Does the type of research you do matter for grad school

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I want to hopefully go into graduate program in astronomy or experimental physics and am doing a dual Physics/EE major. I am going to try to get a job in a lab associated with the campus however it will probably be more geared towards applied physics and/or EE stuff than to fundamental physics research. Will this distinction matter when I apply to graduate programs? My school doesn't do much pure physics research work.
 

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Choppy
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Not really.

It's far more important to do well and learn from in any project that you take on than it is that the project be relevant to what you think you want to do in graduate school.

One advantage that might be there is that if you want to get into an astronomy graduate program and you take on an astronomy undergraduate project with a professor who happens to be known to the people on the admissions committee (and liked by them), his or her recommendation may carry somewhat more weight compared to someone unknown.

The other thing to keep in mind is that it is quite common for students to change their minds about the areas they want to pursue. I think if you've found a good project to get involved with and it seems like you'll learn something from it, turning it down in the hope of getting something more topically related to an area you might pursue, a project that doesn't exist yet, is a bad idea.
 

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