Advice for degrees in particle physics or astrophysics?

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  • Thread starter Jared409
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I'm going to be a freshman in college this year, and I really want to go into astrophysics or particle physics. At this point, I really want to work at the LHC when I get out of school. I know I may change my mind along the way, but could you please give me advice on any specific courses to take to go down one (or both) of these paths? Should I get a general physics degree, then begin to specialize when I go for my Master's?
 

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I would say yes, do general physics and then specialize for grad school. If you're able to, take as many astronomy/astrophysics courses available (my first semester in physics I found a class with a few astronomy projects that sounded cool). If you're not already committed to a school, look for one with faculty in the physics department that are doing research in an astrophysics or particle physics related field so you can get lab/research experience with them.

So, yes, you'll want to get a general physics degree first. I've never heard of a program that's strictly particle physics because you'll need to know everything in general physics anyway. There are astronomy programs, but they're often watered down in terms of physics (most I've seen are geared toward education) and likely won't give you the skills needed to work somewhere like the LHC.
 

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