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Astrophysics Wayne State

  1. Jun 16, 2013 #1
    I've been looking into Wayne State University for a Masters in physics. I'm particularly interested in their astrophysics program but I don't know much about their program to really get an idea of how good it is. I know on U.S. News ranks them #113 in physics but does anyone know more about their astrophysics program? I'm looking into this school because my grades aren't stellar but I feel I could get in there.
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  3. Jun 16, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Wayne state has a joint Physics and Astronomy program, so the same ranking would apply. It has only two people working on astrophysics, so the program is not strong.
  4. Mar 20, 2014 #3
    I know that this thread is old but I was just browsing and I think that some perspective and advice might be useful to others. There are a lot of misconceptions compounded by the fascination with rankings.

    Any department, not just physics, gets a high ranking by being large and doing everything. You get a ranking in every subfield and a composite based on those subfield rankings. A place like Wayne State, or any of the other hundreds of small departments, focus on just a few things and frequently do those few things quite well. U of Hawaii is not even ranked but if you want to do observational astronomy it might be a good place to go. Wayne is very heavily into atomic, molecular, materials, optics, etc., all things that are very doable in a small department, and they do those things quite well. They are essentially the birthplace of thermal wave imaging. They are into biomedical physics in conjunction with a very large medical school. So the point is that you can go to a very large department and confidently have the opportunity to do just about anything but if you are applying to a small department you should be familiar with what they do and be motivated to work in a particular field.

    Do not think that US News rankings have anything to do with ease of acceptance. It is a common misconception that you should apply to a lower ranked department because you have low grades or test scores. Wayne State has a lower acceptance rate than U of Chicago. They admit less than 15 students from roughly 100 applications annually. Those students do not have low grades or test scores. In fact, they have a high percentage of apps from foreign applicants because domestic students generally place more weight on both location and overall rankings. The students accepted have very strong academic records and show a strong interest in the particular research being done. As V says above, don't apply to a place that doesn't do what you are interested in and certainly don't think that a low ranking from a magazine is any indication of quality of a program in any particular subfield or ease of acceptance.
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