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Advice involving grad school [doing astrophysics with a math/CS background]

  1. Jan 19, 2010 #1
    I'm interested in going to grad school for astrophysics. I've loved everything about the subject for many years now. At first I thought it was just a hobby interest, but I think it may have crossed the line and become a career interest. The only problem with this is that I'm in my senior year in college. I'm currently double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Another issue is that the university I'm currently attending does not have any undergraduate degrees involving physics (only a minor) or astronomy. What is the best course of action for me to get from where I am now to grad school in astrophysics?

    Will my dual degrees be enough to carry me into grad school? Should I hang around and get a minor in physics?

    Should I start over at a university that offers an undergraduate program in astrophysics and hope that my math and other gen. eds. transfer so I can get back out in 2 years or so?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2010 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Re: Advice involving grad school

    You will need a good basic physics background to do what you want. I suggest you talk to physics people at the schools you are considering.
  4. Jan 19, 2010 #3
    Re: Advice involving grad school

    I suggest that you talk to an undergrad advisor. However, they will not let you do graduate studies in astrophysics seeing as you have little to no physics background.
  5. Jan 19, 2010 #4


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    Re: Advice involving grad school

    Many fields in astrophysics involve a lot of computational work, so you could try getting yourself hooked up with an astrophysical research project that needs somebody to write code. (There are plenty out there, but you might have to look outside your university) That'll give you a chance to get some experience in the field so you can start learning and also see if you like it as much as you think you did.

    Also, if you're really committed to this astrophysics thing, you should definitely try to take some physics/astrophysics classes. it's true that they wouldn't let you into grad school for astrophysics without a decent physics background, unless you do some really stellar work - no pun intended - on a research project :wink: Anyway, the point is, you're not going to be prepare yourself for graduate school in only one semester.
  6. Jan 19, 2010 #5


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    Gold Member

    Re: Advice involving grad school

    If you're getting a Math degree, you can look into mathematical physics. Different than Astrophysics, but closer to what you've done before.

    The best thing to do is talk to your adviser.
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