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Advise On Graduate School Field

  1. Jul 26, 2010 #1

    I'm an undergraduate senior majoring in physics who plans to eventually obtain a PhD in a physics related field. For a little background on my academics, I have a 3.7 GPA (with a 4.0 from my fourth semester on), and research experience in granular physics at my university (since sophomore year) and research experience in astroparticle physics through an internship at Goddard Space Flight Center. No publications yet, but might start one towards the end of this summer.

    Anyway, my question pertains to which field I should go into for graduate school. I definitely am interested in continuing down the physics track -- but one thing I am considering is to focus more on an instrumental path. I'd love to work with building satellite systems or particle detectors (Basically anything that has to do with physics) but I would not want to end up working in a commercial industry or defense industry building planes or weapons. So, keeping in mind that I want to build equipment that benefits the scientific community -- should I go to graduate school for a field in physics or a field in engineering? Some people have mentioned applied physics might be what I'm looking for. Others have said its straight engineering, and others straight physics with an instrumentation focus. Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, if you do have an idea of what field this sounds like and also know of good schools to study this at, please share this information too.

    Thanks =)
  2. jcsd
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