University/College Questions Part IV
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12-08-2012, 11:42 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Canberra, Australia
Originally Posted by
I would find students of highly variable levels in introductory courses at just about any Canadian university that offer MSc degrees in physics. And the range of talent narrows down as the classes go more advanced (my profs in upper-division classes are confident that the ones that make it to upper-division classes, especially senior-year classes like PHY3214, would succeed academically in any Ivy League university).
I know McGill or York has more students taking CEGEP-level (or U0 in McGill terms) physics classes than Polytechnique or University of Montreal does at that level, though.
No doubt about it, the quality of the physics/math schooling you're getting at McGill is as good or better than any other undergraduate degree in North America.
Here's an anecdote, of an acquaintance of mine who went to the University of Illinois, which you would think is very respectable. We were doing a homework set in grad school, moderately challenging. She said she was frustrated that she couldn't solve all the problems, I asked why... she told me that in her entire undergrad she had never seen any problem she couldn't solve immediately, previously her entire experience had been about just sitting down and solving everything immediately, to complete all homework sets in an hour or two.
This is no doubt
your experience at McGill. You are being challenged and will thus be better prepared.
To go back to your original question, the quality of LA education really varies from one place to the next. In my observations it's fairly high at Columbia and at University of Chicago; those two stand out. It's extremely variable even within schools, so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect.
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