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Combined Astro+Phys degree?

  1. Jan 16, 2007 #1
    Hi all.

    I am transfering to the university of victoria this fall and have been planning on majoring in astronomy. They offer an honours program, which I believe I will apply for.

    I've been reading the forums somewhat and I see a degree in 'just astronomy' isn't as useful as a physics degree. I intend to go to grad school but there is of course the possibility that it doesn't work out.

    The university offers a combined degree in astronomy+physics, as well as just astronomy in both honour/major flavours.

    Like I said, my intention was to shoot for astronomy, but I was wondering if it's worth it to instead try for the combined astronomy+physics degree. Would choosing one over the other put me at a disadvantage?

    Thank you for any advice.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2007 #2
    what about astrophysics?
  4. Jan 16, 2007 #3
    Sorry, that's what I meant by astronomy.

    Any opinions?
  5. Jan 16, 2007 #4
    The astronomy programs that I have curiously read through seem to resemble a more 'experimental' aspect of astrophysics, or experimental physics applied to the study of physical, macroscopic space and the universe. Is the combined major geared more towards the experimentation or application of physics to the macroscopic universe or does it involve some theory and abstract maths?

    The astrophysics programs that I have looked at seem to describe a more theoretical (perhaps mathematical) approach to the understanding of the macroscopic universe.

    My conception of the astrophysicist is one who models and predicts phenomena, objects, events, etc. for the astronomer to look for and verify. Are your interests primarily in theory and abstract mathematics or do you prefer the use of mathematics merely as tool to derive and understand tangible, experimental results?

    If you are highly passionate about theory and abstract maths, then I would suggest looking into a combine maths+astrophysics degree. However, if you are interested in the experimental aspect of physics, then I would suggest the astronomy+physics degree.
  6. Jan 17, 2007 #5
    Thanks for your input.

    I'm specifically deciding between a major of just astrophysics, or a combined major of astro+physics, though. I doubt I would want a combined math+astro major. Any more thoughts??
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