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Help-A Degree Relevant To Outer Space

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  • Thread starter Boogeyman
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  • #1
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Hello all. I'm sorry this is such a newbie question, and if there are threads similar please direct me to them. I live in the Caribbean.

Anyways, its my last year in HS so I have to apply to a degree program. I know what I'm interested in, but I'm unsure from what angle to approach. I'm riveted by the exploration of space and the unique theories we have on black holes, big bang theory, expansion of the universe etc. However I don't kow if I should choose a Physics degree, an Astronomy/Astrophysicist degree, Mathematics degree or some kind of Egineering degree.

I have never had access to an actual telescope unfortunately, but I actively participate an Astronomy quizzes and find them extremely stimulating.

I did Mathematics, Physics and Applied Mathematics at the pre-university level (so no Chem).

What are your recommendations?
 

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  • #2
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Go to a school strong in those programs, and declare your major as late as they will let you.
 
  • #3
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Go to a school strong in those programs, and declare your major as late as they will let you.
I don't follow..I still have to choose a general degree...
 
  • #4
I don't follow..I still have to choose a general degree...
In the US you can apply to a programme, but you don't have to actually confirm the subject that you'll graduate in until you've already been at university for a couple of years. This is because you get the opportunity to take quite a few classes in these first years, so you could potentially choose classes that qualify you for different end-degrees.

In the UK we choose as we're applying, and for lots of UK universities that's the last decision you get to make on it. If you apply to physics, you're going to be doing physics.

I'm not sure what it's like where you are.

If you need to decide, then why not have a closer look at what those subjects entail? Engineering is about designing and building things, for instance. Do you want to be involved in building satellites? If so, then perhaps electrical engineering will be a route - however, you likely wouldn't get to study any astronomy related subjects. A physics program is good because it's general - but it's only good if you like maths and want to learn a little bit about a lot of different things. An astronomy degree is basically a physics degree focussing on space + the universe. The trade of here is that you might be exposed to less practical (as in, useful for employment) knowledge (not mistaking knowledge for skills) than you would in a physics or engineering degree.

You should make an appointment with your school careers advisor if you have one, otherwise spend a bit of time on wikipedia and a few university websites - read the descriptions of their degree programmes to try and decide which one is the fit for you.
 
  • #5
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In the US you can apply to a programme, but you don't have to actually confirm the subject that you'll graduate in until you've already been at university for a couple of years. This is because you get the opportunity to take quite a few classes in these first years, so you could potentially choose classes that qualify you for different end-degrees.

In the UK we choose as we're applying, and for lots of UK universities that's the last decision you get to make on it. If you apply to physics, you're going to be doing physics.

I'm not sure what it's like where you are.

If you need to decide, then why not have a closer look at what those subjects entail? Engineering is about designing and building things, for instance. Do you want to be involved in building satellites? If so, then perhaps electrical engineering will be a route - however, you likely wouldn't get to study any astronomy related subjects. A physics program is good because it's general - but it's only good if you like maths and want to learn a little bit about a lot of different things. An astronomy degree is basically a physics degree focussing on space + the universe. The trade of here is that you might be exposed to less practical (as in, useful for employment) knowledge (not mistaking knowledge for skills) than you would in a physics or engineering degree.

You should make an appointment with your school careers advisor if you have one, otherwise spend a bit of time on wikipedia and a few university websites - read the descriptions of their degree programmes to try and decide which one is the fit for you.
Thanks. I intend on applying to Uni of Toronto or some Uni in the UK (I don't want to do SATs lol). I understand that Physics/Astronomy is purely research, and that you won't start making any real money until you get a PhD. However I don't know if I like building things seeing I've only been exposed to theory in the classroom. I am confused, some say do what you dream-creating some unified field theory-but on the other hand I want to be realistic about my future. I am a straight A student.

P.S This is my career advisor. If I were to study in my country, my options are limited to Civ, Mech or Electrical Engineering.
 
  • #6
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Thanks. I intend on applying to Uni of Toronto or some Uni in the UK (I don't want to do SATs lol).
From what I can recall, if you're entering directly from high school, UofT lets you delay your decision in regards to your specialization up until your second year, so if in doubt what to choose, this might be an advantage. I'm not 100% sure on this, though, so you might want to check the website yourself.
 

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