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Best Undergraduate Physics Program

There are no prominent rankings available of undergraduate physics programs; this discipline is particularly difficult to rate because physics departments, and students, are generally oriented to graduate study. Most of the major universities have excellent physics programs and a few - notably Caltech, MIT, and Harvard - have generated several Nobel winners among former students and faculty.

But if the criteria are basic issues such as faculty access and successful graduation, there is an interesting database that's been assembled from National Science Foundation data and the National Center for Education Statistics which indicates the schools that most successfully graduated physics students based on students enrolled and physics degrees awarded.

It's worth noting that most of these are smaller schools, which usually means that faculty access is more readily available. It should also be noted that for many schools, engineering and science studies often grew from mining schools that were established in the nineteenth century when mining was a critical industry. On some campuses, science and technology studies still initiate in so-called ��mining colleges'.

The Top Physics Universities:

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  • Reed College
  • Carleton College
  • Princeton University
  • University of Chicago
  • Rice University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Harvard University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Swarthmore College
  • Haverford College
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Whitman College
  • Grinnell College
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Yale University

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