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Graduate School for General Relativity ?

  1. May 24, 2013 #1


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    I'm currently in my last year as an undergrad B.S. Physics and am looking for graduate schools that would be suitable for me to study GR. I know that many schools are lacking in this department, i.e. my own school, so I'd like to find one that would allow me to study the area of General Relativity that I want to go into (specifically gravitomagnetism). Google'ing graduate schools for GR has not been very fruitful.

    From various sources on the forums I've gathered that the following may apply to my situation:
    NC - Chapel HIll
    Montana State
    Penn State

    Do you know any schools? Is Europe a feasible option? How would you suggest searching for these type of things? I appreciate any advice
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2013 #2
    Gravitomagnetism is cool.

    I'm at FAU (just finished junior undergrad year). From what I recall, one of my fellow students asked about the physics PhD program during one of our classes, and apparently, there aren't enough faculty to run one. The reason they are heavily into theoretical physics is because of a lack of funding for other things. It's kind of a shame. Having taken some classes by the professors, I certainly wouldn't mind working under them for those sorts of research interests (some of them are friendly, all seem very knowledgeable in their fields, and quite a few are heavily math-oriented).

    So if you were interested in them, I would recommend that you contact the FAU physics department to make sure that they actually do have a working PhD program before getting too invested in them. As for the Master's program though (if that's what you were interested in), I don't know what its current status is.
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  4. May 25, 2013 #3


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    From what I gather on your website, it looks like there is a PhD program offered.
    http://fau.edu/academic/registrar/catalog/science.php#physd [Broken]
    And it also looks like there is a considerable amount of research into spacetime physics, which is great! But yeah like you said, I'd definitely need to contact the department first before taking any actions. Thanks for the info
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. May 25, 2013 #4
    "GR" is probably too broad a term to look for. You might want to look into straight physics departments that do cosmology and numerical relativity, such as the ones in this guy's list:


    which include some of the ones in your list. FAU is a powerhouse in this area, and they do take students with funding as that post suggests. But I would still heed Subdot's advice wrt this department.

    Also look into the universities associated with LIGO (pretty sure it's not just Caltech), as there are at least 2 facilities in the US.

    If you've got some serious math skills and can ace the math GRE, that could potentially open doors to math/applied math departments that conduct research in fundamental GR (my GR prof did physics as an undergrad and then a math phd working on Einstein-Cartan theory, but this was at a UK university, which is not feasible unless you're a UK citizen or EU citizen resident in the UK for at least 3 years). Judging by your other thread, I think you might like and enjoy this idea, provided your math background is rigorous.

    Most universities in elsewhere in Europe would consider you for phd funding if you obtain a masters degree first (with very few exceptions).
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  6. May 28, 2013 #5
    I am by no means qualified to give advice on how to look for grad schools (seeing how I'm basically in the same situation), but this website seemed to me to give pretty helpful advice: http://www.physics.unh.edu/undergraduate/advice-physics-majors-grad [Broken]

    I also recently found this from the APS website, which looks like a promising tool.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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