Berkeley physics

<p>Can anyone tell me how good berkeley physics department is for undergraduate compared to other top universities?</p>

<p>Here is a description of the top 10, Berkeley among them. Some may quibble with the order of this list, but it will give you a basic idea. </p>

<p>Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. MIT has a well-deserved reputation as a world leader in physics. Many leading physicists have taught and researched there, and eight faculty members have won Nobel prizes in physics.</p>

<p>Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Three current faculty members at Stanford are Nobel prize winners, and much important research has been conducted there. In fact, the laser was invented at Stanford.</p>

<p>Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Harvard's physics department is over 120 years old, having been founded in 1884. Many physics students are Harvard concentrate in two subjects due to loose credit requirements.</p>

<p>California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Pasadena, CA. The physics program at Cal Tech is excellent, and entrance is highly competitive. Much cutting edge research is published by Cal Tech professors each year.</p>

<p>Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. Princeton prides itself on its long tradition of excellence and association with famous figures in the world of physics, including Albert Einstein. The program focuses on teaching students research skills.</p>

<p>Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. The physics program at Cornell has a distinct focus on theoretical astrophysics and ultra-low temperature physics, which have resulted in Nobel Prizes for faculty.</p>

<p>University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. Berkeley's physics program stresses the practical and theoretical sides of physics. Nine Berkeley professors have been awarded Nobel Prizes in physics.</p>

<p>University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign, Urbana Champaign, IL. This excellent physics program is also the least expensive on the list, at least for Illinois residents. This large public university has one of the country's largest physics departments, so students won't lack for opportunities.</p>

<p>University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA. A combination of small class size and excellent professors gives UCSB its excellent reputation in physics.</p>

<p>University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Boasting a history achievement, with many Nobel prizes in physics, Chicago prides itself on its focus on research.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.brighthub.com/education/college/articles/84294.aspx%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.brighthub.com/education/college/articles/84294.aspx&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Note that the rankings of physics departments are generally in reference to their research and graduate programs. This does not necessarily correlate with their undergraduate programs. Don't get me wrong, they are all outstanding places to get a solid undergraduate physics education, however, you can get an excellent undergraduate degree in physics at many universities and then get into a top 10 graduate program. The important questions you need to ask if you are aiming toward a graduate program in physics are:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Are there meaningful research opportunities on campus? A research university with a Ph.D. program is usually better than a purely undergraduate institution simply because you will have an opportunity to become involved in a funded research program with faculty and graduate students. </p></li>
<li><p>Is the school affordable for your family? While getting into a top 10 school for an undergraduate degree is great, if you are putting yourself in large debt, it might not be worth it. A more affordable university which gives you a high quality education might be a better choice. Remember that if you are going into a Ph.D. program, you should be supported fully by the university and be able to live reasonably.</p></li>
<li><p>Is the university a good fit for you? Go visit, see what the vibe is of the physics program and the university as a whole. Ask current students what they think and talk to the faculty if possible.</p></li>
<li><p>Where do graduating seniors go for graduate school? Ask about what schools the graduates go to for a Ph.D. This will tell you what you can aspire to if you work hard and do all the right things as an undergraduate.</p></li>
<li><p>If your interest is in getting a job after the B.S., then ask about career placement. In that case, the top schools likely give you better opportunities for a job right after college but the admissions counselors should be able to give you placement statistics.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Good Luck!</p>