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Engineering undergrad -> astrophysics PhD

  1. Aug 6, 2013 #1
    Hi people!

    My long-time goal is to pursue a PhD in astrophysics. Since an undergraduate in astrophysics is not available to me, I'm looking for alternatives. There are two cool engineering programs at hand: one in civil engineering, the other one in informatics engineering. Both are interesting but I wonder what is a better option as far as a graduate career in astrophysics is concerned.

    What do you think? Any personal experience? Thanks for any advice! Best regards,
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2013 #2


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    1. Pick a school where you want to do your graduate school in astrophysics.

    2. Look at the courses/syllabus, and what they require.

    3. Do you think you are equipped to understand and do well in such a program?

    Also, read this:


  4. Aug 6, 2013 #3
    Dear ZapperZ,
    thanks for your advice. But I want to rephrase my post.

    Because I have an undergrad in music, no physics/astrophysics graduate department is open to receive my application. I'm quite confident in my background, to include maths, physics and astrophysics. However, I'm convinced that, without an undergrad in science/engineering I will not get any far.

    There are, however, only two options available to me at this moment: civil or informatics engineering. So, my question is actually about what degree will be more useful (specially because I'm quite ignorant about engineering). The civil eng. curriculum has a heavy mechanics component, to include fluid mechanics and dynamics. On the other hand, the informatic curriculum lies on programming. Since my ultimate goal is somewhere in the field of computational fluid dynamics applied to astrophysics, I'm really confused.

    Any thoughts? Best regards,
  5. Aug 6, 2013 #4
    My thoughts is you will be woefully unprepared for an astrophysics Ph.D. with a BS in engineering. The mathematical rigor will eat you alive. I say this as an engineer who sometimes works with astrophysicists.
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