How do I Choose the Best Physics School?

Sandy Baker
Sandy Baker
Students in a college physics class.
Students in a college physics class.

While choosing the best physics school may be a personal decision, there are several factors to consider when comparing schools. Thorough research of the school's physics program is the first step. The program may be geared towards specific careers, or it may be a simple overview course of study. Individuals who want a physics degree should look for a school with solid program dedicated to that course of study, first and foremost.

The educational quality and outcome is often a priority when selecting physics schools. Specifically, the length of time to obtain a degree and the placement rate of students is important. Job placement may be factored into this decision. Individuals may wish to ask about the post graduate successes of the school's alumni. Are graduates looked favorably upon for postdoctoral positions, such as researchers?

The faculty of the physics school should also be considered. The faculty's education level, accomplishments, and employment history may indicate the type of education that will be received. You may wish to interview with several of the primary faculty members to get a good understanding of the course work and the teacher's background.

When learning about the physics college, prospective students may also want to consider tuition and expenses. You should consider whether or not these are in line with what you can pay or receive assistance for. You may need to learn about funding and student support as well. Do doctorate recipients receive support by fellowship or assistantship? Asking questions about the number of grants the facility receives can also be helpful in choosing a physics school.

Ultimately, selecting the right school may come down to selecting a physics program that will accept your application. Many of these schools have high undergraduate selectivity, based on Math SAT and Verbal SAT scores. If the facility has a small percentage of applicants accepted into undergraduate school, this may imply a more extensive and accelerated level of education. The ratio of students to faculty members is also an important component.

Simply learning what type of physics courses or classes is offered may not enough to make a good decision about the best physics school for you. Rather, an in depth study of the physics program is best, as it provides an insight in what the student can expect when they enroll in the facility. A physics school may provide this information at their website or it can be obtained through interviewing with school administrators.

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    • Students in a college physics class.
      Students in a college physics class.