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Heliophysics/astrophysics Grad School

  1. Jul 17, 2011 #1
    I've started to look at graduate schools and I am really interested in doing solar physics, although I am very interested in more general astrophysics as well.
    Of course we all want to go to a great school but I want to be realistic about where I can get in ect. Location is a big deal to me as well. I'd like to go out to the East coast somewhere but I dont have to of course.
    I've been looking into Boston University, Yale, Pitt, UC-San Diego?,University New Hampshire, possibly MIT.

    How hard is it to get into schools like this? I know I'm all over the spectrum here but I want to get a feel for it.
    background- GPA around 3.6 or 3.7, havn't taken PGRE yet, amazing list of extra-currics, and have research experience.

    Also I hope this doesn't sound bad but do I have a better chance because I'm a female and I have a disability? I have heard people say that before..
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2011 #2


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    Top schools for solar physics are Harvard, Berkeley, Montana State, and U Colorado (Boulder). UNH has a smaller program. I don't remember anyone at MIT doing solar physics, and they're not big on astro either. Neither is Montana State; they only have a couple astrophysicists.

    Activities don't matter for grad schools unless they're directly related to your field. Research experience is great, but everyone applying to the top schools has that, so you'll need great letters and hopefully publications or at least conference presentations.
  4. Jul 18, 2011 #3
    The schools you list are pretty top notch and a decent amount of people will have you beat with your GPA. I think you need to do really, really well on the PGRE. I would focus on that and raise your GPA as much as possible. I would also apply to some lower level schools to fall back on. Better to have something than nothing.
  5. Jul 18, 2011 #4
    By Activities I meant I sit on national councils that advice congressmen on health legislation, I feel like that counts for something. I mean obviously I could be wrong, and yes I do have physics related stuff as well. No publications as of yet.
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