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Bachelors in Physics vs Mathematics vs Mech. Eng., need advice

  1. Apr 14, 2014 #1
    Im applying to several universities(in korea) and in i have to declare my major at the time of application.

    There is no doubt i want to pursue my career as an astrophysicist and i want to take up physics, but just incase im not able to get physics major, it is required to select 2 more choices of majors during my application.

    So my doubt is that what are the fields i can choose that will allow me to pursue my career?

    the first two that come in my mind are mathematics major and mechanical engineering, but im not at all sure.

    I will choose physics if i can, but if i cannot~ will i be eligible for further studies in astrophysics if i choose mathematics major? what field of engineering are eligible (in general)?

    thanks you so much for reading through, this forum has always been of great help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2014 #2


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    Consider Electrical Engineering as well....Big field with lots of opportunites! And certainly a physics based discipline.
  4. Apr 14, 2014 #3
    In terms of getting into astrophysics I think computer science would be more useful than mechanical engineering. Obviously physics would be the degree to get, but if that cant happen then math or computer science might be useful with respect to astrophysics.
  5. Apr 14, 2014 #4
    when i consider only engineering, mechanical engineering really interests me.

    Is a person with a mechanical engineering degree generally eligible for a masters degree in astrophysics ?
  6. Apr 15, 2014 #5


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    Not sure, but keep in mind that "most" mechanical engineering jobs are in the area of HVAC for commercial and industrial buildings. Sizing fans and air ducts to heating/cooling loads you calculate. The other mechanical options are available, but will not be as easy to find.
  7. Apr 15, 2014 #6


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    If you want to be an Astrophysicist, your best bet is to major in physics. IF for some reason you can't make it through the physics major, a degree in math with a minor in physics would be your best bet.

    On the other hand, if you end up not completing a physics major either because you don't like it or can't do it, then you'll need to ask yourself if being an astrophysicist is really the best thing for you to do.
  8. Apr 15, 2014 #7


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    Ar you sure about that?

    Estimating the number of MEs in a few big engineering companies like Boeing, GE, Ford, GM, etc compared with the likely number designing HVAC systems, it doesn't seem very plausible to me.
  9. Apr 15, 2014 #8
    You will be eligible for graduate studies in astrophysics with a math or ME major, as long as you take plenty of physics electives.

    Math would obviously help more if you wanted to do theoretical astrophysics, but also realize that there is nothing holding you back from doing this if you major in ME. ME is probably the most diverse field and students with a degree in ME can do just about anything.

    I majored in ME and I do research in quantum mechanics. A friend of mine also majored in ME and does research in marine biology.

    Astrophysics wouldn't be hard to get involved with, but I think physics and mathematics majors would be more prepared (if you let them). What I mean is that there is nothing holding you back from learning the complex mathematics of theoretical physics on your own.

    EXAMPLE: Bill Nye got his degree in ME and now he's the CEO of the Planetary Society, which does loads of research in astronomy and planetary science.
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