College Decisions

I will be starting college in the fall and I am having trouble choosing a school. I plan to major in Chemistry and then go for my PhD. I really want to do research as an undergrad. I have narrowed my choices down to four schools: WPI, RPI, Lafayette, and PSU. Anyone here have any comments/experiences/suggestions that might help me out?

Well i don’t have much/any experience with those schools but i can tell you that if you know you are going for a PhD, then your undergrad school reputation doesn’t matter much. If all the programs are comparable ( i assume they are if you have narrowed it down to those) then i would save my money and go to PSU since you are instate. The other thing is a school the size of PSU there are probably going to be research opportunities if you look at them, although that is probably the same at any school.


One thing that stands out in my mind to look at is location. How far away from home do you want to be? How large of a school do you want to go to? What type of diversity at school are you looking for (not only race but also gender). Do you want to continue with FIRST?

Myself, would consider WPI in a “city” setting compared to PSU. However, in University Part itself, you will encounter over 40,000 individuals - and farm land 1/4 mile away. Unless you plan on traveling, FIRST is currently not in the State College area unlike WPI or RPI.

[edit] In response to comparison of PSU and in state cost. PSU is a semi-private University. Therefore much more costly than one of Pennsylvania’s 14 State Schools. Back when I made my decision, after “final offers” came in, I had a better deal from WPI - because they offered me money, than PSU - because they had no money to offer. [/edit]

Have you visited all of these schools? I don’t know how far away you are from each specifically, but sometimes the decision really comes down to what feels right and how you get along with the students.

Disclaimer: I don’t know much about RPI, Lafayette, or PSU. I’m currently in my second year at WPI, so my opinion is probably very biased.

If you’ve looked at WPI, then you probably know that the undergrad curriculum here is centered around three projects. One of these is part of the Humanities and Arts requirement, but the other two are research projects. There are also a lot of undergrad classes that are based around smaller-scale research projects. If you want to do research as an undergrad, you will definitely be able to do it at WPI.

Unfortunately, I’m a Mechanical Engineering major with no interest in pursuing a PhD, so I don’t know much about the PhD or Chemistry Programs. But if you have any questions about WPI feel free to PM me.

I am also in the same predicament, but I have narrowed it down to two schools, not four. :cool:

Anyway, my schools of choice are RIT and Northeastern. I am going to major in Computer Engineering. (I have Industial Engineering in the back of my mind if I go to RIT and decide I hate CE) Both offer Co-op and are very respectable. I feel (and have heard/read) that RIT has a better engineering program than NEU, but at the same time I feel as if the cultural and social surroundings at RIT will be limited in comparison to living in the middle of Boston at NEU.

I am very concerned with the quality and quantities of jobs I will be able to find after graduating from college. I know RIT has a great “career finding” program, and graduates many of its engineering students into great jobs right out of school. I have not heard much from Northeastern in this area.

I have visited both campuses and feel both has their share of pros and cons. The living accommodations and facilities are a bit more modern at NEU, which is something I like. I feel like RIT will be a barren wasteland during the winter though. :frowning: So far, both schools are pretty much equal in my decision process. Also, money is not an issue as both schools have given me scholarships, and I would be paying the same amount to go to either.

Does anyone have any advice? I feel like I have hit a dead end, and don’t know what to do next. I’m going up to Boston (and hopefully Rochester) next week to visit the campuses again, so I hope that will help me make up my mind. But until then, which school do you feel has a better reputation for BS/MS? Also, if you know attended either of these schools, could you enlighten me on how your experience there was? I want the good, bad, and ugly.


Alright well I had the same problem a couple weeks back but I decided on RPI Computer and Systems engineering

For CoasterTux I have only seen RPI and WPI out of the schools that you are deciding between, Out of the two RPI ranks much better nationally and has a much better program for pure sciences (the schools engineering programs are much more competitive) I have a friend majoring in BioChem who is in his second year and already leading a research project that he will be presenting at a major conference in San Diego.

Because you want to go to Grad school I would say pick a school that you like the feel of and that is affordable.

Tom, NEU and RIT are both good schools, RIT would be much better if you decide to change to a different engineering major. NEU is a great all around school that has a history of graduating engineers that have experience with the business side of projects, this is key if you have any interest in management. NEU is in Boston which is one of the greatest college towns (cities) in the world. I would go and talk to students when you visit, they will be your best source of input. From personal opinion, I don’t know any one in the NEU engineering program but every one I know at the school loves it. I was not to fond of RIT when I saw it.

