Lehigh University (MS/PhD - Physics)

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Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:47 pm

Lehigh University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Post by PA » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:41 pm

Lehigh University (MS/PhD - Physics)
Bethlehem, PA

Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:21 am

Re: Lehigh University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Post by marten » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:52 pm

Well after one semester at Lehigh, I can offer some early thoughts on the school and program. As an undergraduate institution, Lehigh has a very good reputation in Engineering. I don't know how much this reputation extends to other departments, but the graduate physics program seems to do pretty well, the stats are available elsewhere.

Lehigh physics seems to be forming a niche for themselves by admitting good students who may not have a complete background in physics. This is something I heard from some other graduate students. Of course they try and admit as many straight physics students as possible, but I suppose they figure that they can get good students which other schools might not admit based on their background. The coursework is designed to make up any "holes" a student might have starting out in graduate physics. I'm starting with an incoming class of 10 students, and several don't have to take all the "usual" classes because they've got a very good undergraduate preparation.

It seems to me that Lehigh does a very good job of taking care of those that they admit. Some schools are notorious for weeding out students either through qualifiers or by other means. Lehigh is good about being committed to the success of their students from the start, even getting most of them out in 5 years. Most things can be petitioned and accommodated for, but the one hard and fast rule is their "4 C" grade limit.

As for the quality of education, I think Lehigh does pretty well. As with most graduate programs, it is largely up to the student to take advantage of opportunities, and make a statement with their research. I know one Lehigh student who got a prestigious post doc in France without an interview, others have gotten good academic positions. Many (maybe most? I don't really know those statistics) probably do go into industry.

I've enjoyed my interactions with the faculty, it seems to me that most enjoy their research, and working with graduate students. I had noticed before starting here that many of the professors were on the older side, and I wondered what this would mean for the department. So far all I can say is they've got good stories. Although I think some are retiring soon, there is still plenty of active research going on with younger faculty.

It's a good size department and lots of variety in the research, check the web pages. Another detail, the stipend seems to be good, especially considering the cost of living in Bethlehem.

So that's it for now, maybe I'll think of more later,


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