources have not been stretched quite as much as at Berkeley, and there are some physics profs who are really invested in their undergrad students.

    For grad school admissions your PGPA, your research experience & your LoRs are what will make the difference (start looking for (paid!) summer research internships (such as REU's) by winter break of 1st year).
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