Is there a thread somewhere listing where the 2006 graduates are going to college next year? I searched, but didn’t find one. I found a thread in chit chat about where they are applying, but can we have one listing final decisions.

I am planning to attend Georgia Tech and am wondering who else is going there. If there is no thread like this, let me know so I can start it. Thanks.

Once again I’m another student thinking that my school is the best. WPI has the projects going for it and the fact that it is a very undergrad-oriented school…so anything good to be had that is on campus? We get it. I also enjoy the fact that the students are not cut-throat here.

Just to repeat what I sent to you in the PM (also so that anybody else considering WPI might be able to know this) I would be happy to answer any questions I can about WPI. My major is Computer Science but if you would like I’ll grab a friend in a different major to answer questions about that field.

I’m also stuck at choosing between two colleges… University of California and University of Washington, with WPI as an optional third, but that solely depends on how much scholarship money it’ll give me. I plan to study Biomedical Engineering.

So both UC Davis and UW have fairly good and well-known bioengineering programs to the best of my knowledge. I’ve visited both campuses and they are beautiful in their own ways. Both schools have their pro’s and con’s to me that still even them out. Student life looks fine at both places. UW has more of a hustle-bustle atmosphere as it is situated in Seattle and UC Davis is a huge campus full of bike-riding students and cows. Money-wise, UW will let me take out full tuition PLUS loan while UC Davis has put a cap at $10,000 per year but has given me a $7,500 per year scholarship. UW’s Honors program has rejected my application (for now, I can reapply later on in my freshman year) and UC Davis has invited me to its Integrated Honors Program.

I’m sure that I can walk away with a fine education from either UW or UC Davis. I’m also okay with the campus settings- I used to live in Shanghai, China, and I currently live in a Davis-like city. There’s an added bonus if I attend UC Davis: I get to see my (old) team during the Davis-Sacramento Regional for the next four years.

Which college do you think I should attend? I’d really like to know more about undergraduate life…

I dont know anything about University of Washington, but from what I hear from my friends at UC Davis, they are enjoying themselves. It really is a great school, but some people dont like how big the campus is.

The UC system is very good, a lot of money goes into the system.

Of course, as i said, I dont know anything about your other choice schools.

Your best option is looking at the classes required to graduate and looking at their recommended schelule, and then deciding which is more your style.

On a side note, I am enjoying my experience in BioE, and I hope you enjoy it too!


These are sample curriculums for UC Davis. Check them out and compare it to your other options.

Jake raises a good point here. WPI’s main selling point is the three project system, the Sufficiency (Humanities projects, ie English, Spanish, German, history, arts, theater, etc), the IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project, basically a project comprising of how science/technology works in society), and the MQP (Major Qualifying Project, a major-based project, or senior project).

If you want to do fun projects (haha, well, maybe not always fun…) then this is a good option. Travel is also available. I did my Suff on campus, but I went to Iceland for 2 months to do my IQP and I did a huge project with Gillette in London, England for another 2 months. They were some of the best experiences of my life and definitely helped prepare me for the real world.

college desision erg :cool: . I had some trouble choosing. I wanted to do sports in college, so i tried to find a college that had cross-country or gymnastics or softball. But then it just wasnt about the sports, i had trouble getting accepted to all these schools with my ACT score and grades. I worried alot about that. During high school i admit, i tired but yet i blew it off and could have done better. So, the schools i applied to were Southern Illinios University, Harper college (community right near my house), and Lincoln college (hickville,IL about 3 hours south of my city). SIU didnt work for me, and i couldnt live at home. So i applied for a scholorship for cross-country at Lincoln college and i got recriuted and i felt good not only about how im stoked about running there, but the school is right for me because its a two year and a private school that has a 16 student to classroom. So that means, since im not too great at school, when i go there ill get more attention and one on one communication with the teacher rather than going to a unviersity that has lecture halls of 300 students or so. And since its a two year college, i can then graduate and go to a university to persue my dream and what not.

Although my dream was to go to nebraska or a big university witha ncaa football team and like 50 bazillion students, when i think about it, i have made the right choice for the better or me.


I as well will be attending Georgia Tech in the fall of next year. I’m going into the College of Computing as a CS major and also participating in their new Honors program.

Some people know where they are going now, others don’t. Ideally a thread for who’s going where could be started after May 1, when the decisions are fairly concrete. Congratulations to those who have decided :), good luck to those of us who haven’t.

Just to let you all know (I know you were waiting with baited breath) I picked PSU! Go Blue!