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Advice on research and being competitive

  1. Dec 7, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am finishing up my first semester of my Masters program in Physics. I got my bachelors in Math.
    It's been very hard, but so very rewarding this semester.
    I don't go to a top school, but i feel like i'm getting a great education here. I'm the only female too, which makes me a little sad, but i feel i can stand out that way.

    I am doing research for the only astronomer in the physics faculty. It is a small department. I wasn't sure what part of astronomy i wanted to research, so gladly took on whatever he could cook up. I'm working on Cataclysmic Variables. He has another student working for him, an undergrad, and she's working on bow shock nebulas. (how did you find out what you wanted to research?)

    In order to be competitive and go on to a PhD program (I'm applying for both astrophysics and meteorology), i just wanted to ask those who are doing astronomy research, how often you publish papers, etc.

    I'm expecting my first paper to be published next semester, my second semester.

    So yes, in order to be competitive and actually have a shot...

    excellent grades (do B's in a grad program hurt?)
    published papers (lots? how many?)
    going to APS conferences? (there has been no talk of going, but i will push to be sent)
    research experience
    letters of rec
    physics GRE score
    General GRE score

    I guess i just would love some advice from people in astro research who are makin it! :) :)

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to reply,

  2. jcsd
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