1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Astrophysics + (Computer Science or Computer Engineering)?

  1. May 27, 2014 #1
    I am going to be a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I (for-sure) plan on majoring in astrophysics as it is my foremost passion. I also happen to have a liking for the computer related fields and having those skills makes myself more marketable for jobs. I plan on adding computer science or computer engineering (or something similar if anyone has better ideas) to make a double major. Can anyone advise as to which might be better between the two computer fields or if there is a better field to accompany astrophysics. Also, if there are any people out there with astrophysics degrees/majors, what applications are there of the computer sciences/engineering in that field?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think coupling the astrophysics major with computer science would be extremely useful. A lot of modern astrophysics research relies on programming and doing computer simulations. Astronomy/astrophysics research typically gathers loads and loads of data, so being able to work with databases can be important. This is especially if you plan on going to grad school in astronomy or astrophysics (or physics in general). Typically if you're wanting to do more theoretical/computational stuff, the programming skills physics/astrophysics majors gain is their strongest asset in terms of marketability.

    Computer engineering plays a role as well, since the simulations generally require advanced computing power and video cards. This requires some hardware knowledge, but in general I don't think double majoring in computer engineering would be as useful as computer science.
  4. May 28, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I agree. Computer science would be much more useful than computer engineering in your application
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook