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Other Astronomy master's degree with a bachelor's degree in law?

  1. Oct 19, 2016 #1
    Hello everybody,
    according to your experience please give me an advice,
    Can i go to an astrophysics& astronomy master's degree with a bachelor's degree in law ? I've studied Physics and Math 2 ( calculus, mechanices,algebra) in high school. i was getting high marks at them and I am so comfortable with numbers and i like to use my brain in maths' problems. besides I like the whole idea of laws and its applying that's why i entered a law school . but now i know i should go back to see the numbers instead of so much talk. NOW , I am 20 years old in my senior year. Please, do not say go to a physics bachelor's degree . I have no power to start my master's degree with 24 years old.
    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2016 #2


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    The answer is going to be to do a physics bachelor's degree, I'm afraid. A bachelor's degree in law simply won't qualify you for advanced coursework in physics. Physics is cumulative and the instructors of graduate level courses will assume that you're already familiar with everything up to the beginning of the course. So even if you were able to get in, in all likelihood you'd have a hard time keeping up. Remember, everyone else in those classes will have spent their last four years building a solid foundation in physics - studying nearly every day, wrestling with problems, working through labs, etc. And they're going to tend to be the sharper half of the group that did that too.
  4. Oct 19, 2016 #3


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    To add to Choppy, and (somewhat) alleviate your concern about how old you'll be when you finish, the first two years of a Physics degree is also intermixed with general education courses, which you should be able to claim prior credit for. That could turn a four year degree into two or three, depending on what you get credit for and how you load up courses.
  5. Oct 20, 2016 #4
    I've already found some program offering master's degree in physics for those with unrelated degree in chicago uni. I've not applied because of its cost. however, can i study for GRE physics test by my own and the go for master's degree ?
  6. Oct 20, 2016 #5
    2 years is still so much, Can i take those courses intensively by 6 months for instence ?
  7. Oct 20, 2016 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Are you 8 times smarter than a UChicago undergrad?
  8. Oct 20, 2016 #7
    Come on, I've said (for instence). I do not need all physics taken in an undergraduate degree. I need the physics' courses qulaifying me to resume in astrophysics degree.
  9. Oct 20, 2016 #8
    You do, actually. The core classes are quantum mechanics, E&M, and classical mechanics. If you're going to be doing astrophysics, you'll need all of them. And even if you didn't, you will not get admitted into a graduate program without showing proficiency in all of them.
  10. Oct 20, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    You asked a question, you got an answer. You don't like the answer you got? Whatever.
  11. Oct 20, 2016 #10
    You need all the sophomore, junior, and senior level physics and math courses. That's likely 2-3 years worth of work.

    6 months is an unrealistic fantasy.

    Your propensity for ignoring good advice is not a good sign.
  12. Oct 20, 2016 #11
    Do you advise me with taking those courses online ? or study by myself and take the GRE physics test ? is GRE physucs is enough for a graduate astrophysics school ? or take a pre_master courses with the university i'll be admitted to ?
  13. Oct 20, 2016 #12
    There are no accredited online offerings of quantum mechanics, E&M, classical mechanics, or thermodynamics (stat mech) that I can recommend with any enthusiasm or that I think the admissions folks for any reputable graduate program in astrophysics will not scoff at.

    Most admissions folks for reputable graduate programs will likely want to see the full slate of undergrad physics courses (and a lot of math) on the transcript of an accredited institution in addition to a good PGRE score to be convinced an applicant has a good chance to succeed in their program. They want a documented track record of learning. The PGRE is a single data point, but an important one. It is necessary but not sufficient.
  14. Oct 20, 2016 #13
    No you've misunderstood me. Thanks for trying to help me. but i am trying to give a precise image of my problem of being late.
  15. Oct 20, 2016 #14
    I am not ignoring any of your sweet advice. I do thank you for giving me ur time trying to help. but I am starting my ambition in late age that's my whole problem . I want to invest short time doing what others did in 4 years cuz maybe they started their ambition with 16 17 years old.
    Whatever 2 years are good. you mean 2 years is an undergraduate level or some like pre_master's program ?
    do you advise me of studying by myself for GRE physics test ? or wait till i finish those 2 years you've mentioned ?
  16. Oct 20, 2016 #15
    Can i take an undergraduate degree in physics in 2 years ? or is it possible to ask them to give me a pre_master courses ? it is impossible to do that in my country . Which countries would accept my condition ?
  17. Oct 20, 2016 #16
    If you got the cash and can get into the US, lots of accredited institutions will likely admit you as a transient student (not degree seeking) and let you take any and all courses for which you have the pre-requisites on an accredited college transcript. Once you pass a few upper level physics courses, you would likely be admitted to a degree program to earn a BS in Physics.

    You are very unlikely to qualify for financial aid. You likely need to budget $20k or so per year, depending on lifestyle, tuition, health care, etc.

    But you may also face a challenge getting the university to accept what you have already done as equivalent to college credit in 2 semesters of Calculus and 2 semesters of Calculus-based general physics. All of the upper level physics courses require those as pre-requisites, and many courses also require Calc 3, Diff Eq, Linear Algebra, etc.

    It can be hard to get schools to talk about the details of accepting transfer credit and pre-requisites before you are admitted as a student. In any event, no one can even give you good guidance about these questions without seeing your actual college transcript. But in most cases, work done in high school is not going to count for much unless it has already been recognized on an accredited college transcript. Nor should it.

    Thinking you are two years away is likely overly optimistic. IF you get a uni to accept your pre-requisites for 1 year of freshman Physics AND Calculus, you are more likely 3 years away. IF they do not accept your pre-reqs, you are closer to 4 years away in most BS Physics programs.
  18. Oct 20, 2016 #17
    Do you have any idea which universities with reasonable fees would accept me ? Not only in the US but also in any other european universty
  19. Oct 20, 2016 #18
    "Reasonable fees"? Depends on what you mean. In the US, cost of living near most college campuses is $10-$12k a year before you pay a penny in tuition. I'm not familiar with European universities, but in the US, you will not qualify for in-state tuition at most universities, so you are looking at $5-$10k per year in tuition. That is considered "reasonable" for out of state tuition at public universities and the tuition everyone pays for full time at private universities. They will likely accept you as a transient student, because they want to cash your tuition checks. Travel and the required health insurance will likely be expensive also.
  20. Oct 20, 2016 #19
    Do you mean that private universities are the ones to accept me as a transient student ? Give me names of those universities
  21. Oct 20, 2016 #20
    I think most minimally selective private and the public universities will likely accept most foreign students as transients if several conditions are satisfied:

    1. They have an undergraduate transcript with a decent GPA from an accredited university.
    2. They can get permission to come here in a student status.
    3. They can pay.

    You can google US universities yourself and contact their admissions offices.
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