Physics Program?

<p>How strong is BU's Physics Program? Are there many oppertunities to engage in research? How is the grad school placement?</p>

<p>bump @ really old post because i want to know too</p>

<p>small dept, lots of professors, lots of grad students, lots of research opportunities, Junior Spring abroad at the LHC and CERN in Geneva, excellent PHD placements</p>

<p>Welcome</a> to BU Physics (Boston University, Physics Department)</p>

<p>"...We have been steadily growing over the past 15 years and now have a faculty of 38 within the department, plus 18 faculty from affiliated departments with joint appointments in Physics, and about 30 visiting researchers and postdoctoral fellows in residence. Physics at Boston University provides a stimulating environment for our approximately 100 undergraduate and 120 graduate students. Our research productivity is high, as we rank in the top 10 in private universities in statistical measures of the number of refereed papers, the number of citations per year, and critically, the number of citations per paper. In the latest US News and World Report rankings Physics ranked 36th, among the highest of all science and engineering departments at BU.</p>

<p>The Physics Department hosts state-of-the-art infrastructure for the University, including a variety of supercomputers in the Center for Computational Science, the Electronics Design Facility, and the very well-equipped Scientific Instrument Facility. Our faculty also direct the Polymer Center and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology."</p>

<p>Looks like 16-17 courses for the major (and prereqs)</p>

<p>Sample</a> Schedule (Boston University, Physics Department)</p>

<p>The lab tour sold my son</p>

<p>um.. wow that was completely unexpected to say the least, thank you for rekindling my desire to go here. i didn't think bu was that involved in physics. </p>

<p>(sorry if this question seems stupid, just making sure) when you say excellent PhD placement, you're referring to the fact that those who do undergrad at bu in physics tend to be able to get into top-grad schools?</p>

<p>no expert here, but based on my recollection of the dept presentation, was referring to both placement rate and placement quality</p>

<p>does everyone get in to MIT or Berkeley or the like? no, but a bunch do</p>

<p>and everyone who wanted to seemed to get in to at least one program</p>

<p>wow thats awesome to know, i had no idea.. quite a relief to me. hows the workload?</p>

<p>The workload is intense, as a physics major. As is the workload for most science majors. I'm currently doing the 211/212/313 track in Physics. And boy is it a doozy. You need to put in a lot of time to get the concepts down, and be able to guarantee a great grade on your exam. The class gets harder once you enter the 212 class of the track. However as a physics major it is heavily and i mean HEAVILY recommended that you take 251/252. This is a freshman course for Physics majors but know that you will have to put in ALOT of time to do well as the class is very intensive and works at a quick pace. Then there is also the fact you have to take up to multivariate calculus for your calc sequence.</p>

<p>However in the end all of the hard work will pay off when you get to work with some of the higher ups in the Physics department on their research. During the summer I was able to interview someone who was doing research with Dark Matter. Which I think is insanely awesome! Also all the classes prepare you for a future in research if that is what you choose, and the Physics Major easily compliments another science major for a dual major. However you can also dual major with a humanities as well.</p>

<p>heh i only expected as much. when you say the workload is intense, how intense is intense exactly? like do u have time to still enjoy normal college life like going out and partying, going to a sox or a c's game or enjoying boston in general?</p>

<p>and that sounds sick about the guy who was researching dark matter! what kind of research do undergrads tend to get involved with, and what kind of research is the faculty involved in?</p>

<p>How intense it is, depends on how good you are with Time management. If you can focus during the week (Mon-Thurs) and get all your work done, yeah you will have PLENTY of free time on the weekend. If you push stuff off your gonna have to cram work in on the weekend.</p>

<p>Basically, you can do any of what you mentioned, as long as you don't let your work fall behind. Cause then your grades will end up suffering. During my first semester, I basically went out every weekend! I just used Sunday-Thurs as my working days (Sunday was my re-coop day haha!!!). Just realize, that if you do wanna go out sometimes your gonna have to pull a late nighter (around till 2-3 am) to go out... I used to do that quite often but it still worked out. </p>

<p>Now for research, you can start doing research as early as your 2nd Semester freshman year! However this is all up to you, you need a decent grade as well as some background knowledge of the professor you want to work with. So basically the research your allowed to do is, all up to how much work you put in to finding a professor doing research that interests you. First you'll start off with basics like helping around the lab with cleaning and what not but quickly you'll be able to help and learn what your doing. (Also don't worry about asking professors in labs that you don't have much background in [say someone who is working on Quantum Theory] they will give you reading's and what not so you can learn.)</p>

<p>Also here is a list of all the research BU Physics department is involved in <a href="http://physics.bu.edu/research"&gt;http://physics.bu.edu/research&lt;/a>
just look on the side and click, you can also click on the professors names and they will give you research that they are part of and explain more about it (well most will).</p>

