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Astrophysics Major and Minor

  1. Dec 27, 2014 #1

    I want to become an Astrophysicist, but I do not know the "structure" of events that it takes to become one. Is Astrophysics a Bachelor's program, or is it a Graduate program? For example, can you major in Astrophysics, or do you need to major in a smaller element like physics or astronomy, and then take Astrophysics in the Graduate program? Also, I was wondering what would be best to take as a major and minor if you cannot directly take Astrophysics. Should I major in physics and minor in astronomy, or major in astronomy and minor in physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2014 #2


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    There are only a few schools I've heard of that offer a bachelor's in astrophysics. That doesn't really matter too much though. At the undergraduate level, an astrophysics major is essentially a physics major with an astronomy minor.
  4. Dec 28, 2014 #3


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    That was my experience nearly 40 years ago, and still seems to be prevalent today. For examples,
    http://www.phys.utk.edu/undergraduate/bachelors.html [Broken]
    and http://www.brown.edu/academics/phys...physics-concentrations/physics-concentrations

    On the other hand, some universities do offer an undergraduate program in astronomy/astrophysics, but which could be tied with a physics degree.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Dec 28, 2014 #4


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    Some schools also offer a physics major with an astrophysics concentration, although it's not necessarily an astrophysics degree, and it's not necessarily a physics degree with an astronomy minor. It's essentially the same, but with some slightly different focus and a few course alterations. UIUC is one of these schools. They offer degrees in both physics and astronomy, and although they don't offer an astrophysics degree, you can basically do your bachelors in astrophysics. If the name on the degree is for some reason important, it's definitely worth doing some research.
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