Deciding between UBC and UC Irvine

demetkirmizi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am

Deciding between UBC and UC Irvine

Postby demetkirmizi » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:06 pm

Hi everyone! Could you give me your opinion on whether UC Irvine or University of British Columbia would be a better choice for a PhD in Physics? I am currently working on observational/computational astrophysics but I want to focus on theoretical astrophysics with computation for my PhD. My mind is 90% set on UBC because I have some contact with the advisor there and I really like his work. Yet, part of my brain is going crazy trying to calculate if I'm making the right choice or not. I've been checking threads here and I've seen many people saying UC Irvine is really great at computational astrophysics, that made things a bit more confusing. You'd be really helping me out with this over-anxiety of choosing the right option by sharing your opinion :) Thanks!

epluseminus
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Deciding between UBC and UC Irvine

Postby epluseminus » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:11 am

Both places are great! I am not in your field, so I don't know much about which school is better for theoretical astrophysics. Have you been able to visit? If not, here are my overall impressions.

- UBC is a bigger school and typically ranks higher in overall school rankings.
- UCI feels a little smaller and more relaxed, it is also a newer school.
- UBC has a lot of rain, but also nearby mountains and skiing.
- UCI has very little rain, nearby beaches and surfing.

Both schools seem equally diverse with a lot of interesting things happening in their departments. They also both seem to have the same overall West Coast culture. The best thing I could imagine for you to do would be to contact as many professors as possible that you might be interested in working with and chat with them. The more professors that you click with the better. You could also mention that you are trying to choose between UCI and UBC, and ask them on their opinion on the differences between the two. I have found that most profs have been happy to give me their honest opinions on the differences between the schools that I am looking at and it has been helpful.

Good luck!

demetkirmizi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am

Re: Deciding between UBC and UC Irvine

Postby demetkirmizi » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:54 pm

Thanks a lot for the info! No, I haven't been able to visit because I'm still continuing my master's and don't have much time to travel. To me, UCI seems much better climate-wise (I would love to live somewhere where it's always sunny) but I'm trying to base my choice on the academics (maybe I'm wrong in doing that :D ) since I will be applying for post-doc positions after my PhD. It's nice to know that they have a similar West Coast Culture. I already have my research advisor set at UBC and I'm in contact with him and love his work. I emailed profs at UCI after my acceptance and they haven't returned my email yet (seems like a bad sign). But it seems like they are doing much more computation than theory, and I want more theoretical work. This is only based on their webpages though, so hopefully they will get back to me and I'll know more. Honestly, I would much rather live at Irvine but UBC seems like a better choice academically, although I'm not so sure.

I had felt like asking them "your school or some other school" would be a bit rude. It's nice to know that they respond well to those type of questions. I will probably email again and ask their opinion on the schools specifically then.




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