<p>yeah time management used to be one of my weak points, but this past year i've gotten better, although late nights are nothing to me hahah, i've become accustomed to them(which i guess completely negates my comment about having improved time management..eh either way, it works for me)</p>

<p>that sounds awesome though, i have a few schools i would love to go to but they're big reaches; BU is where im fairly sure i'll end up, especially if my NMF thing turns into a semi-finalist and i get the half-scholarship.<br>
so is intro chem really as hard as people make it out to be? i heard its about as bad as taking a class on nails-scratching-blackboards, and for that i'm SO glad that i'm taking ap chem next year</p>

<p>Well, are you going to be Pre-Med? If you are, the AP credit doesn't matter. It is highly unrecommended that you use AP-Credit in lieu of your General Chemistry Requirement. Ok honestly, I wasn't in CH 101, I was in an Intensive General Chem, and I WISHED I was in CH 101 for the easy A. It just depends on how good you are with math (you are not allowed to use a calculator ever.) and how much you can teach yourself. The way that CH 101 works is that they teach you the basics and then expect you to go off read the textbook and really learn the basics and fine-tune them so you can do the problems without a thought. Also they have this weekly assignment called ALEKS and basically it's like demon spawn. Everyone in CH 101 hates it, because it's basically like ton's and ton's of problems. And if you get them wrong you have to redo them until you get it right and once you get it right you have to do more to prove you understand the problems lol. (I thank the LORD I didn't have to do Aleks except I had 10x more intensive labs so I ended up doing labs while they were doing Aleks.)</p>

<p>Also with the time management, try and fix it while you are still in high school. Try not to procrastinate because, that will end up hurting you in college. Cramming is not fun at ALL... gradual studying over the semester will help you and benefit you tremendously... I learned the lesson the hard way with my Physics Final.... ugh fawk Thermodynamics.</p>

<p>probably not, only real reason i'd do pre-med is if i end up not liking physics as much as i expect to and switch to biochem. outside of that happening (not expecting it to), i would have no interest in doing pre-med.. unless i end up only having to take an additional two classes or something because i end up filling them anyways</p>

<p>ahh so THATS the reason why its so bad. that sounds awful lol, i can't imagine doing something like that and not bashing my head against the wall. how important is chem in physics exactly? i'm not bad at it by any means i just find it boring (that or my teacher sucks, i think it may be the latter)</p>

<p>about the cramming, yeah i definitely plan on having that be my plan of study, definitely going to work on that for senior year</p>

<p>also, is grad school placement as good as odysseytiger said? do people get into mit, cal, harvard, etc. for physics phd's and such? or would BU physics majors not be considered in that echelon of schools</p>

<p>bump 10char</p>

<p>The graduate school you get into, depends on your grade and also your GRE and research ability. The schools you are mentioning, want a well rounded student. Which includes a student who has the ability to maintain grades, while pursuing research. (They also want you to come into graduate school with the ability to be productive with research instead of them having to teach you how to research.)</p>

<p>and lol at the switch of Physics to Biochem (if you get bored of Physics). Your going from a hard major to one of the hardest major's at CAS xD.</p>

<p>is it really that simple? so if i end up going to BU (very high chance), i'm not going to be making myself less attractive of a candidate for top physics grad schools by BU not being one of the "powerhouse" physics school?</p>

<p>and yup lol, don't worry about it ;) thats the only way it'll be fun! rather do that than classic Mesopotamian cave paintings or something
(...and i meant no offense if you happen to be pursuing such a field, just not my cup of tea)</p>

<p>If your goal is to get into a top notch physics PHD program, then no you are not going to make yourself a less attractive candidate simply by going to BU. Nor will doing so make you a more attractive candidate.</p>

<p>What you do once you get to BU however ....</p>

<p>fantastic. thats really my only concern i had with BU</p>

<p>of course, i plan to take my grades very seriously in college and also hope that i can get in on a good amount of research there as well</p>

<p>bump for question not really pertaining to my original question</p>

<p>i looked in the bu section for an answer to this, but i couldn't really get a straight one. if i majored in physics at CAS, could i also (double) major (or minor) in something like mech/aero eng in ENG? i've never really thought about it until today, but its an intriguing prospect</p>

<p>If your thinking of doing BUCOP for that, it's better that you apply to Engineering first and then go into CAS for ENG. Realize if you do both majors, you will still have to fulfill a language requirement, as well as double humanities and social science requirements.</p>

<p>whats bucop? and hmm i didn't know i'd have to take double humanities and social sciences.. would it be smarted to minor in an engineering field rather than major in it?</p>