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Opinion on going to undergrad school for graduate school


lucy1

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I have been accepted to 4 schools for physics phd and waitlisted at one school. I have narrowed my choices to University of Central Florida - my undergrad school and Louisiana State Univ. I have heard it is best not to go to your undergraduate school for graduate school but UCF has the program I want and the opportunity to research abroad.

Also I really liked LSU as well but am very comfortable in Orlando.

I am waitlisted at Univ of Connecticut and think I would definitely go there if I were accepted but I am still waiting and of course like everyone else I'm not sure if I will hear from UConn before the 4/15 deadline.

Anyway does anyone have opinons on going to graduate school at the same university as your undergraduate school and any help on which school I should attend.

Thanks for all your help.

Edited by lucy1
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Anyway does anyone have opinons on going to graduate school at the same university as your undergraduate school and any help on which school I should attend.

I feel like I've heard people saying you shouldn't do this, but without any really concrete reasons. I suppose maybe it diminishes your ability to "make connections" in your field?

Being able to do the research you want with an adviser you get along with is going to be the single most important factor in your success, so if you know this is possible at UCF then I don't see any issue with staying. I think you have some good options and you'll be fine either way!!

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Anyway does anyone have opinons on going to graduate school at the same university as your undergraduate school

Don't. Like what the others have said, it's highly discouraged and I like the term "academic imbreeding" that anthropologygeek used, since it perfectly describes what it pretty much is. When I asked my profs in undegrad on their thoughts about doing grad in the same department, they told me that they didn't like that and preferred that students seek a "wider worldview" in pursuing grad at another institution. It really is true, because if you stay in the same school, you end up being one-dimensional in your field.

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I don't think it's a huge deal if you stay. It is somewhat discouraged, but I know several people that chose to go to grad school at their undergraduate institution. At the end of the day, if you are doing good research with a well-known PI, you will be fine. Also, I'm not sure if people in physics do postdocs, but if you do one at another institution after grad school, then that solves that problem. If UCF ends up being your top choice, don't miss out for the sake of "academic inbreeding" - it's just a recommendation, not a hard and fast rule.

Edited by JSmoove
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Go to the best school for your goals.

If that means staying at the institution at which you earned your undergraduate degree, well, that's what it means! Consider your goals post-PhD, however, when making this decision. If you want to stay in academia, become a professor, then you might want to look at what other professors have done. Unfortunately, I think you'll largely find what others have said about academic inbreeding is true: not many professors will have done all their education at a single institution.

Post-docs can make all the difference, and it does likely mean you'll need to work especially hard to distinguish yourself in the field.

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like others have said, don't goto your undergrad school unless the difference in programs is huge. If they are more or less equal and it is a comfort thing, you will be far better of going somewhere else. These "rumors" about it being looked down upon to stay entirely in 1 place are pretty true. I have heard this numerous times throughout my collegiate life (11 years now). Also, keep in mind that making connections and networking is a HUGE part of your success after grad school. Think about how much larger your network will be if you move around and meet more people. I did my Masters at a different place than my undergrad and will most likely be going my PhD this fall at completely different place. Moving around has been the best thing for me and I highly recommend it when possible.

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